February 29, 2016

If political candidates were beer brands...

...this would be Donald Trump.

Pop a top and hear me out.

The rise of "sophisticated" craft beers has cut deeply into the market share of the "macro" brews, leaving them to find new ways to appeal to drinkers than "just" bikinis. Millions of dollars of professional advertising research and production later, we have - "Not Ponies", hard working blue collar men, big American brewing [owned by Belgians, I must admit] rock stars, sports champions, "Not Sipped", "Not Soft", "Not Imported", "Not a Fruit Cup", beautiful young women, "Not for Everyone" and ending with, "Not Backing Down."

The guy at the bar, who flicked the lemon off the rim of his beer glass, is NOT voting for a country club member for president - unless that guy OWNS the country club and talks like a Teamster.

Politics is at least as much about message and marketing as it is about ideas, if not more, unfortunately. Whoever wants to beat Trump needs his own version of "America, f*ck yeah!" to compete with this. Just an observation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Perhaps in a general election -- and Reagan's "Morning in America" comes to mind. Simplify and emotionalize to capture lower info voters in a general (without talking down to true believers).

But Brother nb captures my wistful ennui below by saying "Damn, a Cru-Bio showdown could have been so good for liberty...."

Amen. And a Rand Paul -> Scott Walker -> Bobby Jindal -> Cruz -> Rubio even better. I think if you are selling your candidacy to Republican Primary voters as a beer brand then you are doing it wrong. Or, much worsely and matching my darkest fears, the polity is wrong. Maybe Republicans are as stupid and racist as my lefty friends have been trying to tell me.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some are, 'tis true, but no greater percentage than are Democrats.

Picture the man at the bar in this commercial though. Would you call him stupid? Does he look stupid, and not thoughtful? Or anyone else in the commercial? And yet you can easily imagine them pulling a lever for a potty mouthed billionaire because they think he will fix what needs fixing.

I dunno, I guess I just think the "stupid racist" crap gets thrown around way too casually. Guys who carry lunch pails to work have as much right to their opinion as anyone else. God bless America!

I also meant this as an anti-snobbery play. I have friends and relations who deride me for drinking Coors and Bud. "Life's too short for cheap beer" sez they. When I grew up this beer was plenty expensive and plenty tasty. Liking craft beers now doesn't mean I also have to stop liking the beer I loved first, sez I.

This Bud's for you, unless you're too good to drink with me. And there's Donald's true appeal, is it not?

Posted by: johngalt at February 29, 2016 4:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I do wish I could summon Jonah Goldberg to the blog. He could admire my Buffy reference and critique my bold Trump == (WJ) Clinton claim.

He could also pontificate here. He is an unabashed fan of Budweiser, no less abashed ridiculer of elitism and fruit beer style frumpery in all things. But. He opposes Trump in a way that side by side comparisons make me look like " a leaner."

No, your beer drinking friend is not stupid -- but he is choosing a product which is not tied to reason. Choosing a candidate in a primary is a more intellectual endeavor.

Posted by: jk at February 29, 2016 5:24 PM

October 4, 2012

Five Best Beers (BR Style)

5. Sam Adams Lager

4. Alaskan [Amber] Porter. You hear me, Porter

3. Anything out of a tap in an Irish Pub, but only if you are in Ireland

2. Whatever you've got in the fridge

1. The one in my hand

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 6:20 PM | Comments (8)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Originally (Beethoven post below) I said "Amber" but brother jk said "Porter." Ma taught me to respect my eld.., er bet.., er host so I came up with a witty linguistic compromise.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 7:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, off the top of my head:

5. Coors Banquet

4. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

3. Odell's Five Barrel Pale Ale

2. Guiness Pub Draught can (anywhere, any temperature!)

1. Andechs' Spezial Hell

"Genuss fur leib und seele!"

