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    Connecting the Pieces

    Will America Really End by November?

    Connecting The Pieces
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    Labels. They are all around us. A foreign-owned beer company changes its name to America in order to drive sales while the great bathroom debate morphs into the dreaded shower debate; pronouns such as “ze”, “e”, become more widely known and more!

    So, a webpage on the internet wrote — “In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods —“On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (which was printed on bottom) — “Do not turn upside down”, or “On Sainsbury's peanuts — “Warning: contains nuts” or “On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding — “Product will be hot after heating” or “On a Sears hairdryer — Do not use while sleeping.” And the list goes on and on. Perhaps the funniest one was —“On a bag of Fritos — You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (What, is this the shoplifter special?) But, maybe the most telling was “On a child's Superman costume — “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.” Hahahahaha, and to think there are people out there that necessitate these types of disclaimers!

    In one of the more bizarre stories to emerge in recent times, USA Today has reported that mega-beer company Anheuser-Busch has — “announced that the company is replacing the Budweiser logo with “America” on its 12-oz. cans and bottles this summer. The cans of patriotic nectar will be available May 23 through the November election and aim “to inspire drinkers to celebrate America and Budweiser's shared values of freedom and authenticity.” That’s right. Budweiser beer is going to be renamed “America”, if only for a short time. Strange, right? But why would they do this?

    The New Yorker answered this question when they wrote — “By way of explanation, an executive declared that, with the upcoming Centennial Copa America, and the Summer Olympics, and, of course, the Presidential campaign, “We are embarking on what should be the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen.” USA Today also noted that — “The company is no stranger to American-themed summer cans, which have been transformed into American flags and featured the Statue of Liberty in the past. This year, the cans and bottles will try to stir American pride with lines from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from The Star Spangled Banner.

    The National Review threw its hat into the ring when it wrote — “Budweiser’s name change is part of an advertising campaign featuring the slogan “America is in your hands.” The brewer says this will “remind people… to embrace the optimism upon which the country was first built.” So, between now and November 8, whenever you belly up to a bar, do your patriot duty by ordering a foamy mug of America. Of course, nothing says — “It’s morning in an America that is back and standing tall” quite like beer cans festooned with Americana by Anheuser-Busch InBev, a firm based in Belgium, and run by a Brazilian.” That’s right. It is somewhat ironic that “America”  is an ice-cold can of mass-produced poor-tasting beer brewed by a foreign company. Yum!

    In fact, just to dig a little bit deeper — NR notes that — “The beer brands most familiar to Americans — Budweiser, Miller, Coors — are foreign-owned. Want to win a round of cold Americans this summer? Wager that no one in the saloon can identify the American-owned brewer with the largest market share and say what that share is. The answer is: D.G. Yuengling & Son with just 1.4 percent of the market, slightly more than Boston Beer Co., which makes the Sam Adams brand.” So, there we have it. American in nothing except by name, but drink up!

    And speaking of name, or a noun in this case that has gone professional, ha ha, you know a pronoun, as in a he or she, bathroom equality rights have been heating up across America. For a while, gender-free pronouns were all the rage, such as “Harvard University made a buzz after allowing students to select gender-neutral options like “ze,” “e,” and “they” on registration forms. In doing so, it joined a wave of other major colleges in acknowledging that gender identity, and the pronouns that go with it, is more fluid than how previous generations understood it.” And how have those “previous generations” understood it?

    City lab noted — “Among academic institutions, the University of Vermont… allowed students to select their own identifiers. Students chose their preferred first names and pronouns, which were then added to the campus-wide information system and distributed to professors. It was a welcome change for students like Rocko Gieselman, who is gender fluid and was born female bodied. Gieselman explained: “Every time someone used “she” or “her” to refer to me, it made this little tick in my head. Kind of nails-on-a-chalkboard is another way you can describe it. It just felt wrong. It was like, “Who are you talking to?’” Hmmmmm.

    But now, no longer confined to university white papers, gender neutral bathrooms have been the focus of media attention. And of stock analysts. A boycott of Target stores has led a  significant decrease in share price while various states are attempting to pass legislation to combat this growing trend of allowing, as USA Today wrote- “transgender guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” So, there you have it. Yes, dear citizen. This is true freedom for all! The Founding Fathers would be ecstatic with the knowledge that no longer do the shackles of gender hinder you from using the bathroom of your choice! But there is more!

    As a knock-off effect of the great bathroom debate, another sticky issue has arisen. That of public school locker rooms and who gets to use which. Although there has been a great cry of outrage over teenage boys showering in the girls locker room, many are basing their arguments in the theoretical and the emotional, rather than the actual. But with that said, it seems as if the course has already been chosen, and you, dear listener, have no say in the matter. In fact, USA Today wrote- “A leading North Carolina newspaper issued an editorial last week telling girls to attempt “overcoming discomfort” at the sight of “male genitalia,” should transgender bathroom laws be enacted.” So, there you have it. As if being a teenage girl wasn’t bad enough, now there is more. Enjoy!

    When it is all said and done, the great bathroom debate has many in Europe and the rest of the world shaking their collective heads. What is the big deal? Just take out the tiny little sheet metal stalls that are currently in use, use cement block from floor to ceiling, and install a common area washroom. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Political crisis averted and problem solved. Everyone can use every toilet without worrying about being labelled. And speaking once again of labels, with Hillary, or Killary as she is known on the internet, looking more and more likely to be the next President, maybe what Budweiser, by renaming its beer to America, was really trying to say was that there will be no more America as we know it by the end of November.

    So, what do you think dear listeners — “Will America really end by November?”

    Tags:
    re-branding, beer, elections, Budweiser, Hillary Clinton, United States
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