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The State of Suds

More Loko

Saving America with the Organic, Free-Trade Cinco Four One Loko

words By Dante Zu"iga-West • photos by Trask Bedortha

A Brief History

It was just over six years ago that three college friends from Ohio State took out a loan and launched Phusion Projects, the Chicago-based company that brought us all Four Loko. Affectionately referred to as “blackout in a can,” Four Loko, a beverage combining the ever-popular energy drink with malt liquor, since its birth has been under fire " from politicians, law enforcement officials, concerned parents and, in general, most people who disagree with the notion of alcohol consumption as a recreational sport. 

This concern and public disapproval came to a head in 2010, when nine students at Central Washington University were hospitalized for excessive consumption of Four Loko. Shortly after, most colleges issued official warnings about the danger of the drink. The CWU incident led Phusion Projects to mail roughly 300 letters out to college presidents and campus alcohol counselors, stressing the need to use Four Loko responsibly. States including Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah banned the sale of Four Loko altogether. Eventually the folks at Phusion Projects opted to pull Four Loko from store shelves and replace it with a new, less potent version that is no different than standard malt liquor.


In Pursuit of Happiness

It is unfortunate that people unable to use alcohol in a responsible manner ruined such a good thing for this nation. As the saying goes, “One bad apple can spoil the whole batch.” Four Loko was an icon of American freedoms, a brazen attempt to pursue happiness in blatant Generation Y fashion. The existence of such a beverage let the people of the world know (Four Loko was also distributed in the Netherlands) that here in America we aren’t afraid to mix our uppers with our downers. We aren’t chained to the classic vodka and Red Bull. We don’t have to drink our coffee and then drink our beer. 

Drinking the old Four Lokos was the ultimate post-postmodern statement. Consumers lifting a Loko to their lips were in a sense saying " “Hey, everything’s been done before, the only respectable new life will come from great fusions, the eclectic mixing of powerful forces, and I champion this!”

That we as a people are now stripped of this right and further demeaned by the imposturous replacement of the original Four Loko is a sad sign of where we are headed as a culture. This is not what the U.S. is about; this is not freedom. The Tea Party, I suspect, may have had something to do with this gross abuse of our God-given rights, or perhaps it was Obama? The socialists? The Russians? At any rate, this naked and unchecked aggression could not go unanswered. Concerned citizens were compelled to act " they got loko, and they did it solo " from the ground up.


The Loked-Out Future

Reporting from Eugene, Oregon’s Whiteaker neigh-borhood " At an undisclosed location, concerned home brewers fought back against the socialist flip-flopping-crypto-fascist-Loko-grabbing power structure oppressing us all. A truly pioneering and grassroots approach was taken, though not without concern for the environment. 

These local brewers, who prefer to remain nameless, concocted their political protest in the form of what they call the Organic Free Trade Cinco Four One Loco. An alcoholic beverage that fuses homemade malt liquor brewed from Turbo Yeast, organic free-trade yerba mate and generic grape drink (pronounced “drank”) with a whopping 16-percent alcohol content dwarfing the Four Loko’s 11 percent platform, the Cinco Four One Loco goes the extra mile. The greener approach of using yerba mate, a drink that nullifies the infamous caffeine crash, makes this beverage even more friendly.

Witnessing the first official batch ever brewed could not have been far from the feeling onlookers had while watching the Titanic leave port to embark upon its epic journey. 

A test subject was presented, and great care was taken to see that this man did not meet the same fate as many others who have tangled with the Loko in full form. A trained medical professional (who also chose to remain nameless) was on hand; jugs of water were kept close; an adult diaper was provided and used.

After ingesting the initial 22 ounces of Cinco Four One Loco, the subject appeared lucid yet jovial. After another 22 ounces, he became more kinesthetically adventurous. He began to speak on government corruption, the oppression of free speech and perhaps outdoing rap star Ricosauve’s Four Loko anthem with his own song. His sentiments became even more fundamentally American.

Though the subject was then taken to a different location and away from the eyes of the press to ingest and decipher the effects of yet more usage, there was no indication that the Cinco Four One Loco was at all dangerous or harmful when (of course) used responsibly. That it smells a bit like a rotten egg and tastes like Kool-Aid mixed with raw green tea is a fault that I am sure will be remedied with the next batch. 

 As the test subject departed with his designated driver to enjoy a more loko evening, it became clear this was the next evolution in the American energy drink. Not only can we be a freedom-loving people with our bombs-bursting-in-air culture of monster trucks and HDTV, we can also be concerned and politically active members of that culture. We can make our malt liquor energy drinks green, eco-friendly and more powerful than the corporate overlords. 

Yes we can. Yes we can.




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