It was almost exciting to see the flurry of activity in various social media platforms in response to an ‘opinion’ piece in some newspaper from somewhere in Australia or online or something (no click-baiting here) which was almost as powerful (and vacuous) as something about the colour of a dress. Or Kim Kardashian’s arse. Or something.
In essence, as Matt Kirkegaard so succinctly and deliciously put it; “Somebody somewhere said something mean about craft beer. Now the internet is in an uproar.” It’s very easy to get caught up in the furore that inevitably follows these shitstorms and, to their credit, most craft beer commentators/bloggers/opinionistas were quick to hose down the flames of outrage and attempt to set the world back on its usually balanced axis.
But some could not contain their rage and did exactly what the ‘writer’ hoped they would do – to drive loads and loads of traffic and angry comments to the website. Advertising revenue, anyone? For those who work well with analogies and pop culture references and wistful comparisons, I leave you with this; if you enjoy craft beer (or whatever you choose to call it) and want to keep enjoying it – go ahead. Nothing has changed.
One of my favourite scenes from The Shawshank Redemption is the one in which Andy Dufresne locks himself in the Warden’s outer-office and cranks up the ol’ gramophone with “Sull’aria…che soave zeffiretto”, a duettino from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. As chance would have it, the movie was on its 485th re-showing on TV the very same night the ‘Craft Beer Drinkers Are Wankers-Gate’ gained full momentum.
“I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.
I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.”
As I watched the abovementioned scene (for the 836th time – I have the DVD on high rotation) it suddenly dawned on me. This scene is a metaphor for why I enjoy a good beer experience and why, as is often the case, I enjoy without dissecting, overthinking or proselytising.
So, just sit back, arms behind your head with a knowing smirk placed cheekily across your face, then sip your favourite brew and simply let it sing. Oh, and if you thought you faced opposition from some attention-seeking freelance dribbler with a laptop and a newspaper column, remember what sort of real opposition Andy copped for his enjoyment.
And get busy enjoying.