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Author Topic: Beer and the term Pagan  (Read 8998 times)
Eadie
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« Topic Start: March 09, 2007, 02:53:55 pm »

Last night I was reading "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels, and had Mr Obviousman whup me upside the head with a clue by 4.  When I read:

"The use of a single word, such as "stout", gives you an immediate idea of what a beer will be like without going through a long description like, "it's a 1.045 original gravity opaque black ale with roasted malt or coffe like notes, a hint of diacetyl, and a rich creamy head."  This shorthand is very useful for communications between... "

I flashed on the endless posts on whether we should use the term pagan for all non-JCI religions who self-identiy as such, and how much we should explain in which situation.

When I want a beer, I don't give the technical explanation in the quote above - even though I (as a brewer) know it.  I say I want a beer.  Then, when choosing time comes, I specify based on the situation, but I never use the technical desciption unless I am dicussing brewing with other brewers - 'cause no one else will understand it.  In most bars or restaurants (except those with an actual beer list) I start by asking what dark beers they have, and choose from the list. 

By the same token, if asked what my religion is I will generally just answer Pagan.  Very few people want to know the specific gravity and the types of malt used in my religion, so why should I tell them?  Their eyes will glaze over and they will get little or nothing from the explanation.  The next step beyond pagan is to give a description (very short) that will tell those who have a small clue about pagan religions what general category one is in or close to - with perhaps a FEW qualifiers.  Hellenic Recon, BTW, Asatru, Wiccan, Hedgewitch, etc.  Really, anything beyond that, is getting into a technical religious discussion that very few people are truly interested in.  If they are, discussing IBU, and malt vs all grain, and the differences in different strains of yeast and hops is fine, but otherwise don't bore them!

Oh, and for the record, if you can see through it I don't consider it beer - with very few exceptions.

Eadie
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« Reply #1: March 09, 2007, 02:58:01 pm »

I flashed on the endless posts on whether we should use the term pagan for all non-JCI religions who self-identiy as such, and how much we should explain in which situation.

Very good analogy, Eadie; I'm in total agreement.

Sasha
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RandallS
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« Reply #2: March 09, 2007, 03:07:05 pm »

By the same token, if asked what my religion is I will generally just answer Pagan.  Very few people want to know the specific gravity and the types of malt used in my religion, so why should I tell them?

I judge my reply by the person.  If they deserve an answer but do not need details, I will say something like "I'm a Hellenic Pagan" or "I follow the Gods of Ancient Greece." I very seldom just say "Pagan" as too many people automatically think "Wicca" or worse, "Wicca as it appears in TV and film."  Such an impression would be unfairly misleading.
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« Reply #3: March 09, 2007, 03:11:23 pm »

I judge my reply by the person.  If they deserve an answer but do not need details, I will say something like "I'm a Hellenic Pagan" or "I follow the Gods of Ancient Greece." I very seldom just say "Pagan" as too many people automatically think "Wicca" or worse, "Wicca as it appears in TV and film."  Such an impression would be unfairly misleading.

But that means I should never use the term beer since I consider the average mass produced american pilsner or lager to be less drinkable than water.  Yet most americans think Bud or Coors or some other pisswater when you say beer.  Though hellenic Pagan isn't too much of an explantion - kinda like me sticking with "I'll have a dark beer" and hope they don't hand me a Heiniekin.
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Eadie
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« Reply #4: March 09, 2007, 03:12:04 pm »

Very good analogy, Eadie; I'm in total agreement.

Sasha

Just tryng to share my light bulb moment.  Wink
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« Reply #5: March 09, 2007, 03:32:03 pm »

But that means I should never use the term beer since I consider the average mass produced american pilsner or lager to be less drinkable than water.  Yet most americans think Bud or Coors or some other pisswater when you say beer.  Though hellenic Pagan isn't too much of an explantion - kinda like me sticking with "I'll have a dark beer" and hope they don't hand me a Heiniekin.

Truer words were never spoken. If I were christian, I'd say Amen.  Wink
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« Reply #6: March 09, 2007, 06:42:11 pm »

Though hellenic Pagan isn't too much of an explantion - kinda like me sticking with "I'll have a dark beer" and hope they don't hand me a Heiniekin.

Exactly. "Hellenic Pagan" isn't overwhelming or over-informative, but it should be enough "extra" info to keep many people from automatically jumping to an inaccurate conclusion.
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« Reply #7: March 10, 2007, 01:18:24 am »

Very few people want to know the specific gravity and the types of malt used in my religion, so why should I tell them?
Wonderful analogy you present here - right down to those folks who will argue minutinae for hours to determine whether it's proper or improper to describe something as "beer" (thinking of some stoutophiles I've known, who object when it's classed with beer and can tell you why in soporific detail - and apparently can't explain without the soporific detail).

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« Reply #8: March 10, 2007, 12:13:09 pm »

Wonderful analogy you present here - right down to those folks who will argue minutinae for hours to determine whether it's proper or improper to describe something as "beer" (thinking of some stoutophiles I've known, who object when it's classed with beer and can tell you why in soporific detail - and apparently can't explain without the soporific detail).

