Just Above Sunset
February 27, 2005 - Political Differences and Lager and Stout and Ale

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John Cleese, the British comic actor, wrote this some time ago and it was going around the web last week -



By John Cleese


To the citizens of the United States of America,


In the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.


Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. (Except Utah, which she does not fancy.)


Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.


And he suggests and number of rules to be introduced immediately.  Some of them? 

  • You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise". You will learn that the suffix 'burgh is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary". Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed". There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.
  • There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize".

Not so bad – but these?


  • You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  • All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  • You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps". Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.
  • The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer", and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager". The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Knat's Urine", with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine". This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.
  • You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

Click on the link for the full list, which ends with - Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.


That’s all pretty cheeky.  But my friends slipped the political and social stuff and honed in on the real issue – those comments about beer.


From Ric in Paris –


Brit beer = caca

Budweiser, '404' in Britain

Hey Cleezy, tell us about your pommy swill!


   - Montparnasse Republic Club, Daguerre Unit


PS - To American readers - be glad Cheezy isn't proposing French beer. Brewed garlic fiss-water in dirty glasses. Hah!


From Vince in upstate New York –


Is it true that Pilsen is the only province - globally - where U.S. Budweiser is prohibited by law - and thus not available - the one exception on the planet?


Brit's DO have a lager or two, as well as steeper stouts...


But just think, you could be at those high Rocky altitudes drinking U.S. yellow water - ultimate H2O - known as Coors!  Zappa had a song I recall about not eating yellow snow - French have nothing over that!


Take me back to Pilsen!


Our Wall Street attorney who has recently played Carnegie Hall adds this –


When I attended the Aspen Music Festival back in 1976, Coors was affectionately known as “bunny piss.”


And is it true, Vince, that somewhere Budweiser is prohibited by? 


Anheuser-Busch Takes `Budweiser' Dispute to Human Rights Court


Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Anheuser-Busch Cos., the world's largest brewer, won the right to challenge a Czech rival at the European Court of Human Rights over the "Budweiser'' name.


Anheuser-Busch is appealing a 2001 decision by Portugal's Supreme Court, which ruled that Budejovicky Budvar NP has the right to use the Budweiser name under a 1986 treaty between the Czech Republic and Portugal. Anheuser on Jan. 11 asked the human rights tribunal to rule on the case, arguing the Portuguese court infringed its "peaceful enjoyment'' of the trademark.


"This complaint poses serious factual and legal questions'' that require "a thorough investigation,'' the Strasbourg, France- based court said in a Feb. 1 statement. The court made its decision public today.


The case is the first trademark dispute accepted by the European Court of Human Rights, Roderick Liddell, a court spokesman, said in an interview. Neil Jenkins, a trademark lawyer at Bird & Bird in London, said the approach is unusual enough to indicate Anheuser-Busch may not have a strong legal case.  ...


The full story, if you click on the link, is amusing.  Why did the case end up in the European Court of Human Rights, of all places? 


And it goes on and on - and the web makes it worse!


See National Law Journal - January 25, 1999 


Complicating matters is that trademark rights are based on geography: A business can have the right to use a name within a specific locality, but no farther. The Czech town of Budweis has for centuries brewed a beer called "Budweiser." Its site is at www.budweiser.cz. It retains the right to use that name within the Czech Republic for its beer. Elsewhere, the rights to the name belong to the junior trademark user from St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch, which brews a slightly better-known Budweiser whose site is at www.budweiser.com.


But such concurrent uses, based on geographic borders, vanish on the Web.


Oh my!


Vince responds –


Didn't realize it was still actively a thorny issue - here in the 21st century.  Good taste never dies, eh?


And I get to enjoy the oldest lager flavor - Pilsner Urquell - here in the Rochester courtesy of the parent of Miller Beer - go figure!  Who laughs last?


It is all very odd.  With one side of the family Czech and the other side Slovak, the editor of Just Above Sunset keeps an old beer bottle around - Pilsner Urquell, with the little letters that say “Made in Czechoslovakia” – a reminder of the days before the Velvet Divorce. 


What was John Cleese saying just now?




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....