In this 1810 portrait by Karl Vogel von Vogelstein, Joseph de Maistre demonstrates la mÃ©thode du doigt by which European royalty have always claimed property such as beer or pussy.
Phil, my secretary, informs me that we’ve gotten “a veritable slew” of emails about the blatant misogyny in—surprise— a light beer commercial. I have not seen it, but Amanda has, which is strange because I have a TV and she don’t. All I can tell you is that this latest entry in the already-crowded field of repellent phallocentric advertising campaigns contains images of dudely morons sticking their fingers into beer bottles, along with the compellingly asinine, soon-to-be-really-tiresome-catch-phrase “you poke it, you own it.”
Of course, the beer company didn’t invent the phrase. In his influential 1789 treatise on private property, De droites du doigt (literally, “The Rights of the Finger”) French philosopher and monarchist Joseph de Maistre declared “You poke it; you may kill it, or give it to your bootblack.” Miller Lite, in an effort to strike a chord with its super-intellectual audience of civic-minded philosophy buffs, is clearly paying homage to one of the great authoritarian conservatives of the French Revolution.