It's been an odd patch. R.E.M. just broke up well after anyone noticed they were actually still a band. Jeff ticked me off but we're back stronger than ever. I ticked off Tandleman and... well, I admitted my feelings. Change. Flux. Conflict. The discussions were all in the context of grapplings about meaning. And then a voice of clarity cut through all the crap:
We are now in a post-craft environment in which there is a wide variety of business models and ownerships in addition to a great depth of beer styles and experimentation.
It was in comment #2 over at Jeff's place, made in response to what I think is one of the cleverestest posts I have ever seen - a blind review of beers asking if they qualify as "craft"! My initial reaction was that this was as brilliant a stripping away of objectivity as this. It brought me back to Zak's where I made a comment building on something said by BN. I wondered:
Maybe the pursuit of "goodness" or "reality" or "craftiness" is all a side show. Maybe there is something so old and elemental about beer (amongst we of the beer making cultures) that debating or even searching for objective "better" is a bit silly or at least co-existent with the comforting pleasure it brings. A man's dog may be ugly and smelly but he still truly loves it. Beer is best because it is beer. Full stop.
Post-craft. What does that mean? It means we need to settle our affairs without assumption or pretense - or even the support of a larger organization or larger structures of definition. Which means that this Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale has to be quite OK even though it tastes a hell of a lot like a really well made American macro-lager... but I like it fine.
Which also brings us back to the idea of discourse and discord. If the only real Beer Nut is right and the "problem lies in the collective identification of the good in order to have a collective pursuit thereof" what are we left with? Sounds a lot like Gervase Markham circa 1615 - it's all about taste... and one's own taste. Fine.