Sunday, April 30, 2023

Drag Shows - Lupulin Brewing

Last weekend some friends went with my wife and I to a drag show in Big Lake, Minnesota, at Lupulin Brewing.  Based on some of the Facebook comments, we were wondering if we'd see some local, conservative push back at the brewery even though they serve their own beer, not Bud Light [PS F AB and their turn to 'patriotism' in their commercials at the pressure of noise from conservatives. It's the case that the loudest screams are often coming from those on the wrong side of history. They're the death gasps of people drowning when they could learn to swim and eventually do water ballet.]  My home town is nearby, and that hood isn't known for their progressive politics.

I was amused to read someone commenting about how in their 44 years in Big Lake, they'd never seen something like that [and seemed to be implying there was a moral slide]. Drag Shows are good clean fun.  There's no morality issue to consider.  I grew up on a bit of burlesque and drag.  One of my early memories is my parents being super excited about a tassel twirler on television when we were in California.  I didn't develop a [more than average] breast fixation.  I didn't develop a need to go twirl. If burlesque doesn't push you to be burlesque, drag doesn't push you to do drag.  That's a super simplification, but likely valid.

And if I was to weigh the morality and danger of drag against the prevalence of alcohol in our society, even though I love the brewery boom [note my new Books, Brews, and Bicycling series], alcohol shatters the impact of pretty much everything else in the history of our society, even if it isn't responsible for putting K9s oUt Of WoRk LiKe MaRiJuAnA. [< sarcasm, I learned that very late in my web career]. As an aside, good on the Minnesota legislature and Governor Walz for finally getting that shit legalized even more than the THC in our seltzers.  As someone who studied dystopias, I always worry a little bit about the expansion of options to keep people's attention diverted from the man [alcohol, drugs...but worse, streaming and the uninformative parts of the web like doom scrolling], but the benefits of not putting people in jail for nonsense and giving them alternatives to drinking away pain is monumental in my opinion. 

Anyway, if you're looking for moral slide in Big Lake, there's never been too far to slide when it comes to drugs and crime and heavy drinking.  If you feel sex is a moral issue, any of the "corner bars" are far sketchier than a drag show at a brewery and have been since I was a teenager, and presumably long before I could drink at them [transparency, I have been to Big Lake bars when I was considerably younger, and even have stories from my time at them and at least looking at them externally, they don't seem to have changed at all].

Or, maybe you could be more concerned about bad practices in your local law enforcement rather than a bunch of folks dancing. 


So a few photos of the event at Lupulin.  Enjoy my wife's hair color.  I believe they discontinued it, so after a few more rounds of horded hair dye, she's going to have to change it up.  It was an interesting venue.  We were there early and could have found better seats, like up above, but weren't sure where folks would be performing.  For the most part, they moved through the audience, but a high table would have given us a better view.  Not that it's always difficult to see the performers when they're in high heeled boots like the MC. 

This photo may give the impression that it was mostly women at Lupulin, but far from it.  I met a fellow - male - Ingress player at the event because I could see him playing on the portals and he'd left his phone face up on a table.  And behind and to the left are plenty of guys there with their friends and others. The bottom photo is more representative.

Lupulin Drag Show 2 by:

I posit that between Lupulin - which has a startling variety of beer - and Willy's on the Lake [which used to be Russell's, where I once got a volleyball through my car window from the beach while at a fancy dinner at age...18....with my post senior summer g/f] my friend and I probably drank too much.  I had a power nap in the car on the way home, and apparently my friend's s/o sent my wife a photo of him passed out almost as soon as he got home.  Part of it was the infectious nature of the crowd.  It was a happy, celebratory bunch.

This photo is for my sister.  She's a big fan of the little mermaid, currently the focus of its own culture war as she's changed skin color which seems to be as far as some folks can get.  This would probably destroy them.  BTW, love that Lupulin mural.  I think it captures the logos from a number of their beers.

Lupulin Drag Show 5 by:

The post event applause.  I didn't enjoy the show as much as the one at Hell's Kitchen, but it was still a great time and it was great to go to a show with friends.  And it was uplifting to be at an event in my old hood that belies the news that it's the southern tip of the crazy part of Minnesota with the politicians who worry about demonology and beard discrimination [travel due north from Big Lake toward Mille Lacs and it's like a mini trip to the American south].
Lupulin Drag Show 7 by:

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