Tribalism. It has become the high-water mark of contemporary politics. Gone are the days when people had personal standards and core values. Today political discourse means someone forms their opinion based on what the “other” side says. Even when words are uttered that one may normally espouse if it is sourced to someone on the “wrong” of the spectrum then opposition is the default mode.
Trump has been the focus of this reactionary mindset, though not entirely to blame. Once the anointing of Hillary Clinton would not come to be anything spoken by the “illegitimate” President would be met with opposition. As a result the career Democrat, who had long backed gay marriage, is described today as a homophobe. Feminists wail loudly against the supposed misogynist, who was the first Republican to praise Planned Parenthood during a campaign debate.
The other side is no different. Recall that less than enthusiastic support for Trump meant you wanted Hillary to win. Voice any words of opposition to a policy and you automatically hate the country, due to denying the man who simply wants to make America great again. It is binary thinking reduced to its most tiresome element.
This infantile mindset has metastasized across the cultural spectrum to the extent there are diminishing options where we can find respite. There are fewer television shows that exist where we aren’t lectured in the narrative. Most movies are probably starring actors we have already dismissed as hyper-partisan scolds. Sports have become unwatchable as we are either told what is wrong with this country, or the players actively display what is wrong.
Even the general marketplace has become a minefield, as we have entered the era when pulling an item off the shelf becomes a political statement. If it is not baristas giving us unsolicited social prolix we have to consider the political stance of the companies selling their wares. Boycotts have become such a weekly occurrence that before a trip to the grocery store we no longer look at the coupon section but instead have to consult polling numbers. (“No! Papa John’s is racist for linking a drop in sales to NFL Protests! Instead call Domino’s … this week.”)
This poisonous political climate has now seen its tendrils creep into one of the last havens from the debased debates; it used to be we could always find solace by grabbing a glass and looking at the ceiling. One year ago I remarked that on election night, so dismal were the choices to lead our nation, that I was backing the ticket of Jack Daniels and his running mate Sam Adams. I said this with all the expectation that I was alluding to the one untouchable realm in this country — our ability to crawl into a bottle of hooch!
That era is now over. Last Thursday evening actress Mila Kunis visited late night talk host Conan O’Brien to pimp her latest film, a bad holiday sequel to “Bad Moms”. During her visit she brought up her support of Planned Parenthood, and a novel way she has made social statement.
Now Kunis mentioned she would probably get some email blowback for making donations to the nation’s foremost infant abattoir in the name of our Vice President. What she did not anticipate was a growing social media backlash. Throughout the weekend, and continuing to grow days after, people began to express the tiresome outrage of the Trump reign. Kunis is the television spokesperson for Jim Beam, a product made in Kentucky, which sits on the map in a region that is commonly referred to derisively as “Trump country”.
Yes, a boycott has been called for. And yes, they even have their own hashtag; #BoycottBeam. Weary as this makes me to see, a word of caution to any prospective protesters: know your potables. If you have an intention of sending a message to the company realize you are lashing out at a multinational. A few years ago the massive distillery became a subsidiary of Suntory holdings, out of Japan. So if you are thinking of moving to another bourbon label you will need to also avoid all those they own, such as Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, and Booker’s.
The screeching however is taking place in the other tribe as well. Those who think that vivisecting and vacuuming in vitro is a swell thing have claimed they will rise up and purchase Beam in sufficient amounts to counter the self-imposed prohibition. Call me dubious:
If you drink, drink whiskey that supports women! Thx Mila Kunis and #JimBeam. Anti-choice zealots are trying to bully Jim Beam about this by threatening a boycott. Let's show there are more of us than there are of them. RT your support. #dontdrinkanddrive https://t.co/QlXW71cYn4
— ilyseh (@ilyseh) November 8, 2017
That would be the president of NARAL. I take it that Mila Kunis grandstanding her PPFA donations is NOT a sign of zealotry, and forcing Mike Pence’s name on a donor roll was NOT bullying? Is that the message Ilyse? Also, allow me to suggest her influence on the materials in the spirits world is challenged. Jim Beam is not a whiskey, so her mash-based messaging here is convoluted.
Now the one outlet we had for peace from the perpetually perturbed proletariat has been affected. Everything is horrible.
I’ll follow the advice from Jason Aldean — I’ll take a little more Jack in my Coke now…