The Witzelsucht Memorandum

Where Top-Hat, Red-Carpet Service is practically a motto

last-minute, pre-election special:


Matt Drudge probably thought he was Sticking It to Teresa Heinz Kerry, and by extension her hubby John, when he briefly posted these photos of the ketchup heiress and candidate for First Lady quaffing a beer and bearing a clutch of the same, with the smarmy caption "First Lady of Fun" and a link to a sarcasticWashington Times article belittling Heinz's apparent appreciation of some of life's pleasures, and her ability to afford as many of them as she'll ever want.

Drudge doubtless fancied that he was being cute, but for Wit Memo - and probably others - those photos decided the election.

Like many Americans, Wit Memo was squarely in the "undecided" category when it came to the upcoming Presidential election: both major party candidates seem like nice, patriotic men, they both represent the same capitalist system, and they're not too far apart on the issues.

But now, the choice is clear.

We have an historic opportunity, unprecedented in modern times, to install in the White House a First Lady who not only loves beer, but who loves beer to the point that, in the home stretch of a heated and ugly race for the Presidency, she's not afraid to be photographed swilling the stuff, and toting it around in nearly-respectable quantities. And not just any ol' beer, but beer poured from a brown long-neck bottle bearing a shape and a label of the sort typically associated with finer specimens of the brewer's art, including the products of America's great craft breweries, and the longtime European masters. And to top it all off, she's drinking her tasty-looking brew not from the bottle, not from a cheap plastic cup or clunky bar pint, but from an attractive glass clearly designed specifically for the appreciative consumption of beer.

A First Lady who, despite her famous champagne budget, opts for Wit Memo's quaff of choice, and, moreover, with a nod to Wit Memo's notorious beer glass fetish.

To paraphrase that TV commercial, it's all about beer. What could be more important, ultimately, than beer? Beer is the basis of human civilization. We homo sapiens love beer so much that thousands of year ago we nixed the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle and settled down to till the land so we could grow a steady supply of the ingredients. (Other supposed bases of civilization, like the ballyhooed "family unit," came much, much later.) Beer has long been properly regarded as a healthful, nutritious and sustaining beverage, conducive to good times and productive conviviality (see Hogarth's "Beer Street").  More recently, beer -especially dark beer- has been scientifically shown to be good for the heart.

What could more pleasurable, more inviting, and more evocative of good cheer and happy times, than a tall, foam-capped glass of crisp, golden Pilsner? Or a dimpled half-liter mug of malty, reddish, Oktoberfest? Or a gold-rimmed goblet of Belgian Trappist Ale? Or a curvaceous pint glass of nourishing, dry Irish Stout? Nothing!

And finally, what's the point of killing The Terrorists if, at the end of the day, we can't toast our success, and the brave soldiers who valiantly defend our way of life, with a glass or two or three or four or more of our favorite beer, a pleasure that would earn a lashing or a stoning in the fascist theocracies that those same terrorists would impose?

It wasn't for nothing that Kaiser Wilhelm said, "give me a woman who truly loves beer, and I will rule the world"... and who knows more about beer, or about trying to rule the world, than Germans?

Not to take anything away from the current First Lady - she seems like a nice sort, if a tad on the dowdy side, and she's raised two fine daughters capable of navigating the rip tides of modern American culture, and she did it without keeping them sealed away in a glass bubble somewhere. But she's a teacher-cum-librarian (yawn) who helped drive her man away from the Nectar of the Gods. And a choice between a multilingual, world-traveled gourmand who loves beer, and a school marm who'll be shushing us every time we get a little rowdy, is no choice at all.

The differences reflect on their men. Should Wit Memo ever manage to corner enough of the Long Green to purchase an overnight stay in the Lincoln Bedroom, we'd want to be hosted by a First Family who would ply us with quality beer from their private stash, and serve it in proper glassware to boot. On that score, we'll chose a President whose wife swills suds over a world-famous teetotaler any day of the week. It's a sad and well-known fact that the current POTUS can't Hold His Liquor, any more than the last one could behave responsibly around tail. And what's worse, it appears that "Dubuya," in a gross violation A.E. Houseman's sagacious dictum that "malt does more than Milton can, to explain the ways of God to man," turned to religion as a means of getting away from the innocent and salutary pleasures of grain and grape.

So this coming Tuesday, here at Wit Memo, we won't be voting our heart, or our mind.

We'll be voting our glass.


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