Woke Siba and the Heretic Hunting Crafties

Last week I went and got the brewery mail and low there was a new copy of the SIBA journal.

I don’t read it, no one reads it here, I doubt many read it who actually get it delivered but then again this blog is probably going to make as many spurious claims as SIBA themselves regularly do.

It stays in it plastic (eco scum) wrap until I take it home and unpack it to put it in the paper recycling, as I like the false feeling of altruism when get when you put anything into recycling.

Numerous thought went through my head on seeing the cover and the first was to “have to check twitter” and the first was confirmed when I noticed they were pushing it to buggery.

And then the good old “we’ve got so many requests, we’re giving it away online”

File under – didn’t happen.  This is SIBA, you have to be slightly idiotic to give money to them in the first place let alone heed or read anything the belch out by many requests they probably mean the people that wrote the articles pushed it too and SIBA’s notifications were lit like never before (and never again).

So, just like those businesses that during Pride month go all rainbow flag crazy only to dump them come the 1st of July it is unsurprising to see another SIBA follow this trend.

My main query is why stick all these stories together into one magazine?

I can imagine the brainstorming session that went into this issue:

SIBA Exec 1: “We’ve got a lot of women, dykes, nignogs and wrong cocks who are getting into beer these days, how can we raise our profile?”

SIBA Exec 2: “How about a special issue in or around that fag pride month they do, we can get some representatives for each relevant tribe to write pieces about there difficulties in beer.”

SIBA Exec 1: “I like the sound of that.  It seems June is the month of the bumders so if we do it for our summer issue we don’t need to cover it again for a whole 12 months.”

SIBA Exec 2: “Great, we wouldn’t want to normalise these kinds of behaviors by having stories crop up in our regular issues,  best just cram them into one place and then the rest of our issues we can devote to proper, normal beer people.”

**High Fives All Round**

What sums up this bullshit best is the intro to this issue:

“When I started writing about beer and pubs back in the mid-1990s I was often struck by how few women, and even fewer people of colour and representatives of the LGBTQ community there were at industry events and gatherings.  I was quite frankly often the only woman in the room, a room that is predominantly filled with middle-aged white British men.”

Census data from 1991 says that 94.1% of Britain was ethnic white.  Etc., etc., et-fucking-cetera.

I see your agenda Caroline, I also see your woke racism and sexism, the good kind of sexism and racism.

In the way that beer twitter moves I was led down the rabbit hole to this tweet…

The replies to this tweet and the original quoted tweet are a joy to behold.  Such progressive thinking.  Such wide and open minds behind the closed fists.

Yes, free speech and free thought do not mean you have a right to an audience but it must be wonderful to be building up those walls of your bubbles so, so high.

And if “TERFS are scum” as everyone’s favourite fat, narcissist cunt claims then it would be interesting to know what Amber and the other plonker that favourited this opinion think of people who plead guilty and are duly convicted of criminal damage and assault are.

Woke scum I suppose, the good kind of scum.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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The Dishonest Opening Times of Micro Pubs

I think most of us have long been aware and made angry comment about the unreliability of micro pub and micro bar opening hours.  I suppose if you’ve planned a crawl or just a visit and find yourself with suddenly two extra hours to mooch about because one micro wasn’t opened at its stated time then it would be annoying.

Indeed, but I suppose you could at least go and drink/eat/wanderlust elsewhere until said new opening time rolls around.

But what about the dray people out there.  The deliverers of the beer.

Those who plan a route and can be doing 100s of miles a day, all of which can only be planned out by stated opening times of the pubs of that days itinerary.

That twattery greeted me today.  It has done a few times in the past, people running late being the main one but I can deal with the odd quarter of an hour provided it is (and usually is) accompanied by an apology.

Said micro that has inspired this rant is a good one, even I will say that, I won’t go as far as the local CAMRA branch who willingly fellate themselves and all concerned with it, but it is a good bar.

It’s Facebook page says it opens at 14.00 on a Thursday.

It’s own website says it opens at 12.00 on a Thursday.

WhatPub splits the difference and says it opens at 13.00 on a Thursday.

