Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the new hemp beer, called “Joint Effort.” The beer was brewed by Red Hook and Hilliard’s to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in Washington State.
As I wrote the post, I had a feeling it might inspire some controversy, but I made a conscious point not to express an opinion on the legalization of marijuana, but rather tell you all about the beer and let you form your own opinions. That’s really what I try to do with most things I write for this blog. My guess is that most of you want an objective piece on what’s going on in the world of beer, not my thoughts on it. Or maybe you do, in which case, you’re awesome and we should hang out sometime.
Today, I’m going to break that rule a bit and give you my thoughts on the reaction to that post.
After publishing and pushing the post through Facebook, the responses were as I expected. People either thought it was really cool, felt indifferent, or they were against the idea. No problem. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, which I’ll get to.
There were no crazy comments until I came in on Wednesday morning, checked our Facebook page, and saw that two guys had really had it out with each other on the page. Basically, someone voiced their opposition to the beer (and the issue the beer supports), and another fan called him out on it, mocking him with a crude insult.
From there, the exchange exploded into about 10 comments, each with 4 or 5 replied comments underneath. Things got ugly. Someone’s mother was brought into it (more than once), names were called, profanity was used, and generally, the arguments were just weak on both sides because they spent more time insulting each other than they did discussing the issue that sparked the debate.
All of this unfolded on our timeline for everyone to see. Anyone who knows us knows that we’re not a bunch of uptight sticklers. We like to have fun. We also like to encourage mature debates and discussions among our readers, fans, and customers, but this was nothing of the sort, and honestly, it was kind of pathetic.
I see this happen on a lot of our posts about beer. If we even mention Budweiser, Miller, or Coors, someone jumps in with a comment about “the losers that drink that swill.” Again, we get it. You have your opinions, and you have a right to express them. All we ask is that you do it in a respectful manner. I have a few coworkers who think that stuff is swill too, but they would never make someone feel bad about drinking it, and if they did, they’d be a bit more clever about it.
It’s a free country, so if you want to go crazy on our timeline, by all means go ahead. It provides entertainment for a lot of people. But if you’re trying to have your opinion heard and not end up as the butt of a joke, think a little bit about your comments and arguments. Are they pertinent? Or do you sound like a 12-year old arguing at recess?
This goes for any belief you have. I have differing opinions from my friends and family on a lot of issues – from beer and food, to more serious things, like politics and religion – but I enjoy conversing with them. We discuss the issues, listen to each other, but most importantly, we respect each other and our differences.
At KegWorks, we encourage people to drink, do, and believe what they like to, and to do all of that while being respectful of the beer tastes, life choices, and beliefs of others.
In closing, I’d like to offer a little bit of insight from Kmart – if you’re going to talk about someone’s mother, you best be saying something nice.