Thursday, April 22, 2010

guns are...uh, guns are pretty cool...so um...

Well, shit’s looking good. 7-11 is getting into beer. They’re making a beer called “game day” which is cool. Here’s why: Game Day is being brewed at the City Brewery up in LaCrosse Wisconsin which used to be the Heileman Brewery that was responsible for so many great local brews including Old Style, Black Label, National Bohemian, Ranier, Olympia and of course, later, with the subsequent repurchasing of the brewery by local interests (after miller disgraced all these venerable beers by saving the packaging and putting a new gross beer inside) they brought out LaCrosse lager which is, in fact, the original Old Style recipe. That’s right folks! LaCrosse Lager was the same stuff that my friends and I used to get bums to buy us when we were out for a night on the town when we were in highschool. Of course, back then it was still called Old Style, and didn’t taste like the Old Style that exists today. Is this confusing? It shouldn’t be.

I understand though. there’s a certain kind of expectation that’s really a new phenomenon here in the brave new world of global capital driven colonialism and that’s the expectation of, nay, right to familiarity at all costs based on packaging.

Here’s what I mean: Not long ago, like when your parents were kids even, KFC for example franchised by sending out a packet of ingredients and a recipe to whoever wanted it. They sent em a sign and that was the whole thing. The chicken was prepared with these spices and sold under this sign but the idea that it would be the same wherever the sign was was absurd. There were too many x factors: The chickens, the kitchens, the people cooking the shit, the weather etc. It just wasn’t expected. There was this reasonable belief that things could and would be different wherever you went and while sometimes that made for a pretty bad cheeseburger in Holland (they still do it pretty weird, just by the way) generally it was seen as not just an inevitability but also an interesting insight into the way the world functions differently in different locales.

Well, of course McDonalds changed all that with assembly line production and factory and farm exclusivity and all that kind of nonsense and these days the burgers in the Burger King in Tokyo are the same. Oh sure, they have different items in the US and Japanese franchises, but you get the idea. Shit’s the same. Although, coke in England is made with sugar, not corn syrup and the results are palpable. Same goes for the ketchup. That shit’s sweeter over there, or at least sweet in a different way, but you get the idea. Generally, the shit’s the same. WAY more similar than it used to be. No one familiar with the fare is gonna walk into a mcdonalds anywhere on the earth and be shocked by the taste of the cheeseburger.

Now, of course there are great exceptions to this, like the difference between the taco bell in, say, rural Indiana (Chesterton has the BEST fast food service I’ve ever encountered) and oh, I don’t know, south St. Louis, where shit’s been sitting under those lamps since the morning and well, it’s gnarly and if you ask about maybe getting something edible they look at you like your face is leaking semen. That’s just how it goes though. Much in the same way one guy on the Denver Broncos can tackle the shit out of you and another guy can’t. Different team members, different weaknesses and strengths. Jesus Christ, what are we even talking about here?

Here’s what I’m talking about, folks! These assholes are changing up the beer inside the cans and leaving the cans the same and it’s a total mind fuck. The logic is that we’re too stupid to realize it, and for the most part, we are. I mean, fuck. It’s just cheap beer, being funneled into sloppy fat drunks, right? What’s the problem?

Well, they’ve got a point there…so uh, what am I saying over here? Oh, that’s right! 711 is making beer and it’s coming from a place that used to make some really great beers, so that could be cool. Except that now they make Arizona iced tea and shit at that brewery, so maybe it’s lame. Look, I don’t fucking know. Let’s leave this discussion with the following things in mind:

  1. Don’t eat fast food when you travel unless A) your only other choice is a gas station sandwich or nothing or B) you’re desperately disappointed by everything you’ve eaten since you’ve been wherever you are. Here’s why: You’re missing out on a huge part of the cultural experience. After pornography, there’s no better way to see the intimate details of what locals are into than by eating their food. The American guy in Athens at the McDonalds is the saddest man on the earth (to other people. Sadly, to himself he’s thinking “man, I hope they do 20 piece McNuggets here. I’m so fucking sick of dolmas.”
  2. You probably don’t need to shop at 711 either, but hey, whatever you’re into. Lord knows when I want a Juggs magazine and a slurpee and a pint of jim beam and a string cheese it saves me a few trips.
  3. The times are changing folks. I tried to get my kid a unique gift from Wales just recently and there was nothing in the toy store that I couldn’t get here. Globalization’s comforts are more than just ways to keep travelers on a familiar ground. It’s also a great way to get all sorts of stuff that you’d never otherwise be able to get right in your home town (like, for example, Lawrence Arms records! Right? Of course). The downside is, there’s not a lot of uniquely cool stuff in the stores anymore. It’s all familiar. That’s because I’ve got great choices at home, but still. The end result is that if you live in Bloomington, you could travel to Chicago to get about 80% of the same shit you could get if you traveled to London for a shopping trip. That don’t seem right somehow, but I guess it’s cool. I don’t know. Fuck.

Okay, that’s all. I gotta go hopefully have three big meetings and do a small film shoot today, so I’m fucking out of here. Later, assholes.

24 comments:

Toto said...

