For all the talk of beer blogging, it strikes me after over a year of writing on these my blogs is how many of the best bits I've plunked down are at the blogs of others. This obviously implies that there is a insular nature to the reciprocal nature of bloggers but it also illustrates how there is one large conversation in a way. One of the things I wrote today struck me as pretty good was this, a defence of the jumble that is the beer culture to my south:
OK, you bait me. You draw me in.
Here is the problem with that argument. You have a beer culture. There have been premium exports into the US since at least the 1750s and beer made and drunk on a daily basis since the 1620s or before. Masses of people drink masses of beer as they have for coming on 400 years. When I cross the border, you see it all the time because beer is more in your stores and in a lot of places you can have a beer as you walk down the street. In most places now you can get craft beer and in many places you can sit in beer bars and hear people bragging about spending too much or going on and on about hoppiness. The US expresses itself through beer just as Canada does in a slightly different way.
Just because you don't get a kick out of most of it doesn't mean it isn't your culture. Your suggestion about Cologne and the USA smacks a wee bit of "haute" culture. Or maybe just majoritarian culture. I like Belgian beer as much as the next guy but, having had a pal from there and having visited there, am pretty sure I am not moving there anytime soon. I am not getting into it but I am comfortable saying I like pluralistic states where the cops don't carry machine guns in the street. I like cultures.
Up there you mention you can get anything in NYC. That is America, baby! Choice at a reasonable price, excess for only a little more and a whole hell of a lot at discount.
It's been years since I recalled the snarl on the face of the long leather jacketed machine gunned cop in Brussels letting us know what might be better for ourselves if we knew what was good for us. But that is neither here nor there. What is important is the fundamental unimportance of what was written and what triggered it. And how, out of that awareness of unimportance, how something interesting might pop up. See, my comment was in response to Jeff's post written after he read Garrett's reaction to Jake's post. I don't really care about Jake's post directly and have no interest in most of the comments. Garrett's point is OK but it is based on his personal experience that I've simply never shared. But Jeff's tangent on the main discourse is interesting. Interesting in the sense of something I disagree with.
But it is a disagreement that interests and takes me into a tangent of my own. And a post. With which you may agree with, disagree with or find pointless. And you may comment or link or mock or whatever in a spinning whirl of semi-thoughts in blog posts and comments, the existence of which to which I may never twig. I came across one of these today from a month ago. Here's another from last year. Who knows what other ripples there are beyond these?
It makes me wonder sometimes what all this is. As we say goodbye to Google Reader at the end of the month, as we said goodbye to RSBS three years ago, we have to admit to the challenge posed by attempting to have a handle on what is being written now. You also have to compound that with the problem of what is then written next after now. And the next next after that. What do you call the spreading ripples of information, the shifting morph of conversation? And how can you capture it... how do you describe such a discussion? Or is it eventually lost, sitting well past the horizon? Not orphaned so much as a descendant.