What Would Jack Daniel Do?

Oh, Miller Lite.

I know you mean well. I know you're in constant battle with those guys over at Budweiser for a piece of the American beer dollar. I know you have a lot to gain by cleverly marketing your watered-down version of the vastly superior MGD to boys and men who need to feel secure in their choice of beverage. And I commend you for gathering a hell of a lineup to sit around your Square Table.

Jerome Bettis? Burt Reynolds? Excellent.

Aron Ralston? Absolute hero.

Some of the Man Laws are even funny. But there's one problem, and it's one that I know I'm not the first to point out:

Miller Lite is not manly. Miller Lite is not tough or intense or anything resembling that, and is the absolute last source of information on how to be a man in America - or anywhere else, for that matter.

You want manly drinks? Let's talk Jack Daniel's. Let's talk Sierra Nevada. Let's talk Jim Beam. Stuff that kicks you when you drink it. Stuff you can't mess around with. Symbolic of the larger uphill battle we men find ourselves in - push yourself and see what pushes back. Who knew whiskey drinking could be so poetic?

Not that any of them would waste time on concepts so petty as when to help your friends move (always) or when it's okay to take back the booze you brought to someone's house (never).

More importantly, and more foolishly, what Miller Lite is doing is further propagating the stupid idea that alcohol consumption is manly, that drinking is what tough guys do. Which couldn't be further from the truth.

Look no further than their own spokesmen. All up and down that list are men who became who they are through a simple concept: having a dream or a vision or an idea, and then having the guts to actually follow it. Where's that Man Law? Having spent more than a few years in corporate America, I can say with almost no doubt the ad execs wouldn't be too enthused by some bright-eyed storyboard designer coming in and saying "Let's have Eddie Griffin and Triple H tell people that hard work and dedication is the key to success, and that you are not what you drink."

So what are we left with? A weak beer pushing off weak ideas to what someone in the marketing department hopes is a weak audience. It'd be tragic if it wasn't so common.