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tv   [untitled]    May 4, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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women coming off of their shifts wanted to go to the tavern and have a beer too. >> can you imagine calling a beer the champagne of bottled beers. that seems so transgressively perverse. >> well, i still think that there's some beers that rival champagne in terms of complexity of flavor. >> we'll drink to that. >> yes. the pabst blue ribbon family. >> this isn't normal, watching us drink. >> just to be clear, the 19th century would have seen a profusion of styles. >> 19th century is the golden age? >> for some. that would have continued the growth in the early 20th century until prohibition, so it's a discontinuous history and there's not a general american taste or tendency toward a beer until its kind of -- >> i think it was part of the marketing push. this great mass marketing in the 50s and 60s and the whole idea that you could have a single
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beer and consistency was a big issue. >> everybody likes water, right? >> consistency was the big issue. they have the same taste. no matter where you lived. >> and also, so much of this was for taking to your house than drinking in a tavern or in a pub. >> that, too. really we have, i think, the golden age of american brewing is now. >> the golden age? yes! >> ladies and gentlemen. the 21st century. >> as of last month the united states now has more than 2,000 breweries in operation. >> yeah. it's america. we're back to where we were a century ago. >> sort of a rebirth. now is it kind of the self conscious or is this natural, or is this force bid yuppie. as natural as this beer. >> also i think it's the
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interest in foods that are local, handmade. how many of you home brew? there must be some. yes. yes. >> all of the people in the front row. >> exactly. >> so what does it taste like now? >> your ppr i think is a little bland. but that sprekle is a good example. >> let's drink to 2012. >> history moves in more than one direction would be the implication i draw from this. >> oh, man. >> i'd be just the smallest amount of that. >> just so you know -- >> maybe i'll just -- >> yes. >> how much of this show do we have left? >> i don't know. >> who cares. >> okay. thanks so much for having me on. >> all right. [ applause ] >> thank you very much.
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>> that is lucy saunders, and you can find some of her recipes and all kinds of information at thank you so much, lucy. that was terrific. ♪ >> back to the bar. ♪ many times before ♪ she said love and happiness can't live behind those honky tonk doors ♪ ♪ you're to blame boy not me ♪ too late you finally see what's made milwaukee famous done made a loser out of you and
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moe ♪ >> well, if you are just tuning in we're tuning out. oh, no. this is back stoir and we're coming to you today from the annual meeting of the organization of american and the national council on public history in milwaukee. our theme for the hour, alcohol in america. >> guys, we're having a lot of fun with this, lots of yucks. but to be honest, through american history, alcohol has not been a laughing matter. it was prohibition of course, but i think we know that americans were concerned about alcohol long before prohibition. am i wrong? >> yeah. i was telling you about the people crowding the taverns, up to no good especially after independence. and think about it my fellow democrats, sorry, didn't mean big d, i mean little d democrats. here we are in the land of the free and we have to govern ourselves and that requires self
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mastery, right, so you should not do what we're doing on stage today. any young people in the audience, this is purely for the interests of academic -- right. stay away. >> there's real concern emerging with benjamin rush's the heavy hitter in terms of anti-alcohol in the campaign against intemperance. we're going to try another neat visual trick on radio but you're here to model it for us, we're going to take a look and many of you have this on your seats or might be sitting on it now. stand up and get it out. and 1784, benjamin rush, of philadelphia, gives us the moral and physical thermometer. and i just want to share some of the insights that rush gives us here. and this would be a bit of a warning. we're moving into the darker portion of our program. and if you are a water drinker,
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then i want to tell you things are looking good for you because i can predict health and wealth, long life and happiness. what more could you want. >> where was that? >> it's up there number 70 at the very top. benjamin rush is not an absolutist. he's not like those people that make ed's century and brian's even more a grim affair. he's not a prohibitionist. he says you can drink small beer. that's only 1%. you can follow me down, which is actually up, we should turn it upside down because, well, done right. you're going down. >> wait, i'm getting dizzy, peter. >> oh, man. maybe that's -- >> you go to cider, that could be 5%, 7%. wine, you know wine, that would be 10, 12. porter, strong beer, things are still okay and this is the important take away for us
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moderate drinkers as we were up until the third one here. and it is, if you incorporate this into a healthy and moderate lifestyle, this is my words of wisdom for the day, you will be rewarded with cheerfulness, strength, and nourishment. it's food. particularly taken at meals in moderate quantities, but this is the grim part that i need to share with you. and i told you this was going to get dark. things get worse when you drink punch. as you see my friends, this is the big pivot point. if it's weak punch you're still in the temperate zone. this is scientific. it's calibrated. it could be strong, whoa. you're on the slippery slope because next thing you know, you're going to be drinking toddy, growing, bitters, morning drams, a bad habit. john adams used to drink cider
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every morning. pepper and rum. >> that's the worst. >> that is at the very bottom of your thermometer. now, i haven't told you the price you're going to pay for this. the vices of idleness to hatred of government. that's an important one. this is the critical period. and next thing you know you'll be a murderer. now, in case you weren't aware of the implications of these various vices, many diseases from gout to apoplexy accompany these. then the punishments take you from death to black eyes. i think you need help on that one usually. rags, hunger, the jail, the whipping post, castle island, and folk, if you are there, doing pepper and rum, you are either going to commit suicide or you are simply going to die
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or we'll hang you. >> who had pepper with rum at the reception here? anybody? >> peter, that's harrowing. and fortunately we had my sense tear come along and tidy up after you. because we launched then in the 19th century the longest running reform movement in history. the thing that people have worked hardest on in the united states history from then until today to try to contain the evil effects of alcohol. >> how did they do that, said? >> they mobilized. they mobilized. in the early 19th century t evangelical churches come along and women are key parts of all of this. and women at this tavern culture you're talking about are often the victims of this, the women and children who are the -- related to the men who think it's so much fun to do this. they begin to think there is a great social cost, great personal cost. in the 19th century we
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discovered that the family is the most important component of society. anything that damages the family is damaging society. and so we must -- put your beer down, i'm talking to you. we must persuade people to begin drinking water instead of alcohol, and who should they emulate? george and martha washington, washingtonians movement. going through and trying to get them to abstain from alcohol. >> so drinking is kind of a disease, it's a social disease, it's an individual disease. it's the demon rum can do terrible things. >> there can be no doubt that along with other threats to the nation, that it's something that is going to have to be brought under control, if this young country is going to succeed. >> what about benjamin rush's idea of moderation? i get excited about cheerfulness, strength and nourishment. >> no. because you've shown in the
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first decades of the 19th century you cannot be trusted to drink in moderation. alcohol is out of control. we have the machinery to deliver as much alcohol as people can drink. it's being mass produced, we're going to have to find ways to get this under control. >> who is going to control this? >> we prefer that you control it yourself. >> no way. >> i think early on that's the way we think slavery is going to come to an end as well. and so we'll begin by just talking to you a lot. trying to persuade you of this. if that doesn't work we'll do -- >> i did that with my kids. didn't work out so well. >> by the 1850s, maine has decided that's not going to work, so going to pass a state law that's going to make it illegal so. you have prohibition in the 1850s. so even as we know, peter says they didn't know the revolution was coming. they also don't know the civil war is coming. if you see the things that they are animated about it's about controlling alcohol so. the main law that becomes a model for the rest of the nation. and the civil war comes in and sort of you know, disrupts all of this and shows that there's even greater stakes than we imagine to controlling all of
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this. they have seen how it shattered lives, men come out shattered. so women's christian temperance union decides to use the great moral power, moral suasion. of women across the nation. >> 1870s. >> to mobilize and get rid of these saloons that you were talking about. >> and the saloon league eventually. >> exactly. they also ask that the members of the wctu make a pledge, could we hear that. >> i hereby solemnly promise, god helping me, to abstain from alcohol distilled, fermented and malt liquors, including wine and cider and to employ all proper means to discourage use and traffic in the same. >> you can tell she was serious. she had the sense of purpose in her voice.
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remarkably clear recording from 1877. and it seems to be a direct rebuttal to benjamin rush. including wine and cider. i don't care if it's distilled or fermented or malted we don't want it and i'm going to make a pledge and i'm going to try to stop its spread. so, across the last third of the 19th century, north and south and east and west, urban and rural, the great campaign is to bring alcohol under control, as a matter of fact, remove it. there is no good reason to have that. back in your day the water was bad. now we have public water supplies, other reforms, no excuse. >> they can go out in the public parks that are being built. >> exactly. >> or the new cemetery. >> you hand me this mess in the early 19th century. i clean it up and i hand it to the 20th century. what do you do with that? >> you almost clean it up. and you're so on the right track.
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but not quite. look, we wouldn't have a 20th century if you leaned everything up. >> i guess not. >> so you're on the right track, you mention control. three or four times. you know, you meant well. >> always do. >> when it comes to control, there's nothing like the federal government. in the 20th century, we're so smart and we figure, hey, control, this is bad for people, we need control. >> it's proven in the states. >> exactly. the laboratories of democracy, let's get the federal government involved. plus, we invented tape-recording in the 20th century so we can actually record real people being themselves on tape >> rather than actors. >> rather than actresses. >> don't give away. >> that's exactly right. so i want to hear from a real person recorded on tape.
