Ssshhhuuuusshh – Don’t Mention Cascazilla!!!

Oh dear.

Toho Co., Ltd. is responsible for crafting the giant monster’s original cinematic adventure back in 1954. The creature’s enemy, the robotic Mechagodzilla, was brought to life in 1974. Not surprisingly, the company isn’t exactly thrilled with having these characters ripped off in the US. According to The Daily Meal, Toho has taken issue with the products manufactured by New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company. Apparently the Godzilla creators feel that Mechahopzilla beer violates a few copyright laws. As a result, the company has filed a lawsuit against the brewer. The folks at Toho reportedly filed the lawsuit after the brewing company decided to ignore requests to halt the manufacturing of Mechahopzilla beer.

Yikes!! What about that beer from Ithaca? You know, the one whose saving grace now, as Craig noted two years ago, might be the fact that Ithaca is the site of Cascadilla Falls. But who knows. Anyone can sue anyone, right? I’ve been enjoying Cascazilla on a regular basis for over eight years now but I have to admit that were it to be called something else it would be just as tasty. Which does put a lot of beer branding in context, no? I mean is it one thing to get fetishistic over “lambic” but is there anything intrinsically related between any particular beer and any particular word? I think not.

Beer words are wonderful. They are ancient and monosyllabic. Guttural and descriptive. But for the most part they are irrelevant, aren’t they. A beer by any other name is just as sweet. No?

One thought on “Ssshhhuuuusshh – Don’t Mention Cascazilla!!!”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Alan – September 11, 2013 10:16 PM
    See, there is the brewer, the drinker and the beer itself. What is the name each gives the beer?

    Craig – September 11, 2013 10:20 PM
    I don’t think it’s going to help that the label for Cascazilla has pictured on it, an irradiated and mutated lizard that shall remain nameless.

    Alan – September 11, 2013 10:33 PM
    But that’s what you see, you know, around town, right? Lizards blocking up the line at Collegetown bagels. Dragons filling the pool at Buttermilk Falls.

    Jeff Alworth – September 12, 2013 1:25 PM

    I believe I’m well enough on record so that I can skip the dissertation, but I will put in a vote of dissent. Words have meaning and they matter at a deep level.

    Alan – September 12, 2013 4:53 PM
    I think you are not well enough known that you might want to tie your position into this conversation. After all, rose by any other name is a well understood concept.

    Jeff Alworth – September 13, 2013 12:53 PM
    Well, you and I have wrangled on this enough that I thought it had become tedious. But maybe not. Language is a way we construct meaning. Words have associations and are one of the interpreters we use to order reality. Profanity has power because we imbue those words with transgression. Fights usually get started with words, and sometimes words have the power to quell them. Words use metaphors and point to meaning indirectly, too. We think in part the way we talk.

    Even in a more mundane way, words are a collection of agreements. We use words as a set of markers to describe things we all agree about. The story of Babel is useful because it shows what happens when those agreements collapse. In the scrum of life, people are perpetually trying to shape the meaning of words for their own purposes. Companies trademark words to restrict their use and–more importantly–to fix their meaning.

    The lambic thing was important to me because the word describes an extremely specific beer that includes origin and method. If we agree that it’s all whatever, call beer good old ol and let it be, lambic becomes a generic. It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s babel. For the most part, I don’t care about commercial interests. Companies can try to restrict language for commercial use, and god bless them. But I am not obliged to let their money do my talking.

    This discussion here is a classic debate about meaning. If words really did have no value, I don’t think we’d be having it.

    Alan – September 13, 2013 7:05 PM
    Great opening line, Jeff. More useful were that the discussion.

    The discussion here is about the mutability of a brand. Surely you are not suggesting with that high levle stuff that the broad brush of potential meaning in style equally applies with brand. I mean I acknowledge (ie “…it is one thing…”) that there is a core of reality in any fetish – in the sense that a shoe is a shoe – but when we can apply the additional adjectives “new and improved” to,something we know we are walking in shallow waters, right?

    Jeff Alworth – September 14, 2013 10:46 PM
    Right there at the end you widen the funnel to capture all beers and their related names–and thus my commentary. But this?

    but when we can apply the additional adjectives “new and improved” to,something we know we are walking in shallow waters, right?


    Alan – September 15, 2013 8:03 AM
    OK – you are keen to miss the point, got it.

    Jeff Alworth – September 15, 2013 5:54 PM
    Actually, I’m working with the text. I think you are unwilling to cop to your own digression there in black and white.

    Alan – September 15, 2013 7:43 PM
    Ok then, let’s use math:

    A. “wort” = X
    B. “lambic” ≅ X
    C. “Cascazilla” < X X being a final fixed objective single meaning within beer world. B allows for fetishism. A cannot. C is pointlessly fetishized being devoid of actual meaning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *