So. A wild satirist appeared, and is proving super effective. We haven’t really had one around here before, and I don’t know what good deeds we did to deserve Too Much To Beer as our first. It’s entertaining and incisive stuff, doing what all the best satire strives to do when it gets up in the morning: highlighting absurd truths and using humour to make a point worth making. As of right now, its creator is still anonymous and ― despite being a naturally inquisitive sort ― I’d like them to stay that way.
It is hard not to speculate. They’re obviously well-acquainted with the scene and have covered the obvious tracks in a way that either suggests they’re tech-savvy and careful or merely reveals that Squarespace websites are anonymous by default. There’s not enough of a pattern (yet) to give away much about their location in geographical terms or reveal their position in the landscape of the business itself: drinker, brewer, bartender, commentator, something else? And I’m intentionally using a pronoun that covers any gender and any number of people, since I don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest much about the person or even rule out that they are multiple persons.1 Hell, enough people have speculated that (and straight-up asked if) it’s me, since their targets do overlap with a lot of my own rogue’s gallery: Moa and WilliamsWarn, Mike Hosking and… myself. I am at least pretty sure it’s not me2 — unless of course all of this is a clumsy ruse.
My point is: stop looking. It’s like when Lorde was recently outed as running (of all things) an Instagram account that reviewed onion rings in a pointless exposé no one should be proud of. It’s not news, just because she’s famous. They just robbed a young woman (who is living a very weird life) of an innocuous outlet and hobby — when they could’ve kept their discovery in their back pocket to use for something other than instant eyeballs.3 And now imagine if Lorde happened to be churning out some of the best food-writing of her era, if she was a keen-eyed critic of the onion ring industry, and a welcome reinvigorating force in a sometimes-stuffy subculture. Because that — metaphorically speaking — is what we’ve got here with Too Much To Beer: harmless fun for its creator(s)4 and something equally entertaining and essential for the rest of us.
Whoever they are, they’re probably someone or someones for whom non-anonymity would be awkward. Maybe their employer(s) wouldn’t approve, maybe they’re a public figure who doesn’t want notoriety for this. Or, equally likely, they’re just a random schmo who’d rather stay that way. For now, the fact is that there’s probably no real difference between forcing them to be “out” and forcing them to stop. If it ever seems they’re abusing their blank byline, I’ll rejoin the hunt. Until then, just enjoy what they post (or don’t, if it’s not your thing), and back off. Okay? As a favour to me? Not because it is me, you understand. Unless it is… (It isn’t.)5
- Also, I just prefer the singular “they”. Get over it.
- Barring some Tyler Durden nonsense, I suppose. (Does that still need a spoiler warning, if the movie came out 1999..? Fucking hell, Fight Club is nearly old enough to drink.)
- I mean, I’m no savvy and expensive PR guru, but maybe point out to her how relatively-easy it was to crack, and offer suggestions for making it more anonymous — and get yourself owed a favour by a bankable star. Their actual strategy just got their ‘story’ lifted wholesale by a million clickbait mills, and Jimmy Fallon.
- I’ll confess a special interest, here, since the only other anonymous attempt at satire (very generously defined) I can recall around here was a mean-spirited (and unforgiveably unfunny) troll who had a go at me, probably after I took a swipe at their business or their writing. I still don’t know who they were, though I’ve always had my suspicions.
- Or is it? No.