Do you have a friend who happily admits they’re a snob? Or maybe they’re proud to call themselves a fanboy? Some people prefer to think of themselves as critics. Whatever it is, some people who immerse themselves in a product or art form without ever having produced it themselves love to voice their opinion. Often, that opinion is very cruel. This was my plague in Seattle. I was drinking so much beer that I became a self-titled beer snob. This was shit. That was shit. Everywhere a shit shit. Then I tried making my own beer. Talk about shit.
I’ve revisited the old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” I’ve always inferred the meaning as your own work is the best work. I now like to think of it as, you’ll appreciate something more once you’ve done it yourself. Turning to beer, there isn’t one in Atlantic Canada that I don’t like. I enjoy some more than others, but my desire for one over the other usually depends on my mood. Once you’ve made a beer, you pick up on things you may have missed before. Or, at the very least, you’re more forgiving.
In the movie Heckler, George Lucas said, “There are two types of people: creators and destroyers. I prefer to align myself with the former.” Well put, George. I’m not a Star Wars guy myself, but I have lots of Star Wars fans as friends, and you’d think he had synthesized eye cancer judging by their reactions from his remakes. And yet, those same fanboys have a blank resume when it comes to sci-fi films. If you only absorb, you become cynical. If you only produce, you remain naive. Balance the two and you’ll love the product.
I’m still trying to find a balance between producing and criticising, but I find I’m much happier doing the former. Do what you love rather than shitting on what you don’t. The day you find me Tweeting to a local barista about his mediocre espresso is the day I begin roasting my own beans.