This post was caused by some funny timelines; I saw this post on the Allgates Blog last week, but it is from May of 2014.
Allgates, by the way, apart from doing very good beers, write some excellent blog pieces so I was quite annoyed with myself that I’d missed this one on its original publishing.
For those who don’t know Pump Clip Parade, which itself started as a blog and has recently updated to its own .com is a website that, well I’ll let their spiel tell you:
“Why, when there is the continual background murmur “we want more people to try cask ale”, do brewers keep giving their beers cringeingly bad, wince-inducing names and wilfully amateurish artwork?
It makes us, the drinkers, reluctant to drink the beer, however good it is.
It must stop!
Only by naming and shaming the culprits can we encourage brewers to improve the presentation of cask ale.
The focus is on British real ale, but occasionally foreign beers deserve the humiliation of a post on Pumpclip Parade.
This blog is not motivated by political correctness or anti-sexism. It is about bad marketing.”
Mary Whitehouse could not come up with better subterfuge for her campaign of moralistic outrage.
What got me was the final line in the Allgates post:
“Just checked the site to make sure we weren’t appearing! We do, but only for awful clunking wordplay on our Caskablanca clip! But hands up as I think we had a few dodgy clips in our early days.”
Sure, if they wish to make some odd sort of apology because they’ve been “named-and-shamed” about a pun then by all means have at it…I just hope Pump Clip Parade doesn’t see their Twitter Banner picture or they’ll be for it…
Now the subject matter of the Allgates post above and what oddly Pump Clip parade denies it is mainly about is the issue of sexist pump clips.
I’m not going to talk about those in this post as that whole subject labelled as #beersexism is worthy of many posts and is far too intricate to debate about now.*
One aspect about Pump Clip Parade is that it is user-generated.
The campaign not only relies on the moralist need to nudge people into “good behaviour” but to keep a growing army of the perpetually offended on the look-out for anything else that can possibly raise the hackles of the fellow pseudo-virtuous. The online version of the lynch-mob, pitchfork days of old.
The puritanical nature of this website is as patronising as every bit of health “advice” we receive on a daily basis for self-appointed “experts.”
The nannying associated with curbs on free speech is a thin end to the control of thought and the fear of seeing something that might offend leads to the closed mind and brain death from a lack of ideas, critical thinking and cognotive reasoning.
The final thing about the site is that it is a personification of everything that is currently wrong with the gentrification and snobbery associated with beer. Heaven help the working-class bloke that gets a chuckle from a bad pun, some crap art or a bit of smut; the middle-class liberals are here to purge you of your soiled mind and clothes and invite you to join in the beer utopia of a world full of clean corporatism, where each pump clip as relentlessly dull and sterile as the other and drunk in a place filled with IKEA’s finest offerings.
Vive la différence.
Choosing to buy (or not) a beer because it has an image on it that can be seen to be derogatory is one thing, but not buying one because of language is just as silly and as immature as the puns used on the pump clips.
What is funny is that the justification for some of these pump clips, apparently (as the tag cloud helps you with) is “it’s just a larf innit?”or “a bit of fun.”
Which I’m sure would be the defence for the faux-violence in the website tag-line “…but bloody hell, some brewers should be tied up in hop pockets and beaten with malt-shovels.”
But that is the problem with self-appointed moralists…they are full of bullshit.
There is one thing I like more than beer and that is free speech. Of course this piece itself is full of hyperbole and faux-outrage which may lead to some sort of Streisand effect but it’s good to go down to someone else’s level once in a while and play the hypocrite.
“And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
*I suppose somewhere in that sentence I was meant to, at the very least denounce sexism…