Re: Point for Mr Davies

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Heh! I e-mailed him that the moment I saw it.

Orval is swill, of course.


Posted by: Heh! | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:36 AM
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Neat. Was 1 me? Who can say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:37 AM
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The whole article may be read here.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:15 AM
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I can't believe we're being trolled by the New Yorker now.

I look forward to their 6000 word exegesis on the genius of the SWPL blog.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:16 AM
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But it really is quite good.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:52 AM
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But it really is quite good.

But you really are quite wrong.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:57 AM
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Wait, Budweiser or the New Yorker?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:57 AM
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I drink Bud Light at baseball games. It does not have an objectionable flavor, as it has no flavor whatever. Also, this little person can drink it for 3 hours straight and wind up only, say, 2 sheets to the wind.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:59 AM
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I like Bud on nights when drinking beer is not the main thing I'm thinking about. Like, if I'm watching a movie I haven't seen before, do I really want to be distracted by a truly delicious beer? Or what if I have grading to do and don't want to get fucked up? It is an excellent background beer. I don't drink soda anymore, so maybe Bud goes into the slot where soda used to be--a sweet drink that affects my mood--and not where beer proper is.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:17 AM
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Americans should no more be trusted to produce decent beer than they can be relied upon to stand by international laws, treaties, and human rights agreements.

Good beer, like good cheese, is essential to the disorderly pursuit of happiness - which, if it's not defined a civil right, bloody well ought to be.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:20 AM
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What macro-brewed lager do you like more than Budweiser, beer snobs?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:23 AM
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There's a difference between Bud and Bud Light, oudemia.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:26 AM
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Budweiser is a quality beer. I may not enjoy it much, but I've never had a bad one. I certainly prefer it to some skunked Heineken.

There are many great beers brewed in the world, but lots of them taste like ass when they make it all the way out to my house. Drink the local stuff.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:27 AM
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12: Yes. I choose Bud Light in such circumstances because it is *more* flavorless and even less likely to fuck me up. I think the last time I drank a straight-up Budweiser (not counting the Czech kind!) was in 1990 at that horrible bar, The 21st Amendment, in DC.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:30 AM
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11. We've been through this before. The point is that Bud is made with rice, and not everybody likes beer made with rice (even if it comes from S.E.Asia and costs a week's wages). If you fall into that group you prefer traditional European type lagers, there's nothing snobby about it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:31 AM
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Have a 'Gansett, neighbor.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:32 AM
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What macro-brewed lager do you like more than Budweiser, beer snobs?

Pretty much any of them. Bud has to be at the bottom of my American Lager list. I regularly drink MGD and High Life in the summer when it is hot out. The new/old Schlitz isn't too bad either.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:33 AM
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I've recently gained an affinity for low-alcohol beers. Although the high-alcohol ones are tastier, I don't enjoy the experience of hanging out with people and suddenly realizing I am drunk and acting like an asshole. Low-alcohol beers allow me to settle slowly into my drunken assholery like a hot bath. I only drink higher-alcohol beverages (good beer, wine, liquor, moonshine) with very good, trusted friends, sort of like how someone might plan a night for LSD.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:34 AM
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I've been gravitating toward the lower alcohol beers too. For me it's more a matter of getting older and turning into a sleep addict. It only takes two drinks in the evening now to completely mess up my sleep.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:39 AM
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11: Depends what counts as a macrobrewer. Fresh Yuengling is pretty tasty. PBR's really pretty good, too. I don't mind Bud, but there's better stuff that's just as cheap and widely distributed (although in that class of beer I tend to just drink the light stuff -- it's not like I'm missing out on a really amazing beer, they make for easier hangovers, and I'm in no hurry to develop a beer gut).


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:39 AM
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You realize that MGD isn't even beer.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:39 AM
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Beer, like wine and grass, has got stronger, and it's not a good thing, for the reasons AWB sets out. When I was a kid, a British ordinary bitter was 3.2%, and the best was around 4%. Now the ordinaries start at 4.2% and you have to look for them. Most beer is 5-6%, which is too damn strong if you want to drink more than a couple.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:41 AM
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You realize that MGD isn't even beer.

By that rule I don't think most American Lagers are.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:42 AM
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For me the taste of Bud is beside the point... it produces really unpleasant gastrointestinal effects the next day if I drink more than a couple. I don't want to do that to myself or the people who share my office.


Posted by: William Howard Taft | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:44 AM
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I drink Bud all the time, when I'm not drinking cask-conditioned ales. A 24 oz. can of Bud is only $1.50 at the corner store!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:48 AM
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Budweiser has rice in it. So what? So do Asahi and Kirin of Japan, Bintang of Indonesia and Efes of Turkey, and nobody has such a hate on about them.

Considering that we had only just been told that Bintang and Efes existed, it was been hard for us to have been hating on them properly. But I for one have been hating on them constantly ever since.

As for Asahi and Kirin, after a few tries I stopped buying them.

I've been drinking PBR fairly regularly for about 15 years, from the swill period through the trendy period and on into the cliche period.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:54 AM
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Bud is a fine beer. I like it. The prejudice against it comes from the snobbish valorization of rich, heavy, highly alcoholic, intensely flavored beers. But I'm not always in the mood for the latest over-the-top craft beer.

I like the new lime flavored Bud light. Perfect for summer. Bud is like the rose wine of beers.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:56 AM
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In MN 3.2 beer and less can be legally sold in grocery stores, restaurants, and on Sundays, but you hardly ever see it any more. (It was a beautiful compromise between a real blue law and no blue law at all). I'd probably buy it regularly if it were easier to find.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:58 AM
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11: PBR is more pleasant for sure, and generally as cheap or cheaper. If even PBR's not on offer and I need a dirt cheap beer, I'll go with Miller before Budweiser, only slightly for taste but mostly for geographic solidarity (Old Style would be preferred) (and yes, I know SABMiller is now a South Africa-based conglomerate. I'd still rather support Africa's emergence to St. Louis's).

But there are pretty decent macrobrews available:
Guiness
Lion Stout
Kirin Ichiban
Pilsner Urquell
probably a number of others

My biggest problem is that I just don't like pale lagers or pilsners all that much. If I want to drink something that's got a mild taste and such low alcohol, I'd rather pay far less and get a coffee or soda.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:00 AM
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27. No, the "prejudice" against it comes from a significant number of people not liking the way it tastes. Don't see snobbery where it doesn't exist.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:03 AM
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Microbrewers in PDX tend toward the extreme, distinctive beers (wheat beers, fruit beers, very full bodied beers, and especially over-hoppedbeers). Partly this is just because lagers are harder to make, but also it's because there are too many brewers for a rather small market, and because if you make a lager you're competing with a lot of other beers that cost half as much.

I can't stand over-hopped beers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:03 AM
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Low alcohol coffee? Bah!

I will not drink a clear-bottle beer. They get that off taste. I haven't had Miller for decades.

My theory is that's why Corona is served with a lime, for masking purposes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:07 AM
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You know, if you had three frogs, one which repeated "BUD" every three seconds, one which repeated "ER" every two seconds, and one which repeated "WISE" every five seconds, every now and then they would line up and it would totally spell out BUDDERWISE. That'd be cool.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:10 AM
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I can't stand over-hopped beers.

