Seriously, no fooling. Probably the best essay I have read on this in quite a while. I wish I had room for this first sentence in my signature. Brilliant what you took away from this. Its both one and both. Like Miles David said about Prince can be applied to BBQ.... he is neither girl or boy, but both Bytch and Pimp rolled up into one. That's why I named James Brown and Little Richard as Brown and White Sugar repectively.
Plowboy, genius. Truly and intellectual angle.
Originally Posted by Plowboy
What I take away from this is that competition BBQ is schizophrenic.
Here goes... BBQ has an initial accepted, conservative definition. The envelope is then pushed by some who refuse to be defined by convention (Prince), which is received with great acceptance, except for the purists (Industry).
Here's where I get confused...Does the new guard (Prince) become the old guard (Prince 2.0) by going back to the original convention once proving that the new convention worked? Or once the envelope bursts because of unskilled cooks seeking glory instead of purity (Prince Thieves) polluting the air with continual over tweaking, the purist (Ray Charles) is back in vogue? Or is it both. I was kind of lost on the innovation of Prince and then the stripping away all of the new innovations to take it back.
If either are true, then the only relevant standard in BBQ is what tickles the tongue "Right Now". If the old school "sound" is what is hip, then that is what you roll with. When that sound becomes passe, then you better start innovating (tweaking). At some point the tweaking also becomes passe and what was old is now new again.
Looking back through the history of KCBS comp BBQ (the only history I'm really versed in) there are many signs o the times (Did you see what I did there?) that had their day, but were more a flash in the pan.
Here's what I think... for what it is worth. Good is good. Complex and simple can both be good and work at a competition. You catch the timing right with either direction and you could walk away a hero. It is like an artist who was either ahead of their time... or behind. A strong foundation of your craft is key whether you are a pitmaster or a funkmaster. I'll be doing a S&P brisket soon to exercise my skills and bring it back.