Feedback, August 2012
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NOT LEAVING IT ALL ON THE PITCH
Contributing editor Eric Hansen has long been our go-to guy for offbeat stories, because he has a special knack for getting people to—how should we put it—open up. Not surprisingly, his piece about competing in the Quidditch World Cup (“Quoosiers,” June) had Harry Potterheads up in arms. “The weekend of World Cup was the best two days of my life,” wrote Mary Johnston online, “so I'm disappointed that Outside gave the responsibility of covering such a fantastic tournament to someone who had no respect for the sport.” Wrote Lindsay Fussell, “The fact that the Outside team won over a team that played credibly and legitimately still blows my mind.” Hansen's tale even inspired a 1,300-word rant on Tumblr from QuidditchElitist, who wrote that “the jackassery in this article is unparalleled.” Of course, many readers recognized the humor in the story—and in the ensuing backlash. “I love seeing people who probably hated on athletes their entire lives while playing Pokemon get bent out of shape when someone talks smack about their cute little sport,” wrote Fullcontactcosplay. “It's revenge of the nerds come to life!” wrote another. Regrettably, Hansen, after watching his wife get creamed while standing on the sideline and having his team rack up at least a dozen injuries, has no plans to gield another squad. That may be for the best. “If the Outside team ever plays again,” wrote Another Quidkid, “you're going to be in for a world of hurt, because no one insults our teams and gets away with it!” We've been warned.
BREAKING THE RULES THE RIGHT WAY
Marc Peruzzi's essay on flouting the occasional law to imbue his kids with a strong moral compass (“Just Say Go,” June) gave rise to a surprisingly impassioned debate online. “This article is not about morality or smart decision making,” wrote one commenter. “This is a brief in favor of choosing which laws you wish to obey and which you will disobey. The same approach to our social contract gives us speeding, drunk driving, and illegal drug use.” Wrote another: “Teaching his son to think for himself is the greatest education you can provide.” A commenter from the search-and-rescue community noted that the problem with ignoring NO DIVING signs, for example, is that it assumed “local police have nothing better to do than pull some sorry-asses/dead bodies out of the river.” One reader even quoted R. Yorke Edwards: “When all the dangerous cliffs are fences off, all the trees that might fall on people are cut down, all of the insects that bite are poisoned … and all of the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.”
We tested over a hundred brews for our top 10 list of canned craft beers (“Never Serve Been in a Can,” June). Naturally, readers had a few suggestions of their own:
“The Alchemist's Heady Topper. Not only does it taste great, but the label tells it like it is: 'Don't be a D-bag. Recycle this can!'”
PHIL KOLLING, SOUTH DUXBURY, VERMONT
“Happy Camper IPA. I went to Trader Joe's to snap a pictue for you—they were sold out.”
DAN BECKLEY, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
“Either Gossamer or Daisy Cutter from Half Acre Brewing in Chicago. Both are excellent.”
JOEL HJELMFELT, FACEBOOK
“@westsixth IPA should be on this list!”
“Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale: a great, balanced beer.”
BRADFORD WILSON, FACEBOOK
“Most disturbing exemption of @outsidemagazine's top canned craft beers list: Pabst Blue Ribbon. Dummies! Intolerable.”
E-MAIL OF THE MONTH
Walter Kirn's suggestions that we find seclusion in nature and then turn on music or watch a movie relegates our natural surroundings to nothing more than a backdrop for our plugged-in lifestyle (“Head in the Clouds,” June). This kind of denigration of the natural environment is a slippery slope that threatens the existence of wilderness areas devoid of cell-phone towers and power lines. I encourage Kirn to trade his laptop, iPad, and smartphone for a couple of field guides, seek out his favorite spot, and watch and listen to his surroundings. There is no app for that.
JOHN WALLACE, CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA