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Zman (Marc Bernhard)

A call to arms

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Well boys and girls, sometimes in the absinthe world along comes a dork. The purpose of these dorks is to provide us all with something to laugh and point our fingers at. Without further ado:

 

http://www.absinthealchemist.com/index.html

 

My thanks to Dakini for pointing this gem out for our edification...

 

Have any of you bothered talking to Scott? Or are ya'll just gonna laugh and point? Because, at this point you folks aren't better than those that you criticise.

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Yes, I have. Hence the post I made about him being gentlemanly enough to admit when he's done something wrong. He seems nice enough through the emails we've traded.

 

I can't comment on the quality if his book that he's advertising though, since I haven't reviewed it. I'd be happy to read through a free copy and give an honest review of it though. :cheers:

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I'm not actually worried about you in this but rather the rest of them.

 

To get a link and immediately share it with "the good ol' boys" to laugh and point seems like a rough double standard.

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I'm pretty sure it was done for two reasons:

 

1) knocking him for the comments on the thread in question and

2) we see a lot of shillers around here. They might be assuming he is one as well.

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No one here is going to knock anyone making HG. That isn't because everyone here is an HGer either.

 

But we have to remember that in the US making HG (absinthe, whiskey, rum, or whatever) is completely and totally illegal with very severe penalties. And while the government does seem to turn a blind eye to HD (Home Distilling) as a hobby that doesn't negate the penalties if caught.

 

What happens if someone who buys scotty_bones' book, buys a still, etc etc and gets busted? What happens if he's a family man with a wife and newborn? What then? That's a pretty dirty $20 scotty has, isn't it?

 

I'm sure scotty_bones' intentions were in the right place. He sees people being ripped off by absinthe "kits" and wants to help them from being ripped off. I'm sure he's a good person. I'm sure you are too.

 

But putting up a web site to sell a book on how to distill absinthe just seems dangerous to oneself and others. And that's why he's getting poor treatment in this forum.

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I'll point and laugh. I am worse than that. Go ahead and lump me in with the "good ol' boys." If the pictures on his site are any representative of what he's making, then anyone who shells out $20 is getting hosed. Even Un Emile has a better louche. The information is out there for free. Right here, at FV, and Oxy's. IMHO, he's no better than the shills on Ebay hawking "herb kit absinth."

I will give him this though, much of the other information on the rest of the site is pretty good and is to be commended. He gets it wrong in a few areas, but on the whole it is OK.

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What happens if someone who buys scotty_bones' book, buys a still, etc etc and gets busted? What happens if he's a family man with a wife and newborn? What then? That's a pretty dirty $20 scotty has, isn't it?

 

I'm pretty sure the standard for informational books is: If they utilize the information in a manner that's illegal they're liable, not the author. I understand the grey area, however, responsibility for yourself isn't anyone's concern but your own.

 

But putting up a web site to sell a book on how to distill absinthe just seems dangerous to oneself and others. And that's why he's getting poor treatment in this forum.

 

What about where distillation is legal for the individual? Are we left to assume that the internet should be filtered to contain only information that is "legal" everywhere?

 

Dr. Verte, it was around reading this statement that I decided to jump into this conversation:

 

"Scotty Bones", the Alan Smithee of crapsinth.

 

I'm not exactly innocent from making an unwarranted comment, however, I try to keep them to a minimum. It just seems that after Scott apologized for some comments, etc. he doesn't deserve to be run into the ground.

Edited by studiofox

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To be fair, given that the good ol' intarwebs is quite the global entity and that home distilling is legal in New Zealand and a handful of other countries, debbil's advocate might side with Scotty in terms of providing those residents legal information.

 

As always, caveat emptor.

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But putting up a web site to sell a book on how to distill absinthe just seems dangerous to oneself and others. And that's why he's getting poor treatment in this forum.

 

Better not look here, Dakini. ;)

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This is all the reason I need to point and laugh.

 

scotty.jpg

 

Why is he still pushing the idea of absinthe as an illicit drug?

I'm pretty sure the standard for informational books is: If they utilize the information in a manner that's illegal they're liable, not the author. I understand the grey area, however, responsibility for yourself isn't anyone's concern but your own.
While I don't think there's anything wrong with writing an instructive book on distilling, I'm going to address the "standard" you refer to, and I'm going to use the dirty word: "ethics."

 

There's a difference between being legally liable and being wrong. Everyone knows that "sold for informational and entertainment purposes only" is a crock and it's obvious that Scotty's target audience is American stoners.

Aren't you tired of surfing through dozens of websites that claim they will show you how to make real absinthe?... I was there too, awhile back, and like you, I grew sick and tired of wading through all the muck, searching for a few good nuggets of information. I decided to take the time to write this book so that YOU could FREE YOURSELF from the Bad Absinthe Information Treadmill...

 

I've been working with herbs and elixirs for nearly 20 years. I've played around on my own and I've worked for companies that manufacture herbal products.

Looking at his set-up and reading just the few things I did on his site and blog, it's obvious he's an amateur and has no business writing a how-to book, well, at least not a $20 one.

 

He makes it pretty clear that he's been through here and the other forums and gotten a ration of crap for his wacky ideas. Like Absintheur, Drabsinthe, and several others, he likes this new label for us realists: "The Franco/Suisse Camp" and appears to think Czechsinth has a pedigree and that there's some good reason to burn sugar over absinthe:

With the tone of sophistication that lucid’s site seeks to cultivate, why the heck do they have a recipe like lucid with Red Bull? Give me an f*@&ing break! They can’t even give me grief about caramelizing my sugar cubes when they come up with lowbrow crap like that!
Burning sugar over absinthe is lowbrow. It's like doing a tequila body shot for cripes sake. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you don't see a bunch of tequila companies trying to say it's a venerable Mexican tradition.

