Saturday, May 20, 2006

Score one for the conservatives

One of the ways conservatives tend to respond to the constant drumbeat of complaints from the left is to say, "You can't blame everything on Bush." Although I think there is an amazing litany of failure that can and should be laid at the feet of this train wreck of a manchild, I must concede that there are some problems, such as some of the reasons for the low opinion of Americans abroad, that cannot be 100% tied to the Worst President Ever.

To wit:

It is brown-gold and alcoholic but, then, in the scathing verdict of German beer fans, so is paint thinner.

The Germans are furious that Budweiser will be the official tipple for the World Cup, which starts next month. The American lager has secured a near-monopoly of beer sales inside World Cup stadiums and within a 500m radius of the grounds, supplanting more than 1,270 domestic breweries.

And what most upsets the fans is that Budweiser — advertised as the “King of Beers” in the US — fails to meet the ancient German standards for purity, which stipulate that beer can be brewed only from malt, hops and water. Budweiser uses rice in its production process and therefore does not qualify as a beer in the German sense.

Budweiser’s World Cup status is a slap in the face for a country that attaches such importance to beer production. When Germany was a patchwork of principalities and duchies, a sponsored brewery was seen as the stamp of in- dependence. German pride at hosting the tournament is being dented by the fierce marketing of the American beer.

“Most pubs don’t even stock it,” groaned Walter König, of the Bavarian Breweries’ Association. “Bavarian beer should be available in a Bavarian stadium — Munich — for the first kick-off. But what can we do? Budweiser paid $40 million for the concession even before Germany had been chosen to host the tournament.”

Franz Maget, a Bavarian Social Democrat, has entered the fray, calling Budweiser “the worst beer in the world”.

As with the definition of football, this opinion of American Budweiser is virtually universal outside the United States. Flash back to this from John Cleese from about a year ago, attempting to enforce British rule again ("To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves"):
The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all, it is lager . From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.
So yes, my conservative brethren and sistren, there are crimes against humanity that we do not blame on Dubya.


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