Sometimes, when trying to decide what to write, it helps to do some browsing. This story from CNN today was an inspiration. As you must have heard by now, our President is hosting a little get-together between Professor Gates (accused of breaking into his own house and later arrested for taking offense to it), and the arresting officer from the Cambridge Police. And, being a really good host, Mr. O has offered to provide the beer. Leave it to the politicians to turn it into a circus.

Seems some folks are all up in arms about which beer to serve. Obama’s favorite, Bud Light, is now a foreign-owned brand. Likewise with Red Stripe and Beck’s, preferred by Gates. Not sure what the problem is with Blue Moon, the officer’s choice, but if I let my imagination run wild I can conjure up all kinds of idiotic and politically incorrect references.

On the surface, it’s petty, contrived, and a colossal waste of heavy breathing. Looking a little deeper, it’s symptomatic of a much bigger problem . . . we Americans – independent, mighty, intelligent, and strong – have become hypersensitive to pretty much everything. The posturing, the grandstanding, the feigned indignation. We live in a culture of grievance, and in the skilled hands of lawyers and politicians, it’s been elevated to an art form.  If, by chance, you weren’t offended initially (maybe you actually had a life and missed something), there’s never a shortage of people willing to step up to the podium and turn it into headline news.

For Pete’s sake (no offense to Pete, whoever he is), what’s wrong with a couple of guys getting together over a beer to hash out a disagreement? Who cares what beer they drink? I applaud the gesture, and wish we could handle things that way more often. It ought to be a required step before any lawsuit is accepted into the court system! Think about it . . .

For now, it is what it is. Let’s have some fun with it. Imagine you’re in charge at the White House . . . what would you serve, and why?