October 4, 2011

"I've never seen a beer hall on a campus before... I'm not sure how I feel about that!"

A lady from Nebraska tried to understand the Rathskeller.

(By the way... are you watching that Ken Burns "Prohibition" series on PBS?)

70 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Have a few beers there on a warm summer evening. You will come to love it.

Kit said...

(By the way... are you watching that Ken Burns "Prohibition" series on PBS?)

No, there's too much baseball on right now. You know the Brewers game doesn't start until 8:30, tonite?

bagoh20 said...

I did watch Nick Gillespie's interview with Burn's over at Hit and Run. Wow, what a dick. He really likes the sound of his own voice.

PatCA said...

Yes, Prohibition is really good. It's really a story of how progressives screwed up the country (and are trying to again). Is Okrent is a bit of a closet tea partier?

Salamandyr said...

Burns' interview with Gillespie for Reason TV pretty much convinced me that he had nothing to teach me.

Fprawl said...

Boy is Prohibition dry so far. I have been a conservative so long all I see is the Tea Party being subliminally compared to Carrie Nation chopping up bars.

Bring on the bootleggers.

MarkG said...

"Everyone's been great, except for the students..."

This is probably where the "Shuck You" t-shirts factor in.

sonicfrog said...

A month ago, when our local Borders was having its bankruptcy sail, I went to go find an interesting read. I saw Okrent's book, and realized I had never much studied this topic at all. I started reading the book... but only got through the first third of it. Found the reading a bit dry!

When I learned that Burns had made a documentary on the same topic, I decided to picked it up again. It is actually a good read.

Will be watching the docu either tonight or tomorrow.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes, Prohibition is really good. It's really a story of how progressives screwed up the country (and are trying to again). Is Okrent is a bit of a closet tea partier?"

I know, and yet here's an interview with Burns likening the prohibitionists to the Tea Partiers!

virgil xenophon said...

LOL. In the days when the drinking age was 18 in both Wisc and Louisiana, (early 60s) lots of LSU types went to summer-school at UW strictly because a) Wisc was cool in summer (relative to B.R.) and b)UW allowed on-campus drinking while LSU did not.

(LSU did not allow beer in the Student Union--or on campus anywhere--until the 70s when the voting age was made 18--then stopped again when the drinking age was raised to 21 in late 90s One has to remember that while heavily Catholic South Louisiana--and especially libertine New Orleans--is more "relaxed" in their attitude toward all sorts of social "fun", heavily uptight and Baptist, Protestant, dominated Bible-Belt North Louisiana is not and B.R. as State Capital sitting at both the geographical and religious/philosophical crossroads of these two often warring sociocultural divides more often than not reflects the latter more than the former.)

Rumpletweezer said...

In the mid 70s, at Brandeis, we had a beer hall called--what else--The Stein.

edutcher said...

Yeah, the Scotch-Irish Baptists from NE are going to find the German Lutherans from WI nigh on incomprehensible.

virgil xenophon said...

What everyone HAS to understand is that we have the Prohibitionists to thnk for the Income Tax. Prior to the Income Tax up to 1/3 of all Federal revenues were from taxes on alcohol. Prohibition could not garner enough political support unless a replacement were to be found for the lost revenue. Thus the Prohibitionists lobbied/agitated HARD for the Income Tax amendment--an ABSOLUTELY necessary precursor required for the installation of Prohibition.

Thanks a lot Carrie..

Curious George said...

Illinois has actual bars on campus.

Chip S. said...

I have no respect for Ken Burns whatsoever since his "Tenth Inning" shitshow, wherein he devoted something like 10 minutes or more linking 9/11 to the first World Series game in NY while scrubbing any mention of Bush standing there on the mound daring a sniper to take him out.

He's about as good at history as his barber is at haircuts.

Robert Cook said...

"I did watch Nick Gillespie's interview with Burn's over at Hit and Run. Wow, what a dick. He really likes the sound of his own voice."

I agree...Nick Gillespie was a dick. Burns, however, was a paragon of reason.

carrie said...

