Beer and Pavement

The Building International Coalitions through Beer & Pavement 2020 Presidential Ticket

Posted in Activism, Intersections by SM on July 8, 2020

I haven’t written one of those tongue-in-cheek bits about the importance of craft beer and indie rock, or indie beer and craft rock, for a while. But no other time in our nation’s history is a better time than now to make a (not-so) serious endorsement for the 2020 presidential election. I mean, our current choices are a giant douche or a turd sandwich, so what have we got to lose?

I have opted to go with a presidential ticket that represents both craft beer and indie rock, which is loaded with faults, I realize, but will at least provide possibility in a post-Trump world. The biggest problem with this approach is likely that the demographics are a bit skewed. Both fields are largely white – though not entirely. Even harder is how male-dominated they are. So, I will likely have to contend with both downsides to my proposal.

Let’s begin with the craft beer side of the ticket…

Craft beer is loaded with oversized personalities of self-made men and women who understand leadership and organization building. They are typically well-traveled. They have some college but rarely hold advanced degrees. They can often be economically advantaged as they have sunk millions into brewing beer. So, they aren’t all that different than Trump, aside from being better read, traveled, and having better taste.

Diversity in the craft beer community isn’t a strong suit. I recently came across a list of Black craft brewers. While I’m sure they all make great beer, none of them were heading well-known or large-scale breweries. There even seem to be less women. Yes, there are many great brewers at big-time breweries, but there aren’t many headed by women. And what about women of color? Oof. Let’s just say that while craft beer is for everyone, it’s not exactly led by everyone.

Of course, I don’t know that our electorate is ready for a truly diverse ticket. The one president we’ve had who wasn’t white and male was Barak Obama. And even he had his white male running mate. So, I nearly resigned myself to giving half the ticket to yet another white male.

I came really close to nominating friend of the coalition, Stone’s Greg Koch. He is a charismatic evangelist for craft beer, particularly his own. However, he’s approachable in that he’s not snobby about his beer. His company is a shining example of the industry and has grown to incredible heights, even opening a brewery in Germany.

However, he’s a white guy and he likes Metallica. So, I decided to look elsewhere.

What this ticket needs is a respectable elder statesman. We need someone with the right pedigree and a certain level of sophistication that returns some respect and admiration to the administration. What this ticket needs is Garrett Oliver.

Garrett Oliver

Oliver is ideal as he is a Black pioneer in craft beer. He holds a degree from Boston University. He traveled Europe and returned with inspiration to build something great: the Brooklyn Brewery. Oliver is a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award as well as a successful author. He’s a New Yorker who can carry that all-important state. At 57 years old (58 by the election), he is both old enough to have accumulated essential life experience without being too old to competently lead. No one dislikes Oliver and everyone loves his beer.

Garrett Oliver is an easy choice for one half of our ticket.

Indie rock has a similar diversity issue, but it’s not nearly as bad as craft beer’s. Although very white, indie rock artists are diverse in gender, sexual orientation, and various other ways. That said, I decided to seek out the best woman for the job. Where Oliver gives the ticket a Black voice and face, a woman will inject the administration with something it’s never seen.

At first, it was hard to think of a female candidate. A lot of the women I listen to are amazing, but too young to be president/vice president. Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield seems awesome and has a nice redemption story, but she’s only 31. Angel Olsen was another musician who came to mind, but she’s only 33.

Then, I had to consider older indie rockers. This is fraught with complications. Musicians tend to have bouts with drug addiction or other less-presidential behaviors. I don’t personally think this should exclude them from consideration, but it will be a non-starter for many voters. For example, I considered Kim Deal, one of my all-time favorite people – not just artists. However, she’s had her bouts with addiction and seems to be recovering and producing some great music, but I can’t let her opponents tear her down for past transgressions.

I considered Liz Phair, but she’ll be unfairly accused of Karen-ism. I don’t think Liz Phair is a Karen, Becky, or Susan, but her social status might pigeon hole her into such a box. After reading most of Phair’s memoir, Horror Stories, I realized she has led a pretty upper-middle class life that’s fairly conventional. Is she cool? Yes. Is she one of the most gifted song writers of her generation? Oh yeah. But is she a good fit for the current political and cultural climate? I don’t know.

Let me be clear, I love Kim Deal and Liz Phair, but we need a female Bernie Sanders on this ticket. That’s why we need Kim Gordon.

Kim Gordon

At 67, Kim Gordon’s at the perfect age for the office. She is a working mother who has strong ties to the East Coast (NYC, Western Mass) and California where she grew up and currently resides. Gordon was a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders and appears to support all his positions politically. Yes, she is divorced, but who isn’t? Plus, she came out of that marriage stronger than ever. I don’t think Kim Gordon will take shit from anyone and her presence will command respect in a room of world leaders.

Since we have not had a female president and she is the senior of the two candidates, I would nominate Kim Gordon for president and Garrett Oliver as the VP. There’s no way the Queen of Indie Rock and the King of Fine Craft Beer could lose to a giant douche or a turd sandwich, No way.

Convince me otherwise.

2 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on July 8, 2020 at 8:22 am

    This is absolutely the kind of international coalition of beer and Pavement I can get behind – you have my virtual transatlantic vote!

    • SM said, on July 8, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Well, that makes two of us. I suspect that will be enough to at least win the craft beer/indie rock voting block.


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