Friday, June 13, 2008

Nectar of the Gods

It appears that Anheuser-Busch will be taken over by a Belgian/Brazilian conglomerate, which is yet another milestone in the dismantling of the illusion of American invulnerability. We're talking about one of the core brands of national identity, especially for a large swathe of Middle American working-class men who treat Budweiser as a near-sacrament.

I wonder what they would think of this advertisement from the early 1900s that features the Rape of Ganymede with the Anheuser-Busch eagle in place of the pansexual supreme deity Zeus? The first example of target marketing (the ad was placed in a theater magazine)?

Or this ad, in which we see the Budweiser beer wagon emerge triumphantly bathed in the rays of the rising sun like Helios and his flaming chariot? I love the opening line, "Here comes the king/here comes the big number one," as we get a eyeful of Sol-Helios-Apollo- Horus. 

Coincidence? Maybe.

But did I mention that Busch Gardens Europe has a roller coaster called "Apollo's Chariot?"