Budweiser and America

 

This looks like it should be some edgy high-schooler’s culturejamming photoshop – but it isn’t, it’s official, and it’s apparently sincere. Budweiser is changing its name to America.

Get ready to enjoy America-battered onion rings, and making late-night America runs before the liquor store closes. You can’t buy America on Sundays, after all.

Remember, you have to be a certain age before you can legally enjoy America. But being allowed to buy America is one of the last milestones of adulthood. That’s how you know you’re not a child anymore: when you can gulp down the cold, bitter contents of America and at least pretend to like it.

But if you spend your young years looking forward to that night when you’ll be able to sit down, an adult among adults, and appreciate America, you may actually be disappointed. People don’t like to admit it, but America is an acquired taste. You especially don’t want to admit it to your loud uncle who likes to get really drunk on America. You really have to take in a lot of America for it to start making you feel much different, though – it’s not as strong as you’d think. Even after just a little America, though, some people start coming up with excuses to act selfishly or irrationally. Like your uncle, who loves America so much that he even sips a few road Americas while he’s driving around in his Mustang. The more America he has, the better he feels about that decision.

Also, there’s a sense in which your masculinity is tied in to how much America you can stomach before you want to throw up. It doesn’t matter if the flavor of it is just not to your liking – America isn’t one of those girly drinks that’s all about tasting nice! Oooh, look at them, all fancy with their sugared rims and their little umbrellas! Sure, so just one of those drinks might actually be more effective than three Americas put together, and it might be sweet instead of bitter, but you can’t even acknowledge those facts as relevant. Or acknowledge those drinks as real drinks! They’re not AMERICA!

You’ve got to buy into this idea of America – this idea of spending a summer afternoon kicking back to watch multimillion-dollar sports teams moving balls around in a stadium your tax dollars helped build – a stadium that reeks of America. Or the idea of coming in after a hard day’s work and having your wife deliver all the goodness of America to you while you watch TV until she’s done with dinner – you earned it! Or the idea of standing around in your party of choice, trying to have fun and relate to people around you, and trying to make sure you look like you’re enjoying America enough. Get a little more America in you, and it’ll come more naturally.

How can you tell if your party is a good one? Just look at how much America it’s used up and thrown away. But you can also look at how many America runs people have made. The people who are the least drunk on America are the ones who have to go get more America for everybody else. The more America they’ve brought to everybody else, though, the less likely those guys are to remember to pay them back. They’ll probably have to buy a lot of the America with their own money, which they know is a little backwards, but everyone else will make good on it, right?

Okaaaay, so what actually happens is that, the more America they bring, the more the drunkest people keep drinking. And those drunk people get angry when someone takes THEIR America. If you want in on America, you need to go get it yourself – nevermind that you have been, all night, but you’re just not being allowed to keep much America for yourself. You’ve got to keep acting like you’re enjoying the party, though. Even though you sorta think a nice sweet cocktail would be nice instead, with a small group of friends – or just a nice cup of tea all by yourself somewhere.

But you know that’s un-American. It’s not what the party’s all about. If nothing else, you still think that you’ll get paid back someday for all that you’ve invested in America. Maybe the drunkest people – who, of course, don’t think they’re that drunk – will finally get SO drunk on America that they fall down. And maybe you and the other runners will be the ones sober enough to roll them into the backyard and keep the party going – maybe a little more mellow of a party, though, with a little less yelling and groping and trying to break things? (Yeah, yeah, you know – they’d just feel like it was THEIR turn to get sloppy drunk and let somebody else do the work, and the same things would happen all over again.)

America can make you a little dizzy, a little nauseous, a little impulsive and thoughtless. But that’s what America’s all about! What’s liberty if not a lack of inhibition? What’s justice if not the sorts of judgments we all agree make sense when we’re thoroughly immersed in America? And it’s for everyone – except for young people, or old people, or people taking certain medications, and we still sorta look at women funny when they want one.

But this is America. Drink up.

 

 

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