Some people called "The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression" have released their list of honorees for this year's charmingly-named "muzzle awards." The awards are for "calling attention to some of the more egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression that occurred in the preceding year," and there's no shortage of outage in the list. Take, for example, the chilling tale of the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement.
In 2006, Shelton Brothers planned to distribute "Santa's Butt Winter Porter," an English-made, holiday-themed beer. On the label was a rearview image of Santa Claus (clothed) sitting on a beer barrel. The term "butt" refers to a large barrel once used by English brewers to store beer.
Apparently the label was too distinctive for the Main Bureau of Liquor Enforcement which denied Shelton Brothers' application to sell the beer in Maine. In a letter to Shelton Brothers, the Bureau stated the application was denied because it contained an "undignified or improper illustration."
This injustice will not stand. While the Bureau eventually reversed its decision, we still suggest you all get really wasted and write them angry letters.
Jefferson Muzzles [TJ Center]