So getting there just after 2pm, to be on the safe side and you find yourself with this staring back at you.  Empty casks at your feet expecting to be picked up.

 

It is fantastic that you know you’ve got ever warming cask beer in your van and you now have to drive another round trip of 70+ miles to have to come back when they feel like opening.

Another few hours on to your day driving through the flooded back waters of Cheshire in order to be greeted by the pot smoking and all ready pissed locals of this gaff that are probably angry they aren’t middle class enough to live in Horwich but thankful they don’t live in the shit hole that is Daubhill (that’s pronounced Dob-ull) and are just desperate for a cold drink from the bottle fridge because all the other beer isn’t cold enough.

Enjoy my slightly compromised cask you fuckers.

But it’s all OK, they’ll be voted pub of the year again in the cycle of pubs that local CAMRA branches have when it comes to awards.

 

Thanks for reading.

My Trip to Chernobyl – in 2009

In all this time I had this blog (from 2013), I never thought once to put up my photos I took when I went to Chernobyl and Pripyat back in March of 2009 but I suppose the seeming popularity of the recent HBO miniseries has caused my just to add to the hive of information that is out there.

Prologue

If you are still reading this and haven’t skipped to the pictures already then I’ll just give a bit of personal background.

There was something about growing up in the 80’s that to a child it seemed to be a decade full of disasters.  The Cold War didn’t impact on me in the slightest, I was too young to understand that, but the stuff that disrupted my favourite TV programmes being shown, now that always hit home hard.

The capsizing of the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry outside of Zeebrugge in 1987, the Marchioness disaster is 1989, Hillsborough, Challenger exploding in 1986.  The impact of sudden deaths out of the blue had a big effect on me, it was a feeling that had replaced my fear of earthquakes and volcanoes; once the realisation that the UK isn’t exactly on fault lines or a hot-bed of volcanic activity and it was a paranoia that was eventually supplanted by the hysteria of mad cow disease in the early 90’s.

But one disaster held me in more awe and grim fascination that all others and that was the one that happened in reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in then Soviet Ukraine on the 26th of April 1986.

Fast forward close to 23 years and, having heard money was going to be spent on covering the disaster site more securely than the initial sarcophagus that was hastily constructed just after the disaster, I made it a mission to get out there and get some photos while I still could.

Photos

By all means share these photos, though I would like a credit if you would be so kind, any questions about my time there will be happily answered below.

This may extend to a few more posts as there are quite a few pictures.

A few “whhhaaattt” things that always got me.  Because of the energy deficiency that was met with the loss of reactor 4, I’m pretty sure I was told that the other reactors continued to operate “as normal” during the whole time period after the fall out.

And that; I think to this day, the French deny that any of the radioactivity from the disaster went anywhere near French soil.

First off I think we should all remember the immense sacrifice the liquidators (or bio robots), or just the ordinary firefighters who risked and gave their lives to clean up the site so the rest of the world would not have to suffer as much.

This tested us for radiation before and after our visit.

The road inside the exclusion zone and towards Chernobyl, with the site in the distance.

The decidedly small amount of background radiation outside the disaster site.

The school and associated playground.

It is about this time when you realise that even though it is still an active military site with exclusion zones, urban explorers can still get in.  Vandals get in there is graffiti everywhere and obviously tourists, so you do sometimes wonder just how “posed” some of the scenery is and just how things were left following the evacuation of Pripyat.

The recreation centre and the hotel I think.

Bits and pieces.

The fairground, may have been permanent may have been for the planned May Day celebrations.

The flora and fauna was radio active and we were advised not to step on any grass or moss or leaves where possible.

The tower blocks and housing with the reactor in the distance.

The nuclear research centre.

The “Red Forest” where the radioactivity detector went mental for the brief period it was held out of the van window.

Finally (maybe) is what I believe is called Chernobly-2, or “The Russian Woodpecker” – a huge radar array that was officially discovered following the accident.  With the size of this thing and the fragility of the never maintained original sarcophagus over reactor 4, it was suggested that if this thing collapsed the resulting ground tremor could have shaken and caused the collapse of the sarcophagus leading to the radioactivity still in the old reactor core being released all over again.

Makes you think.

Forward to Fukushima.