Well, yes. The people who claim that super-flavored beers are the sole preserve of people with good taste are ridiculous. Those who prefer ultra-hopped beers with little balance also seem a bit odd, but whatever does it for them. At least there are enough of them to make Sierra Nevada brewery successful.

Hops flavor is probably something like blue cheese. A bit of an acquired taste, but certainly one that people have varying levels of predisposition toward. And like all acquired tastes, there's no good reason to force oneself to acquire it if it will be a struggle.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:12 AM
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I know it's not cool, but I really love overhopped beers. Mmm bitterbitterbitter. Bitter was the flavor I resisted most as a kid and now I'd give up all the rest.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:13 AM
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Part of my early beer-drinking phase was spent in Portland, where extreme hops are a test of manliness for both men and women. It took me several years of living elsewhere to admit to myself that I just don't care for Portland-style IPAs that feel like turpentine going down.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:13 AM
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I wouldn't say people who like superhoppy beers have better palates. They just really like bitter things. It's sort of like the Brooklyn Brewery guy's response, that an over-hopped beer is like an over-salted stew; it doesn't make you more of a "man," or even a connoisseur, to enjoy it. But some people really like salty chips, for example, or sweet ice cream, or eating lemons.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:16 AM
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My son visited Russia and was very happy with the Baltika beers, which were cheap and sometimes very good. These are Communist bureaucratic beers and they are numbered rather than named. Number Nine, I know, is a kickass high-alcohol beer with a mild, sweet flavor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:19 AM
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The elevation of PBR as trendy still amuses me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:21 AM
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37: There goes Bear with her leaning-over-backwards cultural sensitivity again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:21 AM
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I miss the big Samoan beer, Vailima. It's just your basic German lager, but a good one, and I can't find a brand in the US that's really similar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:22 AM
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I miss beer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:23 AM
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(And I know it's safe to have one from time to time, but I've still got too much stomach acid, so it's not actually appealing. I miss the idea of beer.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:24 AM
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Somewhere in the middle east you find a layer of glycerine on top of your beer, I've been told.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:25 AM
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8: I don't understand why either of these is a virtue.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:25 AM
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I especially like Coors Light and pumpkin beers, just to ruin all my credibility ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:29 AM
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I know it's not cool, but I really love overhopped beers.

I think it all depends on the hops. I love ESBs, and my brother brewed a bitter years ago that I still think of wistfully. But I have a hard time with the hoppiness of most of the Goose Island beers. I should listen to my dad more when he is waxing philosophic about different hop varieties; maybe I'd figure out which it is I like.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:34 AM
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Bud is like the rose wine of beers.

Bad comparison, as Bud is simultaneously flavorless and unpleasantly flavored and there are in fact quite good rosés. (And roses, too. I particularly like orangish ones.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:34 AM
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I had a pint of Harpoon IPA (which I would classify as basically overhopped, also served fridge-cold, which is just wroooong) when I was in Boston last week. It was quite nice, but I certainly wouldn't have ordered another.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:35 AM
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I love "over" hopped beers, too. Sierra Nevada is not hoppy enough for me. I really enjoy a lot of Dogfishhead products, like their 90 minutes IPA.

I don't think of this as good or bad taste, just a personal eccentricity, like the fact that I enjoy drinking straight soy sauce.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:38 AM
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I visited my semi-German in-law once years ago, bringing a selection of nice German and English import beers. She was happy to drink the German beers but felt she was doing me a favor to even taste one of the British beers. "Thank you for the syrup", she said.

I feel somewhat the same way about porters, stouts, and bitters. Not a point I would argue, but I personally don't enjoy them much.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:39 AM
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Harpoon IPA is a reliable choice at local bars, provided that they haven't frozen the &(*&(*& glass. Not excellent, but local.

As for comparing wine and Budweiser: I've heard Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay described, by different people, as "the Bud of wine".


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:40 AM
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I really enjoy a lot of Dogfishhead products, like their 90 minutes IPA.

I was just at the Dogfish Head brewery. I also like their IPAs. I like them as an accompaniment to food mostly though. I don't think I could just sit around drinking 90s by themselves. With a good burger or other pub food a 60 or 90 minute IPA is delicious.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:42 AM
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Bave's preference for cask-conditioned beers has become mine as well. They are so extremely delicious. Even beers that I wouldn't normally like much taste wonderful as c-c.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:42 AM
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Hops flavor is probably something like blue cheese. A bit of an acquired taste, but certainly one that people have varying levels of predisposition toward. And like all acquired tastes, there's no good reason to force oneself to acquire it if it will be a struggle.

The same could easily be said about beer in general, of course. Or whiskey. Or any number of flavors that people who tough it out ultimately find to be rewarding and enjoyable.

I don't mean to defend the DIPA fad. It's tacky, and many of the beers are lousy. Worse, they all use puns in their names, which is infuriating. But it's easy to go too far in the other direction, too. Personally I find the super-malty craft beers that dominate the fall and winter to be kind of gross -- they're overly sweet, cloying, and impossible to pair with anything.

Drink what you want, of course, but I'll take a Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA over an octoberfest beer any day.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:44 AM
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I like the hoppy beers. But then I live in Northern California, so I have to. And yes, some of them are too much even for my blasted palate. And yes, there's been a lot of breweries amping things up just to come up with the flavor of the month, and that gets tiresome. No, there's no such thing as Imperial Cream Ale, and the Double thises and Triple thats are approaching razor blade silliness.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:44 AM
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48: Yes. The salmon-colored Bandol ones. Like Tempier. Tempier is my most favoritest thing in the whole world.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:45 AM
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Baltika beers are generally very nice, although I always forget which numbers are my favorites. Even better, in Russia beer is considered basically a soft drink, so you can buy a .5L bottle of Baltika at a kiosk and wander the streets with it.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:45 AM
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Ben's use of the European style of writing dates -- 24/11/08 -- is excrutiatingly precious.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:47 AM
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45: Well, I like to drink beer when stewing in the summer heat of a ballgame. I don't much like the taste of any of the beers they sell and don't much want to be carried out of the place. So steady consumption of the cold-and-pleasantly-yet-inoffensively beery Bud Light is my solution.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:48 AM
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I like porter.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:49 AM
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He's doing it wrong. The month should be roman:
24 XI 08

This has the advantage of being internationally legible without using a language-specific abbreviation.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:49 AM
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59: That was a nod to the Welshness of the post's dedicatee. It's not something I normally do.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:49 AM
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Hey Ben -- what would the date be AUC?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:50 AM
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cask-conditioned beers

Sigh... I've mentioned it before, but there is this ale conditioned in bourbon barrels that I had at the Lexington airport. It brought me such happiness.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:50 AM
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Over the top, overhopped, intensely flavored beers are the natural dynamic of an overcrowded niche marketplace where people want to stand out and grab a luxury premium on the price. Plus the somewhat adolescent American taste for "extreme!" and "intense!". (Like the high end version of Mountain Dew ads). You see the same thing in the American wine market, where the goal sometimes seems to be to knock peoples socks off with the biggest, jammiest, fruit bomb EVER!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:53 AM
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Is "11" language-specific, lw?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:53 AM
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what would the date be AUC?

I really have no idea. 2700-something, I guess?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:55 AM
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65: Don't despair! There are a lot of bourbon-barrel ales out there these days. Anheuser Busch seems to have a nationally distributed one, in fact. I have no idea if it's as tasty as the one you mentioned, but you shouldn't give up...


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:55 AM
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I love ESBs, and my brother brewed a bitter years ago that I still think of wistfully. But I have a hard time with the hoppiness of most of the Goose Island beers.

Di, have you tried some of the Three Floyds brews? Their Alpha King would be a decent hoppy pale ale to try as a comparison to Goose Island. Whereas the Goose Island IPA seems to entirely use piney-flavored hops (which I tend not to like quite as much, though Bells' Two Hearted Ale uses them to stunning effect), Three Floyds leans much more toward citrusy flavors in their hops like grapefruit and orange. Also, if you do like the taste of the Three Floyds beers, I'm pretty sure the bottles list the hops used in their brewing.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:55 AM
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65: I had a bourbon-conditioned porter a while back that was super good.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:55 AM
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Or any number of flavors that people who tough it out ultimately find to be rewarding and enjoyable.

I suddenly have this urge to have sauteed liver on toasted sourdough with blue cheese and a Guinness.

max
['Hungry.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:57 AM
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I especially like Coors Light and pumpkin beers, just to ruin all my credibility ever.

I admitted to lime-flavored Bud light specifically to make the thread safe for such confessions.

Amusingly, a few weeks ago my fridge contained only a six-pack of lime-flavored Bud Light and a four-pack of Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron . The latter was in one sense sort of delicious, but also gave me a headache, with vague overtones of queasiness.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:59 AM
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Wait, seriously, max? Sourdough is something people have to get used to? I don't believe it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:59 AM
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A dear friend from college came to stay with me one weekend and suggested that I make us apple omelets with white pepper and bucheron cheese for breakfast, served with an unfiltered wheat beer. This was one of the best breakfasts of my life. I've made it again for dinner, as drinking in the morning makes me feel like an alcoholic, but it's not the same. It's a perfect 9:30am Saturday meal.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:00 AM
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70: I have not tried Three Floyd's -- but your description has sold me. The problem with threads like this is that (a) I will wind up thinking about beer all day now, and (b) I'll probably spend a fortune at the liquor store tomorrow on all the things I now have a taste for.

I've been drinking Two Brothers' IPA lately. Very nice, plus super local.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:01 AM
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I admitted to lime-flavored Bud light .

Oooh, me too!.

Also I like it at the Mexican diners when they give you a glass with a salted rim for your beer. Or sprinking a little salt in a Corona or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:02 AM
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75: I can drink champagne in the morning -- or whenever! -- and not feel like an alcoholic. My favorite breakfast is the Sicilian standby of a brioche ice cream sandwich and an espresso with a shot of grappa. That one makes me feel, if not alcoholic, then a little too-too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:03 AM
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I recently tried Harp lager and felt like I'd had three or four Sam Adams. But I just now looked it up and the alcohol content is almost the same. What gives? No difference w/r/t solid consumption.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:04 AM
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three or four Sam Adams.

Sams Adam?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:05 AM
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Also on the "overhopped" debate: I think this is a term that gets used very differently by different people.

When I use it, I mean it almost exclusively to refer to a very unbalanced brew, where the hops utterly dominate the flavor and there's almost no malt to fill out the flavor and help produce a round, pleasantly bitter after taste rather than an astringent feeling like you just rinsed with bleach. That's why I consider something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to be ridiculously overhopped, while I'd never say that about something with far more hops but also a super-balanced taste like Dogfish Head's 90 Minute. Others emphasize the raw amount of hops, which tends not to strike me if the beer is flavorful enough to accomodate them.

I love super-flavored beers, but I just love strong flavors in general. I prefer San Daniele and Speck to Parma Ham, I love it when a soda fountain fucks up and goes heavy on the syrup, I would like roquefort with my steak, thank you very much, and Sour Patch Kids are god's own candy.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:05 AM
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68. 2761 GIYF


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:07 AM
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A cannabis-hopped beer would be killer. You could use the male plants for flavor and the female plants for buzz.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:09 AM
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Adamses's.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:10 AM
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Bud is my go-to beer when all that's available is mass-market beers. It may not have much of a flavor, but at least it's got one. I think it's the beechwood aging that those who object to it are complaining about--there are definite woody notes that you don't see in the other mass markets.

I'm with Po-Mo on the big flavor thing. Drives my wife nuts.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:10 AM
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I like most generic European style lagers, Czech Pilsners, several German lagers, etc and am quite happy to drink whatever the generic 'cooking lager' is in most pubs.

In the UK, I think my favourite standard draught lager is the Samuel Smiths stuff, which is also very cheap.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Smith_Brewery

However, I don't like Budweiser. It's just not to my personal taste.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:11 AM
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I like porter.

Good man.

Two Brothers' IPA lately. Very nice, plus super local.

Hmm... I haven't tried anything by them yet, but you're about the 2nd or 3rd person I trust to recommend their IPA. I definitely should grab some when I'm out tonight.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:11 AM
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You can certainly have good bitterness and hops without becoming knockout drops. Black Sheep (the bitter); Tetleys; Fullers London Pride; pretty much all reasonable British breweries have something that fits that description.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:13 AM
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In the UK, I think my favourite standard draught lager is the Samuel Smiths stuff, which is also very cheap.

For real? Every British beer is expensive in the US, but Samuel Smiths is almost always a dollar more than the others.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:15 AM
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When I was still underage, I had a really complex palate for beer and only drank excellent, interesting beverages. Part of that may have been living in Cleveland, where even the fratty bars serve hundreds of varieties, and my favorite little place had incredible bartenders. One of them would save me one each of the half-dozen-bottle samplers they got from various international breweries so I could try them and give my input. Now that I live in NYC, good beer is both too expensive and too hard to find in bars I can stand hanging out in. I probably drink a really good beer once every two or three weeks, which makes me sad.

I've heard rumors that my beloved CLE bartender has moved here and opened up a place, but I don't know where it is yet.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:16 AM
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re: 89

Sam Smith's pubs are cheap here. They keep prices down by only selling their own beers. I can't speak for their dark beers and bitters but their lagers are great.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:18 AM
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87.2: It's a bit buried out in the 'burbs, but Two Brothers also has a recently opened brewpub that you should try if you ever veer west.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:18 AM
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89. That's just weird. Somebody's ripping you off. Look for Timothy Taylor's instead, which is better IMO.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:19 AM
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And I know it's safe to have one from time to time, but I've still got too much stomach acid, so it's not actually appealing. I miss the idea of beer.

I don't think I shared this tip with you in the first pregnant drinking thread: this pregnancy, AB really enjoyed making shandies with O'Doul's Amber and limeade. She also had a giant Mexican food jones going on, so YMMV, but I figured I'd pass that tip along. It helped quench some alcohol desire in NA-fashion, freeing up actual alcohol consumption for tastier things.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:20 AM
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Due to PGD's link, I'm now on the lookout for this beer when it comes out next season. I really do love Dogfish Head's what-the-fuck-why-not? attitude toward experimenting with off-the-wall brew styles and ingredients.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:21 AM
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83: I doubt it's got the right flavor; not bitter enough. This stuff is pretty good, though it uses the seed, not the flowers.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:25 AM
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A cannabis-hopped beer would be killer

been there, done that in Amsterdam - I think they sell it in Fresh & Wild over here but not in a version with any cannabinoid content. About as you'd expect.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:25 AM
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Of course they're ripping us off.

