On 12/10/2010 06:07, Dave Kibble wrote:
> Another subtle shift away from the point, which try as I might I can't
> just ignore. Whilst I think it likely that if properly educated you
> are capable of appreciating, and even enjoying, Shakespeare, I
> wouldn't bet much on it.
It wasn't really intended to be a shift away from the original point.
It's not about appreciating a thing (whether it be Shakespeare or a
pint) in and of itself (although there is an element of that). It's
whether someone can be "educated" into having a "preference". I maintain
that if you like lager for itself ("cold, fizzy and tasteless") then
whether or not you are exposed to real ale, and educated to its finer
points of flavour etc., you will still like lager. And it may well be
that you will still "prefer" lager, despite the education. They are
simply different, and as such, different people will prefer one over the
other. You qualified it by saying that "*beer drinkers* who have no
preference...", and I would say that this is an absurd distinction. You
could equally have said "*alcohol drinkers* who have no preference..."
which is clearly ****. You might have said "*bitter drinkers* who
have no preference..." which might have been more true, but still not
going to be absolute.
Even within itself, the term "real-ale" covers a broad spectrum of
products which have differing tastes, and qualities. You cannot say that
every "beer drinker" will automatically prefer every "real ale" over
every "mass produced beer" given the right education.
> The whole point of art is that there's nothing intrinsically better
> about one piece over another? But I don't even want to pursue that
No, but others have, so I will continue the discussion with them. (Since
I have forsworn JR baiting, it's something else to pass the time...)
> , I
> accept that it's largely down to personal taste, but I will just point
> out that education (and opening your mind to it) affords an
> appreciation of the difference.
I fully agree. But appreciating the difference will not automatically
translate to a preference of one over the other.
>> I'm not a beer drinker, so I doubt that I can be "educated" about that.
> And my point was that beer drinkers (in UK pubs) who do not prefer
> well-kept real-ale are uneducated (FTAOD, I mean uneducated about
> well-kept real-ale, not about Shakespeare or any (other) art form).
And my point was that one can be "educated" about well-kept real-ale,
and still prefer to drink something else. You could educate me about all
the nuances of flavour available within real-ale, but I simply don't
like the taste of beer, so it is almost certain that I will "prefer" to
drink something else.
> I don't know much about cider, but I do have a prejudice in favour of
> thoughtful, well-provenanced food and drink over the mass-produced and
> artificial and (like Jamie Oliver) believe that education could make a
> difference to the expressed preference of others. That preference, as
> with real-ale, comes from exposure to the difference (education), not
> by changing taste or opinion.
I fully accept and agree with the fact that if you expose people to a
wider range of sensations (whether they be the taste of beer, or the
sound of music, or the sight of artwork) they are more likely to find
different things that they like. But I don't think that this will
automatically translate into a preference for the "high brow" choice
(whether it be real-ale over lager, Bach over Lady Gaga, or whatever).
> no, it's just a definition thing. If you label someone a snob, the
> rest follows. I'm not sure that snobs *have* to be in the minority, do
Probably not. But the loudest ones tend to rail against the popularity
of their rivals as inherently being a bad thing.
> Anyway, I was heartened to read recently that the Campaign for Real
> Ale (an education thing) has resulted in real ale sales bucking the
> decline in "beer" sales (in UK pubs that is). Would the establishment
> of a majority make it less snobbish in your eyes to have a preference
> for real-ale?
No, the snobbery comes from believing that your preference is somehow
better than the preference of another (and that someone would
automatically change their preference if only they were educated...). It
doesn't matter if there is only one person in the country who prefers
"cold, fizzy and tasteless" lager to real-ale, even after exposure to
both. His preference is just as valid as anyone else's.
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