 

Thanks for reading.

Beer People Are…Fans of Assault

Turns out I was wrong and that the guy behind @themadbrewery twitter handle is the guy who “milkshaked” Farage.

It’s amazing how hair loss can change the appearance of a person.

So not only is he now a convicted criminal, unemployed, fat and unnecessarily ugly* he is also losing his hair, and all at 32.  Brian Epstein, Bruce Lee and Mama Cass never achieved this much before they died.

But yeah, political violence…whoo.

When I first saw the news that the guy had pleaded guilty to assault and criminal damage I went in search of his account to find he had locked it again but as per my duff old phone, it allowed me to see all the replies to him and quite a few caught my eye as I recognised their names.

One in particular a Mr. Matthew Curtis

What a total prat.  The kind of bloke, or close approximation*, who hides behind the bully going “yeah!”

Then I noted a fundraiser had been started for the assailant to cover his costs and fines.

Oh…who’s that again…

Now granted you can add any name you want to these things, what is more shocking is the lowly fiver donation, perhaps the beer grift doesn’t pay that well after all, or maybe it is someone pretending to be him (or honestly has the same name).

 

Reading through twitter and the comments on the fund raiser you do have to laugh at the mental gymnastics of it all, especially from the prick that set it up.

How everyone detests Farage so this kind of violence is acceptable.

Detests? Hmmm, a synonym of detests is hate.

And throwing things at people is a crime.

Oh god, these people are justifying a “hate crime.”

 

“He shouldn’t have to face further punishment because he has already lost his job.”

Because only one of either the law courts or an accused employers should be responsible for the sentencing of a criminal.  Shit, if only Ian Huntley was sacked from his job as a caretaker then he needn’t have been convicted of life imprisonment for the murder of two children, really the legal system is all backwards.

It’ll be fun, when part of your future employment is to have your financial transactions combed through.

“Let’s see, it says here Mr. Curtis you like to donate a fair bit to crowd funding sites.”

“Yes, I like to support people within the brewing industry.”

“Can you give us some examples, please?”

“Certainly, apart from my presence as a social media influencer I’ve also donated to getting new equipment for a whole manner of breweries in order that they may expand the out put and also to start ups.”

“Excellent; very commendable, who is this Paul Crowther you’ve donated to, was he the owner of a start up brewery?”

“He was a home brewer who was also convicted of criminal damage and assault.”

“Right.  Thank you for your time.”

 

Lets get this straight.  What anyone does with their own money is up to them but don’t be even so much as questioning someone else’s morals or political persuasions or thought or speech if you’re willing giving your money over to anyone who is a stranger and a criminal.

You may as well donate your money to the Nigerian generals that send you spam requests if that’s your view in life.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*Red Dwarf, Season Five, Episode 1 – Holoship.

I Fantasise About Throwing Chorlton Brewery’s Battery Acid Beers at Jo Brand

The title is a joke.

It is also a massive lie.

I’ve never fantasised about Jo Brand.  I wouldn’t even rape Jo Brand.  The only time I see her is if she is on my tele and then I quickly change the channel before she makes another witty observation about cake.

I wouldn’t possess any of Chorlton Brewery’s “battery acid” beers to throw at her either as I wouldn’t have bought them, seeing as they are hard to find in Manchester for a start and therefore the only other way of getting them would be to stove in Mike’s head, or any other employee that may still work there, with a brick and steal some.

Of course I wouldn’t do any of that because bestowing physical violence, rape and theft are criminal acts and particularly heinous and nasty ones at that.

Jokes aren’t crimes.

Well, they shouldn’t be but in this day and age words and offence are far more easily taken than given.

Count Dankula – convicted of “gross indecency” for making a joke

He was warning about this.

This blog has been warning about this.

Well, not the general public.  We all carry on working as normal, having a drink and getting on with our lives and then wonder what has happened to the world around us

The mass media, the social media users and the political bubble make up the rules, make up the arguments and the faux outrage and somehow this is how laws are drafted these days.

When I was growing up it was “the right” that got offended by jokes.

In more recent history, back when Frankie Boyle had an edge and hadn’t happily compromised it for a BBC pay check he got in to trouble making a joke about the Queen.