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I understand your point T73 and I wasn't trying to say that information about distilling should be prohibited. But those books were written by knowledgeable people. There's not a lot of evidence that scotty is knowledgeable in the area he's claiming expertise.

 

I think all of Duplais and all of deBrevans (both English translations) are available for free on this site. There's tons of information available for free on Tony Ackland's site, on Yahoo Distillers and New Distillers groups. Lots of stuff on absinthe processes in the pages past here and on FV. (In the interest of fairness and all-inclusiveness there may be info over in the Lounge archives too, afaik.)

 

And it's all free.

 

 

I was wondering what that picture was Hiram. I thought it was garlic. :blush:

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"Scotty Bones", the Alan Smithee of crapsinth.

 

I'm not exactly innocent from making an unwarranted comment, however, I try to keep them to a minimum. It just seems that after Scott apologized for some comments, etc. he doesn't deserve to be run into the ground.

 

Sorry, Studiofox, but some folks say that quitting an irrascible old curmudgeon addiction cold turkey can be tougher than conquering a meth habit. ;)

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He might not be doing anything illegal in publishing a book, but it does give the authorities a good reason to take a look at him. That bunch of dried poppies in the picture Hiram posted reminds me of the guy who wrote the book "Opium for the Masses". Of course there is nothing wrong with writing and the flow of information. But it didn't take long for the cops to charge that author with a felony after finding dried poppies in his house. It didn't even matter that he had purchased them legally at a flower shop. He KNEW that they opium could be extracted from them, and that was enough to charge him. A good way to get arrested is to tell people that you are doing something illegal. Publishing it in a book or putting it on the internet (or both) is a sure-fire way to get the kind of attention that you don't want.

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Sorry, Studiofox, but some folks say that quitting an irrascible old curmudgeon addiction cold turkey can be tougher than conquering a meth habit.

 

Oh man...don't I know it. I'm only in my 20's but I'm pretty sure bitter old coot would be an accurate description of me.

 

Publishing it in a book or putting it on the internet (or both) is a sure-fire way to get the kind of attention that you don't want.

 

If that's the case, my question becomes:

 

Instead of insulting the man, why not try to talk to him? warn him? etc.

 

All in all, I'm probably just taking a very cautious road at this moment given my recent adventures in misunderstandings, however, I'd like to respond to Hiram's post...but can't since I'm rushing to work.

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Thanks for not getting pissed off with us good ol' boys and grrls.

 

In the past, people who've been promoting their activities on the net, whether it was selling absinthe kits to those selling empty bottles of absinthe, pretty much would blow us off with "I can do what I want" etc.

 

We're able to regulate ourselves (to some extent I presume) but it's tough to try and regulate the net. But if you're friends with him, you might want to mention some of our concerns. No one here would want anything bad to happen to him because of a choice in hobbies. ;)

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Since I'm not Scott's apologist, I don't really want to speak for his intentions, so I'll try to keep this pertaining to me...

 

...it's obvious that Scotty's target audience is American stoners.

 

I'd say it's more towards the off-beat DIY crowd...

 

He makes it pretty clear that he's been through here and the other forums and gotten a ration of crap for his wacky ideas. Like Absintheur, Drabsinthe, and several others, he likes this new label for us realists: "The Franco/Suisse Camp" and appears to think Czechsinth has a pedigree and that there's some good reason to burn sugar over absinthe...

 

First, while I have no qualms about someone wanting to burn sugar, I seriously do not want to get into a traditional vs burn debate because I'm pretty sure that no matter what happens here--we're going to believe what we believe.

 

Second, I can certainly understand what would make someone be driven away for their "wacky ideas" by the "Franco/Suisse Camp". I agree that Scott's definition of absinthe is far more liberal (as is mine) than the common definition here and since that's the case we will differ on heritage, what "is" and "isn't" absinthe, etc. from time to time. However, I also see how both sides easily get all militant about it. I'll use myself as an example:

 

Now, I'm prone to doing dumb things and my entrance into absinthe blogging may have been one of them: I knocked Lucid while declaring my love for Reality. Whoo doggy! let me tell you... This did not make people happy. Oxy ran me up and down the ladder, Alan chimed in, etc. I had to fend off people through emails, comments, everything. In short it wasn't fun. However, after a certain point the accusations were pretty laughable. I was "one of them!" A Czech Absinthe peddler at best or just a lowly drone at worst. At one point I was even warned to never go on here because of my "views", so the stigma of "staying in line or get beat down" certainly does exist prior to coming onto WS--getting a slurry of jibber jabber without even being aware that you're stepping on toes is pretty disconcerting. Therefore, my first inclination was to attack, hold position, dig in, etc. but I started to think about it and concluded that it'd get pretty much everyone nowhere (best case would be: mildly more bitter).

 

I'm not defending either militant view, mind you, but I do believe that I understand it pretty well because of my experience.

 

With that said, barring the exception of the "yellow/brownish Stromu" fiasco, I've found this place mighty hospitable. Hurray for everyone! is what I say. :yahoo: :cheers:

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barring the exception of the "yellow/brownish Stromu" fiasco, I've found this place mighty hospitable. Hurray for everyone! is what I say.

Yeah, screw you too. :harhar:

 

Now shut up and drink! :cheers:

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First, while I have no qualms about someone wanting to burn sugar, I seriously do not want to get into a traditional vs burn debate because I'm pretty sure that no matter what happens here--we're going to believe what we believe.

That's debatable.

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Since I'm not Scott's apologist, I don't really want to speak for his intentions, so I'll try to keep this pertaining to me...

Actually, I was under the impression that you WERE Scott. :wave2:

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