I have never seen Timothy Taylor's. These are the British brew products I often see

Cheap: Guinness, Bass, Smithwicks, Harp

Somewhat cheap though still overpriced: Boddington, Tetley, Fuller's, Old Peculiar, Old Speckled Hen

Extremely overpriced: Young's, O'Hanlon's

Unbelievably overpriced: Samuel Smith


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:27 AM
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AB really enjoyed making shandies with O'Doul's Amber and limeade

That does sound delicious! Game on!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:29 AM
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"British" of course includes Irish when it comes to marketing strategies.

And I forgot Scotland. There's something called "Traquair" that produces tiny bottles that are priced at a stratospheric Belgian level. Belhaven would be in the "Extremely overpriced" category, and there's some dumb thing called "Skullsplitter" that is somewhat cheap.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:31 AM
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I'm not sure there's much flavor left in the beechwood once the Bud folks are done cleaning it. (Seriously. Just the wood cleaning system there dwarfs a lot of micros.) All the wood does is helps the yeast settle out. Having a layer of twigs on the bottom of the tank gives their yeast something to grab onto. Mere steel doesn't do the trick.

Not to say that you don't taste woody notes. But the source is probably elsewhere.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:31 AM
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You'd really need the cannabis content, but use male plants for extra flavor. I'm sure that if you extracted brutally enough you could get enough bitterness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:32 AM
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re: 98

Samuel Smith's is probably the cheapest of all of those. I remember recently being quite stunned at getting change back from a fiver for 2 beers in a Sam Smith's pub, in central London, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:32 AM
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100. Don't worry. Guinness and by extension Harp and Smithwicks, have been owned by the French for years. Out of that lot, I'd recommend Fullers or Tetley. Boddington used to be cracking, but they ruined it. OP is too prune-like for me. Hen's OK, but I never drink it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:36 AM
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re: 100
Ah, yes. Skullsplitter. Not very good and too high in alcohol content, iirc. Like Carslberg Special Brew.

Deuchars/Caledonian IPA is nice, and Scottish dark beers are good, the various 80/- and 90/- ales.

90/- is lovely if you find a pub that serves it

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A288317


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:36 AM
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Welsh beers. I don't remember ever seen any of them named or marketed. "Bragdy Gwynant, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth" sounds Welsh enough. An English name would defeat the purpose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:37 AM
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The article mainly made me want to watch someone shoot a Palo Santo tree.

I don't like Bud at all, but I suppose it's possible that a lot of that is drinking old, warm, flat bud out of plastic cups at college. I'm not sure I've ordered it at a bar or restaurant ever.

Brooklyn Brewery is pretty damn good.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:41 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:45 AM
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I've had cannabis-hopped homebrew before. I wasn't told about it until after the fact. When I was, it went a long way toward explaining why I had so little fun at that particular party -- it's just not a very social drug.

Needless to say I couldn't taste it when I was drinking it, but I imagine that had a lot to do with the brewer's, uh, hopping budget.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:45 AM
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The Samuel Smith porter is excellent. It's a little more than other beers, but beer here is pretty cheap to start with.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:51 AM
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Who is more annoying, beer geeks or wine geeks? I say beer geeks. There's a traditional, time-honored place for rich pretentious assholes, but stout bearded pretentious Renaissance Faire beer types are an annoying modern invention. A big problem with democracy is that everyone thinks they have the right to be pretentious.

Also, wine is more complex and wonderful than beer.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:52 AM
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111 came off like it was getting close to ToS territory, apologies to beer geeks in the room.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:53 AM
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111: change "complex" to "subtle & nuanced" and drop the "wonderful" bit and I agree completely.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:55 AM
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111: I thought that that "traditional, time-honored place" was up against the wall. Motherfucker.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:56 AM
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Also, wine is more complex and wonderful than beer.

You also pay way way more for any given amount of complexity and nuance, though. Nicer, more nuanced beers (thinking of Unibroue's annual ales in particular, and some Stone brews) can be strikingly complex, but they still only cost about $10 for the 750 ml bottle.

Democracy rulez, grapez drool.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:04 AM
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111, 113, 115: Wine and beer are both valued; each has its place. Not at all unlike the masturbation vs. sex with a person discussion in the Boys/Toys thread -- both are good, they each just scratch a different itch.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:13 AM
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Thanks to the venerable NYer, I now know that at least two Europeans are wrong about Budweiser. Fascinating. Maybe Davies and Rock could do a vloggingheads in which they sing the praises of white zinfandel.

PGD, not all wine geeks are rich, pretentious assholes, and not all wines are worthy of geekery. Incidentally, last night we pressed our second wine (made from reconstituted must, i.e. pomace+water+sugar). It's a perfectly good ordinary wine for everyday drinking, and the cost comes to under $1.50 per bottle.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:14 AM
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Wine, of course, being masturbation, whatever Jesus may say.

PGD is somewhat of a weenie and his judgments about alcoholic beverages should be put in one of the lower tranches.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:29 AM
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Oh good lord. There's now a reasonable range of pretty good beers, but anyone who thinks that a $15 bottle of beer gives you anything like the experience of a good bottle of wine is either insane or hasn't drunk enough good wine.

I love beer and am glad that there are now much better beers available in the USA than 20 years ago, but it is, should be, and always will be, a working man's drink designed primarily to relieve thirst while providing a nice buzz. Which the Bud products (and especially Bud light) are pretty good at, actually. Wine snobs are far less annoying that wine snobs because there's more reality there to begin with. It's like comparing urban snobs who are snobby because they live in New York with those who are snobby because they live in a fancy neighborhood of Dallas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:37 AM
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The one nice thing about beer connoisseurs is that they often get into brewing their own beer, so it's a more interesting hobby than just straight consumption (plus, then they give me beer.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:37 AM
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I move that Halford be taken to the outskirts of town and stoned. Is there a second?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:43 AM
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I move that Halford be taken to the outskirts of town and stoned. Is there a second?

Seconded.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:45 AM
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I'll second, depending on what you mean by stoned.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:46 AM
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121: Aye!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:47 AM
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(I don't get this whole procedural rules thing)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:48 AM
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Wine snobs are far less annoying...

Agreed. I mean, at least wine snobs don't have some defensive need to denigrate other beverages as somehow lesser -- er, wait.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:49 AM
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120: Bite your tongue, woman. You just don't know the right wine connoisseurs.

It occurs to me I still owe Josh and Magpie a bottle. There will also be a bottle or two at the West Coast UnfoggedCon, if it actually happens.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:52 AM
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Come on. You know in your heart that I'm right. Let's filter out all the cultural trappings and pretend that we all have infinite resources to purchase alcohol for a special occasion. Are you going to buy a 1989 Pomerol or a big bottle of Kriek? I love beer, and my stomach and wallet proves it, but pretending that these are fungible high-end beverages is just wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:53 AM
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I don't even know why we're comparing the two. Wine and beer are different kinds of drinking. The buzz is different, in that wine makes me thoughtful and beer makes me reckless. I don't really like cheap wine, so I don't drink it unless to be polite---I'd far rather drink a nice beer for the same price. But sure, a really excellent wine is a totally different experience from good beers.

I sort of feel the same way about cheese and salad. I like all kinds of cheeses, from the really fancy extremely strongly-flavored kinds to the somewhat cheap and bland, and the latter will do the trick if I want cheese. But salad's not worth eating unless it's really good salad--subtle and complex and perfectly balanced. But that doesn't make me say that I think salad is a better or more important food than cheese. The desires are different.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:54 AM
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anyone who thinks that a $15 bottle of beer gives you anything like the experience of a good bottle of wine is either insane or hasn't drunk enough good wine.

