Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"It Drink Pretty Good, Don't It?"

Look. I don't like to ridicule people. We all do what we do, we try, and all that, and well, I wouldn't want to be ridiculed for something nutty I said.

But this is just beyond the pale. This is audio clips of the Alabama House debate on the "free the hops" bill, legislation to lift the cap on beer from 6% to 13.9% ABV, supported by the Free The Hops Foundation, beer lovers like you and me. Some of the comments are offensive (like Rep. Richard Laird, who says the bill is just sponsored by some people who want to "get rich off alcoholic beverages"), some of them are uninformed, but one of them is just insane.

That's Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery. He starts at 5:33 on the clip, and he's... Oh, hell, I'll quote: "Yeah, what's wrong wit de beer we got? I mean, the beer we got drink pretty good, don't it? Now, I ain't never heard nobody complain about the beer we have. It drink pretty good. Budweiser... What's the name of some of them other beers? Budweiser and what else? Miller? Coors, huh? It drink pretty good, don't it?"

I would submit to you, folks, that this kind of ignorant crap is downright unAmerican. In a land dedicated to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the by God freedom of the press...we damn sure ought not to have the government denying us freedom of choice. And certainly not when the government is such a freakin' dope. I mean, dude, get some elocution lessons!

34 comments:

Rustmeister said...

Hey, now. We don' need you hi-falutin yankees makin us out like we don't know english good.

I'm more surprised he didn't mention PBR and Schlitz.

John said...

Lew, next time don't sugar-coat it. Tell us how you really feel!

What that guy said is downright sad.

Anonymous said...

what we got heeya...is...Fail yah to communicate!>(

bill mc said...

Lew, I spent 10+ years in the south and (no disrespect intended to your southtern readers)but it is the zipper of the Bible belt down there with their antiquated views on things.

It is like a homecoming to listen to that clip.:)

Have a nice day y'all. :)

bill mc said...

Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything too bad about the evil twin joke..I was giggling when I typed it.

Anonymous said...

Lew,
You're the man!
California loves you!
...and so does my uncle in Haddonfield.

22oz Bomber` said...

This guy is great. I never laughed so hard in a week!
If he wasn't such a comedian, I'd vote for him!
hey wait....

bill g said...

Lew, the same thing happened down here in West Virginia, only it didn't get as far.

The bill cleared committee for the first time (after reducing the new limit from 15% to 12%), made it through a few readings, but eventually got tabled without even coming up for a vote. The theory is that it wouldn't look good in an election year to vote pro-alcohol, so just table it so nobody gets outed one way or the other.

Another interesting part is that if the higher alcohol beers do come in, then they want the state to wholesale them through their system. This doesn't make any sense because of the 3-tier system. In addition, wines are not sold through the state system, yet beers are supposed to be?

Forgotten in all this is the fact that I can go to Kroger or Giant Eagle and pick up a bottle of Mad Dog for $2.19 with my rewards card (and get credit towards gas as well!!), yet they are somehow afraid of a 9% imperial stout at $8 a bomber.

Lew Bryson said...

bill g,

It doesn't matter what kind of beer we're talking about (because let's be honest: a bill like this also means malt liquor is now legal), that's the key: in many states, a legislator does not want to be seen casting a vote to make it easier to buy booze. Period.

But that thing about selling the higher-ABV beers through the state stores...that's simply stupid. Not even Pennsylvania's that stupid. No, wait...we have to sell ciders over 5.5% in the state stores. Doperiffic.

roan22 said...

Hahaha!! Yes! Sweet, I live for these rants Lew!

Bill said...

I realize this is a thread jack, but has anybody ID'ed the "other" Ron Pattinson?

Anonymous said...

Colt 45 drink pretty good too, Holmes.

Ed H. said...

One small step for Alabama...one giant leap backward for civilization.

Loren said...

I just spit coffee out all over my computer keyboard. Doesn't this nimrod realize that they'll be getting MORE tax $ by allowing more and more different beer brands be available to the public? I wouldn't doubt that due to such a limited array of beer choices down there that most folks resort to "homebrewing" their own beer and/or other alcoholic beverages. God what an idiot. He's condemning people for actually having "taste" and wanting more choices?

I almost feel happy to live in CT.

Cornelia said...

I only read the text and he does come off like an idiot. I assumed he was some redneck Republican. Imagine my surprise to find out he is one of the first black Democratic representatives elected to the Alabama legislature (34 years ago) and has attended Rochester Business Institute, Alabama State University, Atlanta University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Alabama, and Jones School of Law. And he has 4 degrees - B.S. Degree, M. Ed Degree, M.A. Degree and LL.D Degree.

Almost makes you think he was deliberately exaggerating.

Lew Bryson said...

Does kinda make you wonder, doesn't it, Cornelia? On the other hand, as I'm sure you know..."redneck" isn't limited to Republicans, or to whitefolk, far as that goes.

