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A bullying culture?

Let me first apologise... this post is not directly about drinks.

However I was reminded of a very unpleasant thing: being bullied. The starting point was that post about the Long Island Iced Tea.

I got these comments in return:

Jo-Jo Valenzuela · Partner at Behind The Stick Consulting GroupDear Dominik S.:I don't like calling people out, but I am assuming you have never tended bar in your life. It's either that or you were just never good at making drinks, or at least balancing it. I've been tending bar for 20 years, and I've made thousands of LIIT. I made sure every single one of those drinks that I sent out is the best guests ever had. Not because I make the best, but because I care of the drinks that I make myself. Best is subjective. In case it is not their best, I would ask the guest how they preferred it, and I would customize it to their spec.Yes, I know most people just order it to get sloshed, but there really is a way to make this drink better than what you make yourself Dominik. Your opinion vs. mine.I have many mixologist friends that I proved wrong after they claimed LIIT is an imbalanced drink. All I had to do was make it with yes, instead of artificial sour mix and cheap triple Sec, I used fresh lemon juice, Cointreau, and a little bit of simple syrup. They all instantly took back their words.You called yourself Artisan master brain of mixology......... I don't know who you are, and I've never heard of you before. But you somehow made it to It sucks, coz people are actually gonna believe what you said, just like they believed Jon Taffer.

Carl Townsend · 
Oh. No. F-40 compared to a Pontiac Aztec? As a bartender. We make drinks to please the masses...and sometimes ourselves. A well made Long Island Iced Tea is a thing of beauty. Dismiss this drink because of the number of ingredients? I guess you say fuck tiki. I have 10 variations of a long island. And people like them.
LikeReply9Jun 24, 2016 10:56am
Jamie R Boudreau · 
Once again you are so so wrong. I'm not defending the LIIT, but as per usual, your logic is flawed, Dominik MJ Schachtsiek. To begin with there are many, many multi-spirit based cocktails in the world. And yes, even before we look at Tiki. Since your main argument is based on that premise, I'll simply stop there. If you want more, watch my videos or we can discuss consulting fees. 
...thank you very much Jamie Boudreau for schooling me...
Ron Harries · Works at Lincoln ElectricA well crafted LIT is still a great cocktail. Premix sux but comparing an Aztec to a Ferrari is not cool.LikeReplyJun 25, 2016 8:00am
There was only one comment, which was in my eyes quite reasonable:
Kevin Martin ·  The LIIT has one purpose. Let's not pretend it's palate-related.
LikeReply9Jun 24, 2016 8:08pmEdited 

So very shortly: I responded to this with my last blog post here. Yes I know how to make drinks, I probably did a "decent" LIIT long before anyone of this verbal bullies had the idea of using quality ingredients... and no - I still don't think, that it is a good recipe!

To be honest, I don't even know what to say to those, who say, that a properly made Long Island Iced Tea is a delicious drink! There it is again: the reason, why the bar is trending but never was really accepted in the culinary arts...

But I want to go into a completely different topic. Bullying.
When I was young and still in school, I had massive issues with school colleagues, but also other people; even teachers, who were bullying me. This was because I was the only one, who was black (well mixed... a rather brown, which doesn't really make a difference), because I was rather liberal and intellectual. Because I perceived things other than most people do.

It was a constant burden... until I rather emancipated myself from the requisite of being approved by others. Even later I still experienced people, who tried to bully me, but I didn't took it seriously, because I didn't took the bullies as serious and thought that they are rather poor and under-privileged.

The vicious respond on my admittedly opinionated article was though very surprising. I previously had people who called me out because of my articles or comments in forums. But there was always a real discussion, with arguments.
However this instance is (how I perceive it) plain bullying.

With all of these comments, there is not really one proper argument, which speaks for the quality of the drink. No - all of the comments try to undermine my authority, my judgement, my experience, or my skills.
And to be honest, this really reminds me on the populistic catastrophes we are for the moment facing. Talking about Brexit - talking about Trump... (but these are only the most obvious signs in our time).
Reasonable argumentation seems to loose against bullying, misinformation, plain populism.

I believe, that the discussion culture itself is under scrutiny. Since when it is acceptable, to bully, intimidate (...) someone for the sake of winning an argument?

Recently I was (opinionatedly) commenting on a stupid article, what UAE restaurants supposed to stop. Unfortunately I have not seen, that my Facebook login showed my full occupation inclusive company. The result was, that one commenter was contacting the corporate management of my company and complaint and denounced me. I don't think, that it is possible to sink deeper to win an argument.

In a time, where populists are using dirty tricks, to increase their influence, we have to call them out on their method. And we have to stand to a high ethical discussion culture. While I am opinionated, I do hear and value other views. However I don't like to be bullied. I think, we are very diverse in the bartending community - and there is less xenophobia than in other parts of life and other industries.

Let us just proof this, with higher standards, when it comes to discussions.


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