Developing a taste for good wine seems like an expensive habit, whereas $15 is about as much as you could ever spend on a bottle of beer. A glass of Chimay or Delirium is far more satisfying to me than any wine that's even close to my price range.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:54 AM
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As usual, AWB gets this right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:55 AM
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Let's filter out all the cultural trappings and pretend that we all have infinite resources to purchase alcohol for a special occasion.

Bzzzt. As per Po-Mo's 115, the point is that, at a comparable price point, good beer often has as much if not more to offer than a similarly priced bottle of wine.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:56 AM
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I do think the reason that I have never gotten into wine is that it doesn't fit into a price/usage range that I think about. If I want something to drink on a regular basis I will spend the money on beer. When I get to the prices for good wine I would rather just jump to a bottle of good Scotch or Irish whiskey which will last me longer than a bottle of wine.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:59 AM
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128: Well, to be quite honest, I'd probably prefer a really fantastic Kriek, because I really like lambics and don't much care for most wines. That's just my palate, though. Certainly there are some wines I quite like, but they tend to be pricier than the beers I like.

AWB gets it right, but that's because she's not trying to oversell wine. They're different, and beer's way cheaper (and tends to have flavor profiles that I prefer, but that's purely personal).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:03 PM
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I'm on board with the notion that a generic $5 bottle of beer usually provides a better experience than a generic $5 bottle of wine, although it's a different experience, different buzz, etc. That's not the claim of the more extreme beer snobs, though, who want to treat high end beer as if it's a comparable beverage to high end wine, when it's really not.

Also, there is really a lot of very good wine that's not really that expensive, although it's oddly much more difficult to find than good beer. Once you're in the $15-20 range (which, in price per volume, is comparable to a bottle of very high end Belgian beer) you can do very, very well armed with just a little knowledge, especially if you're willing to pick less fashionable regions or varietals. I'm a huge fan of Rieslings for exactly that reason -- it's not too hard, at least here, to find a really incredible Riesling for $18 or so, because it's a relatively unpopular varietal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:07 PM
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The trouble with wine—at least for an antisocial drinkalone like me—is that I have to commit to drinking an entire bottle at one sitting. This is far from insurmountable, but still nothing to schedule often.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:08 PM
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Also, if I drink a lot of wine, I get sleepy or even melancholy. If I drink a lot of beer, I get a little too sanguine.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:10 PM
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136 -- Try Port or Sherry (if you like the buzz, a lot of people don't); they will keep almost indefinitely and also have a higher alcohol content. I also tend to kill regular wine bottles by myself or with my slow-drinking wife in 3-4 days, capped with a bottle and put into the fridge, most everything will keep.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:14 PM
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PGD, not all wine geeks are rich, pretentious assholes, and not all wines are worthy of geekery.

I am something of a wine snob myself, so that was meant as self-deprecating, although I realize it didn't come off that way. Or at least used to be -- I still have 20-30 cases of good stuff scattered in various warehouses. I stopped in part because I thought it was too expensive and in part because, as Emerson hinted, I don't have the alcohol tolerance to truly consume at the right level, even of a wimpy beverage like wine. On the cost end, ironically enough, my collection has increased in value and I would have been better off financially buying more. Although the stock market crash may be changing that...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:15 PM
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Matt F makes a good point. I don't have the sophistication to appreciate a $100 wine right now, but I see no reason to acquire that ability, because all it would do is cost money.

Most people do the acquired taste thing all wrong. They set out to acquire tastes for things that are rare, expensive and high status. The wiser strategy is to acquire a taste for things that are completely free but normally un-appreciated, like decaying buildings or comment spam.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:16 PM
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if I drink a lot of wine, I get sleepy or even melancholy.

If I drink a lot of red wine, I give ranting, vaguely trollish lectures that I'm convinced at the time are brilliant.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:16 PM
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128: With an infinite budget I'd buy all beer. I'd buy the tavern in Portland Jesus and I went to, close it, and drink its stock.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:17 PM
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Once you're in the $15-20 range (which, in price per volume, is comparable to a bottle of very high end Belgian beer) you can do very, very well armed with just a little knowledge, especially if you're willing to pick less fashionable regions or varietals.

Back in the day you could get good California pinot in this price range. The golden days were already coming to an end even before that awful movie "Sideways" came out...sigh.

Now one could even claim good Russian River pinot is overpriced, although I love it and think the good stuff is still underpriced compared to the obscene prices of Napa Cabs.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:20 PM
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136: The trouble with wine--at least for an antisocial drinkalone like me--is that I have to commit to drinking an entire bottle at one sitting.

Has this been addressed? Get one of those vacuum air-sucker-outer thingies, essentially recorking the bottle. No household should be without one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:21 PM
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the trouble with wine is that there are more varieties & you can't learn what you like by buying glasses for $3-5 a pop with dinner--you often have to buy a whole bottle at a big markup--so I'm often picking pretty blind.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:27 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:29 PM
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Actually, parsi, those things help a little bit but not as much as advertised, because they don't create a genuine vacuum, and they don't replace the oxygen, which is the problem. Canned argon (like this) is much more effective.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:30 PM
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144: Amen! Doesn't preserve your wine indefinitely, but at least the second half of the bottle is not complete crap the next day.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:30 PM
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147: The vacuum thingies are alot less expensive.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:32 PM
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Someone should just start marketing wine in six packs like beer that way you wouldn't have to worry about oxygenation since you could drink the whole bottle.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:32 PM
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140 -- I'm not really a wine evangelist, despite playing one on this thread, but the notion that you need "sophistication" to enjoy a $100 bottle of wine (if it's a good $100 bottle!) is wrong and plays a bit into the over the top wine snobbery nonsense, and is largely the wine industry's fault. I would be really amazed at anyone who couldn't enjoy a really good bottle of wine.

It's not an earth-shattering event, but here's a really excellent bottle I had for $18 this week, and that served 1 heavy drinker (me) and one light drinker (my wife) for 3 dinners (or, $3/person/drinking, which puts you well into the beer range). There are plenty of just as good wines that cost less. Different buzzes for different times and all that, but I really don't think that you NEED to drink beer out of cheapness or because only really crappy wine is available on a somewhat reasonable budget.

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1043340


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:33 PM
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but the notion that you need "sophistication" to enjoy a $100 bottle of wine (if it's a good $100 bottle!) is wrong

The idea isn't that you need sophistication to enjoy the good $100 bottle of wine, but that you need sophistication to discern the good bottle from the overprice crap $100 bottle of wine.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:35 PM
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But Di, their ratio of suckitude to expense is astronomically higher. Care for a beer?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:35 PM
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153 to 149.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:36 PM
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Okay!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:37 PM
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(Also, the way I was raised, an $18 bottle of wine counts as "the expensive stuff." So the cheapo vacuum thingies are surely more than up to that task.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:39 PM
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Hey, and what's this Pabst thing with the kids nowadays? I haven't had one in many years, but my recollection is that they were vile.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:39 PM
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147: they don't create a genuine vacuum, and they don't replace the oxygen, which is the problem.

Hm, makes sense. However.

