Friday, September 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Point of Brew: Pepper-spraying the brand

MichaelLewisW

By
From page A5 | March 01, 2012 |

In Time magazine this week, the Lightbox image, just inside the front cover, is a beautiful photograph taken inside St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican; it shows Pope Benedict XVI at the papal altar under the magnificent Bernini canopy at a ceremony to elevate 22 clerics to the rank of cardinal.

In a glorious sea of red, set against the soaring spectacle of the Basilica, this is a monumental reaffirmation of the Roman Catholic and the papal brands.

The brand is the thing. One might say the brand is everything. The brand sends unmistakable messages to consumers in an instantly recognizable form.

The pope and Catholicism are the most ancient and powerful brands in Christendom. It is a credit to the power of the brand that it has survived egregious misbehavior by some priests and cover-up by some bishops and, more recently, aggressive re-assertion of the right of this all-male hierarchy to dictate on issues of women’s’ health.

Over the years, I’ve seen successful beer brands succumb to error; once the brand loses credibility the company may soon fail. Way back in 1965, the Dow Brewery in Quebec used a cobalt-based product to stabilize beer foam; some people died. The brand and brewery collapsed.

Similarly, the Schlitz Brewing Company changed the brewing formulation and methods of beer processing in aggressive ways that were not strictly ready for prime time. Beer quality suffered in the trade. The brand was compromised and the company went under.

It remains to be seen whether the recent takeover of Anheuser-Busch by Inbev, and the radical change in business practices that followed, will damage the ABI brand.

No brewer with a brand worth having, or one trying to build brand value, will do anything to jeopardize the integrity of the brand. If the brand be damaged, brewers will do almost anything to restore brand integrity. For example, Dow Brewery famously emptied into the St Lawrence River all its tanks of every drop of beer; unfortunately to no avail.

The UC Davis brand has been quietly and effectively nurtured over the years as the campus has built its intellectual reputation, expanded infrastructure and grown important programs. We have matured from a rural, safe, non-radical and non-confrontational alternative to the urban campuses at UC Berkeley and UCLA to a campus attractive to students for its own prestige, programs and intellectual prowess.

In Time magazine some months ago the Lightbox image, just inside the front cover, was The Davis Enterprise’s infamous photograph of UCD students being pepper-sprayed by a campus police officer. That, of course, did our UCD brand no good.

But I do not see the functional equivalent of dumping beer into the St Lawrence River to help restore brand integrity. That is why I am writing about this now, so long after the initial event happened, and upon which so much ink and so little light was spilled.

I am concerned that the faculty of UC Davis tacitly approved the pepper-spraying incident and therefore has further compromised the brand.

This is the only conclusion I can reach after the faculty defeated by a vote of two-to-one a mealy-mouthed, weepy-willie, ineffectual non-binding resolution of no confidence in the chancellor. One might say the piffling resolution was merely symbolic. Well, of course, it was symbolic, but symbols and principles are important here, as illustrated by dumping the beer into the St Lawrence River!

I thought the faculty would be as one with the students on this issue. The faculty preferred instead a resolution that accepted an apology and praised academic leadership that is slated to bring UCD into the top five of American research universities.

Well, the top five has been achieved: I put UCD well behind Kent State and Virginia Tech and just ahead of Penn State and Duke.

The resolution that the faculty favored puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the police officers at the scene where, doubtless, much blame belongs. But that blame is surely shared by the chief executive who put the police at the scene in the first place — deployed them, that is (a military term) — “Cry ‘Havoc’ and let slip the dogs of war,” one might say.

Though I am deeply suspicious and even alarmed at the urgency and vigor with which officials and police these days move to suppress the First Amendment right of assembly, I do have a certain sympathy with beat police officers who inevitably find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

There is an intrinsic conflict between keeping the peace and enforcing the law. They are in uniform, armed to the teeth in riot gear and full of testosterone and authority (a hard place) and faced by the intransigence of the protesters (a rock). Back off? Are you kidding?

They are now trapped between the expectation of the chief executive who sent them to the scene (a hard place) and completing the assigned mission, that is, in this case, a mandate to clear the campus (a rock). A wise initial decision could have avoided this perfect scenario for misadventure.

I guess we never fail to miss a good opportunity: The faculty vote to reject a non-binding resolution of no confidence — a mere slap on the wrist — failed in every way to restore some luster to our UC Davis brand. No dumping all our beer into the St Lawrence River for us!

However, I guess our brand is strong enough so that, like the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy, we shall smugly survive perhaps to make the same mistakes in the future.

— Reach Michael Lewis at cymro@sbcglobal.net. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Grant means new push for moving tracks out of town

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Some say council needs to reconsider MRAP

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

UC to create $250 million venture capital fund

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

 
School district may redevelop downtown site

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

DUI suspected in crash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Master Gardeners share their wisdom at free workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Scots vote to stay in UK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

France strikes Islamic State group’s depot in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Man faces arson charge in huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Telling tales, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Woodland Healthcare offering flu shots

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Putah Creek Bike Path to close temporarily

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Little Free Libraries open at Montgomery

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Rabid bat found at Holmes Junior High

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Students invited to apply for Blue & White grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free workout class set at library

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Explorit: Lots of ways to be a volunteer

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Sierra Club remembers longtime walker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

DHS Classes of 1954 and 1955 will hold 60th reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Nonprofits can get DCN’s help

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis maps available at Chamber office

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Reception benefits endangered gorillas

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Sutter Farmers Market offers local goods

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Wolk applauds approval of stronger rules for olive oil

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Davis hosts its own climate change rally

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Qigong classes available for heart health

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Sick of being the bad guy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Educate homeless with dogs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Cheers and Jeers: Not the end of the rainbow

By Our View | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Return to previous plan

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Save the ‘pine cone place’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Affirm our community values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Project has safety risks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Learn more about Paso Fino

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Blue Devil volleyballers hold off Herd

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies’ new energy could be scary for Big West

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

No rest for the weary: Aggie TE Martindale busy on and off the field

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils hope the light bulb turns on at Edison

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

River Cats and Giants sign two-year deal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Mustangs are no match for DHS boys in water polo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Take Zona and Bama this week

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

 
A’s slide continues as Rangers sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

Name Droppers: Awards keep coming for UC Davis retiree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

Redesigned 2015 Escalade remains breed all its own

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, September 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A10

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Taylor Morrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Norcal Land

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Robin Garland

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Dana Hawkins

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Martha Bernauer

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Remax

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Melrina A Maggiora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Jamie Madison & Associates

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Marcelo Campos

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Julie Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Bob Bockwinkel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Juan Ramirez

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

James Hanna

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Susan von Geldern

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

Lisa Haass

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

First Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER24