This image, from a story at npr about beer, gave me pause today.
The darker states represent the highest growth in microbreweries per capita. And Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado form a sort of belt (perhaps we’ll include New Mexico to get border to border coverage). The old ‘Bible belt‘ exists in an almost perfectly inverse relationship to what I’ll call the Beer Belt of America. It forms the nice vertical off-white line in the South East/South Central US.
And perhaps appropriately, while a bible belt might hold a man (or woman if you are one) upright, thus its horizontal position — the beer belt is at an almost horizontal pitch, as if worn by someone who has passed out.
I thought about downloading an image of some sort to help illustrate that, but what exactly do you type into google to get the right result? This was about the most appropriate thing I could find:
And here I thought the internet was going to be a beacon of reason and thoughtful discussion. Sadly, no. Anyway, to demonstrate the beer belt as it might be illustrated in action:
Much better, right? Intriguingly, the other beer area seems to be in Maine and Vermont, here overlapping with Santa’s cortex, the area of the brain associated with intelligent decision making.
Side story for thoughtful discussion: when my older brother was around 5, he discovered that Santa isn’t real. Being the genius that he is, he immediately marched up to my mom and said, “if you lied about Santa, how can I believe you about God?” He’s been an atheist ever since. Then, a couple years ago, my mom was driving my brother’s kids, then aged around 13 and 9, looking at Christmas lights one night. (They are both Christians due to their mom’s influence.) When they passed by a house with a stuffed Santa outside, my mom said, “don’t worry, that’s not the real Santa; the real Santa is getting your presents ready.” Eyes rolled, the younger of the two responded, “Grandma, there is no Santa.” To which my mom responded, “oh, you should believe in Santa, just like you believe in God.”
My mom, the atheist-maker.