Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"It is the death of all original thought."

Two brief ruminations about beer, both British, and both finding the center of the target in my increasingly jaded world.

First, the lamentable passing of the neighborhood boozer, and the trend of marketing beer with food.

How to get the Brits to drink more beer, by Henry Jeffreys (The Guardian)

... One of the things I love most about beer is its uncomplicated pleasure. I appreciate the taste but I don’t want to worry about whether I’m drinking the right one with my pork scratchings. As soon as people start trying to match beer with food then it can add a layer of pretension.

I have not disavowed my longtime advocacy of beer and food together, and intend to continue being hedonistic when the mood strikes, but even so, I harbor similar reservations for similar reasons. Balance, I say. Let there be Minted Pepper Saison in the lamb marinade and thimbles accompanying it at the beer dinner, as well as four-deep pints of session-strength Best Bitter ... and public transportation to make it home.

And, let's applaud a boot in the groin of these pub chalkboard images serving as the sole educational outreach of all manner of on-premise establishments on social media. It drives me crazy. Do we educate about anything any longer?

Free with every pint: how about a boot in the groin of the pub chalkboard?, by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (The Guardian)

As a Guardian contributor, there are many things that grind my gears: rampant inequality, the prohibitive cost of quinoa and, of course, the consequences of rewilding in Hebden Bridge. But if one thing is guaranteed to raise my blood pressure faster than you can say neoliberalism, it’s the “humorous” pub chalkboard.

The tedious, predictable, cynical, unimaginative, intellectually vacuous cult of the pub chalkboard has become a national problem, and I have reached the end of my tether. Every day on social media ever more specimens seek me out, cynically concocted to maximise exposure. When I walk down the street they sidle up smugly, and I am transformed into a senselessly furious punk. I want to buy a pair of Dr Martens just so I can kick one in its smug, intentionally Instagramable groin, making them all topple like dominoes as I snarl and spit and swear.

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