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2012 7:43 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Oh my, I love it when you talk German.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 8:13 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Cheers! Prosst!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 5, 2012 12:15 PM
But jk thinks:

I love it when he speaks Serbo-Croation.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2012 12:30 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A Teutonic-American such as yourself should recognize that one!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 5, 2012 12:56 PM

October 2, 2012

And Now, at Long Last: The Greatest Song Ever: "Ode An Die Freude"

I apologize for the lack of posting over the last few weeks. I have been keeping up with the doings here and making the occasional comment, but have had little original to say, and thus said little.


The Almost Five Best Songs of All Time

Number 5: "Sunday Morning Coming Down"

Number 4: "All the Things You Are"

Number 3: "Toxicity", System of a Down

Number 2: "Stardust"

But now, at last and certainly none too soon:

The Greatest Song of All Time!

"Ode An Die Freude" (Fourth Movement, Symphony No. 9), Ludwig von Beethoven

(Lyrics originally a poem written by Friedrich Schiller)

For those whose German is not quite perfect, here are the full English lyrics:

Joy, bright spark of divinity, Daughter of Elysium, Fire-inspired we tread Thy sanctuary.

Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

I could hear it a thousand times, and it would still cause the tears to spring.

And having said all that words can express, let us be reminded that there are things only the notes can say. For now, we will say no more,

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 1:31 PM | Comments (13)
But dagny thinks:

Damn, I married a troglodyte even if he does prefer Sam Adams to Bud Light. However, the part of this troglodytes are most likely to recognize starts at about 3:20.

Posted by: dagny at October 3, 2012 5:01 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Thanks Dagny! That's right. A few notes: The conductor is a totally cool dude, note how he sings along with the Chorus. The bassists are all using the German bow. How surprising...

Sam Adams is my favorite beer, too! Well, the Alaskan Amber is tied. Do you folks have that available in CO? Give it a try.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 3, 2012 5:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Alaskan Porter. Please. What in the holy hell is the matter with you people?

Thanks to brother ew for an eclectic and enjoyable top five. At the risk of taking it another direction, I noticed an interesting problem with the Beethoven piece. Part of it was travel, but it is difficult to apportion 14 minutes of serious time in a good environment. Your other pieces -- nice as they were -- were easy to take a few minutes off work and listen. This piece required an appointment.


Posted by: jk at October 3, 2012 6:33 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Thanks for listening and taking the time, everyone. Yes, as Dagny noted the core "song" starts at 3:20 or so. It's really just a couple of minutes, but I couldn't bear to leave the rest out...the first bars recap the opening of the first movement.

I think the beer discussion deserves a post of its own.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 3, 2012 7:27 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Top five beers?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 4, 2012 11:57 AM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

AB-SO-LUTE-LY!!! Also, what Ben Franklin said.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at October 4, 2012 2:55 PM

September 20, 2012

St. Michael's Blues

I never did come up with all five of my five best songs of all time. If I did there's a good chance this one would be on the list. A fantastic song from a great album: Tightly Knit. I first discovered these guys my senior year of high school and they've been a favorite ever since.

Posted by JohnGalt at 5:54 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I thought I distinctly remembered reading that songs starting with the line "Woke up this morning.." were disqualified. Was that another contest?

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2012 6:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just listen to the guitars. If I want lyrics I listen to those other two genres: country and western.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2012 6:57 PM
But jk thinks:

You and Sugarchuck. He and I have had this argument 1,000,000 times.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2012 7:10 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:


I primarily listen to country, though my tastes oddly include a lot of classical, a lot of classic rock, and whatever genre it is that Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs fall into (a subject of debate all its own, I'm afraid). We had a discussion here where several of us faced the question "What's the greatest album of all time?" My desk partner said afterwards that he was sure I was going to insist on something by George Strait. I had to explain to all my friends the album I chose.

I mean, how in the sphincter of Hell can five alleged music lovers NOT recognize the name "Physical Graffiti"?

I categorically deny the ability to narrow this down to just five best songs of all time. There are far too many, and humanity has produced a lot of good music. I'm a sucker for well-tuned harmony (which explains why Little Big Town is always a favorite), talented musicianship, and just general catchiness.

