I have 2 competing streams of thought to get off my chest, one about CAMRA and one about beer festivals (not necessarily about CAMRA but obviously related considering most beer festivals are by our erstwhile national treasure) First things first.
To join in the love in about CAMRA kicked off by the Borg collective here, and miserable old Mudgie here, one thing struck me about their recent AGM, and it was this bit of news.
Members of the Campaign for Real Ale have decided to stop criticising drinkers for choosing different types of beer
You think these nice ladies will have a dance with you if you denigrate their lager?
Now my first response was to laugh. If CAMRA actually did this, then my whole Cooking Lager persona goes right down the toilet. The whole character is a reaction against the utter bizarreness of some of their more outspoken members who are fond of referring to beer they don’t personally like as chemical fizz and the people that drink them as ignorami. (check out the CAMRA forums). The creation of someone with the same weird view but directed at the fizzy grog they despise. A reaction against the rudeness and snobbery inherent in going beyond promoting something you like out of enlightened self-interest to try and force it on people by insulting them. My first reaction was please God Nooooo!!!!!!!!
Don’t slap down the nutters. The nutters are the most entertaining thing about the beard club. Without the nutters there is nothing to take the piss out of and without that I’m utterly lost. My enjoyment of beer and beer geekery is much diminished without the cask ale die hards. I for one, love them, and think we will miss them if they ever go. They bring a gaiety to proceedings. Don’t kill off the Real Ale Twats, please!
But you’ve got to hand it to them. It may have taken 40 odd years, but maybe they have figured out that more people are likely to give a pint of pongy ale a go and like it (as I often do) if it’s hawked in a reasonably respectful manner to the people you want to swallow it. People that like a drink and are happy to add a pint of decent pongy ale to the list of grog they regularly have a crack at. Saving or promoting British traditions doesn’t require a small group of odd balls with a pathological desire to drink nowt but pongy grog if a majority of normal folk can be convinced to neck one or two once in a while.
However, as I thought about it, one idea kept propping up. It is the realisation of why it needs stating. Surely a self-evident truth is just that. It doesn’t need mentioning. This is being passed because it does need stating. One set of beardies that consider themselves a tad more enlightened (are they? maybe, maybe not) wish to reign in fellow members they consider to be detrimental to their cause. Otherwise, why mention it?
It reminded me of a controversial comedy skit from the 90’s. “Chris Rock - Black People VS. Niggaz (Bring the Pain 1996)” viewable here. Less offensive details here. This sketch can be considered offensive so if offended don’t click on the links.
The Chris Rock comedy routine is to my understanding a none racist use of racist language to make a point about race using the power of comedy to make his point. The point being that as an African American he wants other African Americans to have better life expectations and succeed and not be victims in the society he lives in. I think it’s one of the best comedy sketches ever performed. It’s not comfortable to watch, and Chris Rock no longer performs it because he realised his language gave licence to racists.
Which is why there are links rather than embedded in the blog. It’s there if you want to see the original source material, but you don’t have to click. But I’m gonna paraphrase some it to make this
“Beards always want credit for some shit they supposed to do. A beard will brag about some shit a normal man just does. A beard will say some shit like, “I don’t denigrate other drinker’s choices.” You’re not supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? “I’m more enlightened because I’m not rude about the mainstream lagers regular people drink” What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to be rude, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!”
Really? You’ve decided to stop bashing drinkers in a free country where people are free to spend their own money on what they want? For fucks sake. You want a round of applause for what you should have been doing for the last 40 years?
Welcome back to the human race, beards. Glad you rejoined us. Hope you like the world the rest of us live in, now come join us in normal pubs and bars and have a game of darts and watch the footie. Chuffed you’ve decided to no longer be twats but simply deciding to be decent human beings isn’t worth praise. It’s just expected of you. Now get them in, mines a pint of cold fizz, I’ll rack up the pool table and when you get back we’re talking about that busty lass in accounts or the champions league and not what fucking hops are in your beer.