Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Volstead Debacle.

"I think this would be a good time for a beer." So quipped Franklin D. Roosevelt upon signing a bill (ahead of the full repeal of prohibition 76 years ago today), which made 3.2% alcohol beer once again legal.
Prohibition was an unmitigated failure; it was an onslaught on individual rights, was impossible to enforce, and had the unforeseen consequences of giving rise to massive, organised crime syndicates.
There seemed to exist in the American psyche a propensity to demonize things that gave folk pleasure, to censor behaviour, legislate morality, and reinvent human nature. Certain people are at it still today; supposed well meaning politicians, pontificating lawyers, and activist groups who strive to deny adult Americans the right to partake in a custom as old as civilization itself...enjoying a tipple.
Thank heavens for the proximity of the Napa Valley to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. If it hadn't been for the need of the Roman Catholic church to continue to have a source of sacramental wine, the wine industry in Napa would never have survived prohibition.
Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. I'm off now to have a Anchor Steam Christmas Special Ale...5.5% alcohol, thank you very much!

5 comments:

The villager: said...

Let us not demonize these simple pleasures ! Particularly in the darkness of winter.

Affer said...

Nice post V-G - and I really like that glass: an RAF glass. 70 years ago, had a few brave RAF personnel not been allowed to have an occasional drink, a smoke, and a little fun after 11 o'clock, there might not be very much freedom anywhere in the world.

monkey said...

i ver rarely need an excuse to drink, but ill have that and top up my glass.

Thud said...

Affer..VG insisted on the glass after your Lancaster post...I just wanted a drink.

Vinogirl said...

Villager: I agree!

Affer: Thank you...we have a whole set of the RAF glasses, courtesy of Vinomaker's dad.

Monkey: A week's holiday one Christmas may be in order.

Thud: Better than that Pilsner glass you were considering.