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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Night Card Game (A Friend Told Me He Chugged 40s In High School)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

Think Progress  is reeling from being punked by the Navy Seal Anchor Baby hoax.  But Think Progress needs to earn its keep, so it soldiers on.

Think Progress continues its the never-ending quest to find someone (preferably a Fox News employee, a Republican politician , a Tea Party supporter, or as a last resort, someone who knows one of the foregoing) making a racist statement.  And once again, Think Progress steps in it.

Eric Bolling, someone I had never heard of before, apparently is under consideration to replace Glenn Beck on Fox News.  So that makes Bolling a public enemy to Think Progress.

Bear with me here, you have to make several logical suppositions and factual assumptions.  So I'll take it in sequence. 

Obama was in Ireland.  Obama chugged some brew.  Bolling commented about it on Facebook, and Twitter, saying "Obama chugging 40's in IRE while tornadoes ravage MO."

According to Think Progress, this tweet was "racially-tinged":
“40′s” is a slang name for 40oz malt liquor bottles. But Obama drank from a pint glass (not a bottle) of beer that doesn’t come in 40oz bottles. Why did Bolling say Obama was “chugging 40′s”? As even some of Bolling’s Facebook commenter note, it’s an eyebrow-raising choice of words, given the beverage’s long-time association with African American stereotypes.
I'm not so sure Think Progress is correct about this. 

One of the retweets of Bolling's tweet was by @40ozMaltLiquor which runs the website 40ozMaltLiquor.com devoted to 40 oz. malt liquor (is the internet great, or what?).  The website features images of 839 different bottles of 40 oz. malt liquor.  Whatever stereotypes were in the minds of the Think Progress editors and writers, I'm not sure you can say the 40 oz. malt liquor phenomenon was limited to one racial or ethnic group.

And to prove the point, I'd like to relate some personal high school history.  Since I was not of legal drinking age until the end my senior year in high school, this information is based solely on what a friend told me.

This friend told me that he and his friends would use a fake i.d. to buy big bottles of Colt 45 Malt Liquor.  Although my friend did not specify, I'm pretty sure they were 40 oz. bottles.  My friend and his friends had heard that Colt 45 had a higher alcohol content than regular beer.  I don't know if that was true, but my friend and his friends believed it, which really was all that mattered to them.  My friend and his friends then would go to the beach or a house where the parents were away, and chug 40s of Colt 45.  With the strobe light on.

The point of this story is that the people doing the chugging of 40s, according to my friend, were all white.

So when I heard that Eric Bolling used the term "chugging 40s," I didn't see it as racially-tinged.  Just funny.

But what do I know, I've never chugged 40s.  Although I've heard about it.  From a friend.

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  1. I like Eric Bolling, though I keep mixing up his name with Eric BOEHLERT, which is a pretty awful error.
    Anyway, he's on Fox Business, and occasionally the FNC. He's direct, informed and passionate. He's a good guy, I think.

  2. You and I had similar types of friends, professor. Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor in the big mouth bottle was the first alcoholic beverage I ..uuh...they ever got drunk from.

    They also occasionally 'uncorked' a bottle of Mad Dog.

    Eh, ThinkProgress is full of projecting adolescents.

  3. HaHahahaha, "...with the strobe light on..."

    Were we cool back then or what!?

  4. Ever play Edward-40-hands? It's a play on Edward Scissor-hands. What you do is duct tape a 40oz malt liquor bottle to each hand. You can't detach a bottle till both are empty. Drink fast if you don't like warm malt liquor.

    Fun times.

  5. And then there was the time my friends and I got thrown out of a wine shop in the Napa Valley when we went in to buy a jug of Red Mountain! I still remember the proprietor's red face as he screamed, "Get out of my store!"

  6. Of *course* Bolling is racist. As you can see from that commercial, there's nothing more stereotypically vanilla-whitey than Colt 45. (White guy in a suit at the beach being waited on by a butler? Can you say White Privilege?)

    By associating Obama with Colt 45, Bolling is obviously trying to deny Obama's fundamental blackness, because Obama's blackness makes him uncomfortable. He has to make Obama into a white man in order to be able to deal with him inside his own epistemic system, which completely white-washes Obama's blackness.


  7. some of my best friends chug 40's