I started to watch the documentary but got distracted. However, the part I watched showed how, as continues to happen to day, the people who voted for prohibiton were misled about what prohibiton would be and that special interests will always get the loop holes that they want--nothing has changed! I think I would compare prohibiton more to the liberal "fat police" than to the tea party.

Robert Cook said...

"...while scrubbing any mention of Bush standing there on the mound daring a sniper to take him out."

WTF??!!

As if the Secret Service would allow any snipers to get within five miles of any stadium in which Bush (or any President) was in attendance, and, particularly, standing on the pitcher's mound.

Your feverish imaginings of Bush as Clint Eastwood "Do you feel lucky, punk?" hard man, standing tall and braving sniper's bullet or drone's bomb* is ludicrously childish and childishly ludicrous.

*(Oh wait...the only people who bomb other people using drones are...us...so far. That will change, to our regret and misfortune.)

Robert Cook said...

Well, to be fair, you made no mention of drone's bomb. That was my own fanciful flourish.

Class factotum said...

There are two bars on the Rice campus for only about 5,000 total students. One is in the basement of the student rec center and the under, the grad student bar, is underneath the chemistry lecture hall. I didn't realize that it was so abnormal to have a bar on campus.

Robert Cook said...

"I didn't realize that it was so abnormal to have a bar on campus."

Is it? I'd be surprised.

I went to college over 30 years ago, in Florida, and I know there was a Rathskeller on campus and also another bar. I may be wrong, but I believe the Rat (as it was called, probably as is so on every campus with a Rathskeller) also served alcohol other than beer or wine.

AllenS said...

Star Prairie, WI doesn't have any schools, but with 500+ residents supports 3 bars. Chew on that Nebraska.

Fred4Pres said...

God forbid 21 year olds might drink a beer!

At least they do not serve unhealthy brats and cheese curds there.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Yes, Prohibition is really good. It's really a story of how progressives screwed up the country (and are trying to again). Is Okrent is a bit of a closet tea partier?

Burns is even worse than George Lucas for retroactively editing his films. You can expect all mention of Progressives to be scrubbed.

Also the part about Socialists backing the Income Tax as a form of wealth redistribution. Or was I the only one who caught that?

TosaGuy said...

I grew up and went to undergrad in the Great Plains, which is decidedly different than the Midwest. While we do enjoy our alcohol, it is not nearly as culturally ingrained as it is in Wisconsin. That was perhaps the most significant cultural factor that I observed when I moved here, as well as WI people tend to get personally offended by politics at the drop of a hat.

Chip S. said...

Poor Cook. Your complete faith in the security to be had from the government is exceeded only by your inability to comprehend the meaning of the word "dare."

I really thought people like you understood the concept of political theater, but I guess if it doesn't involve giant puppets it's beyond your ken.

I'll spell it out for you: It was essentially unprecedented for a president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a World Series game before 2001. Bush's appearance was clearly intended to make a point. As such, it was historical, yet scrubbed from Burns's documentary. That makes Burns a political hack.

Just like you, Cook.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"...while scrubbing any mention of Bush standing there on the mound daring a sniper to take him out."

WTF??!!

As if the Secret Service would allow any snipers to get within five miles of any stadium in which Bush (or any President) was in attendance, and, particularly, standing on the pitcher's mound.


Like people thought the Feds would protect them from somebody flying jetliners into skyscrapers?

Get real.

The Secret Service is anything but perfect, try as hard as they do.

Just ask John Hinckley.

Or Squirelly Fromme.

Fred4Pres said...

I like Ken Burns but he does have his biases. He is Mr. PBS so he has to tow that evil tea partier line. But the best thing that could happen to PBS is to be completely independent of the Government. And Ken Burns would do very fine in that enviroment too.

Fred4Pres said...

I think Bush needs to be treated better by history, but throwing a pitch out at Yankee Stadium is not exactly storming Fallujah.

Hey the Yankees may be eliminated soon. Happy days!

Almost Ali said...

No.

Irene said...

We are enjoying Prohibition. I did not know that Brandeis coined "right to privacy" in his dissent in the Olmsted case.

But I grow weary of the Blythe Danner and Tom Hanks voice overs.

Joe said...

Ann Althouse notes: ". . . here's an interview with Burns likening the prohibitionists to the Tea Partiers!"

Certainly it was the so-called progressives behind prohibition, but as an ardent Tea Partier, I see lessons for the Tea Party in the tactics of the Anti-Saloon League. Perhaps that's only because doing so feeds my biases.

The Anti-Saloon League, according to the program, focused solely on temperance and ignored candidates' positions on other issues. I have, with mixed success, urged my local Tea Party to focus similarly on fiscal responsibility and limited government. Those issues aren't as narrow as temperance, but they are a lot narrower than what some factions want to get involved in. If our message is too diffuse, it will not be effective, but some people can't seem to accept that.

Beldar said...

I'm enjoying Burns' latest a great deal, and I also enjoyed Daniel Okrent's book "Last Call," which helped inspire it. (Okrent is a better historian than ombudsman IMHO, and he's been a special consultant for Burns on this series.)

I've also just watched the first couple of episodes of the second season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," which I think is superb storytelling, and so far it's even better this year than last. The two programs dovetail nicely.

Jennifer said...

What's with the "h"? And tell me it's at least underground.

Jennifer said...

(I mean, I'm assuming it's not actually under city hall.)

Jennifer said...

^That probably makes no sense. Let me start again. A rathaus is like the German version of our City Hall. A keller is a cellar. And a Ratskeller is the bar/restaurant you find underneath pretty much every Rathaus. Spelled Ratskeller.

So, what's with the h? And is it at least underground?

Beldar said...

I haven't seen the third and final episode of Burns' series, but so far I think it, like Okrent's book, ends up expressing a fundamentally conservative/libertarian moral. It's the key event in American history to demonstrate the impossibility of legislating morality, even through constitutional amendment, and indeed the inadvisability of trying. I'm not sensing that Burns has shied away from that interpretation, which is so obvious and inescapable that no amount of editing or spinning could conceal it.

Do others who've actually watched so far think it's been biased to the left? Is someone interpreting this mini-series as an apologia for Prohibition -- something that just wasn't explained and planned for very well? Because I didn't get that from Okrent's book and I haven't noticed it so far in Burns' mini-series.

Indigo Red said...

I know, and yet here's an interview with Burns likening the prohibitionists to the Tea Partiers!

Good lord! Really? I watch the 2nd hour of Episode 1 and immediately got Progressive policy out of it. How can anyone mistake, 'we're banning alcohol for your own good' as a TEA Party position? Gee whiz, today we're hearing the same damned argument about salt, sugar, fats, trans-fats, red meat, calories in general, vitamin/mineral supplements, bronchial inhalers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Then, it was demon rum; now, it's demon food. The TEA Party is saying, 'Leave me the hell alone, damn it!"

"Prohibition" episodes can be seen on line here.

chickenlittle said...

Jennifer wrote: So, what's with the h? And is it at least underground?

The "h" is vestigial, but real. Other examples in German are Neanderthal, which today would be spelled Neandertal, meaning Neander Valley. Another vestige is the interesting word Thingstätte. Thing is cognate with our word "thing" (in modern German, Dinge). A quick look at the OED etymology of "thing" gives a sense of the old Germanic meaning now lost in modern English: link.

Jennifer said...

Fascinating, chickenlittle. Thanks!

ricpic said...

Hey, you can all stop worrying about the poor deprived U of N students. There's a Duffy's Tavern just off campus. Isn't that great? Who could resist a tavern named Duffy's?

D. B. Light said...

Prohibition was obviously a progressive reform, but for several decades liberal historians tried mightily to convince people that immigration restriction, prohibition, the KKK, and all sorts of other "evils" were actually evangelical Christian Republican reactions against progressive change. That's where Burns got his perspectives. It was in all the textbooks when he was young.

craig said...

[re: Burns likening the prohibitionists to the Tea Partiers]

In just a few minutes of watching, I saw Burns carefully paint the prohibitionists as following the Democratic Party line talking points against Tea Partiers: xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant, bitter clingers, etc. I turned it off.

