Sign up for updates in your city.
Justin Krebs's blog
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:56pm.
By now, the story is familiar: a few friends got together in a bar to talk politics. Friends brought their friends, nascent blogs told their readers, word-of-mouth drove liberals thirsty for company.
And Drinking Liberally was born.
From the backyard of Rudy's, the vision of promoting democracy one pint at a time spread across the country: to over 300 chapters, all 50 states and increasingly around the world. Our happy hours regularly host activists, traveling speakers and major candidates, proving that we're about more than the alcohol (in fact, former Senator and Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who is a recovering alcoholic, announced he will attend an upcoming DL meeting) -- we're about mixing social and political life, creating a cultural component to our progressive movement and building a community that welcomes veteran volunteers and political newcomers alike.
The story of the viral spread of DL used to amaze me, one of the founders who discovered that a host of folks were invested in making my organization bigger than I had imagined. It now sounds familiar.
What amazes me now isn't the newness of Drinking Liberally -- it's the longevity.
We've been around for seven years. Seven years ago, you had never heard of Barack Obama. Seven years ago, Al Franken hadn't even gone on Air America. Seven years ago, we didn't have iPhones.
We've been around longer than the Tea Party -- I'll be curious to see if they last. After all, the Reform Party didn't last that long. We have outlived the 527s that seemed ready to reshape politics in 2004. We have served more years than Donald Rumsfeld did as Bush's Secretary of Defense.
We're not the new kids on the block anymore. If you look at our chapters, you see that. Our Fayetteville, Arkansas, chapter hits its 4-year mark in August, and its host, Greg Leding, just won a primary for the state legislature. Our Des Moines chapter recently toasted its 5th Anniversary -- and can recall when Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd came to court their caucus support.
It feels a little astonishing to have gotten so old.
That said, we are still, sadly, a few months short of the Iraq War. We look forward to outliving that folly, and we pray it may be soon.
Despite growing out of our infancy, Drinking Liberally -- and the larger Living Liberally world it sparked -- aren't yet over-the-hill. We have plenty of growing to do -- and we're innovating as we continue to define our role in the progressive movement.
We invite you to come help us shape that role. Let us know what Drinking Liberally means to you. Or come to a chapter and tell us over a beer.
I'm told wool and copper are the traditional 7th Anniversary gifts. We'll settle for a toast. In seven years, we've gone from Bush to Obama, Hastert to Pelosi, Frist to Reid. It's not perfect, but we'll drink to seven more years headed the same direction.
[Drinking Liberally continues to meet every Thursday night at its original home: Rudy's on 9th Avenue between 44th & 45th Streets in Manhattan, from 7:30pm onward. On June 3rd, for the first hour, your first pint of Rudy's Red is on us. For other Drinking Liberally locations, visit: http://livingliberally.org/drinking/]
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 6:11am.
As the BP disaster continues to spread unresolved,
As Congress works on financial reforms to curb the worst excesses
And now that there's finally a course to work with the Pentagon
It's not a "takeover" every time the government does its job.
In fact, the only "government takeover" Obama really engineered
Vent a little, share a little, drink a little. Repeat.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 05/20/2010 - 7:26am.
In Kentucky, the GOP's "chosen one" for an open seat,
In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln now faces a run-off --
And people ooh & ahh that Specter lost the primary,
So you're in trouble when you're endorsed by the GOP,
Pundits shout: "Look out, incumbents!"
Tell me I'm wrong or toast that I'm right,
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 05/13/2010 - 7:07am.
In allowing more corporate money in elections,
The financial sector sunk our economy,
BP's steadily spreading oil slick shocked us
Obama inherited his office from a subprime President
But he needs to step up if he's going to turn
Share a toast to possibilities as your share the night
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 8:15am.
We all knew off-shore drilling was dirty business
We all knew the banks were on a binge of bad bets
We all know dangerous, xenophobic anger is out there,
It's tough to contain oil, corruption & hatred --
Yet we still haven't learned from precedents
Join us to pour out your heart & ideas
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 8:06am.
Goldman Sachs was betting against its clients
The GOP caters to the Tea Party anti-bank rhetoric
And the Dems who now come riding to the rescue
It's not just Lloyd Blankfein who's full of it.
Yet we may still get some real reforms out if it.
Two commodities we're ready to invest in:
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Tue, 04/27/2010 - 5:13pm.
Fresh off a debate in LA with George W. Bush (played by Laughing Liberally vet James Adomian), Congressman Alan Grayson offered a message to the good people of Living Liberally.
Thank you, Congressman -- and keep on fighting!
Though he won't make it person, we know Congressman Grayson is with us in spirit at this year's Living Liberally Annual Celebration -- this Saturday, MAY DAY, in New York City.
Come partake in this proud tradition of living -- and drinking -- liberally.
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 7:38am.
Goldman Sachs seemed on top of the world
Financial giants think they control us,
And we all believed we'd conquered the planet
Maybe that's Earth Day's message for Wall Street:
Happy Earth Day.
Toast the effort to regulate Wall Street
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Thu, 04/15/2010 - 7:48am.
While GOP leadership feigns anti-corporate anger
After Obama convenes a historic conversation
Once Justice Stevens announced retirement,
GOP obstructionism wastes our money & time,
This Tax Day, a lesson for the Tea Party:
Be Proud to Pay & toast to Invest-in-America Day
Submitted by Justin Krebs on Wed, 04/14/2010 - 8:20am.
Green Day has come to Broadway! The exclamation mark is not my own -- rather it's energy that's been punctuating the buzz around the new theatrical version of the album "American Idiot," originally released in the politically-charged election season of 2004. Every poster and promotional pitch seems to shout as though to let you know this will be really real, really fresh, really loud.
It was, in fact, very loud, which is fitting for a rock concert. The performers bounded and writhed and moshed and left every calorie they had to burn on the stage. There was something electric happening -- bright and flashy and moving -- and the angst they were wailing about mixed with shrieks of delight from enthusiasts in the audience.
Lots of electricity...but what was it charging? In the end, not much. The show does a fine job creating a through-line among the songs with light a touch: bits of monologue tell of suburban youths filled with rage and angst and wandering. Ultimately, though, the story isn't that interesting.
So the musical lives or dies by how you connect with the music -- and in my case, that reaction was ambivalent. Much of the time, I was more engaged by the visuals on the overwhelming number of televisions that dotted the scenery than by the lyrics. The charm and strength of the performers pokes through but at times my attention wandered -- not a good sign in a 95-minute event. The only song you leave humming is cleverly positioned as an encore number (I'll leave the "unpredictable" choice unsaid) so you walk out of the theater with a tune fresh in your mind.
My mixed reaction probably had to do with my own expectations. Part of me had expected the show to transport back to 2004. Sounds strange to be nostalgic for a time so recent? Yet that was a year of protest, of election fever, of feeling like we were campaigning, fighting and, yes, singing for the future of our country. I was ready to experience 2004 again.
Other than a video montage at the top, the show provided no such nostalgia. Which may be OK for its overall success -- how many people feel that strongly about a 6-year time machine? Interestingly, the audience members shouting the loudest were probably in high school in '04 -- for whom an opera of angst may be the most nostalgic feeling of all.
Chapter leaders... Please login here.
Subscribe to Blogging Liberally