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>> his problem is bigger than the individual states. it's a grave national problem and it touches all our lives. >> you didn't see that coming. >> problems so clear cut and the proven solution at hand we have no misgiving about this judicious use of federal power. >> shhh don't tell him who that was. who was that? >> that was not an actual person, that was an actor. >> yeah. but he happened to go on to be president of the united states. >> i saw that coming. >> ronald reagan. what is the problem that was so grave? what was bigger than the individual states? >> he didn't believe in using the federal government for much. >> star wars. >> or astrology. >> wrong. wrong. >> i'm convinced that it will
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help persuade state legislators to act in the national interest to save our children's lives by raising the drinking age to 21 across the country. >> this was about drunk driving. this was about alcohol. this was about something that i think most of us in this room think is a terrible thing, driving while drunk. but it's an example of how commonplace it became for the federal government to get involved in issues of health and safety in the 20th century. so much so that even perhaps the strongest anti-big government president of the 20th century, well, there is competition, but ronald reagan who defended the tenth amendment who stood up for states' rights says the federal government has to get involved when mothers against drunk drivers say that this is real, real trouble.
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those comments come from ronald reagan's remarks on the signing day for the national minimum age drinking act of 1984. how did that act work? it cut off federal highway funds to states who didn't raise the minimum drinking age. ronald reagan was in essence holding the states hostage. we're going to take all of this money away from you if you don't listen to us in the federal government. >> did they all buckle? >> they all buckled. even wisconsin although i think wisconsin was the second to last state. >> i'm sure grudgingly. >> very grudgingly. now of course the story is much earlier than that, the story of the federal government getting involved and speaking to a knowledgeable group of school teachers and historians and public historians, i don't have
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to tell you about prohibition. and the federal government's great social experiment. what i did have to tell my fellow guys here, this was about the legacy of prohibition. >> brian, seems to me from what you're saying alcohol drives the expansion of the federal state. >> that's exactly right. and one can make a very good case for big government, so called, beginning not with the new deal but beginning with prohibition. for those of you who want to say sayonara, good riddance to big government, we got rid of prohibition, think again. think about the laws on search and seizure, think about the laws about wire tapping, they all come out of the 1920s an era when the federal government is very involved in intervening in day-to-day lives to make sure that we create a safe
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environment. those laws on search and seizure, those laws on wire tapping are still very much with us today. >> so, seems to me we've had a lot of continuities back and forth across all of the centuries. i would say as reform movements go anti-alcohol is still top. mothers against drunk drivers. interesting how that has women and feature the word mothers. >> we added layer on top of layer, including, peter, moderation, not too much. counting on the individual to do -- think about the large corporate advertising campaigns, drink responsibly. some might say that's an oxy moron. look at peter for example. >> only do it on national television. >> so that brings us back to benjamin rush. drink responsibly. >> i think the darker conclusion we did say this was the best of all possible times but alcohol continues to be associated with
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lots of pathologies but so does anti-alcohol. so it's lose-lose. i'll drink to that. >> it's interesting i would say to bring us up to date on the the patterns that alcohol consumption has been remarkably stable, kind of a trendless time in that regard. and it looked for a while in early '90s that wine overtook beer for one year. >> right. >> and then fortunately -- >> beer has made a comeback. >> the normal correct state of things. and milwaukee is once again at the center of the american universe. this is the time i know you've been waiting for. >> they've actually been waiting for the beer. the beer is gone. if you want to leave, you're not going to get any beer. >> or even better, go to the microphones and ask really hard questions of peter and brian about things you would like to know about. >> we're going to defer them to
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ed. >> and the best question will be awarded that 24-ounce. >> slightly flat. >> slightly flat. >> slightly warm. >> so when you can't reform yourself any longer -- they can actually do this on television. >> they can. i'm going to look directly into the camera and establish my sincerity in tv long. i have been waiting so long to talk with you. here's your chance to send us an e-mail with your question. >> tweet us. >> you may tweet us. the e-mail is backstory@radio -- no. >> come on, get it right. >> >> no. >> it is. you can e-mail this. >> is it? is? >> it is. what you're thinking about is our website back story >> i never e-mailed myself. >> you can tweet us @backstory radio. there are so many ways. those of you in the room and i see a gentleman on the side, i need to you move up to the microphone.
