Today in Craft Beer Wut – @CraftBeerCommie

So a follow up to my piece on Mad Hatter Brewing

There isn’t really much to say about this person other than I hope that it is a parody…

 

Simply because moaning about the state of anything while you have a hammer and sickle as part of your identity really does smack of either parody or a total and wholesale lack of historical as well as self awareness.

Coming up next, the @craftbeerfascist – if only the swastika was as prevalent an emoji but then I suppose if you did that, even ironically, most people in the beer world would avoid you rather than openly engaging.

It takes all sorts I suppose.

 

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements

Welcome to Personchester

 

Kleenex bins ‘Mansize’ tissues

Loads of PR from this gimmick.

Waitrose to rename ‘sexist’ sandwich after protest by feminist campaigner

Loads of PR from this gimmick and the sad desperate career of the original moaner.

Keira Knightley bans daughter from watching some Disney films

Loads of PR from this gimmick and good to see the spirit of Mary Whitehouse never left us.

I’ve written about this nonsense before.  The cult of intersectionality.

People will moan about identity issue that really don’t affect anyone.  Those being complained at will capitulate and then the next line will be drawn, ready to be stomped all over in the name of a very authoritarian equality.

It will all lead to everyone who worships at its alter to eat themselves but they’ll do plenty of damage before hand.

It is a very sad state of affairs that I’ve touched on numerous times within the beer world and in general

But these stories keep cropping up…

Transgender first for Australian football as Hannah Mouncey is accepted

Transgender woman Rachel McKinnon wins cycling world championship

You do wonder when women how have/are transitioning to men will be applying and be winning things in male category sports.

But in the name of authoritarian equality…

Hostility to men…could become hate crime

And then everyone is a victim and everyone is a criminal.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Schadenfreude vs Principles – Part 2 – Graham Linehan

Part 1

I’ve written about Count Dankula and his court trial before.  The trial itself became a lightning rod on twitter with the schism between what is and isn’t free speech becoming as blurred as the lines between common sense and hysteria as well as the old left/right political paradigm.

One of Dankula’s biggest detractors, going so far as to call him Cunt Dankula was Graham Linehan, writer of the glorious Father Ted (with Arthur Matthews) and contributor to Brass Eye and The Day Today (again, with Arthur Matthews).

Such was the shock that greeted Linehan’s response to the Dankula case; because there is a very stable Venn diagram whereby people are entertained by both artists works, that some speculated that Arthur Matthews was the one that wrote everything and Linehan was just the ego that sold it all.

To be fair there were quite a few comedians who not only didn’t speak up in defence of Dankula and comedy as a whole but did actively berate his actions but Linehan was the most vocal, such was his need to show his allegiance to the left, the progressives and generally anyone who thinks jokes are dangerous and should be censored and those that don’t agree are Nazis, fascists or the “alt-right.”

Linehan towed this line, while at the same time giving short shrift to a trans activist whom he was engaged in a war of words with.

His main infraction, apart from apparent doxxing by both parties, was referring to the now she as the former’s he persona.

A complaint was made to West Yorkshire police.  The same West Yorkshire Police that fail to investigate’ nearly half of reported offences.

Anyway in the end, Linehan was given a warning for expressing an opinion.

Graham Linehan given police warning after complaint by transgender activist (Guardian Link)

He twitter account is currently locked.

The (no pun intended) rainbow of intersectionality that accompanies equal rights, women’s rights, transgender rights and all manner of everything in between is confusing.  If you just read the defence employed by Linehan in the Guardian link above the language is just as confusing, it is almost as if it was by design that these things were that opaque that offence is bound to be taken by anyone at some point.

It is quite simple to change your opinion of the right of free speech for all but sometimes people are so far down a rabbit hole it is hard to see how far from the light you actually gone.

And in this day and age of likes, followers and retweets, sometimes people will sell out their own beliefs just to tell those that hang on their every word, what they think they want to hear.

In the end, if you are willing to deny someone the right to an opinion and the right to voice that opinion simply because you disagree with it, then expect your very same rights to be curtailed in the very same way and no manner of flag waving for any “side” will save you.

 

Thanks for reading.

Zwanze – Beer Fools and their Money

This is a piece about observations and should not reflect on either the business or the brewery and their practices as they can do what they want.

