No, I think there has been a little too much attention placed in the wrong direction lately what with this wave of celebritosis, not to mention with the new found right for some beer people calling other beer people hateful, idiotic and uninformed on the one hand while others are acting like outright sycophantic cheese eating schoolboys on the other. You know what I think? We need to find our center again. We need to understand who is the most important person in each beery universe and that is the person in the mirror. Lew knew when he wrote about describing taste today:
But “Don’t write to impress, write to communicate” is good stuff. I can’t believe that one of his commenters — “Dr. Wort” — actually advises him to use the Lovibond scale to make more accurate descriptions of color. Great, let’s just all do it by the damned numbers. Useful. Beer tasting is subjective. There’s no way to get around that. Period. Never will. That’s why medals are usually awarded by blind judging and consensus, by panels. Best you can do. I don’t present my “reviews” as anything but my opinions. I don’t say you’re right or wrong if you agree or disagree; frankly, I don’t care, in the end. If you find them useful, and I hope you do, that’s great; if you don’t, I can understand that, too. They’re descriptive, not prescriptive. I hope you find the following reviews useful. I’m not going to worry about it, though, and neither should you.
I thought a similar thing when I was thinking about how to describe the fact that I really do not care about the preciousness of the thoughts of others to the detriment of my own ideas. And when I think like this, like you, I think of the Romantic poets as I mentioned over at Maureen Ogle’s place during a good exchange about ideas when I realized I needed to mention Billy’s Wordsworth’s fantastic 1804 poem “Daffodils” aka “I wander’d lonely as a cloud…” which ends:
“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
That is it! I said that it’s all the “truth of the couch” – except with web twenny I get the interpretation of the daffodil… or the beer… or the movie… or anything under the sun from a hundred, a thousand folks laying upon the couch in pensive or, more likely, vacant moods. That is in fact so it. My sofa. My mood. My vacancy. So, if you want to go to movies and gush or crap about movies, feel free. If you want to go to fest and gatherings where you can meet brewers and folk that present about beer and think that was money well spent or a total drunken waste, fill your boots. If you want to read a book and think you’ll never be as clever as someone who gets their words set by members of the typesetters union or think it was a really dopey way for the author to spend two years of their life, well, to each their own on that, too.
But if you want any of those things or you just want to think about the beer in your glass and then tell people what you think of it – good or bad – don’t take guff off of anyone because at the end of the day it is only you… and the beer.