Monday, 9 October 2017

Better Beer and Oktoberfest

I've done way more travelling in my lifetime than I ever anticipated. Seen a bunch of things, done a few, approved of some, disapproved of others.

Drinking in moderation was one thing that I always approved, of Malaysia. I'd like to think that most Malaysians drink responsibly, and that they don't drink and drive.

Alcohol consumption is also officially the domain of the minority, as Muslims are forbidden to drink.

Oktoberfest in Munich can be a ludicrous affair. I concede that the locals usually hold it together; besides, they've been doing it for centuries, in celebration of their Prince Ludwig's wedding to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

You'd think that with Ludwig's infidelities throughout his marriage, the merriment would have dampened somewhat, but no, the Bavarians enjoy any excuse for a drink. Or fifteen.

It's mostly the throngs of visitors from around the world that have trouble behaving themselves after the copious levels of imbibing.

But forget the Bavarians and their tourists; a major fraction of the United States of America consists of indentured servants who arrived from Germany - their descendants take the celebration of Oktoberfest as a God-given right. Unfortunately, this being America, they struggle with moderation and frequently over-indulge themselves, despite the drinking age being moved up to prevent them starting young.

Of course, that would be cue for PAS (and any random moral police representative) to assert that drinking leads to LOW MORAL VALUES!!!!! Apparently, the drinkers will run rampant and the non-drinking public cannot be ensured of their "safety from crime, free sex, rape etc." Alamak. Dahsyat la.

There is this Jamal Jamban character, who frequently inflicts himself on the general public. He once protested a water shortage by walking around in a towel. This unfortunate moment led to collective dry-retching on the part of self-respecting Malaysian women, who had not expected to see such monumental filth.

This time, Jamal Jamban attempted to outdo himself. He bought a few crates of beer, and brought it, along with his blithering machais to the Selangor state government building, and then proceeded to smash it with a sledgehammer. He is currently under investigation for being a public nuisance. If you were British, you'd refer to him as a classic ASBO case.

As Coconuts says, "The stunt was in protest of an already canceled beer fest. You cannot get more syok sendiri if you tried."

The distressing truth is that both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor cancelled the festival. Clearly, they are pandering to a group whose votes they are counting on, and it's not the urban, educated, tolerant and sophisticated bunch. The ruling coalition knows it has lost those votes.

And when I say 'votes', I mean there's an election around the corner. It's obvious, because the beer festival was held in 2012 and again in 2016 with less objection than was deemed worthy to make the news.

The Straits Times says Najib dithers, and that will be his undoing. Apparently you can kill off Mongolian models, run off with a ton of 1MDB money and you'll still be alright - as long as you choose the right timing to call for the election.

He's not the only politician to be doing that. The Tangerine Buffoon at the White House is already campaigning for re-election. He knows who his support base is: the white supremacists and Evangelicals. So why would he even bother to get anyone else's vote?

Najib's modus operandi is exactly the same. He needs the right-wing, religious, Muslim vote. And he has to avoid offending them.

You'd be surprised, folks, at how similar the whole world can be.

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