My Little Pony Keg

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I love Google Images. You just never know what you’ll find and over the years I’ve found some truly odd images. And this has to be among the stranger finds. Apparently there are people obsessed with My Little Pony. I really shouldn’t be surprised, for pretty much anything you could name, people have turned their solitary obsession into a full-fledged hobby, with similar-minded people coming together from all over the globe. The internet has made this particularly easy, and I can only imagine that the sheer number of different groups, organizations, associations, clubs, etc. surrounding almost anything we could name, no matter how obscure, has exploded over the last decade. Anyway, I stumbled upon a My Little Pony imageboard — an internet forum — called Ponychan.

An entire thread titled “Alcohol Thread” began with “What is your drink of choice and why? Are you bastards even old enough to drink?” A fair question, given the only reason I am so very familiar with My Little Pony is because I have an 8-year old daughter. The thread includes images of ponies drinking beer and cider, as forum users express their favorite alcoholic drinks.

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My wife informs me — I have no idea how she knows this — that there is an entire subset of adult males who are into My Little Pony known as “Bronies.” That’s more than a little creepy.

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So here’s a few of the drinking ponies from the thread. I can only imagine the neo-prohibitionists would be going crazy if these were to see the light of day, emerging from the murky shadows of the internet. Children’s characters drinking? Oh, the horror!

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But I’ll raise toast to the ponies. Drunk ponies could only be more interesting than I remember them, having to endure their sober exploits with my daughter Alice. Thank goodness she’s moved past the little ponies, but sadly what’s she’s into now — iCarly, Victorious and the Winx Club — are hardly much better.

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Hokey Smokes! Cartoons Are Only For Kids?

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As a lifelong lover of all things drawn — comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, cartoons and animated films — there’s an argument that the neo-prohibitionist wingnuts make from time to to time that absolutely frys my bacon. And they’re at it again. The increasingly neo-prohibitionist group Alcohol Justice (AJ) is unhappy once more with Anheuser-Busch InBev (are they ever happy?), this time because they’re using — gasp! — cartoons to promote their association with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In Bud Light and UFC Push Beer to Kids with Comics, AJ makes the same tired argument they always do whenever anybody uses an image that’s been drawn in an advertisement. Here’s how they put it this time:

So how does a company that says it’s committed to not advertising to kids choose to spend millions of its marketing dollars? Get this: comic strips, posted on Facebook, targeting fans of mixed-martial arts fighting, also known as Ultimate Fighting Championships. As the primary sponsor of the brutal and offensive UFC, A-B InBev gets the Bud Light logo delivered directly to the computer screens of millions of kids worldwide. Moreover, they use the quintessential child-friendly format of comic strips to do it. The only way they could top this direct advertising to youth is if they plastered Sponge Bob SquarePants’ picture on Bud Light cans.

Well get this, comic strips and other animated fare is NOT JUST FOR KIDS. They never, ever have been. Yes, there are cartoons aimed at kids, but many, many are either for all ages or are for more mature people. People able to separate content from delivery, something that AJ is apparently incapable of, understand this. The folks that come up with these arguments must be the least fun people to be around, if they avoid anything that’s been animated because they believe it must be for kids only. Think what they’re missing.

But just a short history should convince even the most jaded neo-prohibitionist that comics have long been for all ages, and many were aimed at adults since they were first created. The very first comic strip, The Yellow Kid, began in newspapers in the last decade of the 19th century. It tackled social and political topics, and was for the adults who read newspapers. The first animated film, Gertie the Dinosaur, created by Windsor McCay in 1914, was similarly not exclusively kiddie-fare. McKay used it in his vaudeville act, which was not for kids.

All those Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry’s, Popeye’s and other cartoons we grew up watching Saturday mornings and after school began as the cartoon shown before the main attraction started at movie theaters. And we’re not talking about kiddie files, but all films. They were aimed at either the adults there to see an adult film or were for all ages (Disney being exception and the prime example of a studio that did more family-friendly stuff). That’s why there are lots of old Warner Brothers cartoons (and others) that are never shown on television when they repackaged them for TV, because their subject matter is seen as inappropriate for today’s youth.

Comic books in the 1950s covered a wide range of subjects, not just superheroes, but another wingnut wrote “Seduction of the Innocent,” a deeply flawed book that equated violence with reading comic books, and comic books were reduced to only kid-friendly stories (at least until the 1980s).

Try to watch Rocky & Bullwinkle or Beany & Cecil and not see all the adult political references. You’d have to be utterly clueless to not see that cartoons have never been the exclusive realm of children. Many mature adults love cartoons now, and have since people first started drawing them.

That AJ and other anti-alcohol folks claim this is, for me, more proof of how they’re willing to bend the truth, and common sense, to push their agenda. I don’t even like the UFC, or any type of fighting sports like boxing, etc. (except for the NFL), but just because they use a comic strip promoting it does not ipso facto mean they’re targeting kids. You’d have to be a child yourself to make, or swallow, that line of reasoning.

Another interesting tactic that AJ uses again here is claiming they’re not the only one outraged, when they state that “Culinary Workers Union recently sent a forceful letter to A-B InBev expressing disgust at the company’s ‘socially irresponsible behavior.’” Except that when you look at this letter, it’s also signed by AJ’s executive director Bruce Lee Livingston, meaning it’s more likely AJ’s letter, or at a minimum a joint letter. But that fact is conveniently left out of their press release, most likely because it would weaken their already questionable argument. As I said, I’m no fan of the UFC, or similar spectacles, and I tend to believe the world would be a better place if people didn’t enjoy violence quite so much, but any meaningful public discussion has to start by being honest. And starting that discussion by claiming that if anybody uses a cartoon then they’re only targeting kids, is hardly honest. Now I need a beer, and the Simpsons is on.

