As Kava becomes appreciated at an ever-increasing rate, our community is faced with many new customers who experience the inherent goodness of Kava and find unity with a community that is, at its core, strong and resilient. They may slowly see that divisions exist on dark corners of the internet, but they also recognize that the majority of Kava drinkers are reasonable, simple, and good people. My purpose here is to highlight the goodness of Kava drinkers (“the people who love Kava”), and to identify and subsequently dismiss who I like to call “the Jerks.”
Basically, two factions exist: “Jerks” and “people who love Kava.” The Jerks, not to be confused with the majority of people in the world who simply don’t know about Kava, see Kava as a commodity, an object that needs to be centrally managed, controlled, and profited off of. The People Who Love Kava see Kava as a root that should be enjoyed, celebrated, explored in all of its diversity, spread throughout the world, and marketed to benefit beautiful smallholder families throughout the Pacific
The People Who Love Kava camp believes
- Kava should be consumed from a beautiful shell, ideally ladeled out of a striking Tanoa.
- Kava should be enjoyed and talked about in a positive way.
- The Kava species, Piper methysticum, should be glorified in all of its diversity. We should be able to love Kavas of all varieties, colors, and effects. We should be able to choose which Kava we love, and not have Jerks poking around in our personal lives.
- Science is good. Science has told us that all varieties of Kava are safe. We don’t avoid neighborhoods where other kinds of Kava are served.
- Poaching – bad. We don’t like paying for poached Kava. Why reward thieves? We don’t.
- Trying to constantly look for the “bad” in something so good is not only futile, but a threat to the Kava that we Love.
The Jerk camp believes that
- Kava should fit particular categories that they have established. In many ways, this is a conservative ideology, not dissimilar to people who are intolerant of difference or ambiguity. These are the kinds of people who love binaries – people who love Kava aren’t into binaries.
- Kava should be centrally managed, surveillanced, labeled, and profited from. They prefer to have a select few people control Kava’s identity, distribution, and consumption. They are, by nature, authoritarian.
- Western ideas should govern the policies of South Pacific countries. Through technocrats deployed to bring profiteers into compliance with European law, they create categories of “purity” and try to force governments to codify them into law. This gives them a false justification for maintaining their otherwise arbitrary authority. Most social scientists and people who understand historical and global economic context(s) call this “colonialism.”
- Science is a weapon, but post-truth “Science” is an even better weapon.
- It’s okay to poach Kava if you’re part of the Ruling Class. Those smallholder farmers need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps!
- It’s okay to set up slanderous websites against the People Who Love Kava. It is okay to threaten them. It is okay to impersonate them and try to get them into trouble by subscribing their emails to unsavory sites and extremist list servs. It is okay to threaten to hack and release personal information of a guy who generated LOVE for Kava. (Yeah, really. This has and continues to happen. You can find the culprits at the aforementioned Forum).
- Buying Kava for resale that is marketed as “farm fresh” on Craigslist is okay because – Tudei.
The majority of Kava aficionados are just regular people. We have full time jobs. We drink Kava at the end of the day to wind down. We appreciate it when vendors understand this and don’t make us dunk our Kava into acetonic solutions to free ourselves from the paranoia that our Kava might be spiked by some wild Tudei pusher. We also appreciate it when Kava helps us relax, and we try to take that relaxation as seriously as the Jerks take their conspiracy theories.
The Jerk camp takes a wider view of kava. The Jerks believe that there are people out there trying to “spike” your Kava. That bag you just got in the mail? Better send in a sample. It might be spiked. Be afraid, be very afraid. That Tudei is everywhere. It might even be in grandma’s casserole. There are only a few vendors you can trust. Actually, nah. There is only one vendor you can trust. Why not just sign a blank check and send it to him?
This position is held by a minority of Kava drinkers. They spend much of their time on Reddit and a really lame Forum that is managed by a guy who is managed by another guy who maybe owns a lab somewhere. But he definitely sells trumpets.
Please bear in mind that these groups are, actually, pretty well described here.
As founder of Kavasseur I consider myself to be, first and foremost, a Kava evangelist. I spread my recommendations and recruit new Kava drinkers out of pure belief in the goodness of Kava, not for the receipt of goods or money. My goal, since this website was established in 2009, is simply to spread the good word of Kava and to provide benefit to other people