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Overthrowing the New Tyranny of the Palate:

Or, How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm after They've Seen Paree?

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A Statement Dedicated to the Understanding and Furtherance of Democratic Alcohol Consumption, in the Face of Tyrannical Forces that Threaten Our Enjoyment of the Bottom Shelf

WITH THIS DECLARATION, we the undersigned join common cause with those walks of society, undervoiced and underrepresented, whose interest in distilled spirits is capped at $4 a glass; those drinkers poor in palate and in wallet but rich in spirit, who gladly embrace a conviviality that knows no label; who know the happy burn of a stiff shot of well whiskey, and the frugal satisfaction of a happy hour bar tab, the sum total of which fails to surpass the cost of a single shot of the self-proclaimed connoisseur's top-shelf enticements.

For as learned men lower their lips to a glass of amber liquid, slurp through their beards, and proudly declare—"This one's got a really oak-y finish," does not the feminine ear hear something else entirely? An echo of tribal spears rattling? A faint splashing, as of micturating members unsheathed and crossing streams in that most ungentlemanly of contests? Of, to address the problem in the parlance of our times, the Comic Book Guy grunting as he shifts his bulk on the counter stool at Android's Dungeon, leaning forward to correct the misapprehension of an unworthy customer as to the specifics of Radioactive Man #47?

So it is that we reject the encroaching fetishization of flavor, the re-rendering of the timeless pleasures of drink as an aesthete's rarified hobby. To wit: Would you know bad bourbon, had you never tasted good? Why sully the pure pleasures found on the bar's bottom shelf with a heightened awareness of a bottle's origins? And from whence, in possession of such knowledge, should our paltry household budgets yield the coinage to satisfy a newly discriminating palate? Our marijuana budget? Nay—we shall drink our commoner's whiskey, glasses held high!

To the bartender who looks askance, the surly lout who lifts an eyebrow and asks—"You sure you want well whiskey with that?" We proudly respond, "Yes, barkeep, it is well whiskey we want, and well whiskey we shall have!"

Thus it is that, on grounds philosophical and aesthetic, we seek to reform the outrageous pretensions of the drinking classes; to check the snobbery, the posturing, and the gross violations of the English language that invariably arise when a whiskey drinker seeks to translate the sensations experienced by the tongue into the language that same tongue so inexpertly speaks. In brief: Down with the tyranny of the palate!

In solidarity,

Alison Marie Hallett

On behalf of the Portland Ladies Intemperance Society

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