Beer gardens that cause no problems "send the wrong message"?
The Clark County (Wa.) Fair had a beer garden for the first time this year. There were no problems, no arrests, no drunks molesting farm animals...but that doesn't matter: some local politicians still are hellbent on shutting it down. The following is from the local paper, The Columbian:
A new beer garden at the 2007 Clark County Fair led to no arrests, but that hasn't shaken some elected officials' determination to shut off the taps in 2008.
"I'm still against it," said county Commissioner Marc Boldt, who said he'd visited the garden last week without partaking of its beverages. "I think it's potentially dangerous, and more than that, I think it sends the wrong message."
Sheriff Garry Lucas agreed, saying the lack of incidents at the fair - this was the first in years to see zero arrests - was beside the point.
"My opposition is philosophical, not operational," Lucas said Monday. "I don't think you have to drink beer to have a good time with your family."
Even if the garden were to stay around for five years without trouble, Lucas said he'd still oppose it in the sixth year.
So these two guys just think it should be shut down...because! I have to tell you, I find Lucas's "philosophical" opposition infuriating. You don't have to drink beer to have a good time with your family. What Lucas is really saying is If you're having a good time with your family, you can't be drinking...because I say so. The presence of a beer garden does not force anyone to go in and drink.
The beer garden is "potentially" dangerous (unlike all those fold-up amusement rides that travel around 100s of miles on the back of a truck, no, they're safe as houses!) and "sends the wrong message." What message is that? Let's see...sounds like I'm hearing the message that "Moderate drinking in a family setting is safe and enjoyable for most people." Pretty subversive and radical; just ask the Germans.