Wait. I was about to agree with Di that the vacuum thing is less expensive, but after a couple of click-throughs, I find that a canister of the canned argon is $9.00. Good to know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:42 PM
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Most real wine people (I'm not really one) are in fact obsessed with getting good value and the price/quality ratio, which is really the point and is where the knowledge actually comes in handy. A good wine store helps infinitely with getting the price/value ratio right, if you can find one. I've liked the http://www.klwines.com site, and the LA store, as a good place to go for wine information, but that's just me. You obviously shouldn't just spend $100 (or even $10) out of the blue on a bottle, but there are some good resources out there that aren't too hard to find.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:43 PM
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158: Huh.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:43 PM
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The toxicity of argon is unknown. Some say that its inertness inflitrates the vascular system with long term deadly results.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:43 PM
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Somewhere above PMP hits on exactly why the salt analogy sucks. There's only one kind of salt and too much will actually obliterate all other flavors. There are many kinds of hops, and too much of them can still be quite tasty. I said over at Crooked Timber that a better analogy would be the trend towards massive amounts of fat in modern haute cuisine. Like foie gras, or pork belly.

Also, people who say that "people who hate Bud are just snobs" are just snobs.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:43 PM
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The notion that you need "sophistication" to enjoy a $100 bottle of wine (if it's a good $100 bottle!) is wrong

Thing is, I can't imagine enjoying any single drink enough to merit $100. I pretty much flatten out at about 15 rat orgasms of pleasure from any beverage. Additional expense yields very diminished returns. It seems to me that you shouldn't have to pay more than a dollar per rat orgasm, which is good, because even if you are drinking those crazy Belgian things, you can get 750 ml of beer (or whatever the size of a standard bottle of wine is) for about $15.

I assume that wine connoisseurs are getting at least 150 rat orgasms per bottle. They certainly talk that way. And otherwise, the behavior can only be explained by a desire for status.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:45 PM
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129: Hmmm, there are salads that involve cheese.

I don't think wine is "a different kind of drinking" aside from social expectations; wine is sort of popularly imagined to be a bougie drink in North America, so people seem often to consume it in quieter settings. Understandable, since a great deal of money is poured into advertising wine this way, but while there's a wider range of elegant wines available, wine generally is just as good for making one reckless as any other drink and there are still plenty of beers that are good for consuming with a fine meal.

I agree with those who find scotch better for geeking out than either wine or beer.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:46 PM
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But the analogy with punch-you-in-the-face fruit bombs in wine is apt. Punch-you-in-the-face fruit bombs can be quite tasty, and I don't mind drinking them on a regular basis. It's just that the balanced ones are much better.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:46 PM
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The vacuum/fridge thing is an improvement over leaving out on the counter, but never fully works. It functions best with big unsubtle rich wines -- like Zin or something. Never tried the argon thing.

Hey, Parsimon, remember that Zenato Ripasso we had at dinner a while ago? Nice and a bargain too. (One way I knew I was fated to be a wine snob was this freakish memory for every bottle I'd drunk. I can't remember shit at work, though.)


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:46 PM
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157: Kids drink vile stuff, this is news? I used to drink Lucky Extra. Still do once in a while for nostalgia's sake.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:47 PM
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what's this Pabst thing with the kids nowadays?

Isn't it just another part of the narrative that class distinctions are just so ... pre-postmodern? We have moved beyond matters of taste.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:49 PM
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163 -- Would you say the same thing about food? How many rat orgasms is a trip to the French Laundry worth?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:49 PM
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There's only one kind of salt

Not true, actually.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:51 PM
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I really think the difference between a meal at the Olive Garden and a meal at the French Laundry is significantly greater than the difference between a $15 wine and a $200 wine. For example, the average person would be able to detect that there was a difference.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:53 PM
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166.2: I do, and I'd meant to ask for a reminder on its name -- thanks. (It's good, people!)

One reason I'm fated never to become a wine snob is that I can never remember what the damn thing was called. A learned skill, I imagine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:53 PM
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I've had a $100ish wine exactly once--Brunello, which I got as a gift from in-laws. It was the best beverage I've ever had, but: (1) even if you don't need sophistication to enjoy it, you do need sophistication to make sure you're buying a good $100 bottle; (2) it was alarming how bad perfectly respectable $12 wine tasted right afterward. My conclusion was to drink wine like that when offered to me for free, but it's way too expensive a habit to cultivate; (3) while expensive wine *is* better, I think you get much happier tastebuds per marginal dollar spent on better food--and this goes double at restaurants because of the liquor markup.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:55 PM
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Would you say the same thing about food?

Roughly. The diminishing returns curve has the same shape, but flattens out later, just because there is more consumption involved in eating. I don't think I could get more than 30 rat orgasms out of a meal, not including drinks or the quality of the conversation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:56 PM
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||

For parsimon.

I thought of you mostly because of the descriptions of working in a bookstore but, in addition there is something in the tone that I thought you would enjoy.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 12:59 PM
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The Pabst thing is so that poor hipsters and rich hipsters can go to the same bar. By giving a randomly selected cheap beer a mystique, people can feel OK about themselves while budgeting tightly. It came from a line wrongly remembered as "PBR, Motherfucker!" in a movie with David Hopper.

It wasn't going to be Hamms. According to my ex-bartender brother, serving Hamms in a can is a bar's way of saying that it's giving up and becoming a bottom end old man bar.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:00 PM
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171: Anyone could tell the difference between Yellow Tail and Domaine de la Romanée Conti. Whether they'd prefer one to the other is beyond me, just as I am not sure that everyone would prefer oysters and tapioca to super cheesy stuffed shrimp.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:01 PM
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"Blue Velvet".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:01 PM
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(1) even if you don't need sophistication to enjoy it, you do need sophistication to make sure you're buying a good $100 bottle;

I think you do need sophistication to enjoy it. I've had one really expensive wine once, and my reaction was "This tastes odd." By the time everyone had finished the bottle, I had some idea of what the odd parts of it were that made it unique and valuable. You have to be prepared.

Acquired taste, in other words.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:02 PM
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174 -- So at $1/rat orgasm, your desire to consume good food tops out at a $30 meal? You may be the last overeducated person in America who has successfully resisted the great Yuppie/foodie boom of 1970-2000. For keeping my grandfather's set of priorities, I salute you, even as I cannot emulate you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:04 PM
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Pabst has also been engaged in a lot of stealth marketing to hipsters.

I drink a lot of Pabst because it is the cheapest of the American watery Lagers. A frequent drinking strategy for me is to have one or two dogfishheads and then switch to Pabst,


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:04 PM
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The notion that you need "sophistication" to enjoy a $100 bottle of wine

The $100 bottle is one of those referents that people use for rhetorical convenience, but isn't really a consideration for the vast majority of wine geeks outside of restaurants with egregious markups. There are enough excellent wines to be had at $10-$25 a bottle that the moderately well-off oenophile needn't spent any more to explore widely, and for a splurge, $50-$60 in a wine shop will get you something fantastic.

Unfavorable exchange rates confound this argument, but Buy American!, or look for wines imported years ago.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:06 PM
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Jesus turns water into wine. Time for a West Coast raid on his stocks!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:07 PM
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I don't think my palate is subtle enough given the expense of good wine. I can taste a difference, but not reliably enough to get into a $100 bottle habit (Friends who know more about wine say you don't need to spend a lot once you find something you like, of course.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:07 PM
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182 gets it right. The restaurant markup thing (which doesn't really extend to beer, where the prices are more transparent) is definitely what makes people think of even pretty good wine as a totally unattainable luxury.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:08 PM
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Hamms may be cheaper, but nobody wants to go there.

