Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Here’s a one-word update on what happened last week in the world of the Minocqua Brewing Company:
Ever since we put up a huge Biden sign on our building in the middle of deep red Northern Wisconsin, and that symbol of “resistance” led to articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and many other nationwide news outlets, we believe deeply in the power of signs.
Earlier this week, we put a billboard up on Hwy 51 North by Merrill, which is a major corridor for Wisconsin tourists vacationing "Up North."
The message on the sign was simple: “January 6 was an attack on our country, and Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Tom Tiffany, by denying that fact, are lying to us.”
The sign’s placement on Hwy 51 means that hundreds of thousands of tourists, many of whom solely consume Fox or alt-right internet news, will HAVE to look at this sign and be reminded that their “reality” is nothing more than a propaganda-fueled house of mirrors reflecting disfigured and disproven conspiracy theories.
Political consultants, the same ones who relied on polls that said Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden would win in landslides, tell us that political signs aren’t effective and don’t change minds.
We refuse to believe them, because a) their track record for being right is terrible, and b) after living through 4 years of psychological warfare where we were being told that “up was down” and “wrong was right” from our President and his Russian-backed megaphone, we think even the most clear-headed Wisconsinite needs to be reminded that he’s “not crazy” and that the world she sees through her own eyes is indeed “real.”
We think signs from a small brewing company with NO VESTED INTEREST in gaining political power reminds those Wisconsinites that they’re not alone, and that “up is indeed up,” and “wrong is indeed wrong.”
Because why would a brewing company lie? What do we have to gain by lying?
Nothing. In fact, we stand to lose a lot more by telling the truth.
We put up a second set of signs on our new taproom in Minocqua last week because we refuse to let our misguided town fathers, who have obstructed us at every turn, making it impossible to open this summer and thus causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue, win.
In our minds, our political war with Obnom, or the “Old Boys Network of Minocqua,” is not just a petty pissing match, but a war pitting “progress and enlightenment” against “cynicism and fear,” with symbolic importance to the entire state of Wisconsin and by extension, the United States of America because Wisconsin plays such a pivotal role in presidential elections.
With these value statements on our left garage door and blue fists on the right—symbolizing how we’re speaking truth to power—we’re reminding every tourist that comes to Minocqua this summer of the famous quote by Martin Luther King, oft-repeated by Barack Obama, that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
And apparently, tourists like taking pictures with our new art:)
If you agree with what we’re doing, we have a few requests.
First, if you like craft beer, we encourage you to buy ours. 5% of our profits go to the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, which pay for our signs and progressive activism in Northern Wisconsin. More importantly, because we’ve become a political lightning rod, we want to prove to the rest of the world that businesses who stick their necks out for the good of America don’t end up with their heads cut off.
To find out where you can buy our beer, please go here. If you don’t like beer or live far away and can’t get it, please consider buying some of our merchandise here.
If you’d like your money to go further, please consider donating directly to the Super PAC here.
Lastly, although not sign-related, we wanted to share a link to our penultimate Up North Podcast of the season. Our attempt to provide the often-ignored progressive version of state political news through the eyes of Northern Wisconsinites has been an absolute joy to produce each week, but Pat Kreitlow of Up North News, Kristen Brey of As Goes Wisconsin, and I will be taking the rest of July and August off to rejuvenate. Make sure you catch the last episode next week either live on Devil Radio, or by subscribing here.
Thanks for reading our newsletter and for caring about your community enough to divert scarce mindfulness away from yourselves and family to make positive change around you. In short, thanks for embracing Agape, and of course, good beer.
Kirk Bangstad, Owner of the Minocqua Brewing Company and Super PAC.