Just like people can spend their money on what they want but this event just confused me, that is was something I’ve never heard of should suggest that I write from a place of ignorance, so be it.

Wiki History

I’d gone into Manchester, the first time in a while, for a drink and a large bite to eat.  On a tour of brewery taps, mainly due to location this was Runaway and the first and still the best Blackjack

It was here I bumped into a man who knows his beers and he mentioned he was off to Pilcrow for a beer tasting he’d got a ticket to.

I’m no fan of the Pilcrow.  For all its hand-made, locals-gave-their-time-and-labour ethos, it has always struck me as cold and efficient and all very, very cynical but as one of the party I was with hadn’t been, for the sake of plurality we trekked along and I was surprised at what I saw.

First it was busy, heaving in fact.  All seats taken inside and it was also very full in the courtyard.  I got a drink (as expensive as I’m sure the rent for this place is) and sat outside mulling it over when I bumped into yon mon again.  He’d been to a separate token bar and treated himself to a couple of other Cantillon beers and the Boon.

 

That’s £2.50 for a third but if you’ve been to IndyMan you’re used to this pricing structure/one measurement only thing.

The beers were nice; I realise nice can seem like it is damning with faint praise but that is all they were nice, above average but then again this wasn’t the main event.

Not knowing what was going on I was then surprised to see a queue start forming, snaking out of the door and around the table I was perched at.

It was a queue I’d not seen since the likes of Port Street and any number of other bars where people have a curious notion of what it is to wait at a bar for service.

It was then explained that it was 8pm and this is when the Zwanze 2018 goes on sale.

The queue went pretty fast as people with blue wristbands came out with their lovely branded glasses and their 1/3s of this brand new beer.

The cost of this little extravaganza…

£12.

Twelve quid for 1/3 of beer (5.5%) and a glass that some would end up forgetting.

Though some were lucky enough to have got to the newly opened Northern Monk gaff and had a suitable tote bag all ready bulging with glassware.

My beer expert pal was totally under impressed.  Being rather wry about the experience he did mention that he probably could have got it a damn sight cheaper from the places he regularly visits in Belgium but where as he was happy to attend he wouldn’t do it again.

It was at this point I was asked by a bloke with a most unsubtle Yorkshire twang where Victoria Station was.  I motioned it was a minute away, then thought that if you were planning a night out, always work out how and where you get home from.

Then I thought that given the bullshit with striking guards and the incomplete timetable Northern Trains are currently working to because of this (and numerous other UK train crap bollocks shit nonsense) that it probably would have been cheaper and quicker for said Yorkshire gent to have gone to Brussels to try the beer.

Fifteen minutes later was when then next and most startling observation occurred.  The whole place had emptied.

The inside was still well seated but no one was standing about and the outside looked like something from the Walking Dead.

It was eight thirty in the PM and that was Zwanze day.

A collective shrug was given as we said our good byes and went off to a far better drinking establishment.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

ConCERN – Identity Politics in Science

I was going to write this post a few months back, based on the news of Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell donating her £2.3 million award for a science prize to

…fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers.

In fact this blog has been half way in the making ever since 2014 when #shirtstorm kicked off and Dr Matt Taylor was forced to apologise for some clothing he wore that offended the new puritans among us.

Clothing made by a female friend of his, clothing you can view here

It irritated me as a scientist (by education and trade).  Granted my science background is chemistry because I’ll never understand physics (I’m not clever enough and I hate maths) and I really should have gone further with biology instead but you make your choices based on your first influences and even though my grandma wanted to go to Uni to do physics (the family couldn’t afford it), it was my AC/DC-loving chemistry teacher that suckered me into that particular branch of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths*)  subjects.

As I went through all levels of education and the into employment within the (chemical) science field one thing that was apparent, not that it mattered or was something to even be cared about, was that there was a pretty good mix of men and women around me.  Yes, there was also a fair representation, per capita at least, of ethnic minorities too but this piece is more about gender balance as I’ve experienced it.

You could argue that; apart from my maleness and straightness, coming from a poor/working-class, single-parent household I had certain disadvantages in getting any further.  Possibly more so back when I was trying, now it is just used for political gain and to flood universities with people who really shouldn’t and don’t need to be there given the amount of shit and pointless degrees there are out there these days, but then again university education is now a business, but I digress.