Furore but nothing much happened.  Though Boyle didn’t last much longer on TV after that, mainly because his Channel 4 TV show wasn’t as funny as his stand-up.

This has flipped, sort of, in the last 3 years to “the left” now getting upset at everything.

Danny Baker was sacked for a tweeted joke he made.  He made it in a personal capacity.  Also at the expense of the royal family.  He apologised but in this instance the BBC sacked him.

Jo Brand made a joke about throwing acid instead of milkshakes at people she disagreed with.

And so “the right,” trying to take notes out of the new left’s offence play book have kicked up a fuss to the extent that now our useless and wholly ineffective Prime Minister has stepped in.

Boyle and Brand probably weren’t at the time/aren’t employed by the BBC, contract wise, so short of not hiring them again they can’t do much.  In both of these instances though, the programmes were recorded, edited and then the material was deemed suitable for broadcast.

Which it is.

Because it’s a fucking joke.

Baker, being employed by the BBC, was able to be sacked and as such some would say this “right wing outrage” is merely to highlight the inconsistency shown by the BBC and media in general, towards anyone said not to be on “the left.”

I get that but this action merely greases the slope even more.  It normalises bullshit like this and makes it easier for the police to waste their time investigating non-crimes like this when they should be doing real criminal investigations.  Like wrong think on social media.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Any Pump Clip You Want – As Long as its Plain

There is a logical fallacy known as slippery slope, thin end of the wedge, or domino theory.  Only when it comes to public health it seems to be playing out exactly as predicted.

Start with banning smoking in public.  Then hiding cigarettes.  Then making the packaging not look to appealing to anyone who has the misfortune to lay their eyes on it and have a such weak and feeble mind as to be convinced there and then to tack up the habit.

And then when we start “saving lives” but losing tax revenue it’ll be time to find something else to blame to keep the coffers full.

Salt was a big thing a few years ago but the sudden push on sugar in foods, with soft drinks being the first industry to be heavily punished with levies which subsequently led manufacturers to change their recipes so they now taste shit because of all the artificial sweeteners used to replace sugar.

I went into my local the other day and as I was with a designated driver they were on the soft drinks.  All options were; light, diet, sugar free or “max” – a water was ordered, well done pub you’ve just cost yourself some cash because you didn’t give adults the option of a full and free choice.

The populace is being conditioned (nudged) to be use to the nanny state looking out for the best interests so much so that it was only a matter of time till this happened.

Call for plain packaging for unhealthy drinks and snacks to combat preventable disease

Beer will be next.

Articles with a clear anti-alcohol bias have been around for ages but the temperance movement, emboldened by the nanny state have gone into overdrive, much like this article

Girl and Tonic blogger: ‘Giving up booze helped me buy my house’

The more truthful and sensible headline would be “Idiot realises that saving cash will help in future purchases” but instead we have to get a feature on a lifestyle twat and their stunning and brave decisions.

Nothing is more aesthetically unpleasing as walking into a bar and seeing a hand written pump clip, well perhaps jaggedly cut fluorescent flashes for drinks promotions but nothing puts me off buying a beer more than a lack of pump clip.

Then again pump clips are expensive, so sending out hand written paper clips would help with the margins, meh, get the bar to do it themselves and save even more cash.

This reminded me of the clash between Tiny Rebel and the Portman group over the design of one of their cans.

Just think how much money Tiny Rebel would save if their new cans were just had plain.

 

In fact all breweries may get in on this.  It could be a good thing in the long run for all micro breweries.  What a sight it could be when the shelves of independent beer shops could look like this.

It’ll be a brave new world

 

Writing this I thought of “Any Colour You Like” by Pink Floyd and then in popped another song of Dark Side of the Moon and stayed there all day.

 

Thanks for reading.

(Morrissey x Killdren) – Common Sense + Outrage =

A list of the reasons why bands/the music of certain acts was banned in the USSR.  Of course they aren’t the only (former or current) nation to have such a draconian approach to what art is deemed offensive.

 

Certain Christian groups in the USA thought that AC/DC stood for Away from Christ the Devils Calls (a fine backronym).

