Sunday, November 30, 2008

Repeal Day: Myths & Facts

Guess what day is quickly approaching? (Don't glance at the title of this post; it'll ruin the surprise.)

That's right, Repeal Day is the day which is quickly approaching! Also known as the Happiest Day of the Year Day!

All too sadly, though, many people aren't aware of the existence and/or meaning of this special day. Here, for your educational benefit, is the perfect primer for those who wish to learn more about Repeal Day, organized in a convenient Myths & Facts format.

Let's get right to it.

Myth: Repeal Day recognizes the expected repeal by President-elect Obama of the so-called Bush Tax Cuts.
Fact: Repeal Day celebrates the 21st Amendment to the United States' Constitution, an amendment whose sole purpose was to *repeal* a previous amendment to the United States' Constitution, namely, the 18th one, which had imposed a nationwide Prohibition of alcohol on an unsuspecting citizenry.

Myth: Repeal Day occurs on the day of the passage of the 21st Amendment, December 4th.
Fact: Repeal Day occurs on the day of the passage of the 21st Amendment, December 5th.

Myth: Repeal Day was invented by Dewar's, because their Repeal Day homepage is the first one to pop up after a google search of the words "repeal day."
Fact: Dewar's has done great work in spreading the word about this holiday, but Repeal Day was, in fact, invented by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a bartender/blogger (Can there be a more noble profession? No. There can not.) from Oregon. Mr. Morgenthaler also serves as possibly the most famous person to ever comment on The Daily Snowman.

Myth: There is one--and only one--way to celebrate Repeal Day.
Fact: Much like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, there is no wrong way to celebrate Repeal Day. The dominant trope of the day is freedom. The 21st Amendment returned to this nation an essential part of its freedom: it would be contrary to the spirit of the day to dictate the form your celebration should take. As Mr. Morgenthaler states in the blog post announcing this glorious day, "There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can."

Myth: Only United States citizens may celebrate Repeal Day, since their country was the one puritanical enough to actually enact Prohibition.
Fact: Repeal Day knows no boundaries. Let's say that a Canadian is living in the US on a student visa. Does he not benefit just as much from this constitutional freedom? Does a visiting European businesswoman not appreciate a cold beer after a long day of meetings? In short, anyone who can take advantage of the Great Repeal may--nay, should--celebrate the 21st Amendment.

Myth: Repeal Day is so important that even underage folks should celebrate.
Fact: Repeal Day is not about alcohol: it's about freedom. Alcohol still existed during Prohibition; what we celebrate on December 5th is the freedom to legally enjoy alcohol. Any Repeal Day action which violates the legality of alcohol tramples upon the very ideals which we now cherish. Similarly, Repeal Day is not a day to get fall-over drunk, leading to majorly stupid decisions. Although reenacting Prohibition isn't exactly on the bargaining table today, irresponsible consumption only aids the cause of our enemies. May they one day be shot out of town on a 200 year-old trebuchet.

Myth: There are no Repeal Day mottos.
Fact: There are tons of Repeal Day mottos. For example, the Dewar's Repeal Day site lists the following as suitable mottos/toasts: "To the Constitution!"; "To the 21st Amendment!"; "Stay Wet!"; "Remember the 5th of December!"; "To Carrie Nation!"; "Here's to the Repeal!"; "Happy Days are Here Again!" (For further Repeal Day celebration guidelines, explore the above linked-to Dewar's site.)

Myth: Prohibition had no long-term effects on the beer industry in America.
Fact: We are just now overcoming the beer-based trauma induced by Prohibition. I'll let The Brew Site explain: "And while Prohibition applied to all forms of alcohol, the effect it had on the American beer industry was especially pronounced; the only breweries that were able to survive were the megabreweries and that was only by diversifying into other fields. This essentially set back the beer industry until the 1970s, when the homebrew and craft beer movements were revived. So crack open and enjoy a microbrew or homebrew for Repeal Day!"

Myth: It is impossible to know which states voted on the 21st Amendment.
Fact: Even wikipedia has this information. South Carolina voted against the 21st Amendment on December 4, 1933. Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North and South Dakota, and Georgia have not ratified this Amendment, but it doesn't really matter because the Amendment was already passed nationally. Utah, on that fateful December 5th, cast the deciding vote in favor of the Repeal. Who would've thought that Utah would be the state that put an end to Prohibition? I certainly would not. We should probably start a Repeal Day pilgrimage to Utah to celebrate. I'm sure Utahians would love that.

Myth: There is no appropriate The Simpsons episode to watch on Repeal Day.
Fact: There is always an appropriate The Simpsons episode for every occasion or life milestone. For Repeal Day, I'd recommend "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment," the eighteenth episode of the eighth season.

That makes 10 Myths and 10 Facts. That should be enough to get you started. Add your own Repeal Day Myths & Facts to the comments.

And remember: Celebrate the Freedom, the Freedom to Celebrate!

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