MTV is airing Jersey Shore in my country now, fuck globalization, fuck it up the ass.

Mark said...

Game Day is a lame name for a beer. I'll give it a try though.

Jayzilla said...

one shouldnt be eating fast food anyway -- regardless of traveling or not, that shits not even real...

it would be better to say "dont eat at chains when you travel"..

Matthew said...

I'll stick with "Joose" or "Four Loko" they are alcohol energy drinks much like "Sparks" but can contain up to 12% abv, and are single handedly causing heart disease in 75% of college students.

dustyfloors said...

I remember when McDonald's by my parents house used to sell a 50 chicken nugget bucket. My brother, on more than on occasion unfortunately, tried to eat 25 each. Disgusting.

JSIN said...

Olyimpia was the best beer in high school. Sumy-When Beex said Bloomington, I instantly thought of you.

Gantry said...

Not only are most of your favorite cheap beers (Old Style, Strohs, PBR) likely not the original recipe, the company that "makes" them (Pabst) doesn't own ANY breweries.

So they subcontract it out - you know who makes all of Pabst's beers? Miller...

!thriller! said...

Actually Pabst still has one brewery left, here in milwuakee. I took a tour of the brewery once. Well you know Hamms? Maybe only Wisconsin people do. Anyhoot, the same stuff that comes out of the spout that goes into the pabst cans is the same spout that goes into hamms. In this day in age, u pay for the logo, not the product. I mean fuck, look at air jordans. Those shoes are like 120 bucks, but it's the same quality of the 20 dollar shoes at wal-mart (fuck wal-mart btw). Unfortunatly lacrosse has diminished it's many fine breweries into one huge piss factory. I recommend new glarus brewing company. Get "spotted cow" and you'll cum.

Moxie. said...

Toto, I apologize in advance for "Jersey Shore." As someone from NJ, I am going to freely point out that most of those mutants are from New York. Okay. Thank you.

Some Young Guy said...

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/india/100419/india-fast-food-taco-bell


interestingly i read this story yesterday. taco bell in india, you guys!

Drew said...

This entire entry further affirms my comment a few posts back on hipsterdom and global consumption habits... only with cooler commodities that fuck you up.

Thanks!

Maximilian said...

yeah brendan... as you've toured trough germany allreday and we've got obviously the best beer.... what's your favorite german beer? and please don't metion becks, that shit is gross. actually i'd really love to know what your favorite bavarian beer is.

hahaha.... yeah toto, they're airing jersey shore for a couple weeks now in germamy too.... i'm glad to know what the whole thing was all about, but i'd also be glad if i didn't know anything of this shit.

Drunken Acorn said...

You know what never changes? Mad Dog 20/20 baby, that shit is still as nasty as when I used to drink it in high school. But it fucks me up so I love it.

JT$ said...

Speaking of product labeling, you wouldn't believe the sad looks on my friends faces when I tell them the Sparks they are drinking isn't an energy drink anymore. If you look on the can, all the logos and color scheme and shit is exactly the same as it was when Sparks had the caffeine, taurine, and other stimulants. Except now, instead of listing those ingredients, it says shit like "with natural flavors." So if you think you're getting amped up drinking those Sparks, you're really just drinking a funky, orange beer. Lame.

Robb said...

I've covered the Sparks sicheeation about 12 times on here, JT. Pay attention goddamnit. jk But actually they did remove the little ' + - ' signs at the top of the can. It's as if they were legally obligated to modify the packaging to reflect the change and went with the most sneaky subtle thing possible. Fuck em

For The Night said...

Hey now, in Japan the burgers are named the same thing. Both Burger King and Macdonlads keep the names the same. The only difference it that they have some different culturally acceptable burgers. Most of them shrimp or with egg on it.

Karen Kitten Cupcake Sweet said...

in australia burger king is called hungry jacks. same logo, different letters. still tastes like cardboard...

but wait!!! you guys can buy beer at sev-lev?!!! i am 100% sure thats not possible in canada. Quite frankly, its getting hard to even FIND a sev-lev... theyre all turning into macs stores :(

they were all over sinapore when i was there though. made me feel less foreign!

Owner Operator said...

we drink emu export in australia. it's awesome. come drink some with me. werd

Owner Operator said...

"in australia burger king is called hungry jacks. same logo, different letters. still tastes like cardboard..."

true story. when they tried to move in there was a store in adelaide called burger king already so they couldnt do it. i think there is one at the international airport that is a BK not a HJ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_Jack%27s

get involved

Dave said...

I visited Lacrosse a couple of years and i liked it very much. Good beer, good cheese soup, and nice people.

By the way, several years ago, at the Taco Bell in Perryville, MO a disgruntled employee was serving shit burritos in the drive-through.

Matthew said...

the taco bell across the street from Wrigley Field is the grossest environment i have ever been in regarding fast food. They have seats for over 100 people and i went in and there were 0 people in there and 6 workers behind the counter talking. EVERY table had garbage all over it, not exagerating either EVERY table.

Keller said...

7/11 already has a beer brand in Tokyo. It's called "The Brew", or some shit. I think it's brewed by Asahi, which makes some decent beers.

Dennis said...

face leaking semen is gross.....

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