Beer is a very social thing. By now everyone knows (or should know) that the word pub is short for public house. Traditionally the pub was more than a place to drink beer: it was the hub of the community, providing a meeting place for people to share the news of the day, conduct community affairs, and exchange ideas. Beer was an integral part of the pub and the pub was the heart of the community. That tradition is not entirely dead.
Humanities Washington just announced the 2012 schedule for its Think & Drink series of hosted conversations. The first event takes place at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse on Wednesday, April 4th. The goal of Think & Drink is to spark meaningful conversation at the pub. The discussions address provocative topics and explore new ideas. Last year’s topics ranged from Prohibition to urban planning, and sparked lively conversations about morality, religion, history and politics.
The topic for the first Think & Drink discussion is Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness, a conversation about the rise of consumerism in postwar America and its impact on our national happiness and well-being.
Consumerism and the Pursuit of Hoppiness
As Americans, it is something with which we all struggle. Is more always better? Is the newest, most expensive thing really the one that I need? Do I need it at all? And if I only need it because having the latest-and-greatest thing will make me happy, what does that say about the nature of my happiness?
But this is a beer blog. What does that have to do with beer? Well, I find Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness a horribly timely topic.
I was recently trying to wrap my brain around what many people have termed “Pliny Madness.” If I take Pliny the Younger out of context and think about it as a consumer product instead of a beer, it makes more sense to me. I realized this when a friend of mine referred to Pliny the Younger as the Beanie Baby of beers. I think most people reading this blog are old enough to remember the madness surrounding those silly little stuffed toys. Cabbage Patch Kids, Tickle-Me Elmo, the iPad, Xbox Kinect, Pliny the Younger, whatever. Everybody has to have one. If we don’t have it, we aren’t happy. In varying degrees, I think we are all guilty of that kind of behavior. As Americans, it is hard to resist the urge to have things.
So yes, I do think Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness is a beer topic.
Anyway, I love the concept of bringing meaningful conversation into the pub. Here is some more information about Think & Drink and the event at Naked City:
THINK & DRINK DISCUSSION SERIES TACKLES CONSUMERISM AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
HUMANITIES WASHINGTON PRESENTS A CONVERSATION WITH THE HAPPINESS INITIATIVE’S JOHN DE GRAAF AND LAURA MUSIKANSKI AT SEATTLE’S NAKED CITY BREWERY APRIL 4 – SEATTLE
Join Humanities Washington for the latest installment of its popular Think & Drink discussion series: Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness, a conversation about the rise of consumerism in postwar America and its impact on our national happiness and well-being. The event takes place April 4 at Naked City Brewery in Seattle, and features a conversation with John de Graaf and Laura Musikanski, creators of the Happiness Initiative. The discussion will be moderated by Ross Reynolds, the host of KUOW’s award-winning news-talk program The Conversation.
De Graaf is the filmmaker and author behind Affluenza; Musikanski is the former executive director of Sustainable Seattle. Together, they are coordinators of the Happiness Initiative (happycounts.org), a national nonprofit, nonpartisan project that studies and promotes conversations about the various factors influencing our personal and community well-being.
This free event begins at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 4, at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA.
Humanities Washington’s Think & Drink program brings hosted conversations on provocative topics and new ideas to pubs and tasting rooms around the state. For more information, please visit humanities.org/programs/think-drink.
At a glance
What: Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness, a conversation with John de Graaf and Laura Musikanski, coordinators of the Happiness Initiative
When: 7 P.M., Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Where: Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle, WA
On the Web: humanities.org/programs/think-drink
About Humanities Washington
Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. For more about Humanities Washington, visit humanities.org.