Thursday, 29 December 2016

Being a Dick

Average complete knob-end, today

They say the end of the year is a time for reflection,  of taking stock of what you've done and who you've become over the last 12 months. Me, I introspect all the time but infrequently write it down.

Today, I was reading one of those "Beer Communicator" blogs. Probably unwise, I know, unless I want to know how great the world of Beer or is, or how popular and successful said Communicator is. But one thing that was said struck me - that anyone who thinks they "may be on the take" is "a bit of a dick", in said person's opinion anyway.

Now, I've made fun of this person (as I have with many others) on this blog a few times. Leaving aside for a moment that if someone does paid PR for a megabrewer, people may not imagine their writings are entirely objective sometimes,  it made me think - what if I actually AM a dick?

It's true, I'm not someone who cultivates popular opinion by being socially skilled and nice and stuff. As being rude and taking the piss is the only skill I have in dealing with the world, such things are unlikely to happen. My comedy hero is Victor Lewis-Smith and, as such, anyone who thinks I've offended them has been let off lightly.

Perhaps being positive, upbeat, and telling nice stories about people you like is the path to popularity. In fact, I'm certain it is. But I'm not built that way. A combination of brain architecture and experience has made me cynical. In a way it would be surprising if it hadn't. I lack the privileged early life of most "Beer Communicators".

I'll admit on being rude and inappropriate in the past. If you were upset, then I'm sorry. It's nothing personal. I could, say, have got photos of Rick Parfitt or Sue Perkins and captioned your names underneath. I like to think I play the ball, not the man.

I'm not a dick. I may seem that way, but I'm not. Sadly, people nowadays take criticism personally, and imagine you're saying all kinds of things with very little evidence to support such a view.

As always, I say - beer should be fun. Stop being so damned serious.


  1. JADED CYNIC: "People taking money from breweries are probably biased - but then, everyone's biased anyway. Nobody's telling you the pure unvarnished truth. And it wouldn't matter much if they were, because none of this stuff matters. It's all a load of bollocks, really."
    PERSON TAKING MONEY FROM BREWERIES: "All this stuff matters a great deal, and I am striving to tell the pure unvarnished truth, and I'm certainly not biased in favour of the people who pay me money! And who cares what you think, anyway?"
    JADED CYNIC: [shrugs]

  2. If it's any comfort, I'm pretty sure it's possible to be "a bit of a dick" and objectively correct. Just as it's possible to post a list of "Thanks must go to" and come off as the most egregious arse-kisser I've ever had the misfortune to read, at the same time.

  3. Absolute objectivity is impossible. However, there are:

    1. people who genuinely try to be objective;
    2. people who try to appear objective, such as celebrities in adverts;
    3. people who assume their preconceptions and prejudices represent objectivity; and
    4. people who do not try to be objective, and do not claim to be so.

    Of these, I'd be slightly more inclined to trust 1 and 4.

  4. Couple of points:

    1. I do think you're a bit of a dick, but then, feeling's mutual, right?
    2. You (and your commenters) love to moan about my writing but you still come back and read everything I write. Then you write about it, although you didn't name me it's painfully obvious you're writing about me, again. If you think about it, that makes no sense.

    So thanks for your thoughts & clicks. Love and kisses. x

    1. But, surely dear, "2" is what you did with your original "bit of a dick" thing. So that makes no sense either. Oooh, you young folk, with your silly tiffs. What are you like?

  5. better to risk being a dick than clearly show yourself as a pussy.

  6. Being perceived by someone or another as a dick is impossible to avoid. Doubly so if you choose to express opinions in public, triply do if you partake in some form of satire or comedy. At the end of the day most if not all humans are dicks at least some of the time to at least one other human.

    But does it matter what other folk on the Internet think anyway?

    You do a good job of entertaining some of us. We appreciate it. And I'm sure at least a few of us think you're not a dick. Or mostly not.

  7. Having read the blogpost in question I have to say it came across as boring and self-obsessed. And if criticism rattles someone's cage, it's a sure sign that it's getting close to the bone.

    Don't stay away too long in 2017 :-)

  8. Point of information - I very rarely read anything Matt C writes. But I'm very much on Matt L's side when it comes to pretentiousness and self-importance. As for bias, surely it's common sense that we're all biased in one way or another - and that people who take money for their writing are highly likely to be biased in favour of whoever pays the bills. (I speak from experience - I made a living as a journalist for seven or eight years.) That's the way of the world - if wanting to be unbiased made it so, there'd be no need for anyone to declare payments/gifts/freebies etc. A scrupulously honest, totally incorruptible freelance hack? I guess there's a first time for everything.