The fact that the prohibitionists were the genesis of today's Nanny State "progressivism" and the opposite of Tea Party small-government conservatism is a fact anathema to PBS viewers. Doesn't fit the narrative.

Triangle Man said...

Yes, Prohibition is really good. It's really a story of how progressives screwed up the country (and are trying to again).

Progressive Republicans.

J said...

Collegetown is owned and operated by Beer-Co. Don't ya know that yet?

The prohibitionists were...progressives, mainly--hated by the robber baron GOP types,and the Tammany demos. Of course organized crime took advantage of the 18th Amendment, but in ways..it wasn't the worst idea the US Govt. ever had, regardless of what HL Mencken and his cronies thought.

J said...

German "rat" is akin. to Eng. council, or board. Rathaus--council/board-meetinghouse. Voonderbar

A. Shmendrik said...

I remember "Fasching" (sp?) at the Rathskeller back in the 70's. So much beer was spilled that you could hardly walk through the place late in the evening, your shoes would stick to the floor. But that was in an era of drinking at 18. How they manage large scale parties these days @ 21, I dunno.

On Ken Burns - he needs to spring for a new hairpiece.

J said...

Wow,Chkie little, the surfin'-Nurse, a linguist too!

Heh. Yr about as much as linguist as you are scientist or lawyer, perp-phony. dadadadadadadadadada wipe out.

J said...

Oh it's Byro the Sockpuppet with new-s-names and his mangled 10th grade german. Fasching--you mean Carnival ,dimwit?--ie, -one ofthe catholic holidays...marians!..that your preacher calls the... anti-Khrist? No you don't mean that do you LDS schwein.

chickenlittle said...

@Jot: You should read up on your own advice.

traditionalguy said...

As I recall, Ireland functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Guinness Brewing Company.

So does Notre Dame have on campus pubs??

Carol said...

Do others who've actually watched so far think it's been biased to the left?

Well I thought Okrent's message that the Progressives did this to us came out loud and clear. But while it may be mildly embarrassing to the lefties who like PBS, does the muddled middle really know who the modern day Progressives are? It seems like most people assume all moralizing laws emanate from the right. Because of religion, and stuff.

And even if there's really no religious element in a conservative movement, it will be ascribed to it anyway. See Tea Party.

Triangle Man said...

@AllanS

I wonder what the range of bar:resident ratios is in Wisconsin. Especially in non-seasonal communities. The little cross-roads of Pine Bluff, west of Madison, has two bars, a church, and what looks like about 30 houses. I think it is part of Cross Plains, which also has a healthy selection of bars along it's main street.

Jennifer said...

Google translate may say that rathaus is a council/board meeting house. But, a Rathaus is like our city hall. It's where you go to handle any business or problems you have with the city. Set up your garbage service, register your dogs, determine your school districting, buy your town pool season passes, etc... Or at least that's the business we've had with our Rathaus so far.

Voonderbar looks niederländisch. lol Phonetic spelling? I'm guessing you mean wunderbar.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I was enjoying this thread, but that's over now.

J, go shit in somebody else's soup, please.

AllenS said...

Triangle Man, if you go west from Star Prairie on county road H, in about a mile there's another town called Huntingdon (old spelling), except there isn't a town anymore, but one bar. Or, take H until C, go south until CC take a right and there is another town called Johannesburg, yep, no town, one bar. At least these bars serve food.

AST said...

It keeps me wondering what happened to all the woes of alcohol that existed prior to prohibition. Are they still out there. I saw quite a bit of the effects when I was a lawyer.

Are we headed the same way for marijuana? Probably.

chickenlittle said...

Voonderbar looks niederländisch.

Actually, the Dutch and English words for "wonder" are the same. But I agree with you that the spelling looks Dutch or Flemish. They double their vowels for phonetic reasons.

cokaygne said...

A little off topic but I see that someone at the Daily Caller asked some Tea Party types if they had anything in common with the Occupy Wall Street protestors and the answer was, "No because they are breaking the law."

That's bull because there is a potential there for something like what happened with prohibition only in a positive way. It is true as far as I know that Prohibition was part of the Progressive agenda, but it took more than that to get a constitutional amendment passed and ratified. The women's movement had a lot to do with it and so did anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic "populists" in the South and West.