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>> right. and give us your name. >> and we might have another one on the other side. >> give us your name and tell us where you're from. >> hi, my name is joel cyprus. i'm from duluth, minnesota. i work in superior. welcome to wisconsin, where tavern culture is alive and well. [ applause ] >> we had some real interesting meeting at the old town taverns last february and march. >> right. >> to do some planning for things in the streets. i've always heard or i once heard that when new hampshire was debating ratifying the constitution -- >> oh, no. >> i like the way this is going. >> oh no! >> that it was going to be a close vote and the pro constitution forces, some delegates took some antis out to lunch and got them drunk and they missed the vote, and that's how the constitution got ratified. is there any truth to that? >> duh. >> this is the respect with which we will answer any question. >> that will really encourage
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people to ask questions. >> you know what, we're doing capitalism and democracy, you know where they come together. it's election time and it began before the revolution with treating in virginia. that is if you're in one of those contested elections and most of them weren't, for the house of burgesses, you would treat every voter, and they would be totally drunk. so yeah, it's one of the things that had to be reformed if there was going to be ultimately with the australian ballot. as long as voting was a polite public activity it was surrounded with booze. >> even new hampshire, though. virginia we can believe but new hampshire? >> live free or die. >> i guess that's right. >> we should say something about our mutual centuries. right? although it didn't rise to a constitutional level, saloons were not just places that union leaders, organized folks, i mean
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salons were where politicians walked in and treated -- >> the smoke filled rooms were? >> that was one of them. they treated everybody to a drink and of course the custom of drinking was if somebody treated you, you had to treat back, one beer led to another. and it's really where a lot of americans became familiar with the political machine. they didn't have fox news. they weren't smart enough. they didn't even have you know, internet. they got to know the political system literally through the mechanism of treating buying a drink. of course that happened on election day but it happened on a day-to-day basis. it's a way that constituents got to know their elected officials. >> we're not running for office so we're not treating. let's have another question. >> i'm philip troutman and at the george washington university in washington, d.c. i recently found bout my cousin maynard emory who was a visit
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culturist or a enologist at the university of california davis in 1939 he was hired to rebuild the department most prohibition. i wonder, more for brian, the california wine industry before prohibition, and how long it took them to really figure it out later. and really, the role of academia in all of this, as i understand it he and his research partner walker i think was his name, basically invented napa valley. they basically went around california and studied the regions and figured out what were the growing regions and the idea to approach it scientifically. >> we love these questions because we keep asking you questions. brian? >> i have no idea. what i can tell you is that americans were not huge wine drinkers. there were two ways of the real increase in wine drinking. one had to do with one of the
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latest waves of european immigrants to the united states, primarily italians and jews. they preferred wines to either beer or whiskey, although what is interesting is they got won over to beer, many of them by the 1910s, 1920s. the second wave of increase in wine drinking happened in the 1970s and the 1980s and it was a very interesting period. you know, when we talk about red necks, white sox, and blue ribbon, they weren't just responding against people like me wearing literally white collars. they were responding to a real diversification among elites in their drinking. >> it was fern bars, right? >> exactly. fern bars. >> i remember. i lived in manhattan at that time. you had wine bars, fern bars. >> i thought imported beer. >> exactly so.
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wine drinking took off in the 1970s, and ed's referring to imported beers. he was drinking those faux imported beers with the umlauts. >> loewenbrau. michelob was another one. there was this real diversification in the drinking habits. >> wine in the 70s, that's interesting because as i understand he also wrote his second career after he retired was to try to reform wine tasting language and what he called scientific language, which he called flavors i guess of trees, bark, like oak and pine and flowers and other odors to describe wine rather than masculine and feminine and terms like that. and that came around, he was part of that movement. as i understand, that was in the '70s. >> i think it developed a
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a beautiful bouquet in the '70s. >> it was a wonderful finish. >> thank you, phil. >> this is an important fact. wine has now tied beer, late-breaking news. >> you just looked this up. >> no. it came in by itself. but it shows -- i think you're onto something. to really answer your question, academia i believe has been very involved in the whole -- >> and davis is absolutely at the center of it, right. >> but i think people would often see drinking wine as a step back toward the moderate familial based alcohol consumption. so it's interesting that what we consider to be the most healthful blend of -- is constantly coming and going. as long as it has a good oakie flavor it's fine with me. the messages are flowing in on twitter. yeah. >> should we take a remote message is in we'll be right with you. >> there is an impossible one.
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>> four actual humans or two twitter messages. it's hard to know. >> do real people write those messages? >> i want to go with real impossible one for peter. here. >> it's a short answer, peter. >> is there a connection -- is there a connection between the landing of the pilgrims at plymouth rock and the ship mates running short of beer? that's a twitter question from doug. i had to get even for being totally clueless on the last question. >> well, i'm going to say yes. [ laughter ] >> okay. >> that beats duh. >> that's right. >> okay, brian. since you did this -- >> no, no. let's go to the live audience. >> yes, sir. >> jim from eau claire. >> thank you. >> i've heard the phrase "there is no free lunch "came from salons. maybe brian or ed could he


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