Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday linknibbles - Ignorance, beer, bliss

In which we continue to stubbornly refuse to make mention of a rumored merger between two behemoth brewing companies that I couldn't ever bother to care less about, give even the tiniest winge of interest in any of their actions or their respective brands, except, maybe, for the fact that I proposed to Des after fortifying my resolve with a glass of Leffe Blonde*. Damn! I've said too much!

Instead, we'll make this simple: Of the treasure trove of discourse that's arisen ever since Charlie Papazian started blogging and, unlike some celebrity writers, openly reacting and following up on the threads in his comments section, nothing beats the chatter sparked by the question: What is good beer?

Taste it. Is it the character? Is it the soul? Is it its birthplace? Read the posts, read the comments, and then ask yourself if you felt you were better off before... Back when you could just stretch out under a shady oak on a hot summer's afternoon, and let the cicadas lull you into a swoony haze while a pint of IPA cooled your hand, then your brow, and then your belly, without a thought, a thought in the world.

* That link does not, in fact, have anything to do with that rather *meh* Belgian ale mentioned, but with the place where it all went down. Interestingly, it's next door to what used to be Syvia Beach's original Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, where Joyce's Ulysses was first published. And, for a time, American maverick composer George Antheil lived in an apartment upstairs from the shop. As you can see, he often locked himself out and would resort to scaling the building facade to access his window. Doubtless, as a self-penned "bad boy", he enjoyed the attention. More interestingly, the first date that Des and I went on happened to be a performance of American maverick composers, an evening whose highlight was the San Francisco Symphony reading Amériques by French-born, but decidedly American-bred composer, Edgard Varèse, who also happened to be Frank Zappa's musical idol. Which brings us back to beer (beer! beer!).

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