It is with great sadness that I reflect on my imminent graduation. Many other seniors will feel the same way. After four years at William and Mary, four years of (relative) freedom and even occasional achievement, it seems like graduation is the end of the world. Seniors face the worst economy since the 1930s that looks like it will only worsen. Those who will be fortunate and avoid the dole face employment at Arby’s or the ignominy of their parents’ basement. Worse yet, many will head to graduate school, spending even more time beating their minds into brutal submission after four years where “your best hasn’t been good enough since 1693.”
Worse yet, despite facing such an appalling future, we seniors are the worst people ever, apparently. As our Depression-surviving grandparents were the “Greatest Generation,” so we are the worst. It is said that we are uneducated, depraved, immoral, lazy, selfish, drug-addled fools who will condemn our illegitimate children to speaking Mandarin. The world looks as bleak as our bank accounts are dry: There is perpetual war in the Middle East, genocide in the Congo, and even mighty Japan is at the mercy of plate tectonics. The icon of our age is the borderline psychotic Charlie Sheen, and in the not-too-distant future one hundred percent of national taxation will pay to keep baby boomers fully equipped with shuffleboard and medicinal cannabis (the Army we’ll borrow from China).
So indeed, Mayan prophecy or no, it is the end of the world. Our future looks at least as bleak as the bitter Quebecois winter. As surely as the British Empire fell on Clement Atlee’s watch, so it appears the Pax Americana will end on ours. The doom of our time is as certain as the doom of the settlers who first colonized the New World.
In light of all this doom, perhaps one wants a drink. I sure do. And when I do, I turn to the fine French Canadians at Unibroue. They have a beer for the end of the world: La Fin du Monde (literally “The End of the World”). This homage to the Belgian abbey tripel pours gold (the color of the precious metals Seniors will never afford) and smells of sweet malts. The taste is of a sweet bread, with the malts overcoming the high alcohol content (9% ABV) and light hop content.
The abbey tripel was the beer the monks would drink on special feasts, and Unibroue’s Fin du Monde is an appropriate beer to drink for the end of the world. The high alcohol concentration warms the body, and when served at the proper temperature (about 55F) the spices in the beer come forth to warm the palate.
So, since come 2012 you will be too poor to toast our new Red Chinese overlords with Chimay or Champagne (Andre doesn’t count), raise a glass of La Fin du Monde to the end of the Western world, and commemorate the Western Civilization’s greatest contribution to humankind, the fermented alcoholic beverage. I mean, it could be worse: We could surrender to the Prohibitionist Iranian mullahs.