OK, this quote may help unpack this point from another angle:
There’s never been as much stellar beer in San Diego as there is right now. Unfortunately, there’s also never been as much bad beer in the county at any one time as there is currently. Upon stating the latter, I was greeted with raised eyebrows from many in the crowd. It was something that, as someone so taken with the local beer industry that I changed my entire career path to become an official member of it, it pained me to say. But it had to be said—especially since, apparently, few others are willing to. During a question-and-answer session I was asked why it is that I would report the negative aspects of local brewing operations. Why I would “attack owners’ babies.” My reply to that was that they’re not their babies, they’re their businesses. It's a parents job to feed their babies, not the village's. A business depends on the village (i.e., customers) to keep the business nourished. So, any business worthy of existing should fundamentally benefit both the owner and its patrons. While others on the panel stated that, if they came across something negative at a brewery or found its beers to be substandard, they simply wouldn’t write about them, or worse yet, would do their best to find one good beer in their stable to highlight while leaving out information about all the bad beer, I just can’t go that route.
First, appreciate that San Diego may as well be Minsk or Brasilia to me. I make no comment on the immediate context. But it does illustrate one way that fact and opinion have become so interesting in the beery discourse, so much so that I would say that it has become a proud tradition. Second, self-censorship. You need to appreciate that this is something I do regularly. I don't buy any of the arguments in favour of self-censorship that are mentioned up there. If a brewer is bad, I don't care. There is no community and there is certainly no obligation. Yet I do not write all that much about bad beer. I am not interested in venting outrage at the dull things of life. Am I, therefore, part of the problem? The lazy citizen blogger? Maybe but the only thing that rises up in my mind is this: who cares? I am not your cousin or long lost college pals. You and I? The word is strangers. I care nothing much for any of you and I dearly hope you don't care for me. Care for real things, the people around you.
But it does raise an interesting question. Selectivity. We each like to like the things we like. This is where I was trying to go with Jeff as his fervent defence of a proper usage of the word "lambic" was so different from my sorts of interest I had to ask. Not accuse. Just ask. But then I also did what I like to do. Dig a little in another direction. If an argument is favour of a restricted use of "lambic" is that it is an EU protected use, it is good to know that there were 23 sorts of EU protected beers in 2010 up from 17 in 2005. Of the 23 or so, the finest and most protection worthy sorts of beer from the UK are Kentish strong ale and Rutland bitter. Mmmm... Rutland bitter. Protected and forgotten. That should be the style's motto.
Point? Like whether you think the world revolves around your beer writing integrity, you are likely wrong. Similarly, if you think the bureaucrats in Brussels are making wise decisions based on the objective view from a panopticon, well, not so much. Which is why we need to ask ourselves and each other the key question "why?" as much as possible. In a marketplace full of other interests, pressures and compromises that weight upon open discourse, we really should admit our own baggage and preferences, too - if only because they are so apparent to everyone else.