Michael Jackson, the world's leading beer critic-historian, died today.
"Michael gave us our voice and vocabulary, and grounded the history and traditions of beer," says a memorial note on AllAboutBeer.com. "Beginning in the seventies with the publication of the 'World Guide to Beer,' Michael began beating the drum demanding more respect for beer. He swirled and tasted beer, filling pages with new words. He traveled unceasingly, discovering styles and traditions long gone or on their way out the door. He chided the mainstream press for its beer provincialism. He even wore one glove, just one glove, to mock a similarly named celebrity.
"Originally a newspaper reporter, a badge he wore with pride, he never lost the newsman's love for a breaking story or a tight deadline. He was a prolific writer, an expert in whiskey and fine food as well as a pioneer beer writer."
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Here is what Jackson said about himself recently:
I am hoping that my next book will be an account of my dealings with Parkinson's Disease. I have lived with Parkinson for many years, but I have only recently allowed him out of the closet. I find myself referring to 'my Parkinson's'. We do this, don't we? We refer to our ailments possessively, as though we are staking a claim. Perhaps we are. Perhaps I am. ... I cannot exclude him, so I embrace him. It is not the bear-hug of old buddies. We are more like heavyweights in a clinch, or even schoolboys locked in a playground fight.