Surely the Tea Partiers dislike the bail-out of Wall Street as much as the Occupiers. Those forces should come together to end 0's crony capitalism bail-outs as a starter. What is wrong with that?

cokaygne said...

And another thing. Few years ago Ken Burns did a documentary that included stories about a place I know very well. The documentary included a couple of anecdotes that I knew were not true. I learned that Burns and his coauthor knew they were not true but included them anyway because they were effective in advancing the narrative.

This sort of lying (what else would you call it?) is prevalent now it seems. The most famous example being Dan Rather's lies about Bush. Apparently 0 told a few fibs in his book about his father. But then I'll bet the senior Obama told a lot of fibs to that dreamy coed from Kansas.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

At the U of Alaska Fairbanks we had The Pub on campus, beer and wine only. The nearest bars were in town, several miles away, and I think the idea was to keep students within walking distance of the dorms, assuming they could still walk. The drinking age was nineteen back then, lo these twenty-eight years ago.

E.M. Davis said...

Sharpsville, PA doesn't do too bad: 4,300 population, 9 bars. Probably 10 churches, though.

Robert said...

The best part is the old folks with their personal stories about their parents, they tell it exactly as it was. The worst is John Paul Stevens, the quintessential dry wonder, why he ever got where he did, and Pete Hamill who has absolutely no knowledge of what prohibition was like in NY, surprise, there was no prohibition in New York because the cops ran the distribution system, and he is only included to spout his personal political opinions having written an unreadable novel set in the period. The best PBS show ever in this regard, was Robert Caro on Al Smith. But all in all they get it right.

br549 said...

I wouldn't watch a PBS program if it was the only thing on television.

jeff said...

"The University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln is dry, which might cause visiting Wisconsinites to express a similar opinion in reverse."

Sure, if you have never been to Lincoln or know anything about the campus you might think so. The campus and football stadium are downtown. Also downtown (and next door within easy walking distance between classes) is the haymarket district which is several square blocks of bars. The idea that the Nebraska student and/or football fan is stranded on a dry island without a drink in sight, is ridiculous.

Kirby Olson said...

Carrie Okie Nation!

virgil xenophon said...

AST@3:35pm/

Yes, all the woes are still around. Prohibitionists correctly predicted that repeal would mean higher job absenteeism, increased spousal abuse and higher health care costs--and these all came to pass. However, the KEY POINT is that the social & financial costs of ALL of these social dysfunctions/ills were/are HIGHLY DIFFUSE both geographically and spread out over generations worth of time, while the sociocultural/political-governmental dysfunctions that Prohibition caused were HIGHLY CONCENTRATED in the immediate here & now in terms of disrespect for government engendered by labeling as criminals ordinary citizens (who were otherwise honest and law-abiding in all other aspects of their lives); corrupting all three branches of government at the state and local level thru bribe-taking & pay-offs; and the cost of crime in terms of lives lost and the HUGE assoc costs of police enforcement at all levels.

(regarding the latter, FDR, upon election to the Presidency, asked the Gov. of NY how many law enforcement personnel would be needed in NY State alone to successfully enforce Prohibition and was given the ans: 500,000--which sealed Prohibition's doom in FDR's eyes right then and there, according to contemporaneous accounts)

cokaygne said...

Virgil Xenophon, you're on to something. Utah is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Somehow, the Mormons got to settle there after being kicked out of the rest of the US, and, with events such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre they tried to keep out "gentiles". Wait until Romney gets to top the GOP ticket, then the media will fire away at those weird Mormons and would you really want one of those nut jobs in office as POTUS?

One thing they won't go into is Utah's social statistics compared to just about anywhere in the US. Utah is tops in most measures of physical health.There is a price for safety and security.

tree hugging sister said...

(By the way... are you watching that Ken Burns "Prohibition" series on PBS?)

Yes. And for Ken Burns to end on the note he did ~ choosing the fellow who spoke about Americans' embrace of personal liberty and resentment of government moral/personal dictates ~ seemed deliciously ironic, seeing as he helped put the biggest Government Nanny ever in the White House.

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