Anat Baron, the director and producer of Beer Wars, posted a response to “some” beer bloggers this afternoon. As expected, this movie caused quite a passionate reaction in the beer community, some positive, some very negative.
Believe it or not, I do have quite a few interests outside of beer. I’m an avid follower of the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons. A few weeks back on his podcast, he was on a kick talking with various guests about the newpaper industry and sports coverage in general. I remember he made a comment in one discussion that with all the noise and competition for attention, many bloggers turn to flaming and extreme criticism to drive traffic to their sites.
The lesson to be learned here is that if you want to be “famous” and put yourself out there, you have to have a thick skin. I don’t have a large enough presence for people care enough to have an extremely negative view of my work (yet), but I can imagine how difficult that must be. It still bothers me when I receive any criticism, even if it isn’t a personal attack.
We all want our work to be liked and respected. At the same time, you have to love what you do, and do it for those people you know enjoy what you do and get something positive out of it. You have to embrace that and separate your self-worth from any negativity that comes your way.
And believe me, there is a lot of negativity out there, even in the beer world.
Trust me that making a film means being able to take the heat. But for all the ongoing bloggers who are trying to jump on the “hate” bandwagon, it was time to offer my perspective.
Now we can hopefully move on to a wider audience and a discussion of the issues.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Anat. It will be interesting to see what type of reaction it gets from the general public and those that don’t have such a passionate tie to the beer world.
I think Beer Wars will have much the same impact as Supersize Me and Sicko. There is so much that the average person doesn’t understand about what goes on behind the scenes to bring them the products and services they buy. I’m sure it will be pretty eye opening when Bud drinkers watch this on DVD.
Generally, I consider beer drinkers to be on the same side. We all want good beer. So why, then, do some beer “lovers” feel the need to try and drag down a film that’s intended to help craft beer? It’s self-defeating. They probably the same people that register “fire_____.com” to get rid of their favorite team’s head coach.
I find it really interesting how the blogging medium is changing the reality of cultural criticism (of both the constructive nature as well as the purely negative). With blogs any Tom, Joe, or Sally can react to whatever it is that catches their fancy by expressing their opinions. The question is, how do we in turn react to the expressed opinions of others.
Personally I find my four years as a writing major to be really valuable in this sense. Sitting through tons of writing workshopping classes teaches more than how to just hone ones writing skills, it also helps you gauge and contemplate criticisms to pull the most value out of them. It seems to be a matter of determining “is this criticism making a valid point that I can address reasonably?” or “is this just negative for negatives sake.” Then ultimately it comes down to the way we choose to react.
That being said, it doesn’t really help that people just feel like bashing shit for bashing sake. Of course, the wonder of blogging allows just that. as a blogger I generally just try to get over the stupid, inane, or just hateful comments. If somebody makes a good argument (even if it is contrary to my own beliefs/opinions) I will try and address it with an appropriate response and degree of respect that I would expect when voicing my own contrary beliefs and opinions. It can be tough, but I think that in this way we can actually pull the value out of the whole blogosphere chatter-n-noise.
Anyways, just sharing thoughts. To Brian and Anat, keep up the good work y’all!
The barriers to entry are so low now that you’re right, anyone can have a blog. Hell, I’ve got mine :)
That means you’re going to have a lot of unqualified people just spouting nonsense just to get attention. Isn’t that the first thing you learn to do in elementary school, when you want attention? Make fun of someone else or pick on them.
Anyone can destroy, not everyone has the aptitude to create.
Kudos to Anat for putting this movie out there. Sure it is bound to raise some hell. I am the Head of Brewing Operations at a microbrewery in Saint Louis. Distribution is difficult sure. I have lived as a craft brewer in the shadow of one of the world’s largest brewers. There is certainly a David and Goliath element to it, but I refuse for one second to play the victim card and relinquish the power of being a small, hand crafted beer brand that the market is pulling for. There is power in being small. There is power in being large. Look at large companies and how important and integral distribution is. This is nothing new and I can’t fault the big guys for protecting what they have created. I would think that if in their shoes, I would do the same thing.
In addition, The Movie title “Beer Wars” illustrates the fight. It is there, it is a struggle. It tells a story that many may want to know about. As Anat has said, it reaches an audience outside of the “club” and in that it delivers a message that may make a difference. In the spirit of our own edification as well as that of others, the fight should remain on the screen. The illuminating discussion while not devoid of conflict should build on what is a strong movement that many feel a strong bond or tie with, not just those in the “club”.
Again, thanks for stirring the stew and putting the word out there, and getting people talking. Thanks for everything it took, especially all the things I will never know about. I am sure you put much more than can be seenon the surface into this production.