Back then, none of this mattered…

What made the difference is that I

  • had a particular aptitude for science
  • had a particular level of intelligence required to pass exams and get the necessary grades
  • could work hard, when I wanted/needed to

And most importantly of all…

  • I really wanted to do science

Which leads us to Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia being suspended after comments he made relating to sexism in physics.

I’m not a fan of identity politics.  I’m not a fan of victim mentality.  What we have here is a failure to communicate and a certain level of chicken-and-egg nonsense.

The only thing I have to contribute to this typical modern day shit storm is that no amount of money will change either the gender or racial balance of people in science.

People go into science….

….because they want to go into science.

You have to have aptitude and intelligence and drive and a love for the subject, the same as any vocation and as with anything, the cream will rise.

Are there prejudice people in science?  Well as a reflection of society it would be the case that the probability is high.

But science is as science does and it doesn’t matter who does it.  It just is.

Science is just there; waiting to be discovered, or proved, or even disproved and the waters really need to stop being muddied by identity politics co-opted by people with really shit and pointless degrees and nothing of value to give back to society themselves.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*Maths, not math, of all the Americanisms I read and hear, that is the one I’m most annoyed by.

Alcohol, Money and Duty of Care

Following on from this posts and the comments it prompted I found myself dwelling on the nature of cash.

I’m not a complete Luddite (not that only using cash is Luddite behaviour), I have used card to pay for a few things, mainly shopping but this is because I do like have money on me, just a card is a bit odd and very much like eggs in one basket.

When I was on twitter and known by my handle and this blog, I was one for keeping private, as such even when I went to beer shops I’d pay cash so the people, even those I frequently talked to, did not know who I was and if they did, then they would not have my details.

I suppose wanting to be private can lead to paranoia but I like paying in cash in on the whole.

How do you tip if you just pay by card?

Of course, an establishment only taking card does not mean that the customers don’t have cash on them but I’ve never much liked tipping jars, I like to give to the individual.

I suppose what it does remove (apart from apparent lower insurance costs) is the need to check balances and not have to accuse people of creaming money out of the till, or of patrons by over-charging/short changing.

The loss of mental arithmetic

In that there London over the August bank holiday I found myself in The Carpenters Arms, Fitzrovia.  They took cash but the barman (very good service I will say) looked all a bit confused and the wait for getting my change, despite being in big numbers on the till, took some time.

Of an evening the club I frequented, which was busy, after I’d said my drinks request, was met with a sometimes rather sharply thrown card machine in my direction.  This was met with a smile and a flash of a note (again, faultless service).

Any over reliance on technology, as complimentary as it can be, does have its downsides.

Loss of Customer Service

Everything seems a bit mechanical, if all you do is give your order and then tap your card it seems that you, and the server, lose a bit of human contact and interaction.  The automation of one part of service seems to turn us slowly into automatons.

Contactless doesn’t just describe the method of payment.

Addiction and Duty of Care

Don’t serve drunk people, or those who have clearly had enough.

Don’t serve those you suspect are under age.

Don’t serve those you suspect may drive afterwards.

Bar staff really are the front line between people and the harm they can cause to themselves and others and whereas it seems obvious that a server would have no idea if the person they are serving it spending they’re last £20 in cash or by card, speaking from experience, you can get a feel for a customer and their habits more from cash.

In the end it comes down to personal preference and especially personal responsibility; the physical nature of cash, going out with an amount you are willing to spend all ready in your pocket (yes, yes you can top up at a machine) is a far better way of monitoring your own finances than hot chip on pin action.

Plus I’m not having the state tracking and cataloguing my drinking habits…

 

Comments welcome below.

Thanks for reading.

A 1977 Watneys Calendar (NSFW?)

Disclaimer 1: These images are used as part of fair use, with thanks to the original providers.

Disclaimer 2: Due to me suspecting that nude images will be flagged, I have edited the photographs in order for them to be “acceptable”

 

So, without getting into any kind of political rants at all, I simple present some pictures I found of the way beer was advertised in the 70s.  These are presented only for historical record, they may be of interest to anyone that likes charting beer marketing throughout the ages.  All comments are welcome below.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.