Sunflower

Well, stout is actually a kind of ale.  But within the US at least, ales are included in the general term beer - but there is also a speciic term beer which doesn't include ales....I simply try not to conuse the masses.  Wink
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Eadie
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« Reply #9: March 10, 2007, 12:14:31 pm »

Exactly. "Hellenic Pagan" isn't overwhelming or over-informative, but it should be enough "extra" info to keep many people from automatically jumping to an inaccurate conclusion.

Which is really my point - unless someone is truly interested in the minutae of your religious practices, they don't need anything else.  You have described yourself fully enough o 99.9% of the situations.....
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« Reply #10: March 10, 2007, 09:50:13 pm »

Last night I was reading "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels, and had Mr Obviousman whup me upside the head with a clue by 4.  When I read:

"The use of a single word, such as "stout", gives you an immediate idea of what a beer will be like without going through a long description like,"

I flashed on the endless posts on whether we should use the term pagan for all non-JCI religions who self-identiy as such, and how much we should explain in which situation.

When I want a beer, I don't give the technical explanation in the quote above - even though I (as a brewer) know it.  I say I want a beer.  Then, when choosing time comes, I specify based on the situation, but I never use the technical desciption unless I am dicussing brewing with other brewers - 'cause no one else will understand it.  In most bars or restaurants (except those with an actual beer list) I start by asking what dark beers they have, and choose from the list. 

By the same token, if asked what my religion is I will generally just answer Pagan.  Very few people want to know the specific gravity and the types of malt used in my religion, so why should I tell them?  Their eyes will glaze over and they will get little or nothing from the explanation.  The next step beyond pagan is to give a description (very short) that will tell those who have a small clue about pagan religions what general category one is in or close to - with perhaps a FEW qualifiers.  Hellenic Recon, BTW, Asatru, Wiccan, Hedgewitch, etc.  Really, anything beyond that, is getting into a technical religious discussion that very few people are truly interested in.  If they are, discussing IBU, and malt vs all grain, and the differences in different strains of yeast and hops is fine, but otherwise don't bore them!

Oh, and for the record, if you can see through it I don't consider it beer - with very few exceptions.

Eadie

This is a great analogy! I was trying, without sucess to say this on the old board. Using Pagan is as good as using Chrisitan, Muslim or Jew to generally describe a group of belief systems.

If more specific info is wanted, it can be provided...but 'Pagan' does give John Q. Public a general idea of what is meant.

Phouka
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« Reply #11: March 10, 2007, 09:58:07 pm »

Exactly. "Hellenic Pagan" isn't overwhelming or over-informative, but it should be enough "extra" info to keep many people from automatically jumping to an inaccurate conclusion.

You are assuming that most people know what 'Hellenic' means Randall. In my experience, most don't. On the other hand...most people 'know' that PAGAN is a devil worshipper.

I do agree that within the Pagan community, your term 'Hellenic Pagan' is informative enough in most cases.

Again, in my experience, most recently here in my area of SC, when I was asked what type of Paganism I followed: they were completely lost and confused when I replied:

Irish pantheon with shamanic and recon tendencies.

I had to explain recon and the difference between Celtic and Irish. And they STILL assumed/are assuming  I practiced/practice in a Wiccan way.

Phouka
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Eadie
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« Reply #12: March 11, 2007, 01:15:41 pm »

You are assuming that most people know what 'Hellenic' means Randall. In my experience, most don't. On the other hand...most people 'know' that PAGAN is a devil worshipper.

I do agree that within the Pagan community, your term 'Hellenic Pagan' is informative enough in most cases.

Again, in my experience, most recently here in my area of SC, when I was asked what type of Paganism I followed: they were completely lost and confused when I replied:

Irish pantheon with shamanic and recon tendencies.

I had to explain recon and the difference between Celtic and Irish. And they STILL assumed/are assuming  I practiced/practice in a Wiccan way.

Phouka

Hence why I generally stick with Pagan, and only expand to Other unless they really understand the subject.....
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« Reply #13: March 11, 2007, 02:34:17 pm »

On the other hand...most people 'know' that PAGAN is a devil worshipper.

I'd note that I've never come across this assumption in real life.
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sashapablo
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« Reply #14: March 11, 2007, 04:04:06 pm »

But that means I should never use the term beer since I consider the average mass produced american pilsner or lager to be less drinkable than water.  Yet most americans think Bud or Coors or some other pisswater when you say beer.  Though hellenic Pagan isn't too much of an explantion - kinda like me sticking with "I'll have a dark beer" and hope they don't hand me a Heiniekin.

Also, it's a good answer to the question, "What are you drinking?" when you know the person asking only really wants to know whether you are drinking a beer or a coke. They don't really care what kind of beer you are drinking, why you are drinking, or how it stacks up to other beers. So if someone asked me in passing, "Are you Christian?" I might respond, "No, I'm pagan," without any other qualifiers if I can tell they don't really want any other information beyond ascertaining if I am Christian or not. It's tailoring your answer to the questioner's level of curiousity.

Sasha
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