When I went to Donnington in 1995 the local vicar wanted to perform a ritual at the ground, so sure was he that Satan himself would appear when the band White Zombie performed.

I’m remembering; though it was before my time, the legendary TV moment the Sex Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy (a fine soak of a Lancastrian) and the reporting fury in the next days newspapers about the offence taking at the profanity used before the watershed (9pm UK time), or even at a time of family viewing.

The Sex Pistols launched themselves into mainstream consciousness but I always wonder, please feel free to comment below, just how much impact the wearing of the Nazi version of the Swastika was in offending people because in this day and age, swearing at any time of day is a bit passé but far-right tropes are very hip.

I’m also remembering the Iron Maiden single Sanctuary and this front cover…

This Wikipedia article documents the controversy about this and of “Maggie’s revenge” on a the cover art of a subsequent Iron Maiden single.

Being a fan of the rock and heavy metal genres, offence is something you never can take with any band or artwork or article of clothing within the umbrella because it is a given that it will happen and that is probably why you like the band (other than the music).

The original cover of Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” LP.

The Vestal Masturbation t-shirt by Cradle of Filth.

Every song ever recorded by Cannibal Corpse.

But that was before 2016 and life has been very different since then.

The modern life of an outrage story is brief but its echoes can stretch for a while and then even come back in on themselves.

I’ve never got Morrissey, or The Smith for that matter.  I appreciate them in the way I appreciate say David Bowie or Elton John, they are highly talented, clearly successful and even I like a handful of their songs but none of their works are in my record collection.

The same goes for Killdren, who I doubt anyone has heard of and in a short while I doubt anyone will, not because they are bad, or good, music is of course subjective but that they will be able to ride their little wave of notoriety for a few weeks before inevitably fading.

Morrissey; as far as this author is concerned’ is a prissy twat who I have, at least from a stance of liking people who can troll a varied amount of self-identifying groups, gained a marked amount of respect for as I’ve got older.

He continually rankles meat eaters (of which I am one) in a way that the standard whiny veggie or vegan can only dream of but his latest annoyance, as of only the start of last week (say 27th May 2019) was to perform on a US talk show wearing a pin badge for the “far-right” For Britain Party, for which his support seems to be based on his avid animal rights stances.

Queue the outrage train, literally, as Morrissey’s posters for his latest album (hmm, being provocative tied in with the launch of new material, what strange and new behaviour is this?) were taken down from MerseyRail train stations within Liverpool following, one complaint.  Whether the complainant was a full on born and bred member of the self-pity city or just had the misfortune to live/work there we will never know.

Fast forward to today (3rd June 2019) and the latest bit of politically-motivated musical outrage comes courtesy of a “punk” band called Killdren who were set to be performing at the annual designer wellie-booted twat parade that is the Glastonbury music festival.

I once went to Glastonbury; the only vague memory I have of it, the best aspect that is, is that once you were in the grounds you were in.  You could walk from your tent with whatever alcohol you’d brought in with you and you wouldn’t have to leave it outside another designated area if you wanted to go in to see the performances.  Yet they still had bars and people were still buying from them, a revelation.

A acquaintance’s band was also playing there that year, in some pointless small tent at about 2 in the morning.  This is the slot that Killdren were allotted where they could perform their classic work “Kill Tory Scum” and possibly depict the murder and mutilation of conservative members and voters as a way of highlighting how years of austerity have killed thousands of innocent people.

Apparently.

It is all fair comment.  Regardless of you political stance it is a simple, trite and none nuanced way of getting your opinions across and if you can get extra publicity from the offended and its associated one-day tidal wave of shit then everyone is happy.

And you can sell a lot more t-shirts.  Yeah, punk ethos, down with corporate whores.

That in the space of a week the political left and the political right have both been offended by appropriations of opposing politics in artistic form helps me feel comfortable that I am, personally at least, wonderfully surfing in the middle on an free expression tidal bore.

And so, until the next shit tides starts as a ripple I’ll leave you with some Cannibal Corpse.

 

Hmm, not sure why all the water references came in, probably to do with all the salty tears of offence that have been shed and will never stop flowing.

 

Thanks for reading.