Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I say "cultural criticism", you say "trolling beer nerds", the truth's probably somewhere in between

I like this comment a little too much to let it languish at the bottom of Phil's blog, at the bottom of a debate about "craft beer" and (once more) the general project of paying four quid for a half pint.  The context is branding, the goods and evils of, and in particular the pub chain "Brewdog", whose marketing material irritates beer nerds to hell.

Update! Four quid for half a pint? Those were the good old days.  I remember when you could get one third of a pint of lambic IPA with cherries and still get change from a fiver.  No more.  "Anarchist Alchemist" (I know, I know) currently selling across the road from me for £5.95 for a  190ml glass, or shall we say roughly the same price per bottle as single malt from Sainsbury's.  There can be no possible rationale to this pricing decision other than that the head barman guesstimated that there was about a £1500 market for the stuff locally, a barrel contains 88 pints and did the division accordingly.

Thinking about that a bit more, every subculture has this complicated relationship with its “trendy” element. And it is not exactly difficult to map the Brewdog flamewars onto a generic template which also fits “heavy metal bands with a pop single”, “Twenty20 cricket”, “New Labour” etc etc. We have:

1. What they’re doing has nothing to do with us and our subculture and I just find it boring and can’t see why we’re all talking about them actually. Boooring. Can we talk about something else please please.

2. It is good to see all these young people and new people jumping onto our bandwagon but we should not compromise any of our own traditions at all. So popular and trendy representatives of our subculture must demonstrate regularly to the rest of us that they are only working in a missionary role, and we will monitor their progress regularly to ensure that the educational mission is delivering a steady stream of hardcore enthusiasts.

3. This dillettantism just annoys me, all these people pretending to be like us when they haven’t suffered like us or put in the hard work which it took to establish our image and culture. It’s insulting! Worst of all, people are using goodwill that WE built up for them in order to build popularity with a different audience. They’re rejecting us, what ingratitude.

4. Actually the purists are the really annoying ones, nothing will ever be good enough for them and they just alienate people. It’s their fault that our subculture are looked at as weirdoes. If it wasn’t for the awful bloody purists, everyone in the land would be just like us and wouldn’t that be great!

5. Errr … um … don’t jump on me for saying this mmkay … I just … sometimes think … maybe it wouldn’t actually be all that great if we were the mainstream. I kind of liked it better when it was just this small community who all knew each other. Of course I don’t really mean that nononono I realise that some people have built businesses on our culture and I want them to succeed! I just … I’ll shut up now.

6. One of these days the trend is going to move on and all these half-hearted types and trendies will leave you know. Then we’ll be back where we started, or probably worse off because some of us have overextended. We’ll regret any and all compromises we ever make with the mainstream.

7. They’ll never leave us! We’re so great and everyone’s going to realise it! WE’LL TAKE OVER THE WORLD! We don’t need to compromise with anything, we’re so great. Just any moment now, the real, hardcore version of our culture is going to go mainstream and everyone will forget about the compromise version. Really soon. Any minute now …

8. Oh come on guys can’t we talk about something else please, these internal squabbles are what really puts people off. I just find it all rather boring actually and can’t we talk about something else please.
3 comments this item posted by the management 6/22/2012 03:13:00 AM

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