For all of you who still think that the New Drys are strictly right wing groups, or religious groups, take a gander at this. Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan strongman who is neither right-wing nor, as far as I know, particularly religious, is on a moral crusade in Venezuela to create the "New Man, a socialist revolutionary with a monk-like purity of purpose." Students of Soviet history, stop me if you've heard this before... The rest of you, read on.
Chavez is concerned about how much whiskey his countrymen drink (I've covered this in "Whisky News" in Malt Advocate, with much glee), and how many Hummers they buy. But the people with smaller budgets piss him off, too:
Chavez is also concerned that too many Venezuelans swill beer on street corners. Irked by unregulated beer sales in the slums, he has warned that beer trucks selling alcohol directly on the streets would be seized. ... "I've told the National Guard to stop and seize any truck going around selling beer in the street as if it were ice cream," he said. "This cannot be permitted."Señor Chavez? Nurse Ratchett calling; it's time for your electroshock therapy. You'll have to spit out your gum, sir. Thank you, sir: bite down...
The president has a long list of other "New Man" recommendations: don't douse foods with too much hot sauce, exercise regularly, eat low-cholesterol foods, respect speed limits. He also wants parents to stop buying Barbie dolls — and breast jobs — for their daughters.
"Now some say, 'When my daughter turns fifteen years old, we're going to give her phony breasts.' What a horrible thing! It's the latest degeneration," Chavez told one packed auditorium.