Beer Can Dads 2012

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I posted these last year a couple of weeks before Father’s Day, but figured today was a good day to take another look at them. Last year, the good folks at Every Guyed designed eight beer can dads.

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Here was the idea:

To celebrate Father’s Day, EveryGuyed and Moxy Creative House have teamed up once again to deliver the second installment of the ‘Cheers!’. This time we had creative director Glenn Michael raise a glass — and his brush — to 8 iconic animated dads, re-envisioning them as beer cans.

When you were a kid, Father’s Day was a pretty boring affair. Now you’re of age, and all of a sudden you have the chance to do something with your dad that he’ll actually enjoy: share a cold one together.

See if you can guess all of the cartoon dads. You can see all eight of them in the slideshow above. The answers can found at the bottom of last year’s post.

Now I want my own dad can. What would yours look like?

Beer Can Dads

fathers
With Father’s day less than two weeks away, I thought I’d share this fun project done by the folks at Every Guyed, where they designed eight beer can dads.

fathersday-cartoondads

Here’s the idea:

To celebrate Father’s Day, EveryGuyed and Moxy Creative House have teamed up once again to deliver the second installment of the ‘Cheers!’. This time we had creative director Glenn Michael raise a glass — and his brush — to 8 iconic animated dads, re-envisioning them as beer cans.

When you were a kid, Father’s Day was a pretty boring affair. Now you’re of age, and all of a sudden you have the chance to do something with your dad that he’ll actually enjoy: share a cold one together.

See if you can guess all of the cartoon dads. The answers are below, just under the slideshow, where you can see the eight individuals posters for each beer can dad.

Now I want my own dad can. What would yours look like?

  1. Homer Simpson
  2. Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
  3. Fred Flintstone
  4. Papa Smurf
  5. Popeye
  6. George Jetson
  7. Mr. Incredible
  8. Mufasa (The Lion King)

You can even buy any of the prints as a poster at Moxy Creative House.

Buffalo With Buffalo: Beer!

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I confess I don’t “get” the humor in this 2006 cartoon. I imagine there’s an inside joke here that would be apparent if I was a regular reader of Buffalo with Buffalo, a comic strip written occasionally by a Buffalo, New York blogger. But it is all about beer, so I thought I’d share. If you think you understand the joke, please leave a comment with your best guess.

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The Flintstones Drink Busch Beer

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I’m an unabashed lover of animation, which is why I always bristle when the neo-prohibitionists invariably complain when a cartoon is used to sell beer. They always argue that cartoons appeal only to children, and seem to forget that adults love them, too. Many of the most famous cartoons we love were originally made for adults, to be shown before feature films at the theater in the days before television. It wasn’t until the advent of TV, I’d argue, that the split began between cartoons for kids and for adults.

Anyway, I recently was looking for and found a bootleg DVD of old Quisp & Quake commercials, which were created by Jay Ward, famous for Rocky & Bullwinkle, among much else. And, yes, I am that much of an animation geek. Anyway, I also discovered at the same website, something I hadn’t previously known about: a Hanna-Barbera made Flintstones cartoon done in 1967 for an Anheuser-Busch distributor meeting or convention. I promptly ordered that as well.

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It’s a little over 19 minutes, shows some upcoming television and radio spots for Busch Bavarian Beer, but also includes a mini-Flinstones story, too, that begins when Fred and Barney lose their jobs and go to a bar to drink Busch beer. It appears aimed at distributors, and possibly retailers, to show what advertising will be used in 1967 to support the brand and help it continue to be successful. There’s some great old adspeak in the video, where the narrator talks about “advertising that moves the consumer to Busch” with what they call — and they say in hushed tones implying it’s a new term — “Target Advertising.” But here’s my favorite. “We used words that beer drinkers understood.” That had me laughing out loud. What exactly are the words that beer drinkers understand? Are they small ones? Simple ones? Ones without too many syllables?

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After a few minutes of a Flintstones story, going to the bar, then back home, the boys return again to the bar. The bar’s name is actually “Tavern-Type Inn Bar Grill Lounge Pub Saloon.” They agree to take over for the bartender and serve some Busch beer, then watch a video within the video that’s aimed at the distributors and talks about advertising plans for 1967. Apparently last year’s slogan was “you can’t say beer better than Busch” and the new one will be “when you’re due for a beer, Busch does it!.”

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I think my favorite part of the video is when the beer wagon comes out of the A-B gate, pulled by Clydes-dinos. After the video, the 5:00 whistle sounds and Fred and Barney have to go back to work serving Busch to the after work rush. When they’re done, they talk about what hard work it was, and they throw out this bon mot, which must have delighted the crowd. “It takes know how to work in the beer business,” to which Fred replies “yeah, and we got no know how, no how.” Eventually, their boss from the gravel pit, Mr. Slate, comes in the bar and they get their jobs back, of course, wrapping up the story arc from the beginning.

It’s a fun cartoon, especially for the beer geek, and I can’t imagine how expensive it must have been to get Hanna-Barbera, one of the premiere animation studios at that time, to do an industrial film for them. Happily, you don’t have to go out and buy a copy of it like I did, but can watch it right here, because I found it on YouTube, separated into two parts. Enjoy.

Part 1: 9:22

Part 2: 9:59