Archive for the ‘wine’ Category
Some of the Clown Shoes beer labels, such as Tramp Stamp and Lubrication, are leading to lots of controversy. This got us to reading about the graphic designer for both. While we reserve judgment about the labels at issue, the blog post by the label designer for Clown Shoes is so good and vigorous that we wanted to cover it here. The designer of the label on the left is Stacey George. She is based in Massachusetts, and she talks about the issues in a July 6, 2011 post entitled “Sometimes, a Pipe is Just a Pipe.”
“Are Clown Shoes’ labels offensive?” Sure. Why not? Offensive is a subjective term. If you look at the labels and find yourself offended, there you go. Do you have the right to say so? Abso-friggin-lutely! Shout it from the highest mountain, or your Twitter account, or your brothers’ website, whatever your bullhorn is, use it, loud and proud. Here, let me loan you a sandwich board and a bell, you can be offended Town-Crier style, I got your back.
My labels for Clown Shoes—which were named Best Craft Beer Art of 2011 by PourCurator.com—are not illustrated with a sexist intent. For instance, a Tramp Stamp is a tattoo placed on the lower back of a woman to emphasize her sexuality. In Germany, they call it, Arschgeweih, meaning, “Ass Antlers.” Can you imagine if we had named a beer Ass Antlers!? We have nicknames for these tattoos because they have a purpose. The woman who has one is confident in her sexuality and she is enticing the viewer to appreciate her. A woman who is comfortable in her own skin and likes how she looks is a sexy woman. Sexy is not sexist. In fact, sexist is rarely sexy.
As a woman, and an artist, I have a hard time with [the] images being labeled chauvinistic. Chauvinism is an attitude of superiority over the opposite sex. I’m not designing women who are inferior, I’m designing women who celebrate who they are. So, who is bringing the inferiority? The viewer? The offended? It’s a complicated question.
Stacey George probably did not design the wine label on the right. But while we are appreciating Stacey’s work, and thinking about tramps, we wanted to include at least one more tramp-related label. Stamp du Tramp is bottled by Greg & Greg, Inc. of Sebastopol, California.
In the matter of lusty cougars, Peyton Imports was fairly early, with the Urban Cougar. Perhaps she is real, what with this site exhorting over a million members to: “Join CougarLife.com and meet great young guys before they’re snatched up.” Foreshadowing that this theme may be over-ripe, or ripe for a trademark lawsuit, Cougar Juice Vodka slinked into the bar a few months ago.
The MommyJuice label also happens to mention Facebook on the back label, prompting TTB to assert that “Information on Facebook and/or Twitter must be in compliance with all labeling and advertising regulations.”
Does the government check for political correctness when reviewing beer labels? Should they?
One option is to get into a snit and lay on the outrage. Another option is to learn from it. Does “ghetto” really deride or refer to one race only? Maybe, but not the one you may think of first. Here is the origin:
1610s, “part of a city to which Jews were restricted,” especially in Italy, from It. ghetto “part of a city to which Jews are restricted,” various theories of its origin include: Yiddish get “deed of separation;” … or It. borghetto “small section of a town” (dim. of borgo, of Germanic origin, see borough). Extended by 1899 to crowded urban quarters of other minority groups (especially blacks in U.S. cities). As an adjective by 1903 (modern slang usage from 1999). Ghetto-blaster “large, portable stereo” is from 1982.
Holy smokes, change really is afoot at TTB. I was startled to see these wine labels recently, with various and sundry famous politicians emblazoned all upon them, and not in the most flattering light. I suppose there is some extra latitude for parody- or caricature-type speech, and there certainly is or ought to be latitude as to political speech. But often in the past, TTB has disallowed presidentially-oriented labels. Just two years ago, the line was drawn here, as to President Obama, and this one seemed to go too far.
The abstraction, in these caricatures, seems to help, as does the absence of the full names. The Horizon Cellars Winery, of Siler City, North Carolina has a large series of the labels depicted above. We already pointed to various labels with Former President George Bush and Sarah Palin in the past, so today we elected to highlight Former Vice President Dick Cheney, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Former President Bill Clinton.
But there are other reasons to revel in these labels. Any discussion of Joe Biden would be embarrassingly remiss without a fond recollection of that storied day when Joe Biden washed his Trans Am, in cutoffs and no shirt, out back behind the White House.
We thought the Rumpmeister dress was pretty short, until we saw this attire (or lack thereof). The Cabernet label, on the left, pretty much speaks for itself. The Chardonnay label has more words, and they are no less risque than the images on the Cabernet label, though they are a bit more covered. The semi-covered words say:
MEN – NO SHIRT – NO SERVICE
WOMEN – NO SHIRT – FREE BEER
Beyond that, the verbiage on the right side says:
LIQUOR – IN THE – FRONT
POKER – IN THE – REAR
We are not sure whether it’s more funny, amusing, witty, or embarrassing. It’s a little difficult to believe these went right through, way back in 2004.