By Bill Ward
You couldn’t even remotely make this stuff up.
Alabama has banned the sale of Cycles Gladiator wines because of the label, which a side-angle drawing of a nude woman on it. (For those naughty readers who might want to scrutinize the label to discern if there’s anything ostensibly offensive about it, here’s a good-sized image.)
Having grown up in neighboring Tennessee, I know more than I care to about Alabama, where they think about college football 365 days a year (Vikings fandom absolutely pales next to this) and act like they think about God 24 hours a day. It has produced civil-rights atrocities from Selma and the Birmingham church bombings through George Wallace and current Sen. James Sessions, who told colleagues that he ”used to think [the Ku Klux Klan] was OK” until discovering that some of them were “pot smokers.”
It’s also a state that only a few months ago finally allowed the sale of beer that contains more than 6 percent alcohol and wine that exceeds 14.9 percent — and only after a State Senate committee added an amendment preventing the sale of such “stronger” beverages in convenient stores.
I often hear people complain about a “Puritan streak” in these parts, blaming it for the unavailability of alcoholic beverages in groceries and on Sundays. But I’ll take what we’ve got and our winters over the yayhoo-ism that pervades Alabama.
For what it’s worth, the “offensive” Cycles Gladiator logo replicates a poster created in 1895. Now it should be noted that this was in France. So maybe we should call this a “freedom label.”