The Colt 45 comment...nobody ever has the guts to talk about this when the alcohol cap comes up, but that's what people like Holmes and Laird are thinking of when they think of beer over 6%. To them, it's all malt liquor, boom-juice. That's because we've done a lousy job of presentation. Our fault, not theirs.

Duffey said...

I was surprised to learn that Vermont, a state with such a rich brewing community, caps their beer at 8% ABV. Ridiculous!

Lew Bryson said...

Yes, Bill... and we shall speak no more about it.

Anonymous said...

lew bryson: "that's the key: in many states, a legislator does not want to be seen casting a vote to make it easier to buy booze. Period."

The bill in question doesn't attempt to make it any easier to buy booze. The booze will be available in the same locations to the same people at the same tax levels as before. If anything, the booze being made available by the bill could be seen as harder to buy because, on average, it costs more.

Lew Bryson said...

The bill in question doesn't attempt to make it any easier to buy booze. The booze will be available in the same locations to the same people at the same tax levels as before.

But no, weren't you following this? These beers are not allowed to be sold in Alabama, because they are stronger than 6%. If the legislator votes in favor of the law, he will be making those beers available for sale, which they currently are not. Therefore, the legislator will be vulnerable to an opponent's charge that he voted to make it legal to buy malt liquor. Right? ("Booze" being used here as a catch-all term for alcohol beverages, something I've done for years; if that threw you off, sorry.)

Sean Wilson said...

The malt liquor argument is a red herring. Most malt liquor is at or under 6% ABV, already legal in the few states with a cap.

Here in North Carolina, some legislators and huffypuffy types argued that, should the law pass, we'd be awash in the sin of malt liquor. A drink which, according to one legislator, would lead to more abortions and "academic suicides." (Still trying to figure that one out.)

Nearly three years later, we have maybe three malt liquors above 6% in the state. Oh, and 500 new specialty beers.

Side note: I believe that the most powerful politicians intentionally project an aura of buffoonery or obliviousness. Make fun of him all you want...while you're chuckling it up, he'll be in the back room cutting deals and leveraging his "stupidity." It done work for him for 34 years, donnit?

Lew Bryson said...

Agreed on both counts, Sean, whether or not the malt liquor is or is not >6%. So what if it is? It's still lower in alcohol than the cheap fortified wines that are sold in the stores run by the same Alabama gummint that is debating whether to the 6% beer cap.

And yeah, the wife and I both thought that Holmes was being "folksy" in his speech patterns. But I am suspicious of his argument; that really sounds like the jingle-jangle of donations from big-beer wholesaler/retailers to me.

Andy said...

Duffey, the VT thing is a bit more open than a strict 8% cap -- beers over 8% are certainly allowed to be sold, but only in state-licensed wine/liquor stores, and are subject to a higher deposit (15 cents) fee as well.

If I bought, say, a "regular" beer from McNeill's and a bottle of Unibroue at my local VT wine shop, those two bottles would be rung up on DIFFERENT CASH REGISTERS as well. So lots of hoops to jump through to obtain vaguely stronger beer ... but you can do it.

devlin said...

or maybe he had a bit too much himself ;)

Aleworks said...

I'm on to these guys. They're all in the pockets of the Backwoods Moonshine Still lobbyists.

Harry said...

I live in Alabama and have been following the three bills that are related to our fight for better beer choices and the legalization of homebrewing in our state. I listen to the live audio links while the legislature is in session waiting for them to discuss our bills. If you think this guy was funny, stupid, ignorant, foolish, (insert your adjective here); you should listen to them discuss all of the other bills that impact our lives as citizens of this state.

Jay said...

I was listening to the debate online and was floored when this guy opened his mouth. It is beyond me how he was able to get anyone to vote for him much less enough people to win an election. It makes me wonder how bad his opponent was.

This is a fine example of why people think of Alabama as some ass backwards state full of dumbasses.

Mark Tichenor said...

Well if this ever passes, kudos to the first brewery to make "It Drink Pretty Good Imperial IPA."

Stonch said...

"Most of these beers come from other countries" is advanced as an argument against the Bill, without any further elaboration!

Aris said...

Whats wrong with the English we got?
It speaks pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Is there any place I can get in a wav file 'whats wrong with the beers we got .. it drink pretty good dont it' .. what else we got 'millah... coor'
if someone knows where i can find it pls msg me at ICQ 72998389 or yahoo pogo_joe2000

thanx

Anonymous said...

Being from Canada, I can't understand a thing they all said...




Mr. Canuck

Lew Bryson said...

Consider yourself lucky. You'd bust a rib laughing.

Ed said...

As an Alabamian, I think I understand my people enough to say that, while he may also be crazy, it's really about some serious stupidity. It takes certain qualities to get elected to public office around here, but intelligence is not among them.

At least the law passed. I wish I could say the same about the homebrewing legislation which was defeated by similar stupidity this year. Fortunately, no one really makes any attempt to enforce the 1930's statute banning homebrew. Still, you never know when some jerk might decide to do so.