It's an interesting thing, I think in the end, BBQ is really a personal thing. On the other hand, there are traditions and regional styles that should have people willing to preserve them. I know that out here, the latest trend seems to be to deny the existence of a California (or what I know as Oakland-style) BBQ and to try and mimic the cooking of other regions.
I do believe that media and generally, sloppy attitudes about individuality, have lead everyone to decide that they are the arbiters of everything. This had lead to a flattening of the BBQ landscape. I find this in all manner of cuisine though.
I tend to resist what some people call 'authenticity in food' especially when the first thing out of their mouth is 'my grandmother cooked...' or 'I lived in Memphis (or Texas, or North Carolina)...'. In my mind, if you want to learn the old ways, document the styles, recipes and techniques and really understand the old ways, that is great.
Carp, now i have forgotten where I was going...BBL
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."