Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Crafting nonsense

To the left, a motto for Yellow Springs Brewery, which I first spotted on the back of a delivery truck. “Crafting Truth to Power” is a most unseemly motto for a brewery, or for any business. Whether Yellow Springs knows it or not, the motto’s inspiration is a Quaker precept, part of the title of a 1955 publication, Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence:
Our title, Speak Truth to Power, taken from a charge given to Eighteenth Century Friends, suggests the effort that is made to speak from the deepest insight of the Quaker faith, as this faith is understood by those who prepared this study. We speak to power in three senses:
• To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace.

• To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority.

• To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.
The Yellow Springs motto seems to alter the meaning of to: here, it indicates not direction (speaking to power) but contact or proximity (welding truth to power). And it’s all semantic nonsense, as one cannot craft one abstraction (or one anything) to another. One more strike against the vogue verb craft.

Related reading
On the origins of “speaking truth to power” (Synonym)

[In color, the eagle looks cute. In black and white, ominously militaristic. The eagle appears in both forms on the Yellow Springs website. Rethink, rethink.]

comments: 2

Daughter Number Three said...

I interpreted it as an awkward way of saying they craft beer as a way to speak truth to power, rather than melding truth and power. Not that could really make sense, since beer doesn't challenge power.

But that's just me, assuming the best of people (especially microbrewers).

Michael Leddy said...

I may be misreading it. I thought it was a claim about “honest” ingredients and strong flavors. But yes, the idea that beer challenges power is also hard to fathom.

But anyway, I like Dogfish.. :)