Thursday, April 30, 2009
I just realized that my philosophies for buying beer and watching movies are pretty close to the exact same. The two synapses never fired at the same time until I went to the Peoria Theater this weekend with a couple friends to see Adventureland. Peoria Theater serves beer and shows mostly indie flicks that would not have come to Peoria otherwise.
Anyways, here it is: The first few times I bought beer back in the day, it went like this, "Um, what the hell do we get? I dunno, might as well play it safe and buy Bud Light, that seems like the standard beer."
Then, after a while, you start to realize that there is nothing notable about Bud Light, Budweiser, MGD, Miller Lite or Coors other than the advertising. They have funny commercials and constantly update the graphic design of their labels. The drink is fucking watery, will not offend any sensibilities and barely tastes like beer (Budwieser full-flavor excluded). Then you start to notice, "wait a second, this shit is expensive is hell — not super-expensive — but pricey for flavorless beer nonetheless." These bland, lemming-following beers are the overblown, overrated middle brow cinema enjoyed by the Academy and boring housewives across America. It's your Benjamin Buttons, the Titanics, the Cast Aways, A Beautiful Mind, Dances with Wolves, Rain Man, etc. These are perfectly fine movies with nothing to say and mountains of hype.
So after experimentation with the popular domestics, empty wallets lead directly to Hamms, High Life, Old Style and PBR, all of which actually have flavor, don't worry about the graphic design of their labels, and know exactly what they are — American lagers not afraid of tasting like beer and showing flaws. (Sure, they've been bought by the same companies that own Bud and Miller, but whatever.) These are the B-movies, low budget indies and pulpy genre fare that litter my Netflix que. Films that take pride in working on a tight budget, and often have their tongues planted firmly in cheek.
When I show up at a party with PBR or Old Style, at least two people inevitably ask sarcastically if I'm "trying to keep it classy," or some other snark about not drinking Bud Light, etc. Then I just tell them at least I'm not the idiot that shelled out over $20 for a bunch of flavorless beer after seeing too many Bud commercials during football games. And if they are drinking Coors, I let them know that they probably don't like the taste of beer.
Finally you have the microbrews of the US, and imports. I don't have to go in depth, you get the metaphor — foreign films and art house films. They are good, but occasionally get a little full of themselves, just like the beer snobs who take the hops a little too seriously. I'm a snob when it comes to film in the same way. The directors and writers have something to say, and this is going to become tedious, so just write the rest of this paragraph in your head.
I just try to keep my movie and beer choices as far away from the middle (Bud Light) as possible. On the one end of the spectrum is PBR, and on the far other is Guinness, etc. The middle is boring, and at worst dishonest. If you are going to spend money, buy something with some flavor, but for the day-to-day, let's try and save some change and stick to cheap beer that actually tastes like beer. Blah blah blah.