This is my blog.
There are many like it but this one is mine. My blog is my best friend.
It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My blog, without
me is useless. Without my blog, I am useless. I must publish my blog
true. Before Chud I swear this creed.


And on that note, may I introduce my blog and my self… Xian’s Super Fun Blog of Doom (I changed it from Super Fun Blog of Death
to avoid alienating the kiddies), and welcome you to my thoughts
cause… well, everyone else is doin’ it, so why not.  Opinion has been
set free (thank you Internets!).  So, enough of the introductory
salutations and onward to the show…


The City of Weed  sounds like something akin to Homer Simpson’s Land of Chocolate,
but honestly it’s just a city in California named after a guy named
Abner Weed who founded the town in the late 19th century by picking up
land cheap when he dropped a few hundred bucks for a lumber mill near
Mt. Shasta.  Of course, everything is relative and a few hundred bucks
was a considerable sum back then, but I digress… the City of Weed is
really known for very few things, one of which is its name.  The city
founders don’t go out of their way to trade in on that name, but plenty
of collegiate adventurers have traveled far and wide to have their
picture taken next to just about any sign or banner that has Weed, CA.
displayed on it.  The town’s essentially one big in-joke for the 420
crowd and is frequently showcased for a few guffaws on late-night TV
monologues, but among its various claims to fame is the current tussle
the town is having with the Feds over its… beer.  



The Mt. Shasta Brewing Co.
is a small microbrewery with big ideas on how to cash in on their
location in the town of Weed (they’re located on College Ave. which
must say something about higher education… haw haw haw, but that’s
how it goes in good ol’ Weed… bad puns, accidental or not, seem to be
the coin of the realm in this quiet little mountain town).  They
frequently have fun with the town’s image via their Shastafarian Ale and
distinctive labeling on the bottles.  What got them in trouble with the
Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, as the AP and Los
Angeles Times recently reported,
is their bottle caps which declare “Try Legal Weed” and a play on that
old stoner motto “A Friend in [with] Weed is a Friend Indeed.”  As you can see
here, the caps are obviously having a laugh at the perception of the
town’s image.  Weed is, as the LA Times put it is ” no counterculture
haven,” but still the overall perception persists, so why not have fun
with it, right?  Well, the Feds, in their drug-war-addled reasoning, see
things in shades of black and white rather than gray, and insist that
the brewery and the brewery’s owner, Vaune Dillmann, are purposefully
crossing the line and selling something illegal, or at least putting forth the idea
that something illegal might reside in that bottle along with the
frothy suds of Mt. Shasta Brewery’s Lemurian Lager.  As you can see,
the law is clearly being broken here:



 

I
dunno about you, but I really fail to see the federal offense.  Living
in L.A., land of quasi-legal weed (the medicinal sort, of course, of
course), we’re subjected to advertisements for the Showtime hit Weeds and
the oh-so-hot Mary Louise Parker doing pin-up poses with a very
recognizable leaf in the background.  Perhaps this image wouldn’t play
well at Bureau headquarters or the fictional suburb of Agrestic:



 image



Showtime Networks (part of The Eye, formerly Viacom) knows how to market the hell outta this show by pushing the envelope for what the average American
considers “good taste.”  Personally, I find Mary Louise Parker in pinup
pose to be simply awesome and the leaf itself completely inoffensive.
 But let’s take a closer look here and note the text: “A New Season Of
Fresh Buds” (not to mention the tagline for
Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  Making what,
exactly? Hmmmm).  Somebody, please, hurry up and tell the FCC to read
Showtime the riot act, pronto!  Our sensibilities are so easily
offended in this, the 21st. century, y’know.



It
seems patently absurd for the Feds to selectively decide where and when to run
roughshod over rights of free speech (and crass marketing), but then much
about today’s bureaucracy seems ridiculous to the point of absurdity,
when not being downright scary and dangerous.  Go figure, but for some
reason the Feds simply don’t have CBS Corp. on their radar, while a
small businessman in a quiet little mountain town is about to get
screwed blue over a similarly silly marketing stunt.  I’ve seen this
Showtime ad on buses in L.A. as well as on billboards and at bus stops… folks simply don’t seem to mind; they’re rather 
blasé about
it… maybe it’s an L.A. thing. The folks at the Bureau for Booze and Cigs Tax n’
Trade seem to think they can put a smokescreen up regarding their mission to save the
consumer from false advertising, implying in a recent statement that
the main reason for harassing a small town brewer is purely from a
public interest standpoint.  Yet somehow, I doubt it’s within the scope
of their duties to play ombudsman for Joe Sixpack who, let’s face it, ought to have at least a smidgen of smarts to figure out the labeling on a bottle of beer (as you can see 
here
,
beer can turn you into Jerkus, the Demon from Hell… as misleading as
this sounds, it’s true!).  As annoying as
tsetse flies, the Bureau
seems hellbent on making their case, but it seems to me the Feds should
get seriously, yet legally*, drunk and reconsider their sanctimonious and hypocritical pogrom
on Mr. Dillmann and his sudsy lager.


* inebriation in this case is protected
and regulated by an amendment to the Constitution and various state and
local laws.