I don't know if I'm being contrary with this, or if I'm, like a wine aficionado, pulling out the rare find of a bottle no one expects, but I'm in the mood to nominate this little toe-tapper that's in my mind right now (so hate on if you must):


Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 21, 2012 4:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Anybody hates on Brother Keith for that tune, we're firing up the IP Blocker. That one is pure magic -- makes this grizzled old jazz snob tear up.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2012 5:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Album?" What's that?

My first challenge in considering a "five best songs" list was that I haven't heard every song ever recorded. The next was to actually remember all of the songs I have heard. So what this excercise amounts to is a fluid, dynamic ranking of one's personal preference in music. If you hear a new song or remember an old one that bests any of your top five then it can bump one of them down. And by sharing our lists with others we can learn more about music, and about each other's preferences.

Think of it as a music appreciation tool, not an objective contest. Carry on.

Posted by: johngalt at September 22, 2012 10:29 AM

July 28, 2012

Greatest Songs Countdown, Number 3: "Toxicity", System of a Down

Writing credit goes to Shavo Odadjian (bass) and Daron Malakian (vocals).

I knew nothing of this group before I heard this song and saw the video at a friend's house about 10 years ago. The apotheosis of metal - soft to hard, sweet to screaming, and with a beautiful melodic structure to the chorus that is almost operatic.

These choices for "greatest" are obviously subjective but this one is Top Five in the impact it had on me when I first heard it.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 3:22 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Not really my genre nor is it in compliance with my concept of facial hair. But I'll confess to appreciating the precision, passion, and attention to melody. Many of my friends are big fans of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Seems the same that I can appreciate what’s going on on some level but don’t enjoy the listening experience.

After your first three, I will no longer dare to refer to my tastes as eclectic.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2012 10:38 AM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Eclectic, yes! I appreciate that you appreciated the musicianship--it's not my usual genre either, but this one is special. I even enjoy a very limited selection of rap/hip-hop, but nothing there is going to make the Five Best.

My favorite period of music is roughly 1912-1962, so I am wondering if you have a good idea of the next two.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 29, 2012 5:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Gotta be a Gershwin tune in there.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2012 1:39 PM

July 5, 2012

Five Best "Dirty Harry" Lines

Brother Johngalt has expressed his desire for a "Five Best" category and here it is. I will continue to work my way through the Five Greatest Songs tomorrow, but for today:

The Five Best Dirty Harry Lines

(I leave out "Do I feel lucky...?" as far too easy). Even if you've never seen the film Dirty Harry (1971) I believe these distilled pearls of the English language stand on their own, whether as practical wisdom or koan:

5. Harry Callahan: Were not just going to let you walk out of here
Crook: Whos we, sucker?
Harry Callahan: Smith, Wesson and me.

4. Harry Callahan: Yeah, Ive been following him on my own time. And anybody can tell I didnt do that to him
Chief: How?
Harry Callahan: Cause he looks too damn good, thats how!

3. Mayor: All right, let's have it.
Insp. Harry Callahan: Have what?
Mayor: Your report. What have you been doing?
Insp. Harry Callahan: Oh, well for the past three quarters of an hour, I have been sitting on my ass in your outer office, waiting on you.

2. Mayor: I don't want any more trouble like you had last year in the Fillmore District. Understand? That's my policy.
Insp. Harry Callahan: Yeah, well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard; that's my policy.

1. Callahan: That's o.k. Look, I want you to tell Chico that I understand, you know, him quitting. I-I think he's right. This is no life for you two.
Gonzalez's wife: Why do you stay in it then?
Callahan: I don't know, I really don't.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 7:21 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2012 2:55 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm in big trouble. Well, if Anderson Cooper can be brave . . . I've never seen any Dirty Harry movies. I never saw any Clint Eastwood films but the loveley bride is a big fan and she has been trying to educate me.

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2012 9:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"A man has got to know his limitations."

Posted by: johngalt at July 6, 2012 12:01 PM