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Mead and other boozy revivals

Find your special place at the local renn fest

Meadiocratiy: faire to middling
Meadiocratiy: faire to middling

Dear Hipster:

At this point, I have heard of hipster bars putting just about everything into a cocktail, or even straight up opening entire bars devoted to obscure alcohols. However, I have yet to run into a restaurant or bar menu that makes a big deal out of mead (the medieval drink made from fermented honey). If hipsters will get drunk on anything, and make getting drunk on anything cool, why is mead the only alcoholic beverage I can think of that hasn’t had a hipster revival?

— Tasha

Hipster can revivalize (not the same as ‘revive’) just about anything. Even sherry, which at one point in time seemed exclusively the province of drag queens and teenagers stealing from Mom’s pantry, has been featured at hipster bars over the past decade of boozy revivals. But the thing about a revival is that you need to have gone away first before you can get revivalized (again, not revived, because that’s necromancy). You may not have noticed, but mead has been there the whole time, getting a very specific subset of people totally sloshed at renaissance fair(e)s throughout the country.

You see, because of its undeniably medieval associations (which are arguably erroneous, or at least exaggerated, given the inordinate amount of weak beer consumed by medieval peasantry, who apparently viewed beer as a kind of “liquid bread” during their short and brutal lives), mead has long had a special place at the local renn fest, usually right next to the giant turkey leg stand. And because the corsets and breeches crowd has basically staked a permanent claim on mead, it remains perpetually off-limits for hipster revival — hence the lack of attention given to fermented honey at even the hipsterest watering holes.

Hey DJ:

Is this an accurate statement: Most nerds are not hipsters, but all hipsters are nerds?

— Wink Sajack

You know, it’s funny, because just the other day I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if any logicians ever read this column?” You’ve given me a good chance to answer that question, because, on the fairly safe assumption I manage to get this almost totally wrong, any logicians who happen to be perusing the Reader will surely leap at the opportunity to set me straight.

Anyway, if we take your initial premise as true (that “most nerds are not hipsters”), then it must also be true that some nerds are hipsters — although in fairness, I think this also requires us to make an assumption that all nerds are either hipsters or not hipsters, which seems fair as a practical matter. The premise that some nerds are hipsters also includes the contrapositive premise that some hipsters are nerds, which falls short of your conclusion that “all hipsters are nerds.”

Logicians, feel free to jump in there and let me know if I’ve gotten it wrong.

Setting aside proof by logic, I can tell you from experience that all hipsters have at least a little nerd in them. I am, of course, using “nerd” more expansively than a strict constructionist, who would not stray far beyond a vision of the pocket protector-wearing engineer in the white short-sleeved shirt. In fact, the phrase, “I’m a little bit of a nerd” is practically required for any self-respecting hipster, because subject matter nerdiness implies a deep reserve of knowledge on an extremely niche subject. The more random and obscure the is, the better!

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San Diego Reader’s Best Of issue 2021

Joshua trees in Mission Beach, Ace Hardware in Hillcrest, the regulars at Liberty Tobacco, the unnecessity of Balboa Park, “We live on the edge of paradise”
Meadiocratiy: faire to middling
Meadiocratiy: faire to middling

Dear Hipster:

At this point, I have heard of hipster bars putting just about everything into a cocktail, or even straight up opening entire bars devoted to obscure alcohols. However, I have yet to run into a restaurant or bar menu that makes a big deal out of mead (the medieval drink made from fermented honey). If hipsters will get drunk on anything, and make getting drunk on anything cool, why is mead the only alcoholic beverage I can think of that hasn’t had a hipster revival?

— Tasha

Hipster can revivalize (not the same as ‘revive’) just about anything. Even sherry, which at one point in time seemed exclusively the province of drag queens and teenagers stealing from Mom’s pantry, has been featured at hipster bars over the past decade of boozy revivals. But the thing about a revival is that you need to have gone away first before you can get revivalized (again, not revived, because that’s necromancy). You may not have noticed, but mead has been there the whole time, getting a very specific subset of people totally sloshed at renaissance fair(e)s throughout the country.

You see, because of its undeniably medieval associations (which are arguably erroneous, or at least exaggerated, given the inordinate amount of weak beer consumed by medieval peasantry, who apparently viewed beer as a kind of “liquid bread” during their short and brutal lives), mead has long had a special place at the local renn fest, usually right next to the giant turkey leg stand. And because the corsets and breeches crowd has basically staked a permanent claim on mead, it remains perpetually off-limits for hipster revival — hence the lack of attention given to fermented honey at even the hipsterest watering holes.

Hey DJ:

Is this an accurate statement: Most nerds are not hipsters, but all hipsters are nerds?

— Wink Sajack

You know, it’s funny, because just the other day I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if any logicians ever read this column?” You’ve given me a good chance to answer that question, because, on the fairly safe assumption I manage to get this almost totally wrong, any logicians who happen to be perusing the Reader will surely leap at the opportunity to set me straight.

Anyway, if we take your initial premise as true (that “most nerds are not hipsters”), then it must also be true that some nerds are hipsters — although in fairness, I think this also requires us to make an assumption that all nerds are either hipsters or not hipsters, which seems fair as a practical matter. The premise that some nerds are hipsters also includes the contrapositive premise that some hipsters are nerds, which falls short of your conclusion that “all hipsters are nerds.”

Logicians, feel free to jump in there and let me know if I’ve gotten it wrong.

Setting aside proof by logic, I can tell you from experience that all hipsters have at least a little nerd in them. I am, of course, using “nerd” more expansively than a strict constructionist, who would not stray far beyond a vision of the pocket protector-wearing engineer in the white short-sleeved shirt. In fact, the phrase, “I’m a little bit of a nerd” is practically required for any self-respecting hipster, because subject matter nerdiness implies a deep reserve of knowledge on an extremely niche subject. The more random and obscure the is, the better!

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San Diego Reader’s Best Of issue 2021

Joshua trees in Mission Beach, Ace Hardware in Hillcrest, the regulars at Liberty Tobacco, the unnecessity of Balboa Park, “We live on the edge of paradise”
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