4 drinks (or is it 5?) to make that Hitler birthday party a success

As much as I doubt any of my fellow inebriates would celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday today, I thought I’d better provide some booze suggestions for any party planners drifting through this space today. After all,  if you fit into any of the celebratory categories listed below, you probably need some help.

As impossible as it was to find beverages commensurate with the occasion and/or the ideological enthusiasm involved, I do have a few choice reviews that might do in a pinch for anyone wearing a party hat labeled Mein Führer. Without further ado, the categories:

  1. You believe the Holocaust did not happen.

    Offensive but impossible to take seriously


  2. You do believe the Holocaust happened, and you think it was awesome.

    Redolent of chicken coop


  3. You entertain both premises simultaneously while you await evidence not yet provided by 60 years of historical scholarship.

    For people with incongruous tastes and ideas


  4. In addition to evincing skepticism about the Holocaust (while applauding it), you dispute evolution, anthropogenic global warming, and the Big Bang, along with the absurd corollary that the earth exceeds 6,000 years of age.

    For those who need no assistance with mind alteration


I trust the selected doubleplusgood beverages will capture and reflect your enchantment with Hitler, not to mention get you into a mellow space to appreciate this video of the late Christopher Hitchens effortlessly disemboweling both John Metzger and his dad. Cheers.

And because, let’s face it, I’ve been monumentally unfair to the undeserving brewers and vintners depicted above*…a bonus beverage.

Bottoms up, Neo-Nazis!

*who have, to my knowledge, absolutely no association or sympathy with the neo-Nazi movement


My Fellow Inebriates,

I promised one of my mum’s Facebook friends that I would weigh in on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. But first I have to disclaim a bit:

  • I’m no expert on religious relics. I’m not sure there are any bears in the field.
  • This isn’t a sindonology forum, although admittedly the topics get a little loose.
  • I am totally freaked out by religious artifacts, especially wraps for the dead.
  • I was completely hosed when I offered to comment.

But here goes.

We still don’t know definitively how old the shroud is. Three teeny pieces of it were sent to three separate labs for radiocarbon dating; in 1989 Nature pronounced its age “AD 1260-1390, with at least 95% confidence.” This was a tough pill to swallow for those who believe it to be Jesus’s burial wrap, so they disputed the findings, suggesting that the wrong pieces of the garment (medieval repair patches perhaps) had been sent to the lab and that other, better pieces (which could not be spared) would have yielded a much older date—say, AD 30. Enough criticism was generated that the issue could be labeled a controversy, and so it’s all up in the air.

I know this is an awfully dumb question, but why don’t they send some more fibers for carbon dating? Some better fibers? I know they don’t want to wreck the shroud, but it’s really big! It’s bigger than a beach towel. And then everybody could stop arguing about its age—the biggest piece of the puzzle.

The latest scientific buzz on the shroud is that its image could have been made only by an electromagnetic discharge—a camera obscura effect that arguably could not have been achieved by any known mechanical method at the time, whatever time it was.

I thought I would contact Christopher Hitchens for a quote on the issue but it turns out he’s dead of pneumonia following a very public battle with stage IV (“there is no stage V”) esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is a major bitch; it claimed the grandfather I never knew way back in the eighties when Madonna first started warbling away on MTV and before the Shroud of Turin got carbon-dated.

A lot of theists are speculating where Hitchens has ended up. Some of the happier, nicer characters posit that if he repented in the last second of life, he could very well be enjoying Johnnie Walker Black Label in the sky right now. It’s a very comforting vision, especially given what a friendly mixer Black Label makes, with its introductory, welcome-to-scotch aromas of wood grain, butter, fruit and just a touch of peat. For anyone who’s not sure about scotch, Johnnie Walker is a good starting point: softer and more drinkable than some of the more peaty single-malt whiskies. Hitchens called it “the best blended scotch in the history of the world.” Humans have been making booze of various kinds since the beginning of time, so that’s a decent accolade.

Hitchens’s death is especially poignant, leaving me as it does with a sumptuous pile of good reading that has suddenly been rendered all the more finite. If only I had some Johnnie Walker Black Label to go with it.