Posts Tagged ‘Neo-prohibitionists’

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Beef & Lamb vs Beer

June 29, 2010

So, beef & lamb* and other assorted ‘high-powered kiwis’ think they can reform NZ’s perceived binge-drinking problem through Prohibition. Well, to add balance to these intellectual heavy-weights and defenders of the common man, I’ve assembled a rag-tag bunch of infamous drinkers who say that alcohol is actually quite awesome. They include:

Homer J. Simpson (Common man and father of 3, Springfield): Symbolising America’s working-class love of domestic beer, Homer’s beloved Duff is really a subtle and nuanced critique of American modernity. Drinking wisdom: “Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

Vincent Van Gogh (Painter and recreational surgeon): This guys paintings are really quite messy (probably because he was boozed) but there’s something quite nice about them all the same. Check out The Starry Night – depicting a view from his sanatorium window (no doubt off his chops at the time). Drink of choice: Absinthe.

The Queen Mother (Queen’s Mother): Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon lived to 101 years old. Gin may taste horrible but it sure does have life-extending properties. Drinking tribute: fans placed bottles of Gin amongst the Flowers at her funeral.

Jimmy McNulty (Detective, Baltimore Police Department): The Wire’s Irish-American Jimmy likes the good things in life – Jameson Whiskey, Women – and he’s proof that being a hard-boiled, homicide detective doesn’t have to turn you bad – he made it through several episodes of series 3 & 4 without much self-destructive drinking and whoring around at all. Drinking buddy: Bunk Moreland.

Frank Sinatra (American Crooner): Ol’ Blue Eyes was a great singer but to be fair, he had a lot of help from his production assistant – Jack Daniels. Drinking quote: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

David Boon (Australian Cricketer, 1984 – 95): Boy, those Aussies take their drinking seriously and ‘the keg on legs’ is evidence that drinking and sport do indeed mix. Drinking achievement: World record for beers consumed on a flight – 52 cans between Sydney and London.

Shane McGowan (Lead Singer of the Pogues): Simple proof that drinking enthusiasts are far more talented and interesting people than teetotalers. Drinking Lyric: “When the world is too dark, And I need the light inside of me, I’ll go into a bar and drink Fifteen pints of beer.”

Sir Robert Muldoon (Prime Minister of NZ, 1975 – 84): Who says you can’t be wankered and still make decisions affecting millions of peoples lives pretty-much no worse than a sober politician? Drinking moment of glory: calling the snap election of 1984 while pissed as a chook.

Now, tell me – who do you trust?

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* (not sure if I have these in the right order)

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Im in yr tweet, saving u from yr beerz

November 15, 2009

Oh good, the Marsden Fund have awarded $864k to someone to ‘research’ Facebook, Twitter and the like looking for teens boasting about having fun getting boozed. Unlike other useless research projects that simply get ignored once the cash has been spent – this one is likely to be used to justify taking more taxpayers money for social engineering advertisements aimed at teens like those we’ve seen with tobacco – no doubt with a social networking slant – ‘Geoffrey Palmer has sent you a shandy – it’s cool to drink watered down beer!’

I’m not against social pressure being exerted on drunken idiots but I’ll be damned if they start treating my beloved beer like tobacco! And here’s a newsflash for the Healthists – teens actually do not want you on Facebook and Twitter finger-wagging and ruining their fun! While I dislike the big brewers because they spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising while making shite beer, I pretty much believe teens are going to drink exactly how much they want to anyway – it just may be that they drink more of brand x than brand y. So while I ignore the big brewers, I’ll soon get to spend my tax saving ‘vulnerable’ younger New Zealanders who obviously can’t think for themselves.

Some other Sunday links about wowsers:

  • Eric Crampton @ Offsetting Behaviour has a post titled The new tobacco covering ‘charitable’ anti-alcohol lobbying.
  • David Farrar @ Kiwiblog covers the drinking age once again being falsely touted as a silver bullet.
  • Stuff.co.nz covers the argy bargy between Supermarkets and the Law Commission over the release of alcohol sales data (in order to investigate minimum alcohol pricing). I hold the big two supermarket chains in NZ in similar regard to the big brewers but the correct response in this situation is indeed to tell the Law Commission to suck eggs.

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October Beer Roundup

October 20, 2009

The Nelson Mail has followed the Marlborough Express and looks to have started a regular beer column. I don’t have the details from the actual paper but I’m told Fritz and Maria’s beer column will appear fortnightly. Their first article covers two local brews including Founder’s excellent Show Hopper which I mentioned in my last blog post.

The incredibly popular and hoppy Epic Armageddon has finally made it to Nelson – I was starting to think it would never happen but it’s now at Fresh Choice Collingwood St – $10.99 for a 500ml bottle. Pick up one (or three like me) to supply your end-of-the-world bomb shelter.

In more depressing news, last week I was sent a New Scientist article on the World Health Organization launching a war on alcohol. I was too lazy to blog about it but Eric Crampton gives a good overview on his blog – Offsetting Behaviour. Whoever thought they might be content with tobacco control were wrong – there is probably no limit to what these people will target in their quest to save us from ourselves and they need to be stopped.

Eric also succinctly covers the fun-spoiling ‘healthists’ in this opinion piece from the NZ Herald. My fear is that there are far more interfering healthists in the world than rational Economists.

Update: It’s like beer Christmas here in Nelson. Another one of my beer wants has just today arrived at Fresh Choice – Yeastie Boys ‘His Majesty’. A New World IPA in an appropriately regal-looking 750ml bottle. I’m looking forward to tasting the NZ hops but throwing back the 3.8 standard drinks in it probably isn’t recommended when your wife could go into labour at any moment.

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Beers of our Lives

July 30, 2009

The Law Commission have now released their review of the Regulatory Framework for the Sale and Supply of Liquor – titled Alcohol In Our Lives. The full 279 page report is here.

I’ve had a bit of a read and looking at the press release talking points, things don’t look too bad – probably because they don’t mention excise increases. They instead mention a possible ‘tax reduction’ for low alcohol beers, though increases are discussed in the full report.

Looking at the following graph, you can see that beer consumption has been in steady decline since the mid-eighties, only starting to pick up a little in the last year – no doubt driven by the increasing popularity of craft and ‘premuim’ beer as regular sales have been flat.

consumption

The next graph shows the alcohol content of beer consumed – you can see the effect of the increasing popularity of ‘premium’ beers at 5% abv over traditional NZ beer at 4%. The Law Commission tend to want to make a bigger deal out of this than required by referring to the increase in consumption of higher alcohol beer several times. The growth is in 5% beer – 1 percent higher than average and the norm in most of the world. God knows what they think of wine at 13%.

abv

Anyway, this doesn’t indicate that people are looking to get more wasted – on the contrary it shows that people are becoming more interested in nicer, global beer styles and probably picking quality over quantity. So it is odd that they see a progressive excise tax to encourage the consumption of lower abv beer as a positive solution in this context. People are voluntary choosing to buy more expensive alcohol so why interfere with this?

Have a look at the report yourself. They’re encouraging public feedback via their forum www.talklaw.co.nz