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The pariah speaks

Posted by Evan Hughes  May 11, 2007 05:32 PM

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Daniel Davies has something important to say, important enough for a long, forceful, and very informed post with 14 footnotes. What is it?

I tend to regard myself as Crooked Timber's online myrmidon of a number of rather unpopular views; among other things, as regular readers will have seen, I believe that the incitement to religious hatred legislation was a good idea (perhaps badly executed), that John Searle has it more or less correct on the subject of artificial intelligence, that Jacques Derrida deserves his high reputation and that George Orwell was not even in the top three essayists of the twentieth century. I'm a fan of Welsh nationalism. Oh yes, the Kosovo intervention was a crock too. At some subconscious level I am aware that my ideas about education are both idiotic and unspeakable. But I think that all of these causes are regarded as at least borderline sane by at least one fellow CT contributor. There is only one major issue on which I stand completely alone, reviled by all. And it's this; Budweiser (by which I mean the real Budweiser, the beer which has been sold under that brand by Anheuser-Busch since 1876) is really quite a good beer.

He started early on in forming this view, when his parents in Oklahoma, where alcohol content was capped at 3.2 percent, let him drink Bud with lunch when he was 10.

Some keys to his defense: same recipe since 1876; contents are all natural, not chemical; it is not "processed" but filtered to remove sediment, which is what makes it a lager; yes, it has rice in it, but "so what? So do Asahi and Kirin of Japan, Bintang of Indonesia and Efes of Turkey, and nobody has such a hate on about them"; "We have no real way of knowing what beer tasted like in Ye Olden Days Of Bavaria Etc, but it was probably horrible."

Also, Anheuser Busch is not, Davies says, some global bully. Enough with this Budvar business:

Budweiser did not rip off the poor little Czech government. Budweiser did not steal the Czechs brand name. Budweiser is not a copy of Budvar. Budvar is not the original Budweiser. Budweiser does not use malicious lawsuits to keep the honest Czechs down. And a number of related issues. Ahem.

It doesn't take the Crooked Timber commenters to crack wise: "It doesn't taste very nice though, does it?" But I'm with Davies on this one, I say, risking censure. Nothing like it at a baseball game, preferably from a wax paper cup.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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