Downtime Review Guide

Reviewing Principals and Ratings Systems

Downtime is the Grey Town Gazette’s lifestyle supplement covering the sorts of things we like to enjoy when we’re not earning a living (ie. as often as possible) and, true to our core values, we seek to view everything according to the guiding principals of Textistentialist Philosophy

Textistentialism: the Philosophy

Textistentialism has its origin in the monasteries, abbeys and bars of northern Europe and although the exact time and place of its establishment are lost in the fog of history, most philosophers believe that can be narrowed down to a location somewhere on Impasse de la fidélité Bruxelles between midnight and 6am on September 2nd 2008. Textistentialists are guided by the Four Principals of Textistentialism:

1. Textistentialists believe that if they can’t say what they need to about a drink (mostly) or anything else in the space of a text message then they’re saying too much. Otherwise too much time is spent writing and not enough time drinking

2. Textistentialists seek to study all of life’s experiences from alternative perspectives. As a general rule you won’t find our reviews comparing the taste of a beer, say, to that of honey or spice or lemongrass or seaweed or any other of the commonplace analogies seen in regular reviews. We might however compare it to a baseball bat, or or a fiscal deficit, a deity, or a V8 engine

3. Textistentialists are much more interested in the effect something has than they are in its composition

4. Textistentialists know that reality is, frankly, overrated

Our standard rating systems are:

Greyscale Rating: the official GTG product rating scale:

Platinum (ace)
Ash (good)
Gravel (average)
Charcoal (bearable)
Coal (pants)

Our principal rating scale. As a rule, we only write reviews for Platinum rated products. There’s a good reason for this: life is too short to drink poor booze, let alone write about it. So, after initial samples we immediately reject any dross and concentrate all our efforts on the best stuff

But we realize our readers might want to know the relative quality of the platinum drinks…to know which are the ‘best of the best’ so to speak. Well luckily our Drink Scientists have come up with the answer: the Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index

Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index (Wt):

This is a higher resolution drink-specific rating comparing beverages to the benchmark Westmalle Tripel, which itself rates the theoretical maximum of 10

It works rather like the Richter Scale (only it’s more important of course) and it rates the drinks on a scale of 0 to 10. Westmalle Tripel is 10. To be platinum-rated a drink’s Wt value must be in the range 9.0 – 10

Like warp-speed the system is exponential and a value of 10 is the absolute physical limit in the normal universe (but be warned: funny things can happen under the right quantum conditions – in special zones of unreality – and we will be expanding on this after our next trip to St Sixtus)

Alcoholic Index (AI):

Another important rating is AI, or Alcoholic Index. AI is a key parameter in the temporal equation defining (perceived) Drink Time. Drink Time (as opposed to normal Space-Time) is the time reality perceived by drinkers. It is by its nature in constant flux, affected not just by the alcohol content (ABV) but also by more subtle and exotic forces unique to particular beverages

For more details see our Quantum Qorner article: Alcohol Induced Time Dilation Effect


GTG Downtime

The Seamus Scale

Another rating system you’ll occasionally see is the Seamus Scale, by Seamus, the dog who likes to drink.

Seamus doesn’t write many reviews (most touch screens are not paw friendly) but his are always sharp and to the point. Actually he only has two ratings for everything:

Woof Woof! (Ace)
Grrrrr! (Pants)