Red, White, and Beer
In the satiric essay, Red, White, and Beer, by, a humorist author, Dave Barry, an issue that is addressed is patriotism and how it relates with commercials. Barry explains that, “[…] if you want to talk about real patriotism, of course, you have to talk about beer commercials” (519). This example is the main target Barry is going for; criticisms for the American culture. He approaches the topic through the use of his tone, metaphors, and a personal narration.
Throughout this essay, he commentates about the political side of beer commercials to express the way of his tone. Barry sarcastically says what happens in Miller commercials, “Burly American men go around, drenched in perspiration, shaking each other’s hands in a violent and patriotic fashion” (519). It is easily shown that a sarcastic tone is expressed. He states that the brand of beer tastes like “rat saliva” and that taste is not exactly the main issue.
Since not many women were around at the time of these beer commercials, men were lonely and felt “desperate for any form of physical contact” (519). Barry states, “in addition to shaking hands, they hug each other. […] after the David Letterman show, there are Miller commercials in which the burly men engage in slow dancing” (519). This can be related to how most men do not usually dance unless they are feeling the joy of it or excited. There is this ridiculous sense of happiness from these masculine males that portrays in image of the American culture.
Barry decides to personally address his own experience with beer and what may really happen. He says that during his younger days, “whenever anybody in my circle of friends wanted to move, he’d get the rest of us to help, and, as an inducement, he’d buy a couple of cases of beer” (519). The idea of boredom and men just being men relates to what they may really do, stupid actions.
It is the kind of thinking that may be applied after having a beer because during the commercial “[…] the wall crashes down on the other side […] and then they all shake hands” (519). This is like how men react after an accomplishment has been met; it is more exaggerated especially with beer.
The relationship with these beer commercials with lonely men and the idea of patriotism carries out a suggestion that only a commercial would matter if it had a patriotic figure shown. The quality of a commercial comes off of the patriotic image in order to appeal to an American’s perception. Barry concludes that a pretty good commercial concept is, “They’d put the statue in the foreground” (521). He implies that commercials portray patriotism as to patriotism selling products. As long as the commercial promotes some type of patriotic appearance, consumers will have an interest in purchasing the product.
1. What do you think of beer commercials and how it may relate to patriotism? 2. Is there a relationship with beer and gender?