If You Don’t Like My Fire, Don’t Cite Genesis

The Devil Drink Once upon a time, our mutual host and gourmand Zoe prevailed upon me, communicating through the means of a bottle of bourbon, a half a dozen bummed B&Hs and her Judas Priest cassette compilation played on a held-together-with-sticky-tape 1990s Walkman with flat batteries, to come and give a fortnightly column of advice and agony auntery. Glad to, I said then. My pleasure.

Well, I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further.

It’s been a while since I rocked this progressive dinner party, and your pleas for advice, I regret, have gone without succour. I can only hope you haven’t been seeking out alternative sources of wisdom or—worst of all—attempting dangerous self-help. Dame Mint Pattie in her own special way has been doing My work and I salute her for it.

From now on, though they might be your questions, it’s My timetable.

Are we allowed to firebomb those responsible for brewing overseas brands here eg Becks and Heineken? I mean: what’s the point?

Honestly, I am not going to stop you doing it. If arson’s your thing, man, as the prophet said, let me stand next to your… fire.

I’m a bit unclear though on your motives. Are you offended by their market position, as a supporter of smaller brewers? By their pretentions to premium-beer status over other more worthy local labels—thinking in particular of the rather good Bluetongues? By the cultural imperialism of brands, nestling everywhere, settling everywhere, making connections everywhere, as Naomi Klein might have channelled Marx? Or is it just for shits ‘n’ giggles (as a wise man once noted, an underrated motive for terroristic violence)?

What’s the point of international brewing licences? I’d say it was making a recognisable consistent and reliable (if bland) product with a profitable brand. My principle is this: if the contents do the job, the label on the outside is just a bit of paper. It’s all going to the same place (well, one of two places) in the end anyway, so why be hung up on appellations? A rosé by any other name would… well, you know.

I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just saying, in all things, do unto others as you would be done by—then light that petrol bomb and fling it with My blessing.

What would Jesus drink? I know that one may not be so close to your heart, Dark One, but I’m curious as to what sort of grapes they were growing way back when, given lots of other crops have been bred into such different forms. Red for the most part I guess, but for Christ’s sake I hope it was better than communion wine or Kosher wine today.

What am I, FDB, Wikipedia?

Regarding the question of what Jesus drank: the traditional story (John 2:10-12) isn’t so much evidence about what Christ drank as about how:

…‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee…

It’s a story about being good to your guests. Jesus, way cool as he was, was illustrating the correct party-throwing procedures. The guy might have been a self-righteous pain-in-the-arse cultist, but he knew about catering.

Please note also the quantities involved in the wedding.

We’ve got these six (let’s say) 25-gallon jars. That would make how many bottles of wine? Well, 75 cl. to a bottle, 56.8 cl. to a pint, 8 pints to a gallon, so that makes 454.4 cl. to a gallon; so 150 gallons (from the six stone jars) equals 68,160 cl. of wine, divided by 75 cl. per bottle, equals 908.8 – round off to 900 – 900! – bottles of wine! Let’s say that, like today, there are around 100 guests at the reception. That comes to nine – nine! – bottles of wine per guest. Talk about binge drinking! And – the punchline of the story – by producing this excellent vintage in such copious quantities, Jesus “revealed his glory.”

DD, re the burning bush bit. Isn’t that the work of the Almighty? As I recall it was part of His campaign to impart an insight or two to Elijah. Credit where credit is due etc.
The Feral Abacus

Moses, Feral Abacus. Credit where credit is due, etc.

 The Devil Drink answers your curiosities, satisfies your disagreements, and lays down the law on drinkers’ etiquette. Your questions for the next, irregular, edition may be asked in comments below or anonymously to thedevildrink@yahoo.com.au The sage advice of columns past can be found here.


10 thoughts on “If You Don’t Like My Fire, Don’t Cite Genesis

  1. Hey, Jesus was way cool.

    My MO is to fill eskies with CUB dross and hide a slab of something nice and a bottle of gin for when folks start leaving. Clearly the big fella had much more class.

    I know I could have gone to aunty wiki DD, but don’t you think that’s selling yourself short?

  2. Hey DD, i don’t hold much truck with newfangled literature like Genesis, as for those Jesu stories that you have referred to above, all i can say is that speculative fiction has come a long way since Nicea and 322ad.

    In the Mesopotamian epic, Gilgamesh, Enkidu is introduced to us as naked and wild. He is ‘tamed’ through a combination of beer and the erotic arts of a temple priestess. My questions are these, is being tamed an unavoidable consequence of drinking beer or are the attentions of a highly trained priest or priestess also necessary for the taming process? will i avoid being tamed by sticking to wine and spirituous liquors? and finally, does the elevation of filthy lucre to godhead status mean that accountants are the new priest and priestesses, and should i let my children date one?

  3. Back when I was in the Netherlands a month ago young(ish) people would be embarrassed to drink Heineken – cheap shite your father would drink!

    A marvel of marketing it came to be seen here by some as a premium drink. Fosters too – who the hell drinks blue cans these days even at a tradies BBQ? Shit Mountain Goat fridays at the factory is mainly tradies.

  4. FXH – cultural cringe, maaaan.

    When aussies hear that such and such is “European Country X’s favourite beer” they forget that European Country X is probably just as full of pissheads with no class as any other place.

    My thing lately has been buying the only beer I can find from countries whose beer I’ve never tried. The theory being that if some tiny struggling piss-poor nation gets it together to export something, it might be close to their best.

    Latest success – Bedele from Ethiopia. Sort of pils-y, honey-ey, yummy-y.

  5. I’ve just remembered a question that came up a while ago in discussion with dogpossum about the whole ‘only cook with what you’d drink’ debate. She was told by a bottle shop attendant that it was a myth, that you could put any old vinegar in your cooking. Would be interested to know your thoughts DD.

  6. Dear Devil,

    how does one balance the intense pleasure of quantities of extremely fine home brewed beer available for the drinking at one’s pleasure with the many – MANY – accompanying hours of discussion on matters such as sparging, yeast harvesting and the colonisation of the small boy’s wardrobe for beer conditioning?

  7. Dearest Zoe, might I suggest earplugs and a faint smile? and ikea (for the cupboards you’ll need)?

    I hate to think what sparging is, actually.

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