Respite 38/Second Pint CPJ

I picked up Widmer’s Rainy Days & Mondays IPA with flaked oats. I wanted to give it a go, because I always like it when established breweries like Widmer, Bridgeport, Sierra Nevada, or Red Hook, etc., provide me with a beer that even as a beer geek, I can stand by.

While this entry into the NE IPA style (cloudy visuals, grapefruit-tilted flavors) has good first impressions-nose softly citrus, a more pillowy mouthfeel due to the oats with nothing overwhelming.

However, 1/4th of the way down, the bitterness of the finish lingers and lingers and lingers without any pushback from the front. The faint mouthful of pineapple I can taste just isn’t enough to balance it out. That’s a bummer.

I’ve been watching Sense8 season 2 and enjoying it. What I’ve noticed most about this season is that when there are moments during the story where characters who are supposed to act lovingly towards other characters, they do it. It can be parents to children, lovers to lovers, family, friends, and ranges in between but again: If the story has set these people up to be loving towards each other, they are. They stand up for each other, they look out for one another, and they tell them that they love them.

In the wake of Chris Cornell‘s death, this seems especially relevant.

I really liked Soundgarden. One of my closest friends introduced me to them when I was a teenager; it was a small space of sonic commonality and it bloomed into a friendship that continues to this day. They were loud, they were weird and they were seemingly immune to the forces that ravaged the Seattle music scene. I considered them to be the Led Zeppelin to Pantera’s Black Sabbath of the 90’s metal scene; they helped expand people’s notions of what heavy music could include and sound like.

Until they broke up. They day I found out I remember exclaiming “What the fuck?” loudly and in public, in a way that I would’ve been embarrassed by if I hadn’t been so shocked. I was sitting at the Bagdad theater, with the person who introduced me to the band. Fifteen plus years later, Soundgarden got back together. Such is life, right? People you love and who love you remain in orbit, somehow.

Whether Cornell died by suicide or because of a medication interaction (a fact that is still unknown as far as I know) doesn’t really matter to me, because the important part-the part where people who should love you act lovingly towards you and you towards them-is the lesson I want to take away from that.

Because people are weird, sometimes really weird. They are frequently difficult but more relevantly, people can just seem so different from you. There is a very loud voice currently supported in America that wants to insist that anything that is different from you shouldn’t be cared for, is not worth the connection.

Yet, when I saw an African American man sing Black Hole Sun at karaoke the night Chris Cornell died, people of all sorts stood, sang, and raised their glasses in support of the singer, in memory of the lost, I couldn’t help but think that that loud voice is wrong. That the supports against the different are misguided, to say it kindly.

Cornell’s art helped bridge a connection between people-and that connection doesn’t exist if we are different. It only exists in the spaces we are the same.

Which I think is worth keeping in mind as we face something that feels overwhelming and decisive.

Today’s second pint goes to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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