Friday 22 December 2017

The Lizards Year In Review

Shady's Back 
Yes, I know it seems peculiar to review 2017 in a blog that has only had three posts this year. But bear with me. I know this blog was on "hiatus" between January and December, but as those who know me know, I've not exactly been completely inactive.

After several bad experiences last year with beer blogging types, all of whom proclaim themselves as 'good people', I took them to task by bashing this post out in under an hour. I wasn't exactly 'shaking with rage' (as one infamous blogger would put it), but I was certainly pissed off.  I left it up for a few days without saying anything, just to check with a few people that I wasn't being oversensitive or just deeply unfair.  They reassured me I wasn't.  So I posted the link on Twitter.

Well, 1200 page views in under two hours indicated to me that it got a reaction.  I had to turn my phone to silent, as the people at work wondered why it was making so many "alert" sounds.  Most amusing were the replies insinuating the people whose unedifying behaviour I was criticising would be taking me to court for libel. 10 months on, legal action has yet to emerge.

After that, I laid low for a few weeks. Even the beer world's "top satirist" and evil monster needs a rest from opprobrium for a while.  I dabbled a bit with a new blog, Drinkin' The Evil Keg, a sort of A-Z of beer, pubs and what goes on in them. It petered out over the summer, due to my usual interesting times that happen during that season. Maybe I'll go back to it one day. Who knows?

More significant for me was EvilKegText.  The story behind this was unusual, even for me.  I'd discovered the blog of former Teletext-type and current kids TV writer Paul Rose, and thought  "Why not do a Beer blog in the style of Digitiser, with fake ads, silly characters and other nonsense?".

I duly found a Windows Teletext editor and set about doing so. Luckily, I'd already been trained to create Teletext pages at school, albeit 26 years ago, so I knew what the medium could and could not do. It made for quick and easy updating, anyway. Apart the from the graphics, where you have to personally select every pixel.
No pinnipeds were harmed, but not sure about Craft Brewers 

Again, this ground to a halt. Personally, I blame the lack of news to make fun of in the Autumn. But it was obvious that some people weren't fans of me because of it. One brewery director took to her business Twitter account to call me a "fucking prick" because I mocked one of her friends.  Another prominent beer blogger gave me grief on Twitter, saying I should be grateful one of my targets was understanding enough not to sue me. Yawn. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Guess who

Naturally, I immediately did pages mocking them.  I may not do the fights and arguments that a lot people spend time engaging in on Twitter.   But don't expect me to keep quiet and simply take whatever's thrown at me.

Eventually, the tide of idiocy and smug, self-regarding narcissistic nonsense in Beer fandom proved to much for even this semi-retired piss-taker to endure. So, one day, I sat down in the pub and wrote my 59th "News In Brief".  I mean, I had to.  If you'd seen the same as I had, you'd do the same. Wouldn't you?

As the song goes -

Guess who's back
Back again 
Shady's Back
Tell a friend

Saturday 9 December 2017

News in Brief #59

Gunboat diplomacy? BEERMAT diplomacy is 21st Century

Spoons Boss Enters Brexit Negotiations

Representatives from the European Union were suprised this week when, sitting down to the table for discussions on the UK's imminent departure, they were confronted not by David Davis and Theresa May, but by Wetherspoons CEO and mullet-projector Timbo Martin. "As a major employer, who is better qualified than me to conduct these talks?"

"They wanted to open preliminaries on the Northern Irish border," yelled Timbo  "but I showed them I meant business by simply putting a big pile of my beer mats in front of them. Read these,  I told him, and said I wasn't budging on any of my positions."

"I told them I wanted the flow of cheap food and cheap workers to continue, but I want no interference on anything else.  I could tell by the shocked looks on their faces that they knew I was right. That's how to do it, I told the politicians. I learned how do that dealing with local councils."

Chief EU negotiator Michael Barnier said "We listened to Mr. Martin and will consider his suggestions with all the seriousness they deserve."

The talks continue.
Money well spent

CAMRA Circles Reveal All

After the recent financial embarrassments at The Campaign for Real Ale, we have asked the ultimate insiders for their views on these matters - the CAMRA branding circles.

"We've heard a few things, yeah." said Large Circle "But we have been rather busy what with having to appear on the Good Beer Guide, the local mags and 190,000 membership cards."

Small Circle chimed in "We're quite well remunerated as we appear everywhere with CAMRA these days. Some within the organisation have questioned why we were needed for a major rebranding when they're struggling for money. But, hey, we keep being paid."

"The most important thing about CAMRA now is the logos and the constant reorganisation," continued Big Circle "Real Ale can look after itself, we're sure."

CAMRA head Colin Valentine was unavailable for comment as he was busy packing up his desk toys.

Acceptable methods, dudes

Bud Gear Hunting Reveal Journalistic  Methods

Much-maligned beer website and certainly-not-paid-for-by-big-beer thing Bud Gear Hunting has told a rapt audience how it goes about it's business.  "Lots of people think we just wibble on about how awesome beer is and all that," retorted BGH UK editor Curt Mattis to a packed conference hall "but there's far more to it than that."

"For example, one of my duties as UK editor is to scour the news sites and see if any journo is, like, going 'off-message' about all the stuff we're promoting."

"Say someone at the Morning Advertiser implies he brought up the problem of Sexism in the Beer industry first," explained Curty "when it was, like, us, obviously.  Then we make sure we get all our Twitter fans to dogpile him, force him into an apology and hound him off social media. These things are IMPORTANT, dude."

Asked if this could be construed as bullying by the people concerned,  Mattis replied "No. Bullying isn't a problem in the beer world."

"Beer people are, as I always say, GOOD PEOPLE."