All I can say is: If you find yourself with time to kill in Milwaukee any day Monday through Saturday, do yourself a favor and take the brewery tour. It only takes about an hour and they give you free beer at the end. Also, there’s a hilariously over-the-top preliminary video that gives the phrase “it’s Miller time” the same historical significance as “give me liberty or give me death” or “54-40 or fight.”
A sign hangs in the warehouse area of the brewery. It reads: You don’t distribute a product. You deliver beer. You break down barriers and cement relationships. You make brothers out of friends, friends out of brothers and peace between fathers and sons. You are their brass ring and their consolation prize, their olive branch. What you do matters. What you do makes a difference in people’s lives. Every day, you give people everywhere a gift. You give them milestones and stories they will remember forever value. You give them Miller Time.
I thought: Well, that’s one way of describing what happens when people get drunk (or “use irresponsibly,” as we like to say). And I thought the First Amendment was a lofty motivation to get up and go to work in the morning. What do I know?
At the question-and-answer period, I asked, “Was Frederick Miller Jewish? Evidence would suggest so.” Was told: No, the six-pointed star stands for the six fundamentals of beermaking: barley, water, yeast, malt, hops and…I forget. Beechwood aging, maybe. How proud the Jews must be.
Also, I recommend the Milwaukee Art Museum, even if you don’t see a single painting. We ate lunch there with John and Sam. I asked the waitress, “The docent said they only flap the wings ‘weather permitting.’ What sort of weather stops the show?”
“I dunno,” she said. “I work down here on the lower level.” Alan remarked later: “She works in a one-of-a-kind building and she doesn’t even have the curiosity to know the first thing about its most obvious feature.” Curiosity may have killed the cat, but lack thereof is killing the country. If you ask me.
And speaking of killing the country…
Yes, I’m still bitter. So is Michael Kinsley. But he’s much funnier than I am:
So, yes, okay, fine. I’m a terrible person — barely a person at all, really, and certainly not a real American — because I voted for the losing candidate on Tuesday. If you insist — and you do — I will rethink my fundamental beliefs from scratch because they are shared by only 47 percent of the electorate.
And please let me, or any other liberal, know if there is anything else we can do to abase ourselves. Abandon our core values? Pander to yours? Not a problem. Happy to do it. Anything, anything at all, to stop this shower of helpful advice.
There’s just one little request I have. If it’s not too much trouble, of course. Call me profoundly misguided if you want. Call me immoral if you must. But could you please stop calling me arrogant and elitist?
I mean, look at it this way. (If you don’t mind, that is.) It’s true that people on my side of the divide want to live in a society where women are free to choose abortion and where gay relationships have full civil equality with straight ones. And you want to live in a society where the opposite is true. These are some of those conflicting values everyone is talking about. But at least my values — as deplorable as I’m sure they are — don’t involve any direct imposition on you. We don’t want to force you to have an abortion or to marry someone of the same gender, whereas you do want to close out those possibilities for us. Which is more arrogant?
All right, I’ll stop this now. Deb’s 50th birthday party was a blast. She looks nowhere near 50, does she? More on this later. For now…The Wire.