Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Big brother and the vandals

I heard this funny joke the other day.

Guy walks into a beer store ... and wants to get a keg for a party he's holding.

Stop me if you've heard this before ...

And he has to pay a $75 fee for the privilege of having his name tattooed to the keg of beer.

Why aren't you laughing?

Oh yeah, because this isn't a joke. It's real. It's law. And it will happen to you if you go to buy a keg of beer on November 1.

But where did this law come from? Why do we need it? And why didn't we hear about it before now?

All good questions. No good answers.

The acting superintendent of the New York State Police, Wayne Bennett, said the measure will give law enforcement officers the tools to be able to hold people responsible for buying beer for under age drinkers.

Let me set the scenario. Cops bust a party. Find a drunk 19-year-old ... we'll call him Tom. All they have to do is find the keg, which has YOUR name on it. And you get arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Excellent police work, I must say ... Too bad it was done by Consumer's Beverage ... not the police.

Oh, and of course, there is the possibility that Tom got his alcohol "legally" in Canada and came home to pass out ... just when 5-0 rolled up.

You got busted for a crime you didn't commit ... AND a local business helped point the finger ... whether or not they wanted to.

Of course, you could rip the tag off the keg so the cops don't know it's yours.

Unfortunately, if you do that, you won't get your $75 registration fee back ... and your local alcohol purveyor will also have to fine you $250 to $450 when you return the keg ... or if you don't.

In the end, folks this is Big Brother at its worst ... AND they're using business to do their dirty work.

Not that business is without blame, of course.

Just ask the folks over at UnbrandAmerica.org - a service brought to you by AdBusters. They'll tell you that Ronald McDonald founded Fascism, I'm sure of it.

These geniuses have started a "boycott" campaign asking people to put big black dots on corporate logos far and wide ... to show our disgust for said logos and the companies they represent.

There's a black dot that you can download from their web site - print out on paper - and then tape to your logo ... as a statement.

They even have a gallery of dotted logos - to show you how it's done.

Unfortunately (or maybe by design) many of the artifacts in the gallery don't seem to use the print and tape method of dotting. They use spray paint (visible here).

I'm sorry, that's not counter culture. That's vandalism.

And vandalism just isn't cool.

Then, let's look at the dirty dozen - the 12 worst companies ... in the eyes of those who frequent AdBusters.

McDonald's. Exxon. Nike. Wal*Mart. Disney. Coca Cola. Microsoft. The Gap. AOL Time-Warner. Starbucks. Clear Channel. Altria.

For the most part, these companies are guilty of A) Making money and B) Letting people know about it.

I always love the fact that McDonald's has become the poster child of all that is wrong with the world.

Many of you know that I worked for McDonald's for about three years.

I'm proud that I did. Best job I've ever had. And they're the best company I've ever worked for.

But some people - a little more radical than I - believe that the golden arches are the gateway to hell.

And they want to vandalize those arches.

Because somehow - for some reason - people feel bigger when they topple a giant.

What sad little vandals.

Go home and get drunk.