Pump Clip Parade – Putrid Puritanism

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…

Good Cancer vs Bad Cancer

Today I woke to the “news” that Most cancer types ‘just bad luck’ or the now revised Random DNA mutations largely responsible for two-thirds of adult cancers but poor lifestyle can add to ‘bad luck factor’, says study

Obviously as people start the new year with a lot of healthy resolutions, you don’t want to be putting it in people’s heads that you can’t improve your lot.

If you eat loads of fatty foods you deserve the cancer you get.

If you don’t exercise and lead a sedentary lifestyle, you deserve the cancer you get.

If you smoke, not only do you deserve the cancer you get, but you deserve an additional cancer for every single person you’ve also given cancer to with you nasty, filthy habit.

I wouldn’t say my dad was a triathlete, but he ate fairly healthy, never smoked, worked in a physical job and was active and fit.

My dad has cancer.

But I rest happy in the knowledge that it is the good kind – Multiple myeloma.

Rather ironically, given that his family history is of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes it was his continual testing of his bloods for those symptoms that led to this rather more severe prognosis.

But my dad didn’t bring this on himself and it is this knowledge that has certainly lifted a weight not only from all of us in the family, but also on the over-burdened NHS, because my dad’s treatment is necessary as he couldn’t prevent it, it was just his bad luck and therefore because he didn’t live selfishly he justifies the expenditure.

As the snippet below from a talk show a few years back highlights, though talking about a different disease; we must remember to only ever care about and given money to the charities and numerous good causes that only treat people with good cancers.

 

The Interview – A Guide to Free Speech Hypocrisy

I woke on this Christmas Eve to the news that Sony will show The Interview in some cinemas and was receiving praise from numerous quarters.

For those who have missed this news story, which has been a wonderful exercise for all involved in both censorship, propaganda, publicity and hypocrisy I can summerise it like this.

Sony made a film called The Interview, featuring the generally above average James Franco and the massively over-rated Seth Rogan in a story about an assasination attempt (apparently successful if that matters) on the life of Kim Jong-un, the living ruler (though not actual ruler, those titles still lie with his dead father, Kim Jong-il and grandfather, Kim Il-sung) of North Korea.

Sony apparently fell victim to a cyber-crime in which a lot of “embarrassing” emails were leaked and a lot of films were made available online.

The hackers made threats, pertaining to attacks on the scale of September the 11th, if The Interview was shown – what followed was the biggest hypocritial nonsense by both politicians and the media seen all year – and that is saying something.

First of all, I’m no big fan of North Korea, but like most I’m only really know what I read about it, but I’ll take it as face value that it is a dictatorship, its people live in abject poverty and the leadership are lunatics with nuclear weapons capabilities.

The media, fully milking the teet of 9/11 threat references then proceed to round-up “cinema-goers” for on the spot interviews.  Most seemed unmoved, even more had never heard of the film – but this didn’t stop the media pushing the “movie-goers are frightened” headline.

Cinemas didn’t want to take the risk of showing the film, not probably from the threats, but that showing a film to an empty cinema is a money loser.

Sony, now with a dwindling numer of screens to release it on, “pulled the film” from general release.  From a business point-of-view  I actually don’t blame them, they need to make money, they don’t have control over cinemas so why lose money too?

They were then pillored (rightly) by both the “righ-wing” press and the Hollywood “liberal elite” and everyone inbetween for them apparently bowing to “terrorist demands”.

So the media, culpable of raising the panic and the fear then can perpatuate their own banner news story to then rally more voices about how great and free America really is (it is better than most).

At the same time many smaller cinemas said they would show it, or screen Team America: World Police instead, a film whose antagonist is the aforementioned Kim Jong-il, a film that didn’t spark anything from North Korea when that was released in 2004.  Though the internet and cyber stuff has come on light years in the decade since then.

These screenings never happened either.

So as it stands, at the time of year “when family is most important,” some smaller arthouse theatres, benefitting from a shed load of hype, will screen The Interview; mainly because security is probably easier, not only from North Korean terrorists, but from the more likely source of an American with their arsenal of weaponary not limited to an Uzi 9mm and a phased-plama rifle in the 40-watt range.

The thing about censorship and free speech is it is not supposed to be a fluid thing, it should be an absolute.

But we live in a world where we are conditioned to be upset and outraged via a social media network wanting only free speech so long as they agree with you, and an old media desparate to still seem relevant by drumming everything up to hysteria levels.

Fox News naturally went nuclear when they heard about a 2006 film pondering the assassination of 43rd US President George W. Bush.  The Daily Mail in the UK went similarly bat-shit crazy over a recent book by Hilary Mantel where she fantasised about killing former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Bush and Thatcher are icons to the right-wing, especially the antagonists; equally bemused and entertained at the pure hatred from “the left” that is felt for these two people.

But liberals are no more “for” free speech than those on the right.  I wrote about some of this a while ago

In fact the “liberal elite” of the UK have spent most of 2013/2014 trying to get the press regulated.

Not only that but on numerous occasions they’ve become bullies trying to bully perceived bullies from speaking out about anything, mainly on the pretence that what might get said or all ready has been, will “hurt someone’s feelings.”

To be critical of someone online can get you labelled “a troll” solely because your opinion might not fit the status quo.

What is certain is that speech is not only being restricted but also dumbed down and with it any sense of the ability to think for yourself.

Think on that in 2015.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

The Thin End Just Got A Little Thicker

Smoking in cars carrying children set to become illegal in England next year

I, as a non-smoker, find the need to vote this ban through on the basis of the presence of under-18s in a car to be an odd one.

Simple safety should tell you that holding a burning ember while in the control of a machine capable of committing every injury up to and including death probably isn’t the most sensible thing to do.

Eating, texting, using a phone, etc. have been outlawed (though enforcement is dependent on how much revenue is needed to be generated at the time) because they distract the driver, so from a simple competency of driving status you would think smoking in cars would be banned for this reason.

But the reasons for going down this route are many fold, and in my mind, far more sinister.

Firstly, in creates in the mind that smokers are such a disparate and desperate breed that they are in need of a constant fix, regardless of their surroundings, regardless of who is present.

It also creates in the mind a snobbish attitude; simply put if you say you saw someone in a car smoking and a child was present you’d get the exact same picture in your head of what said “offender” looked like.

slobOf course, just how prevalent smoking in cars with children present actually is is not actually quantified or qualified. It is the same mechanism designed to create prejudice against anyone in society that doesn’t quite fit in with a model that the state and it’s numerous “health” quangos wish to enforce.

Secondly, it lets you know that the state can invade your personal space.

The argument is that smoke is more concentrated in a car, so there is no need to worry about this kind of health diktat being extended to breaking into a persons home to check that no smoking is occurring in the presence of minors.

Probably after scare tactics about “third-hand smoke” were never taken seriously.

It will take an astute copper to realise how old any child is in any car and if it is a cigarette that is emitting the smoke and not an e-cigarette, otherwise a lot of time is going to get wasted.

It is this kind of criminalizing of common sense that enables people to not only be stripped of simple, basic rights but also allows people to nod along and passively accept it.