The Session #90 Post-Fight Round Up (AKA: Why I now hate blogging.)

It is 10:58, October 18th. I am sucking down a 'Gansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout. I have thrown my binary hands up in the air because I just don't know what to do anymore. Back in August, I was host to The Session. Part of my responsibility in that, was writing the round up of all the different entries, and I started it. And as I chugged along in reading and commenting and reading and commenting and reading and commenting, I gave up.

I just couldn't do it anymore. While beer blogging is full of a lot of amazing writers (See: This Is Why I'm Drunk or Literature and Libation), there is a plethora of overwhelming banality. When flooded with it, it becomes too much. Too many poorly written posts. Too many posts that just tell you things instead of showing you. Too much of everything I've been complaining about, and not doing anything to fix.

I got about halfway through the posts, I closed my laptop and walked away from blogging for the next few months.

I don't know where I'm going, what I'm going to do, or anything of the sort. But dammit, bloggers, you need to step your games up. Stop cheerleading all the goddamned time.


And here comes the round-up...

I'm going to take some partial blame here, while I kept my announcement pretty one dimensional, I had hopes and aspirations for some exciting writing. I wanted more than just a negative beer review.I just wanted some honesty, that's all. Again, I take full responsibility for the apparent vagueness of my announcement. Some of you were able to rise to the challenge, some of some of you stayed in the same corner from which I was trying to get you to stay out of, and some of you seemed to take umbrage by what I asked of you.

Yeah, I get it, I come off as uncouth, unintelligent, and boisterous. I get it., I say "fuck" a lot, and you probably didn't want to associate with a mouth breather like me, so you took this session as a chance to mount your moral high horse and look down at me. "I'm not going to write a 'fuck' laced tirade just for the sake of writing a 'fuck' laced tirade." some of you seem to be saying.


Kicking it off, Vincent from Bier Battered struggled with Stone Brewing's Vertical Epic 12.12.12, which I found amusing, since the beer that first inspired me years ago to indulge in the negative from time to time, was the Vertical Epic 11.11.11. He did a good job in highlighting the negative aspects, and not just saying "I hate this beer, because." The last sentence really summed up a thought I'm sure most people have flirted with at one point: "If you ever needed proof that ratings could be effected by limited releases or rarity, look no further. This release is currently holding at 97% rating on Rate beer and 88% on BA." But damn, this entry was nigh on unreadable.

Breandán from Belgian Smaak gave me a post that after reading a couple times, I ended up liking way more than I thought I would. I really enjoyed the brewery history, and the brewers own admission that these beers just aren't for everyone. The beer highlighted certainly seems like it's one that would put up quite the challenge, but one I would certainly like to tackle. A different approach from what I was expecting, and very welcomed.

The Beer Nut started off with what I thought was going to be a unique approach; An attack on an entire style (he had brought up Black IPAs). I got REALLY excited...but I was wrong. He decided to "put 'em up" against a specific beer (Schoppe Bräu's Roggen Roll Ale). What a fight this one turned out to be! There is something about "sweet incense mixed with balsamic vinegar" that solidifies the decision that this is a beer I will never, ever pick a fight with.

Bryan from This Is Why I'm Drunk fucking nailed it. He gave me what I guess I had been secretly hoping for since coming up with the idea for the topic. Not only did he flex his imagination muscles, he was able to tie it into a very personal post he had done for a previous Sessions. You guys think I just want you to angrily shout via text at some beer? No. I want you to tap into an area of yourself that you didn't think you were capable of, and put out something outstanding. Something that surprises even yourself. Bryan didn't think this post was what I wanted, and thought that maybe he half-assed it. Nope. This hit every note on what I was hoping for. Reading this, I'm reminded of some dingy, David Fincher-esque setting. Bloody tape strewn about the floor, and a fighter who's got nothing left, but is expected to bring everything to the table. It was a struggle to read, not because it was poorly written, but because he tapped into a despair so many people forget exists, or just pretend doesn't.

This one was a surprise right off the bat. Not only had I never heard of The Southern Committee, but I got a post that played to exactly what I wanted, and I have never had any interaction with Blake prior. Maybe there is some brightness left in the world of blogging. It was refreshing to see someone with a bit of fight left in them, even when it looked like the beer might have had an early KO. A new blogger (to me) came out swinging and blew away the majority of you established guys I've seen floating around for some time. Y'all need to step your game up.

And then there was this stupid shit form The Beer Runner, who completely missed the entire fucking point of everything, ever. Someone else summed it up perfectly for me in two textual soundbites:

"His response to your topic is the problem of which you write about in your prompt.
and he realizes that.

and shrugs his shoulders.

and then my head explodes.

And then this anecdote is the perfect example:

"If I go to an event or brewery and have a bad experience, I won't write about it. I want to share the positives of the industry, but I'd rather not highlight the bad."

I didn't want to get into a discussion about it, because it would have gone on far too long and I had limited time, but I fear that's a common thought. It's cliched at this point, but that kind of sentiment keeps popping up - people feel it's their responsibility to talk about how awesome things are, but never veer into darker territory.

Like Beer Runner - why is it bad to go on a tirade? Or even offer dissent?

Reading through some of the responses, it seems people just pick an easily bashable beer, have at it, then everyone chimes in with a "Oh yeah, that beer SUCKED!

Beer Runner, you failed miserably. I see what you did. You took the moral high road, you showed the blogging community that you are obviously better because you are not simmering with unfathomable rage. I see that, and say...thanks for wasting my time, you suck, and you are everything that is wrong in beer blogging.

Moving along...

Doug, my good friend from Baltimore Bistros & Beer is someone who I have talked about this topic with at length over a series of multiple discussions. We have bounced ideas off each other, we have struggled to make sense of our own thoughts and words, and have been able to add a of clarity when the other needed it. Back in April, when we both had really reached our limit of "HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY," he invited me to guest post on his site about it. He let me vent, and it felt so good. With all that said, it was a lot of fun to read about his battle with a particularly fantastic sour beer. It's funny because I mean, it's such a damn good beer, but the fact that I know this dude really enjoys sour beers now shows a maturation that I can relate to. Doug has a talent of making each post very personal, and it's one of my favorite things about his blog.

1 comment:

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