July 1st
SOS::TakeOneDown.com
I am desperate. Hell, we all are, aren't we? Maybe we're desperate to get a job, maybe we're desperate for love, maybe desperate to change the world.

Maybe all three.

Unless you've been living under a tar ball for the past few weeks, you've heard about the Gulf oil spill. What's ensued in the mass media coverage has been a disgusting display of wealth battling wealth, with politicians who have gladly taken (and will continue to take) vile oil money battering the very executives who have lined their pockets. Blame has been scattered like automatic rifle rounds, and as usual, our government has looked like a bunch of total disorganized asses in trying to handle the damage.

The last straw for me was hearing Sarah Palin (and Gary Bauer and others) blame environmentalists for the disaster (the theory being that, because of a ban on offshore drilling, oil rigs have had to drill and traverse more dangerous places). I won't get into why this is ludicrous because frankly, the Democrats have been equally inane. The American government has continued to make an absolute mockery of itself, and is so tied up with in-fighting that it forgot about the EVENT. And in the throes of all this coverage, what do the networks provide us? An underwater HD camera so we can watch the blood spill from the wound.

As usual, it is not a government catastrophe. It is a human catastrophe being played for political purposes while the people in the area suffer, and could care less (I imagine) about who ends up getting re-elected out of the deal. If you want to help (and goddammit, YOU SHOULD), you have to help the people. Don't waste your time worrying about the government or writing to your local comptroller or whatever. My family in the Gulf has said as much: help the PEOPLE. And, to tie this all together, what better way to help the people than with a beer, no?

I've mentioned here that Abita is one of my favorite breweries in America. They take tricky ingredients (strawberries, raspberries, pecans - all local by the way) and make terrific beers. When Katrina happened, they whipped up Restoration Ale, which by their count has raised over $500,000 for Katrina clean-up. Now, once more, they put their money where their mouth is and are working on S.O.S. (Save Our Shores), a wheat and malt pilsner that generates 75 cents for the Gulf clean-up with every bottle purchased. The beer will arrive in 41 states in Mid-July. If you want to help now, they have a shop set up with some merchandise, from which 100% of all proceeds will go to the effort. The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will help direct the funds to the most useful places. Sounds like a plan . . .

I highly encourage you to swing by there and check out their absolutely gorgeous website. No, no. That wasn't good enough.

http://sos.abita.com

Yes, that is better. The website imagines the gulf prisitine, perhaps even better than before. Maybe you scoff at this. Maybe there is no real way to get the Gulf back to where it was. But if there is a way to do it, staring at the gusher isn't it. Fighting over political games CERTAINLY isn't the way to do it. Sometimes we have to help people, and if drinking a beer or copping a T-shirt is the best way to do that, then even better. Again, the beer appears in Mid-July, and I plan on picking up as much of it as I can. It sounds like the perfect summer beer, made to restore perfect summers.

Read article on-line here