Oddly, the only thing I enjoy any more is the rat orgasms themselves. All pleasure is units of exchange, when you get down to it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:08 PM
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The restaurant markup thing (which doesn't really extend to beer, where the prices are more transparent) is definitely what makes people think of even pretty good wine as a totally unattainable luxury.

Living in Pennsylvania also has this effect.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:09 PM
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Ugh, that too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:10 PM
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just as I am not sure that everyone would prefer oysters and tapioca to super cheesy stuffed shrimp.

Indeed. I'm confounded by the comparison.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:10 PM
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All pleasure is units of exchange, when you get down to it.

It's trolls like you who are ruining this blog, John.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:13 PM
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189: "oysters and tapioca" = one of the most famous dishes at the French Laundry. "cheesy stuffed shrimp" = my made-up idea of something at the Olive Garden. Per Ned's comment.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:13 PM
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Perhaps Jesus should post a list of moderately priced, delicious wines for those of us who like the stuff, but don't know a helluva lot.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:13 PM
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Sheesh oudemia, The Olive Garden is Italian food. You're thinking of Applebee's or TGIF or Chili's or something.

You're worse than David Brooks.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:14 PM
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193: Nuh uh! They totally have stuffed shrimp! I saw the commercial!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:15 PM
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192: That would drive the price up for him. The Unfogged wipple machine is a power to be feared.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:17 PM
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183: Nearly 500 gallons this year, heaven help us. Come on out; we'll put you to work. And then feed you and get you drunk on delicious wine, of course.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:17 PM
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That's really cool, Jesus.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:18 PM
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Very cool.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:20 PM
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Nearly 500 gallons this year

Now you just need to bottle it into convenient six packs and get a license to sell it. You could be rich.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:22 PM
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Do you have winestomping twin photos?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:22 PM
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Obviously, there's no way to really argue about this, but I tend to (disagree with? discount?) the "my palate's not subtle enough to taste good wine" idea or chalk it up to drinking a vastly overpriced bottle. I don't think of myself as having anything like a subtle palate (killed off by bourbon), but a very good wine to me is absolutely, obviously, and immediately the equivalent of a truly delicious meal, and recognizable as such.

I've had a few occasions to drink extremely good bottles of wine with people who aren't really wine drinkers, and the experience is much more commonly like Katherine's -- this is the best drink I've ever had, but I'm afraid that the expense of seeking more will bankrupt me. Fortunately, the expense of regular good to very good wine drinking is a lot less than many people think, although finding good wine really does take either a little bit of knowledge or talking to someone who can help.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:22 PM
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180: I've already expressed my willingness to drink straight soy sauce on this thread, so it should be clear that I am a bit of an outlier.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:24 PM
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192: Hmm, good idea. I've been drinking mostly our own these days, but I'm sure that my winemaking pals and I could come up with a decent list. I'll get them on the task. Feel free to remind me if you don't hear back soon.

200: Follow the link and let it take you to the blog. Not actual stomping, but totally cute pictures nonetheless.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:25 PM
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196 -- Whoa. Unbelievably awesome. I will shut up now because we should all really be listening to Jesus.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:26 PM
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a list of moderately priced, delicious wines

I'm no expert, but here's my algorithm:

Yakima valley reds from Washington state, especially zinfandels.

Aconcagua or Maipo valley reds from Chile.

Vinho verde from Portugal.

Use vintage charts for European wines-- 2005 was good for pretty much everything French.

Beaujolais Nouveau is to be avoided.

Find small local importers who actually pick wines with care; until you find one that you trust, prefer local importers to distant ones.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:28 PM
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Heineken? Fuck that shit.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:44 PM
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Jesus will always be there for you, people. You only have to take him into your heart.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:47 PM
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Winemaking: a must for children.

That pun hits you like a ton of Brix.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:50 PM
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208: Heh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:54 PM
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And for those comparing expensive restaurants to expensive bottles of wine: Bzzt!

If I spend $50 on a bottle of wine, I'm getting multiple drinkings of a single wine. Sure, it may change flavor profile as it warms or something similar, but it's the same damn wine.

If I spend $200 to $250 at Alinea, Tru, or Charlie Trotter's, I'm getting 10-20 different dishes over the course of the meal, and probably about double that many flavor profiles. It's just far more variety for your buck.

The closest comparison would be if there was a way to get a nice progression of many good wines served in portions of only a few sips each, which I would be far more likely to spend $50 on. Wine tasting flights approach this, but they still typically only include 4-5 wines.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:55 PM
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You know what really gives you variety for your buck? The buffet at Outback steakhouse. Flavor profiles galore.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 1:59 PM
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210.3 Um, honest input. How ridiculously over-the-top would it be to take a 9/10 year old to Alinea. I've wanted to go since it opened, and Rory has drooled with me over the website a time or two asking when I am going to take her. How ridiculous of a mom am I being for considering this?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:01 PM
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Is there anyone you'd rather go with?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:02 PM
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Also, to 210 the rest, The idea is that you get those multiple profiles by thoughtful pairings. The right chocolate or cheese or meal.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:03 PM
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213: No. Thanks. Very good point!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:03 PM
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Only four comments in a full day on a beer thread?

Blog has gone all to hell.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:05 PM
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Oops. Boy is my face red.

Uhh, I wonder what happened.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:06 PM
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Would you spend a comparable amount of money on any other ephemeral experience with her? Tickets to something she really wanted to see?

If it's within a factor of two or three, and you think the two of you would have fun, why not? (This must be the great thing about being, or having, an only child. Adult-type experiences like this are much less compatible with two or more kids.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:07 PM
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212: Take Rory!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:07 PM
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213: No.

Your fellow commenters are weeping, Di. Rory can't even drink.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:08 PM
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Rory can't even drink.

Well, not legally, no.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:11 PM
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221: Physically speaking, she can really put 'em back.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:22 PM
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||

Holy shit! Last time I looked out the window (which is ~75 degrees to my right), it was sunny. It is now snowy so thickly that houses 100 yds away are faint.

|>

Di, you should totally go with Rory - that's an awesome age for fancy, "grownup" experiences, and if she's drooling over it, she'll appreciate it. Maybe not appreciate it as much as an adult, but still. Also, if they're not assholes, they'll be totally charmed by a child that age (I expect they don't see many), and fawn over her.

Also, I've avoided expensive wines so I can continue enjoying the wines I can afford. As it is, we occasionally have to drop wines from our rotation because they're not good enough anymore - finding better $11 wines means the decent $9 wines tastes worse.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:25 PM
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I think it would be a sweet and wonderful thing to do, assuming that you'd spend as much on some similar experience, like a trip to the ballet or whatever. There's no way that it's more expensive in total than the nightmarish "American Girl Place" which I recently had to take some nieces to.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:25 PM
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In Wisconsin Rory can drink!

Raising a foody to adulthood could be very expensive, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:26 PM
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Interestingly, eating at the finest restaurants in town hasn't ruined my palate for the rest. There are some exceptions - places that used to impress me that I now find dreadful - but generally speaking, I can take each meal on its merits.

Maybe if I could afford $15 wine* on a regular basis, I could go back and forth with $30-50 bottles, but the curve is too steep down to $9-10.

