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16-02-2011, 15:10
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Joking about CAMRA stereotypes may very well be a lazy form of wit. There is no structure to the joke, it really is just nothing more than standing in the school playground and pointing at the kid whose mum has dressed him in a jumper he himself doesn’t want to wear, saying “ha ha” and encouraging all the other kids to do the same. I wouldn’t describe it as the same thing as bullying but it is pretty close to bullying, can be a feature of bullying and if the recipient is a sensitive soul be interpreted as bullying. Among friends it is called ribbing. It is what chaps do.

Maybe I have been guilty of this, and if so I apologise. Not for bullying but for insulting you with a low form of wit. You deserve more. You deserve a well crafted and structured joke. Beer snobbery like all forms of snobbery is intrinsically ridiculous and snobbery has a long history of being ridiculed. From the wonderful “Keeping up Appearances (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_Up_Appearances)” to “Dad’s Army (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dad%E2%80%99s_Army)”, the self set up of the snob via their own conceits followed by their downfall as reality bites has been a comedy narrative with origins that predate television or even the music hall. You dear reader deserve something of that calibre and rest assured I am busy working on it.

Until then I would like to express my respect for the gentleman pictured to the right of the photo. I love you man. I love your hair, I love your 20 year old grey jeans that presumably one day were black, I love the badges on your jacket and I love more than anything the tie. I love that you believe wearing a tie with that outfit makes it somehow “smart”. I love it. I love it. I love it. I want to be there with you now having a pint of pongy ale and learning all about great pubs and proper beer. Don’t for one minute think I am taking the piss. I really am not. I really fucking would love to get away with getting up in the morning, dressing like that and nobody telling me that it wasn’t perfectly okay. You my friend are a free man. The rest of us are slaves. We are slaves to convention, to rules, to acceptability, to the comments of friends, lovers and employment bosses. You walk among us as more than a number, you are a free man and I want to be able to call you friend. Respect also to the old guy in trainers. Bang tidy old chap, is that lout in your glass?

Congratulations to the CAMRA Pub of the Year, The Harp (http://www.harpcoventgarden.com/). Facebook users can see more here (http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=283006&id=256056404862). Well done on the award. It’s not quite as prestigious as CAMCL’s Supermarket of the Year (http://cookinglager.blogspot.com/2010/07/supermarket-of-year.html), but for every Oscar ceremony there has to be a few BAFTA type gubbins.

I want to visit, I want to buy my mad haired friend a pint and sit as an apprentice at the foot of a master. I will do so when I run out of cheap supermarket lager.


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