Julian Murdoch is standing next to the sink, the top of his bald head gleaming angelically from the mid-morning light streaming through the kitchen window. He is leaning over an odd contraption, pushing boiling water into a cup that has somehow — perhaps alchemically — been transmogrified into coffee. He is straining slightly with the effort of forcing the coffee, a study in Brownian motion within its pressure chamber, through the filter and into the cup.
Frankly, it looks like a lot of work. My question to him is simple: Why?
It’s not that I don’t understand that different brewing methods, like different cooking methods, create a different sensual experience. There’s clearly some fundamental difference between throwing a pot of Folgers together in a coffee maker you bought for ten dollars at Target, and doing whatever this air-press thing idoes with coffee beans you bought at a specialty shop and ground yourself. Yet there’s part of me that thinks it’s just a ceremonial experience and ultimately the end results taste basically indistinguishable.
This must be what JRPG players feel like when trying to explain anything to me.
Julian can’t explain to me why its better, but that’s not because he lacks the language capacity to do so. It’s because if he were to try to do so, it would be like trying to explain to a curious-looking dog why Game of Thrones is a better narrative than Two Broke Girls. The problem is the receiver of information lacks a necessary understanding to be able to appreciate the explanation.
As Julian valiantly tries to give the explanation a shot, I tilt my head like Nipper — the dog from the old RCA logo. Julian gives up and just assures me that it’s better.