Censorship has always been a touchy subject for me. Even before I knew I wished to pursue a career in writing I always railed at the idea of someone inhibiting my ideas and, therefore, my words or actions. I suppose this is why the founders of our country included into the Bill of Rights freedom of expression and a guarantee that no state shall impede our collective abilities to pursue life, liberty and property. They felt tyranny such as censorship and unreasonable restrictions on how one wishes to live their life as thoroughly intolerable and completely illogical.
Unless you happened to be black, Indian or gay… then the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to you. But, hey, that’s what the Amendments were for and just a scant 234 years after the initial signing of the Declaration of Independence we’re beginning to see a level playing field.
In high school, I was very much into music and art and the Tipper Gore-led PMRC had me seething. They wanted an end to “objectionable content” and began labeling albums with the now-ubiquitous “explicit lyrics” sticker. At the same time, my school told us we could no longer hand out flyers for all-ages shows citing that the venue served alcohol. The place in question was a bottle club meaning any alcohol had to be brought in by the guests… after midnight on weekends only… by adults over 21 years of age. Kids like us weren’t allowed. So, moot point, right?
Not to my school. They would, however, allow us to bring in receipts from grocery stores as part of some promotion providing schools with computers. What if my parents were raging alcoholics? The students would’ve directly benefited from receipts full of booze purchases. Contradiction? You bet. My school allowed advertising dollars from restaurants selling adult beverages, but I couldn’t pass out notices to my peers for a live music event more inspirational and educational than sitting through their assembly-line style of teaching.
As a protest, I began a verbally-provocative art campaign and started pinning show flyers to my shirt much like a Kindergarten teacher would to their students. I got in big trouble but made my point.
For all the book burners, religious nut job revisionists and self-servient world leaders… today I drink a defiant bottle of Lagunitas Censored Ale in the name of liberty. A rich copper colored ale with abundant head, Censored Ale offers up big scents of caramel with light undertones of spice, dried fruit and a whisper of dusty hops. No way to conceal the flavors in this ale: toasty biscuit malt with more caramel neatly balanced by a hoppy combination of earth, grass and fruity citrus. Texture is balanced as well with just enough carbonation to keep it from being syrupy.
In other words, this is one (expletive deleted) great beer! Hey… wait a minute!