Magnum Magnus Partei Heute Nacht

Heads up for those in Chicago: The up-and-coming soon-to-be-big-in-Europe (hey, it worked for BackStreet Boys) Chicago band magnus will be having their record release party tonight. I intend to go and anyone wanting to join in on the fun would be highly welcome.
Their sound is a combination of liverpool, chicago and norman, oklahoma.
they are good. read a blurb about them here (scroll down). come see them here.
In other news, I have a grant application due today so probably no post until the glorious weekend.

Legacy of Colonialism Includes Beer

Gerry wrote on my dry erase board: “The legacy of colonialism includes beer,” and left a huge bottle of Tiger Beer from Singapore. The statement has been staring me in the face and, today, I remembered that old can of Murree Beer that I had found in the Karachi house kitchen. No, not for drinking, people. My aunt used it to wash her hair. It supposedly is good for your hair. Now, that sounds like a waste of fine brew to me but … in any case, I decided to highlight at least the beers I know of colonial origins in hindoostan [and an extra]. Readers, please add to my knowledge.

  • Kingfisher Lager is United Breweries’ flagship brand and the largest selling Indian Beer. It all started with 5 breweries in South India the oldest of which, Castle Breweries dates back to the year 1857. This is not the India Pale Ale that was developed in Scotland to be shipped over to India. As the “first” beer brewed in India, it has held on to mass appeal. Although, I have seen recently a bit of snobbishness against it.
  • Murree Beer is/was brewed at the Murree Brewery in Ghora Gali since 1861. A hill resort, the area has long been a tourist attraction but in my many visits there, I have only seen a small sign that said Murree Brewery and no brewery [that is in Pindi]. Interesting factoid from their website: In 1893, it won first prize at the World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.
  • On May 15, 1897, the Crown Brewery Company registered itself in the Kingdom of Belgium -≠home of the well known Stella Artois beer ≠ to start operations in Alexandria. Two years later, a different group of entrepreneurs from Brussels and Antwerp opened a brewery in Cairo, which came to be known as Pyramids Brewery. The new Cairo brewed beer was a hit, but competition with foreign imports was fierce. Despite the competition, by 1906 Pyramids Brewery was in the black, showing a profit of 16,032 French francs with a 30% increase in overall production. [their blurb]
  • Platitudes from the Olive Tree

    I thought that mcsweeney’ had jumped the shark but, i dare say, this is brilliant:
    Create Your Own Thomas Friedman Column .

    Speaking with a local farmer on the last day of my recent visit, I asked him if there was any message that he wanted me to carry back home with me. He pondered for a second, and then smiled and said, “[Short phrase in indigenous language],” which is a local saying that means roughly, “[Every branch of the tree casts its own shadow/That tea is sweetest whose herbs have dried longest/A child knows his parents before the parents know their child].

    The NeoCon Con

    Douglas Feith recently spoke here on campus. Chicago, home of Leo Strauss and Albert Wohlstetter, is an important place for Doug Feith to come and defend the assault on Iraq strategy of the administration – and by extension the neocon world view.
    Today’s NYT (r.r) has an indepth on the three-member crack team (and yes, crack) of Feith, Maloof and Chalabi who were responsible for coming up with lots of nice powerpoint presentations on Iraq, WMDs, al-Qaeda. There is an earlier WaPo (r.r) piece that covered most of this Shadow Squad . Both of these pieces show that post-Sep 11, the neocons were ready to find the intelligence to support their gut feeling: that Saddam had to go, that the Empire had to return, that the World was Dangerous Place. Of course, any kind of intelligence can easily be found if one culled over enough policy and analysis memos and, of course, called a dissident insider who had all kinds of “neat” information. It is a pattern we have seen in every other public policy of this administration: Have a conclusion, find the reasons. And the reasons are all there in those books and memos. God forbid one has to leave the Regenstein.
    What is fascinating to me is the way that the neocons have gone around defending themselves. Bernard Lewis, the doyen of Orientalists, was on Charlie Rose last night saying how wonderful a guy Chalabi is and how cruel the media has been to him. Oh yea, the media is sooo bad to them.
    The neocons LOVE the spotlight. They do. Have you seen any tabletop lately that did not have Richard Perle perched on it? They know they were right and they thought this was going to be the moment when sheepish intelligentsia would be lining up to shower them with flowers (ha). The fact that it did not happen in Iraq may have given them pause, but no. They want the accolades. They want to be proven right.
    In the end they are the quintessential Chicago students: Hungry for approval, utterly convinced of their rightness, and with immutable faith that the text will save us all.