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Who really won the Cold War?

February 9, 2010

When John Wayne saunters to the bar in Rio Bravo, what does he order?

When Gregory Peck returns from a mission pummeling Germany in 12 O’clock High, what does he drink?

When Steve McQueen steals art and Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair, what does he twirl in his glass?

The iconic American drink is whiskey. That’s what we ducked and covered for, that’s what we went eyeball to eyeball with the Russians to promote, to champion, to spread around the globe. We knew that if pensioners in Peking and guys in Guyana and school kids in Sudan were drinking all-American whiskey, the world would be safe. When we prevailed over godless communism and Gorbachev’s birth mark, you could almost hear the amber liquid sloshing into glasses across the globe — neat, on the rocks, with a dash of soda or Seven-up, even in hot coffee or cod liver oil. The water of life in a jacuzzi of unfettered capitalism  soothing the aching feet of a new world order.

But maybe things didn’t turn out so well. Maybe the “other side” really won the Cold War — and we didn’t even realize it. Consider the latest report of the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council:

“Vodka remained Americans’ favorite liquor, accounting for almost a third of all spirits sold and sales of $4.56 billion.”

Vodka? Do cowboys guzzle vodka at the Dodge City Saloon? Do B-17 pilots swill “little water?” Does Steve seduce Faye with clear, tasteless potato liquor?

Somehow, the Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist/Stolichnaya conspiracy secretly managed to sap Americans’ precious distillery fluids. Maybe General Ripper was on to something.

Damn, I’m glad Gen. Curtis LeMay is dead. This news would’ve just killed him.


From → jests

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