Friday 25 May 2018

News In Brief #60

Pontifex = Font effects

CAMRA Pope Grants Indulgences

Due to the current sunny weather, beer drinkers have been found drinking icy cold lager in beer gardens around the country.  Not so the unfortunate members of the Campaign For Real Ale, who have been forced to traipse around provincial town centres looking for brown, weak and flavour-shy beer as part of an ill-advised "Mild Month of May".

Thankfully for these poor people, help is at hand from the top of the organisation itself.  "Let's face it," proclaimed CAMRA Pope Nonextraneous XII "nobody actually likes mild.  Why spend an hour grinding through a pint of watery piss when you could be doing the whole Ice Cold In Alex thing with a pilsner?  Though although we cannot approve the consumption of non-real beer, we at the top of the CAMRA hierarchy have arrived on a solution."

"Simply pay the small sum of two pounds to the local branch treasurer, and he will issue you with a permission slip, signed by me, allowing the member to drink one pint of lager.  If you're seen in a pub supping yellow fizz by other members and chastised for it, simply show them this bit of paper saying that your sin has been noted, but indulged."

Continued His Holiness "Due to this enlightened policy of Indulgences, this heatwave has nearly wiped out last year's budget deficit in our accounts.  Long may it continue!"

Knowing the facts so you don't have to

Craft Brewery Starts News Agency

After a fortnight of rumour-based unpleasantness, London-based brewery Random Brick has decided to take control of its news generations.  "After I read all those tweets and blog posts saying we're gearing up to be taken over by ABInBev, I was incensed!" ranted CEO Damien Fixedgear  "How dare these people have opinions contrary to what we think they should have!"

"So, to counteract this ill-informed nonsense, I've decided to set up the Random Brick News Agency, the funding source for which I will reveal soon.  Using this, we as a company will supply all the bloggers and internet commentators with the real story on what we're doing, which they will publish without amendment."

"And if they deviate from this," shouted Fixedgear "I'll send them a 'Cease & Desist' letter saying they're inviting legal action by potentially harming our business.  That'll teach them to just drink our beer and keep quiet."

Alleged Beer News Site editor and promulgator of stories Curt Mattis of Bud Gear Hunting was nonplussed "We'll go along with this.  As our, like, funding comes from similiar sources, we wouldn't want to jeapordise anything, dudes."

"WARNING - Excessive drinking causes high contrast pictures"

Beer Not Linked To Mental Health Problems, Say Drinkers

In the light of criticism from the inside of the Brewing Industy for it's lack of concern about the potential downsides of alcohol use, habitual pissheads have taken to the internet to say that drinking large amounts of beer in no way has any negative effects on mental health

Bowl food eater and Teku glass slurper Luke Lumberjack-Shirt was indignant about such suggestions "It's not true, man.  I do four or five bar openings and tasting events every day and as a result drink about 50 schooners of 7% craft beer a week.  And I'm, like, absolutely fine.  Those late night tweets about me hating myself and hangover induced apathy the following mornings are entirely normal among people in my sector of the industry,"

Meanwhile, rubicund-complexioned near-permanent tavern resident Bob Barfly also cast doubt on these reports "I've been coming to this pub for years for my daily 4 hour session of 6 pints of bitter.  It's part of my class's culture to socialise here.  In no way am I trying to avoid the emptiness of my home life and distance from my family by self-medicating with intoxicants that result in oblivion.  These so-called researchers know nothing, obviously.  Oh god, that's my wife ringing me now."

Campaigner and general drink-apologist Mudgie Mudgington was shown these reports and muttered something about needing more evidence before coming to conclusions before saying "Oh, look! A kitty!" and running off.

Saturday 5 May 2018

He Who Plays With Fire

Like most adults my age, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, some with more serious consequences than others.  One mistake I seem to keep making is accidently winding people up on social media.  It could be said that Twitter these days is little but shouting, abuse, trolling and agenda-pushing.  I try and avoid all that, but whereas those things seem to be de rigeur, one thing that seemingly is not allowed is my main mode of operation - irreverence.

Recently, a new beer blogger was asking for advice on how to go about their pastime.  "Beer blogging?" I thought "Do people actually still want to do that these days?  I thought it was all about meeting fellow dudes in awesome places and taking selfies to put on Instagram."  But it appears at least one person still thinks it's a viable thing to do these days.  Of course, I made my usual mistake and gave the facetious advice "Don't do what I did".  You'd think that saying not to piss people off all the time by making fun of them would be sensible advice.  But no.

Well, that was me told.  Maybe it's an autistic thing, but I simply do not get how people read stuff like this into what I say.  Enjoy being what I view as the voice of dissent?  I thought I just wrote what I thought and let people judge me on the basis of that, but the clue here is in the use of word "being".  It implies I'm "acting a role" here, that I've created a persona that allows me to annoy people by being deliberately contrarian.  As anyone who's ever met me will tell you, I express exactly the same opinions in real life as I do online, and in pretty much the same way too.  I don't possess the social wherewithall or energy to pretend to be someone I'm not.

And belittling the careers of her friends?  Well, I'm not exactly sure who said "friends" she refers to are, but I can take a good guess - the Awesome Dude Blog Brigade whom I regularly make fun of.  They're an easy target, admittedly, what with their view that anyone saying something in the beer world is less than rosy is being treasonous by "doing the industry down", and their marked preference for pressing emotional buttons over reporting facts.  But "belittling"?  They seem to be doing quite well to me, and I assume their blogs get far more hits than this farrago of nonsense does.  If the ADBB feel threatened by anything I say here, it says more about them than me.

After all, this isn't really about blogging in the old sense.  Eighteen years ago, when I started, everything in the blogosphere was metaphorically all fields.  People started them because they were interested in stuff and wanted to share their views and connect with other people.  But now, it's all become very careerist - the thing on display isn't the blog's subject or even the views expressed therein.  No, the product is the blogger themselves.  "Look at me! I can both network and compose coherent sentences! Hire me for paid gigs!".

And that's why they don't like irreverence.  People's futures are being "risked" by a subject being seen to be less than serious.  Anyone who doesn't take things seriously must be dismissed out of hand lest they say something other than the accepted truth of the hive mind.  And that's why I end up upsetting people, usually by accident.

I think I may have finally learned the lesson here - Do Not Engage The Awesome.