Introducing It’s Not a Problem Yet

It's Not a Problem Yet

It’s been a busy year (2017). Aside from getting married and doing that whole thing, I also turn the heat up on a passion I developed. Boiling over now, it is my obsession to learn as much as I can about — you guessed it — booze. Before I go any further, I must let you know that the project is called: It’s Not a Problem Yet. While I have registered for the domain name, the YouTube channel is where the majority of the attention is placed at the moment. It’s a mixture of everything I enjoy.

What is It’s Not a Problem Yet? Well, above all else it is a philosophy. Look at this guy, talking about philosophy, who does he think he is? I don’t know, but I know that so much of life is wasted worrying about the consequences. So much so that we end up not pursuing something that you enjoy. I enjoy booze. I’m getting more and more comfortable admitting it. When I told people this, I got a lot of caution. Uh Oh! As if I just announced to them that I had decided to nurture a horrible addiction. Yes, a lot of people are alcoholics. It’s a problem. But then again, a lot of people are ill in many other ways. Substance abuse is one crippling effect of life. Addiction is something we all face as people. There are many addictions, I can list them all, but I won’t. Everybody is doing something they enjoy that they shouldn’t, that they think they can stop, but they can’t. What the philosophy of It’s Not a Problem Yet is about is that you can do what you want… this potentially dangerous thing (like base jumping is pretty dangerous too) and really go down the rabbit hole. I want to walk down this slippery slope, but I’ll do it with full awareness, fully sober. I will do it with confidence that each step I take is deliberate.

I’m fascinated with the ancient craft of brewing, distilling, mixing, and winemaking. I love learning about the geography, the history, the culture built around booze. I love how long it takes and how worthless it becomes… (pee). It doesn’t matter if it’s a $1,000 bottle of scotch or $3 beer, it all ends up the same. Such like life. I think there is some deep shit in all this. It helps grounds me in everything I want to learn and be. It’s a little rebellious like me. I like that. So to the people who are worried about what I’m doing with my free time, all I have to say is “It’s Not a Problem Yet.”

The gravel is always grayer

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Don’t be pressured to purchase by the snobby world around you

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published by The Other Press. Sept 10, 2015

I won’t do it. I won’t spend eight hours a day, 251 days a year working to buy an expensive car or a fancy-ass watch or anything that I don’t need. I won’t do it to impress an employer, I won’t do it to impress friends, and I won’t do it to impress family. Life is so much more than being frivolous. Even if I am wealthy, I will not blow my paycheque on items that are supposed to catapult me to the next social class. Fuck that!

Today everyone is a connoisseur of some sort. Fashion, food, drinks, and so on. Everybody thinks they are experts at something and therefore are encouraged—nay, expected—to judge it. This type of snobbery extends from music, to food, to transportation, to neighbourhoods.

We have all behaved like snobs at one point or another. Most of us don’t even notice it. The reason is that we all have our own interests, and we live in a democracy where many around us don’t share those same values. Someone who is interested in beer and wine would know the lengthy details of how the drinks are produced, and which are “better.” Someone who is interested in cars would tell you that he or she would never go back to driving anything with a six-cylinder inline engine after leasing a vehicle equipped with a V6. Some who are interested in luxury handbags would tell you that it is so much more than a container for make-up products; it’s a statement on the social climate. I get it. We all have our things.

Learn to tell the difference between good and bad of course, but stop yourself from trying to discover good from great. Great is not that great. Great does not make you happy. Great is meaningless luxury. Great can be sustenance, yes, but it is also wasteful. Great is a lie you tell yourself so that you don’t feel bad paying double for a bottle of wine or a pair of shoes or a meal.

Having a palette for good things and appreciating them is much healthier than constantly demanding the finest. You deserve to be happy, but if happiness is having the best things in the world, you are just getting ripped off, my friend.

“Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do.” I feel like an elementary teacher told me this, but it was probably some television PSA I saw. Nevertheless, that statement stuck with me. But I don’t live by it. I do many things that I don’t want to do. I don’t like cleaning, but I do it. I don’t like waiting in long line-ups, but I wait. I don’t like paying taxes, but I have to. That’s just life. However, what I can control is what I want to spend my money on and I don’t have to spend it on what you want me to spend it on.

What’s on tap?

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Quit your “wine-ing”—it’s just beer

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Nov. 2013

Wine drinkers are often associated with distinguished sophistication—and a bit of pretentiousness. At one point or another, we have heard a wine snob complaining about Merlot’s dry taste, or how they can’t tolerate the sweetness of Chardonnay. Well, it looks like alcohol snobbery affects more than just wine. Since the rise in craft beer’s popularity, beer snobs have taken the judgmental reins in house parties, bars, and poker tables all across the country—and they need to put a cork in it.

Ever since I acquired the taste for beer, it has been my go-to choice at most social events. There’s a simplicity to beer drinking. You don’t need to mix, or shoot, or anything like that—whatever is in the glass, bottle, or can is good to go. Sure, there are fancy choices, like the “Rolls-Royce” Wild Rose, or the “Louis Vuitton” La Fin Du Monde; but more often than not, I just want to be financially responsible and go for the “Honda Civic“ Molson Canadian or “H&M” Kokanee.

On average, booze prices in BC are some of the highest in Canada, and it isn’t even worth comparing to our neighbours down south. Whether the government decided to tax alcohol so heavily to help funding or to discourage drinking is irrelevant—the point is that if we want to enjoy a beverage, it’s going to cost us.

The truth is, I’m a beer-lover and I enjoy the fancy craft beers and microbrews as much as any other enthusiast, but the same way I don’t go and have a medium-rare steak at The Keg every night, I don’t splurge on the “la-dee-da” imports every time I order a drink, either. Whatever is on tap will be just fine for me. After all, I’m on a student budget. I don’t need you to remind me about that. So stop acting so high and mighty—it’s just a drink.

Some people consider drinking a bad habit; I consider it a relaxing way to pass the time with friends. Snobbery and unfair judgment, on the other hand, I do consider a bad habit. Truth is, beer snobs are usually unaware of their snobbery, because they’re blinded by their passion. That way most music snobs think only alternative music is relevant? Beer snobs feel the same way about beer.

Instead of being snobby about others’ choices, beer snobs/aficionados should share their knowledge and explain why they made the premier or the unconventional choice. Be generous and offer others a sip. The diversity of beer is astounding and it shouldn’t be a solitary exploration. Not everybody can afford to be adventurous every time they go out, so be respectful. After all, good beer doesn’t equal good times, but good friends do. Cheers.