“I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it,
Open my mouth and out pops something spiteful.
Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive.
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence…”
“Tenderness” – General Public
(Short lived. Forgotten. But oh how I love General Public.)
Friday afternoon was sunny. Yes, even Manchester sees some sunshine. So, instead of heading straight for my intended destination I stayed – for an all too short while – in the sunshine and chatted with two of my favourite people in this city.
Bailey and Vinny
Both people with a deep sense of what is right. These people matter to me.
We got to talking about integrity. And it got me thinking about why I do this blog. And how whilst it has changed a lot over the six years I’ve been doing it, it also really hasn’t.
That word. Integrity.
I don’t do this for money. Or “stuff”. And yet – in a sense – I do. Without this waffle, there wouldn’t have been an Independent Salford Beer Festival.
I don’t write for money. I do it to highlight good stuff. Be it beer, retailers (generally independent), pubs, bars, even other bloggers. You might never have heard of “it”. You might have let “it” drop off your radar. But that’s my thing.
I get invites to events. Stuff. Opening nights etc. But I have “rules”. And – before I accept an invite – I state those “rules”. And if the invite evaporates, that’s fine.
Those “rules”? Well, there’s really only one. “If it’s good, I’ll write about it. If it’s not, I won’t”. It’s simple really. And I like simplicity. I adhere to those KISS principles. (Keep It Simple. Stupid.)
I may not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery set. But I say what I believe. I like to highlight the positive maybe, but positivity is what keeps me going.
I see cynics mock those who are relentlessly upbeat. I’ve got no time for that cynicism. I’ve always believed – in real life as well as “beer” – that if you haven’t got something positive (however small) to say, then piss off. You can say negative shit in a good way. And in “Mental Health Awareness Week”, that’s important.
You can be positive, whilst maintaining integrity.
I deal with my negative shit, my criticisms, privately. If something isn’t right, I speak directly and share my thoughts constructively. There’s simply little I detest more than the lazy statement (always on Social Media like Twitter, Untappd or similar echo chambers) that something is “shit”. One word. No explanation.
WHY is it shit?
I’ve heard a lot this week about “influencers”. I’ve seen them deployed this week. And not in a good way. I’ve seen them mobilised before for hype purposes.
If you have a platform (or “influence”), there’s responsibility that comes as a side dish. Remember that.
I don’t want to be an “influencer”. I like what I do.
Integrity. Get some.
(This post is dedicated to the memory of a man called Phil Wakerley. I miss him. The man with the most love and integrity I’ve ever known)