Monday, April 18, 2011

Wine About It All You Want: I'm On Facebook

Critical thinking isn't usually hard. One of the good/bad things it shows you is how much time, money, and mental space we waste on nothing - absolutely nothing. For instance, take this headline making the rounds:
All those tweets, apps, updates may drain brain
May I make a suggestion? They also may NOT. And if that's as much of a likelihood (and it is) then why is anyone wasting our time with it? Why is the reporter, James Temple, being paid - in this economy - to waste our time with it? And why should I even bother to think about what James Temple shouldn't be paid to waste my time with?

See, that "may" tells me the entire premise of James Temple's article is a scam, a fraud, a deception, a waste - his entire article means nothing. "All those tweets, apps, updates may drain brain" or "All those tweets, apps, updates may NOT drain brain" but, because nobody knows, there's no point in James Temple telling me because guess what? I read the news to "know" something, not to be introduced to James Temple's guessing games.

Now here's a headline I like:
Blind Tasters Can't Tell Cheap Wines From Expensive
Why do I like it? Because it's actually telling us something we can use. What's it saying? It's saying wine is a scam, a fraud, a deception, a waste - the entire business is based on nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's saying, if you want to drink wine, a cheap bottle is good enough. There's no "may" in there. It's not saying "Blind Tasters May Not Be Able To Tell Cheap Wines From Expensive" - it says they "Can't Tell Cheap Wines From Expensive" - that's definitive. There's no wiggle room. All you have to do is understand that and - viola! - you're free of participating in a con.

But most wine drinkers won't stop participating in the con. Like cultists, after the guru's been busted or exposed, they'll keep on insisting there's something to wine because their identities are wrapped up in not admitting they've spent most of their lives living a lie.

And that - being surrounded by cultish thinking - is what makes critical thinking hard.

(Click the "wine" tag, below, for more on this BS industry.)


  1. There's a little more to wine than just this. There IS such a thing as bad wine that's cheap and bad wine that's expensive.

    The reason to learn about wine is, as Steven Brust teaches us, so that you can find wines you like that are also cheap. That's the part that's not the con.

  2. See, I'm trying to help you here, and you're insisting on being stupid:

    I lived in France, on and off, for 20 years. I've drank wines that cost hundreds of dollars a bottle, and sincerely, I wouldn't mind trading any of them for Two Buck Chuck. Not only that but, in the entire time I've been there, I have never once seen a French connoisseur send back a bottle of wine - and I was watching.

    Face it: like anything involving cultish thinking, it's all a bunch of bullshit, to make some people (Steve Brust) appear they know something the rest of us do not. The blind taste test says it all, and (you can if you want to) all that's left is deluding yourself. But I guarantee you:

    Until we learn to break out of this way of thinking - not allowing reality the room to breathe because we're so stuck on either worshiping con men or feeding our delusions - we're never going to get out of this wrecked economy or the rest of the bullshit such behavior has created.

    We live in a world of Bernie Madoff-level fraud, and the major question of the new millennium - the only question really - is if we're going to continue to do it willingly.

  3. I used to be a waiter for a good ten years. 99.9 percent of wine drinkers cannot tell the difference between a ten dollar bottle and a five hundred dollar one. At one of the restaurants I worked at, we would buy the most obscure (and cheap) wines we could find, then come up with a good back-story and mark them up like crazy. At another one, we would say you were getting a well known, high dollar glass, then pour a similar wine that costs nothing. Nobody ever said a word.

    At the nicest place I worked at, we had some bottles that went for over a thousand! I never really got it. Sometimes rich people will leave the waiter a few ounces, occasionally a full glass in the bottle when they leave the restaurant (want to really make me happy? finish your wine and leave a decent tip). I'd usually share these "liquid tips" with the staff. They'd make silly orgasmo faces while their eyes would roll back into the backs of their heads. To me, it always just tasted like, well, wine. I'm barely making rent while these fuckos spend a month's pay on one dumb bottle of wine. Whatever.

    High dollar wine is a huge pretentious scam that thrives on our showy excessive ways.

    Those wine snobs can have it all... I'm more of a beer-and-a-whiskey kind of guy anyway.

    -The Tunacrab