The Drunken Trade War Friday Open Thread

Doktor Zymm

Doktor Zymm

An expert at time travel*, Doktor Zymm also has the ability to move objects with her mind** and can breath underwater***.

*Forward only, at a preset rate
**Via her hands, usually
***When the water is contained in a glass

Doktor Zymm

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This is Dok, filling in for the Friday Open Thread.  This has been an eventful week, US politics-wise, and while I was thinking of doing a piece about John Jay, early Chief Justice.

I’m not gonna do that.  Instead, I’m going to repeat an unfounded rumor that the reason there’s no J St in DC is because the guy in charge of the street plan didn’t like John Jay.  Actually, it’s because street signs in those days were in cursive, and a cursive I and cursive J look too much alike, though he was pretty hated after the Jay Treaty.

“Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who won’t damn John Jay!! Damn everyone that won’t put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning John Jay!!!” -Actual DC Graffiti

And now, I’m gonna talk about the first ever official international trade war.  Do you like brandy?  Or French wine?

“You Goddamn Crapaud Crouton Frogs!  What kind of soap-dodging, clouf-booter, surrender monkeys are you?!”

-William of Orange, probably

So after his accession to the throne in 1688, William of Orange passed a series of tariffs on French goods, primarily brandy, while simultaneously encouraging domestic gin production.  In 1690, the government broke the distilling trade union of the day (the London Distillers’ Guild), decreed that gin was tax free, and shit was ON.  Chronic food shortages a century before combined with increased production methods and decreasing population growth contributed to low grain prices and higher wages.  As a result, farmers could make a better profit on their grain by distilling it, and city residents had extra money in their pockets to spend on booze!  Beer was familiar to England, hard liquor not so much.  Consumption of hard liquor among the working classes skyrocketed. Gin was served by the pint, because, duh, that was the portion size for alcohol.  What self-respecting person would pay decent money for something in a tiny glass?

One drink

Even worse than poor people getting super drunk, women were getting drunk too!  There were at least two confirmed cases of women drinking so much gin that they spontaneously combusted.  All that was left was a pile of ashes.  Never mind that these ladies were old and fairly rich and had a bunch of relatives waiting to inherit and nothing around them was even singed and the human body only burns at about 1200 C, they were totally lushes who combusted due to excessive gin consumption.  Gin became the devil drug of choice, much like opiods are today.  There were legit cases of horrible crimes committed to obtain gin, (the most lurid being the case of Judith Defour, a single mother who killed her own toddler to sell the kid’s clothes for gin), but for the most part it was an overblown moral panic.

Gin Guy James hawking his goods

By 1721, it’s estimated that 25% of London’s citizen were engaged in producing gin.  Eventually, over 2 million gallons a year, serving penny-drams to 7000 gin shops in London alone would be produced.  At the peak of the gin craze, 2.2 gallons a year would be consumed by the average citizen (averaged over ALL ages, even that there drunk baby).  By 1736, the government had decided that it’s previous protectionist trade policies encouraging the production of gin should be reversed, since it turns out that encouraging the majority of your population to be dead drunk most of the time is a bad idea.  This did not go over well with a populace which was pretty happy with their tipsy state.

People held mock funerals lamenting the death of ‘Madam Genever’ as gin was popularly known

The first gin act mandated a large tax on gin sales, as well as a large fee in order to license gin selling premises.  There were exactly 2 licenses ever taken out, and gin production and sales went underground.  In a lot of ways, this was an early English version of prohibition.  Gin quality went down, and was far more likely to be toxic.  Snitches, who would get 5 pounds for turning in an untaxed gin seller, were subject to violent reprisals.  A guy named Dudley came up with a sort of gin vending machine which made him rich.  The ‘puss and mew’ machine was a sort of wooden cat carving that distilleries would put over a far window.  The savvy consumer would speak his order, put his money in the cat’s mouth, and the dispenser would pour gin through a tube coming out the cat’s claw.  It was impossible to see both sides of the transaction, which made it proof against the local equivalent of the ATF.

This here cool cat will provide you with the driest martini of your life

Peak consumption occured in 1743, and it wasn’t until 1751 that gin consumption really went into decline.  In 1751, the second Gin Act came into effect.  The artist William Hogarth created the most classic depiction of the evils of gin v. the virtues of beer in a piece supporting the Gin Act, known as ‘Beer Street and Gin Lane’.  It seems that beer will make you paint masterpieces in the middle of the street, while gin is all fights and death and baby dropping.

Beer Street and Gin Lane -Hogarth

The Gin Act of 1751 was much more effective than its predecessor, with lower taxes and a more realistic licensing provision requiring gin to only be sold from properties worth at least 10 pounds/year.  While this may have helped, a reversal of many of the initial causes of the Gin Craze likely played a larger role.  The balances of power in Europe were shifting, and more importantly, grain prices finally recovered from their century long slump, meaning that distillation was no longer necessary as a means of garnering profit from cheap agricultural surpluses.  The government actually engaged in REVERSE protectionism, banning the use of domestic grain in distillation.

This is probably a best case scenario for the results of the current US trade war, but meh, it’s Friday, drink up and Cheers!

Doktor Zymm
Doktor Zymm
An expert at time travel*, Doktor Zymm also has the ability to move objects with her mind** and can breath underwater***. *Forward only, at a preset rate **Via her hands, usually ***When the water is contained in a glass
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litre_colaBrick MeathookMoose -The End Is Well Nighyeah rightMr. Ayo Recent comment authors
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litre_cola

Up early with the kid and now Zymm taught me something!

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

damn the edit ender.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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echo angry.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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yeah right

Is Sweden still playing?

We need something Swedish.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Spur; I don’t think you’ll use any of these, but what the hell, good luck in your search.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo loves the dick. (nothing wrong with that)

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55xQu9eIPIA

Mr. Ayo is so fat…. he sits AROUND the house.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Brocky
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URKoqVR4hmU

Mr. Ayo can count to 20.25.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Your mom might understand.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

I should call her.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

She’s busy.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTzcXSLjhI

Hey man, I don’t know what your parents were into, but this was very popular in 1968.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Davy The Fat Boy – Randy Newman

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Christie Fucking Brinkley in a goddamn Nissan – BACK THE FUCK OFF!

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Pk1KjL_pg

Prolly not the greatest marriage song, but you know…. honesty and whatnot.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Young bald pussy; I should get banned.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

um….tWBS owns the GIF.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Good point.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Spanky Datass
Spanky Datass

The AFL match is currently live on FS2 … CRIKEY!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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apparently I can’t post videos for shit.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

The text must be before the video link, sport.

You’ll do better next time I’m sure.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Your vast intelligence and great wit is always helpful.

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

I’m always wary when you make a post with only words.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh