Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Widgets, Juxtapositioning, and an Illustrative Coors Light Commercial 

It’s very curious that N. Dot's fiery rebuttal was deleted (out of the goodness of his heart no less). The disappearance of his post is very reminiscent of the loss of the records documenting George W.’s stint, or lack there of, in the National Guard. Like N. Dot's fellow Bostonian, Ben Affleck, would say:

Your Suspect!!!

It’s hard to defend myself and the Voice’s macroeconomic acumen when N. Dot's argument has been stricken from the record. I’ll concede that he does have his ear a bit closer to the (Wall) street, than yours truly, but I do occasionally peruse the Business Section of the paper (albeit the NY Times). But is N. Dot dismissing Perlstein’s argument that homeownership being at an all-time high is a meaningless statistic, simply because he is writing in the Village Voice, or is it unsound economically? It would seem to me, that looking at the rate of growth is the relevant statistic not the overall number of homes owned. But what do I know, my studies of macroeconomic only went so far as that yield curve involving widgets.

But if N. Dot does have an argument that can support the relevance of Bush's homeownership statistic I would like to hear it (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic, I want to know).

Secondly, it’s good to see N. Dot is finally giving Michael Moore some credit, turning his name into an adverb (Michael Moorishly) that is synonymous with clever and well-timed. N. Dot sarcastically dismisses the relevance of Jon Stewart airing a clip where Bush says, 'that the Iraqi aren’t happy being occupied'. N. Dot writes, "How damning!". He claims that I am missing the larger point. Well, isn't Zell missing the bigger point as well. Bush and his handlers love to juxtapose press clippings of Kerry changing his stance (the dreaded flip flop) on the Iraq War. And yet, it is somehow irrelevant to show a clip on The Daily Show that contradicts Zell's speech. Zell says our opponents would call our troops Occupiers. No Zell your president called our troops occupiers. If we're going to name call let's at least get the names right.

N. Dot writes, "Is it not true that to most liberals the soldiers were not liberators, only occupiers? The Got certainly sees it that way."

N. Dot needs to stay with me here. Did he read my post? Did he read what Perlstein wrote actually wrote? I'll repeat it:

A Nexis search indicates that Senator Kerry has never been quoted saying [the troops are occupiers]. Nor Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, nor House leader Nancy Pelosi, nor Senate or House Democratic whips Harry Reid or Steny Hoyer; nor Hoyer's deputy whips Charlie Stenholm, Nita Lowie, Maxine Waters. I'll admit at this point I stopped searching. Maybe Miller is referring to the clerk in the House Democratic cloakroom.

You’re right N. Dot, I don’t see the US mission to Iraqi as a liberation mission, because those was not the pretense under which went to war in the first place (how short everyone’s memory is). But like Perlstein says, I’m only that clerk in the House Democratic cloakroom (and probably not even that high on the totem pole). So when Zell Miller, and N. Dot equate my views on Iraq with those of the Democratic presidential candidate it is just plain wrong. The Village Voice, and any other news publication should call Zell Miller to task for saying something that is completely unfounded.

But let’s stop nit-picking and call each other names, although I’ll admit Anti-Bushocrat does have a certain charm to it. The main point of my previous post was to highlight some of the “not-so’s”, the untruths that Perlstein found in the rhetoric coming out of the RNC. The “not-so’s” that he found aren’t the same as out and out lies, but rather these "not-so's" contain an element of truth, but distort the larger picture. I have however found an illustrative example that will hopefully prove my point and end all this partisan squabbling. Enter the new Coors Light Commercials.

Coors Light has a new series of commercials that like any political advertisement, try to separate their candidate from the challengers. While many beers taste similarly, most people will agree that Coors Light has a fairly poor reputation for quality and taste. It's a beer you drink out of a keg. A beer that you buy in a case of 32. Not a beer that you ask for a pint of at your local pub. It's watery, and generally of a piss poor quality. But, Coors, like even the most inept political candidate (think Ralph Nader), will fight for the public's votes and dollars.

Coors' new commercial campaign highlights the fact that their beer is frost-brewed at 32 degrees, and transported in refrigerated trains and trucks. They contrast this to their opponents, i.e., every other beer, who unlike the frost-brewed Coors Light, brews their beer at over 150 degrees, and transports this beer at room temperature. Who wants to drink hot beer, yuck! Nevermind the fact that all beer is made by boiling the barley, the hops, etc.

Most people know that Coors doesn't taste better than lets say Stella Artois, or Pilsner Urquell. But it's cheaper, it's American, and if you watch the commercial enough times, with the Rocky Mountain snow in the background, you might start to think that's it is colder. N. Dot, you should know better, you were with my in Plzen, Czech Republic, at the Pilsner Urquell brewery. The beer was boiled, the beer was good.

But just like with the "not-so's" uttered at the RNC, Coors claim that it is the only beer that is frost-brewed may very well be true, but it misses the bigger picture, i.e., beers like Pilsner Urquell, and numerous others taste much better than Coors Light. I'm reminded of these Coors Light commercials when I recall statements from the RNC like those from Laura Bush claiming:

"50 million more men, women, and children [that] live in freedom thanks to the United States."

This is a numbers game. Coors frost-brewed at 32 degrees, and the total population of Afghanistan and Iraq combined equals 50 million. The numbers are attention-grabbing, but let's look at what is implied by these numbers. Both figures while technically factual, miss the larger point, as N. Dot puts it. Here are the LARGER points.

1. Despite the frost-brewing, Coors Light tastes like shit.

2. The 28 million residents of Afghanistan are living under the control of the same warlords and Taliban remnants, as they were before Sept 11, 2001. We started the job of democratization in Afghanistan, but certainly didn't finish it. Because we had bigger fish to fry, which brings me to my third larger issue...

3. What does that leave 22 million citizens in Iraq? Does living in freedom mean having the Sadaam statue in Baghdad topple, or have running tap water? Did the military have a plan to secure Iraq after the initial victory? Did we really plan on keeping troops their indefinitely? How are those elections looking in January? Has Laura Bush seen the pictures of Fallujah, Baghdad, Najaf and Sadr City? I realize Rome (or Washington D.C.) wasn't built in a day, but exactly what kind of freedom is this elderly woman living in?

So when I see a can of Coors Light surrounded by snow flakes, or Laura Bush smiling and 50 million free souls, I cringe, knowing that something is not quote right about either one. I'm left with a bitter beer taste in my mouth.


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