Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oldman on questions...

Harry Oldman chimes in with his nonsensical babble once more:

As a man with more wine experience than most, I have developed a keen eye for what really matters in this intoxicating industry. I've met more winemakers than I can count and it doesn't matter that I had to repeat Algebra three times in middle school because Arithmetic is the only type of mathematics that matters in wine. 97 points more more than 96 points. Easy as pie. But not that pi. That doesn't mean a 97-pt wine is better than a 96-pt wine, because we all know that comparing wines is like an MMA fight between a kung fu panda and a jujitsu jackass. For one, they both are from different continents. But both are distinctly mammalian. Donkey meat is rubbery and full of ferality. Panda is rare, succulent and full of fresh acidity. It's a question of taste and not fact. Or maybe the other way around. Now where was I?

Somehow I've gotten off topic. That will happen when your mind operates on the frequency mine does. Oh yeah, questions and statements of fact. I hope to be able to draw a connection between them, as concerns our current wine culture. As I have developed my astute observation skills when it comes to wine, I feel like a professor at the front of the auditorium. How many students actually showed up for my lecture is not important. But I don't want to lecture. I want to lead my pupils to finding their own answers. I'm like the Socrates of wine (Pythagoras was a hack, by the way). That's where questions come into play.

Now, because I am set in my ways and I don't fully understand this digital revolution, I rarely read blogs (I do read my own because I love to hear my own voice). Somehow I stumbled upon the blog of the Washington Post wine writer when I was searching for info on the Tea Party. I don't know his name or anything about him, but he interviewed Hugh Johnson. Man, old Hugh must really be hurting for some publicity to apologize for his inexcusable gaffe in The World Atlas of Wine. Anyway, Hugh got to talking about me (albeit in a subtle way that most people probably didn't pick up on). Hugh was quoted saying, a “great wine [writer] doesn’t make statements, [he] poses questions. And I don’t mean the question of why is this so expensive? Not that kind of a question.” I added those words in brackets to show you how he was actually talking about me. Clear as day.

I don't make statements. Statements are beneath me. I ask the tough questions and let my adoring readers come to the answers themselves. Why are bloggers hurting the wine industry? Why doesn't social media work? Why am I writing this blog? Why doesn't Paul Mabray put his money where his mouth is, start a winery and show us all how his vodoo magic works? Those are not statements of fact, but just simple questions. A statement of fact would be something like, "California wine is the best wine money can buy." Are you starting to see the differences?

Simple questions require simple answers. When my questions are subsequently questioned, I turn a deaf ear. Just as two wrongs don't make a right, two questions don't make an answer. I started blogging to share my thoughts and questions with the voices of the world (outside my own head). See, I answered one of the questions I posed above! And I thank you so much, Kyle, for sharing your platform (even if it is just a blog) with me. Sometimes one must come down to the level of his subjects to get a better understanding their thoughts. But poodles and chihuahuas alike both need to be asked if they want to go outside to take a shit. See, there is the importance of questions once again... I told you I'd make the connection!

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