Rum Bums Roil PC Sissies: Bruce, Hicks, Kinison & Maher long gone
Where have you gone Lenny Bruce? Bill Hicks? Sam Kinison? Bill Maher? They’re all dead (especially that last one) and so is the rebellion they once fought in. I’m not going to claim total affinity for everything these smug malcontents ever uttered, but you can’t argue that they didn’t define a lot of what we have come to see as comedy’s cultural importance – that is, identifying the establishment, calling it out for its various hypocrisies and then spitting straight in its eye to get attention . That was their stock in trade, and they routinely filleted any previously unquestioned thought or deeply held belief, mercilessly attacking it’s weak points causing even the most devout to take a second look. They did damage, to be sure, but they also forced people to think. Boy that didn’t last long.
These days supposedly “edgy” comedians spend far more time defending “the establishment” than actually questioning it. Gone are the suspicions of old, replaced by snide chides directed at the “paranoid knuckle dragging masses” supposedly too dumb to realize the state is really their friend. In a weird way, I guess it makes sense. Their age group are the ones running things now. The Puritan squares of the 50’s and 60’s are either out of power or dead and it’s the one-time cool kids perched high in the driver’s seat. Thing is, they have even less patience (and a way worse sense of humor) than their predecessors did. Just try ridiculing any of their deeply held beliefs – I dare you. These supposed free-thinkers invented the insanity of political correctness.
So color me tickled pink when I see a normally skittish consumer product willing to step unafraid into the face of the pushy PC and push back. Bundaberg Rum is an Australian rum that supposedly originated due to local sugar mills having an abundance of waste molasses. First produced in 1888, Bundaberg rum ceased production only twice due to fires (the second of which caused rum from the factory to spill into the nearby river - glub, glub, yum!)
Recently they ran an ad that was as hilarious as it was ludicrous. In it, we’re out on a golf course with a pair weekend warriors who come face to face with a most difficult of lies – little white ball by huge crocodile. Clearly rattled, our hacker announces “I’ll just drop one over here…” Not so fast. A shout is heard – “DROP NOTHING!” The music spikes and a band of anachronisms race onto the green in a car resembling Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. “If we, a band of sugar millers can invent Bundaberg Rum as an ingenious solution to our horrible molasses surplus than surely you sir can remove this horrible beast from your favorable lie.” The man’s handle-bar mustachio-ed assistants then produce a golf club, remove the head leaving a hollow shaft and snap it promptly into the hand of the fear addled golfer. Putting a single, white tee into the chamber our duffer blow-darts it at the croc – piercing it right between the eyes. Then, one beat, two beats – BOOM! The crocodile explodes into meaty fireworks. The apparent leader of the ancient millers raises his glass in toast – “Top shelf thinking” as they all cheer “Huzzah” while their adopted golfer plays his favorable lie amidst the smoldering ruins. Funny. Very funny.
But here’s where it gets good. Supposedly someone protested. Now, I don’t know this, but it’s not too much of a stretch to think that someone might get wound up enough to moan about something. Whether they did or not, Bundaberg claimed such and immediately released a follow up ad addressing said attack with the Chairman from the first ad offering his apologies.
“It has come to our attention that some groups have gone off like a frog in a sock at the thought that we at Bundaberg Rum would actually blow up a real live crocodile while making an advertisement. I am here to tell you that nothing of the sort would ever transpire. The crocodile in the ad was not harmed in the slightest. Unfortunately, the next day it died – of natural causes. But take heart, a piece of him will live on in each of us forever.” The camera pulls back to reveal the Chairman’s burly assistants rotating the croc on a spit. “More marinade!” he shouts. Take that you PC parvenus. Perfect.
Then, going that extra step further – they release another ad, offering a second apology. Apparently, some have suggested their first apology was less than genuine. The Chairman again goes to great lengths to put the notion of their insincerity to rest, branding such an affront poppycock – just as we pull back to reveal the nicest set of crocodile luggage you’ll ever see. The Chairman offers a smirk, along with some nervous laughter. Even perfect-er.
What’s happened to us when the only folks with canastas big enough to poke holes in PC group-think are profit-driven liquor distillers? Where are the laser-sighted comedians risking arrest by challenging societal elites and their manufactured mores? Sadly, I think they’re all as dead as that massive croc on the spit. Truly, Bill Maher should be spinning in his grave. And that’s some top shelf thinking indeed.
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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States