The Next Culture War Has Arrived and It Will Drive You to Drink
Bud Light recently sent some beers to a transgender influencer named Dylan Mulvaney. Since this is America in 2023, when ethics and intellect are as watered-down as the beer in question, all hell broke loose. Vox: The Bud Light boycott, explained as much as is possible. “Bud Light has found itself in the eye of the anti-trans storm. Kid Rock is shooting cans of the beer, and Travis Tritt says he’s banning the brand from his tour. Many on the right are calling for a boycott of the bestselling beer in the country. If this all sounds ludicrous, it’s because it kind of is.” This is ludicrous, of course. But I also think it’s a sideshow preview of what will be America’s next great culture war. It won’t be a debate about which terrible beer to drink, but about whether to drink any alcohol at all.
The subtext that will drive this divide is once again that pesky, woke-ass area of cultural elite study known as science. We’re learning that years of (often industry-backed) studies left us none the wiser about Bud. Tim Requarth explains the history of our views on alcohol and health in Slate. Pour One Out: The boozy story of how we decided alcohol was a health boon in the ’90s — and how it all fell apart. “Why was it common knowledge yesterday that alcohol in moderation is good for you, but it’s common knowledge today that no amount of alcohol is OK? A closer look at how alcohol’s so-called cardioprotective effect gripped science and the culture reveals what led to the biggest flip-flop in health and lifestyle advice in recent memory. One entity that was never far away: the alcohol industry.”
It turns out that health conscious coastal elite types have been both shaken and stirred by the recent health revelations and now have something in common with Kid Rock. They’d rather shoot their beers than drink them. Dry January and Sober October are going year round as people learn the risks of alcohol — and instead pop edibles, microdose mushrooms, or partake in the increasingly popular mocktail craze. While there used to be a couple alcohol free beers to choose from, its now a growing category with old beer companies constantly launching new entries. The No-Alcohol Drinks Market Surpassed $11 Billion In 2022. One America popping nootropics and sipping mocktails in the passenger seat of their self-driving e-cars while the other America tailgates in the back of a pickup truck, swilling shots of Jack from a hollowed-out AR-15. Welcome to the next culture war. It will be enough to drive one to drink.