* Note that most wine prices are inflated ~50% in PA. Liquor, interestingly, is almost always cheaper than elsewhere


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:29 PM
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||

Any thoughts on Geithner as Treasury Secretary?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:32 PM
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"American Girl Place"

A catalogue that went straight into the recycling, beneath a few other catalogues for safety.

Actually, Iris was wonderfully mature on discovering the FAO Schwartz catalogue. Eyes like saucers, but when we suggested that she circle the things she wanted with a marker, she showed great restraint combined with charming enthusiasm - nothing from the Barbie page, but every single object - including individual accessories - on the page for some other doll. We've saved the catalogue for posterity.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:32 PM
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What is the lobby that protects PA's bizarre system of beer distributors/wine markups? Is it just the beer people/existing liquor stores, or is there some broader support for the system? When I lived in Pittsburgh for a few months I remember amazement at how weird the system was, and remain somewhat amazed now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:34 PM
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Go with Rory! Take me with you too!

The current menu looks fantastic. It's also a particularly cool place for mature kids since Alinea's all about playing with food.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:41 PM
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"oysters and tapioca" = one of the most famous dishes at the French Laundry

Oh, way delayed reply, but uh, I didn't know this. Gross. Were I to spend an absurd amount of money on a meal, it wouldn't be at the French Laundry anyway, chiefly because French cuisine isn't my favorite.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:45 PM
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What is the lobby that protects PA's bizarre system of beer distributors/wine markups?

A wicked combination of beer distributors (ask John McCain how much $$ they can have), the PLCB workers' union, and teetotalers in the Jesusland part of the state.

Until the previous chairman of the LCB got the job, it was always held by people who were actively hostile to drinking. In other words, liquor stores run by the WCTU. Not a good system.

All that said, I have no clue why there's such a big wine markup. PA is the country's biggest buyer of wine & liquor and, as I said, has excellent liquor prices (better than sale prices at Bottle King in NJ, for instance). The good chairman instituted the Chairman's Selection program that provided fabulous deals on really good wines (this was widely attested). He left, and the program floundered, but it's supposedly getting back on track. But still no explanation as to why there's this big markup on everyday wine.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 2:49 PM
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232 -- Thanks. I wonder if the bars are also pro-the current system? I always blamed the lack of a really good bar culture in California (there are plenty of good individual bars, but not the proliferation of traditional old style bars that you see in the midwest or Northeastern cities) on the driving everywhere thing, but maybe there are fewer bars because we never had the ridiculous blue laws that makes it harder to drink at home.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:00 PM
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||

There is something to be said for having a health insurance broker who tells you clearly what's what. To wit: premium going up to $470/mo? Good grief, what to do? Switch to a higher deductible plan, let's map this out, like so ....

A bit of scribbling and rapid-fire questions later, and we have an answer! Fax me, baby, fax me.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:02 PM
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Since this is the gourmet alcoholics thread...

Does anyone know of a good mixed alcoholic drink based mostly on carrot juice? My google-fu yields nothing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:03 PM
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As I understand it, in PA you can buy six-packs of beer in bars (taverns) but not in grocery stores or state wine/spirits stores. O enlightened ones, can you buy six packs in PA beer distributors or do they only sell cases/kegs?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:05 PM
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Have you seen this? Wine. The choice of parents. It made me laugh out loud.

http://bestparentever.com/2008/03/28/16-wine-2/


Posted by: Frankenberry | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:06 PM
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235 -- Here's one I found looking online, which sounds OK but not really my thing. Can I ask why one would wish to mix carrot juice in with the booze?

http://www.accessatlanta.com/restaurants/content/restaurants/stories/spirits/2007/12/04/spirits_1206.html


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:07 PM
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Dsquared needs to watch out. Not only is there always a beer to out snob a beer snob's beer, there is always a beer to outprole a beer prole's beer:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29/37389


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:17 PM
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Rob, you really need to leave the carrot juice be, in its essence.

If you really must, carrot goes with beet juice, so that might give a direction.

But I generally think you're looking at decimating the betacarotene-ish joy, or jolt, of the carrots and/or beets by combining with alcohol.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:18 PM
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As I understand it, in PA you can buy six-packs of beer in bars (taverns) but not in grocery stores or state wine/spirits stores. O enlightened ones, can you buy six packs in PA beer distributors or do they only sell cases/kegs?

Beer by the six-pack or individual bottle is available from bars/taverns, which cannot sell it in larger quantities.

Beer by the case or keg is available from beer distributors, which cannot sell it in smaller quantities and sell nothing else except soda and snacks.

Liquor and wine is available from state-owned liquor stores which sell nothing else. A few of these are now open on Sunday until 5 PM.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:19 PM
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How ridiculously over-the-top would it be to take a 9/10 year old to Alinea

Add me to the chorus that says you absolutely should. One of the best dinners we've ever had was a joint birthday dinner at the best restaurant in town with our then 4-yo in tow. Part of the pleasure was seeing the wait staff go from "oh shit" to eating out of his hand as they realized that he knew how to behave in a restaurant--it felt like the payoff for all the time we'd invested in teaching that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:22 PM
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235: I had some very odd artisanal carrot eau de vie. This is not what you want. Also, what does one call eau de vie if it is Austrian?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:23 PM
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A few of these are now open on Sunday until 5 PM.

This changed at least 4 years ago; astonishingly, we have friends who never knew before this past Sunday, when they told us they had "borrowed" a bottle of wine from his mom's house because they forgot to buy it before Sunday. Mind you, we live a quarter mile from one of the Sunday stores.

But, you know, they're not allowed to advertise, so....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:24 PM
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239 -- Mexicans and Canadians both like to mix Clamato with their booze. What does this tell you about NAFTA?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:26 PM
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Around here the grocery stores have to stop selling beer, wine, and liquor between 2 and 6 am, but that's about it. Maybe it's midnight and 6; past my bedtime either way. Being able to buy your liquor at Costco is a good thing. Better yet, it's gotten competitive enough that there are at least three pretty good wine shops where prices are pretty much in line with Costco's. Still too much California and not enough PNW among the domestic wines, but I buy lots of very drinkable bottles in the $8 - $15 range.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:31 PM
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I don't think there are bottles of wine for cheaper than $8 in Pennsylvania. We do have access to box wine and giant jugs which are cheaper than that on a per-fluid-ounce level.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 3:36 PM
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I like the new lime flavored Bud light. Perfect for summer.

Johnny-come-lately. As a teenager (early '70s) one of the things I drank a few times was Hop-n-Gator. It was a vile combo of beer and Gatorade (which was relatively new on the market)*. I think the relevant physiological theory among the demented youth was that the elctrolytes helped the alcohol get absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly.

*Via Wikipedia I learn that apparently Iron City (did not know that was who made it) went out on their own with it, and was forced to stop production when sued by Gatorade. (Always wondered why it didn't take the world by storm.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:00 PM
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248: Ah youth ... if you eat Wonderbread while chugging Hop-n-Gator, no brain cells will be killed!


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:04 PM
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243:
I would go with Karottenbrand, though it sounds really strange.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:05 PM
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Ok, you Unfoggeders.

Please give me some recomendations for a nice restaurant in DC for tomorrow night.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:11 PM
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The PA system is indeed terrible (another awful feature is the fact that restaurants are required to pay retail for their wine). But there is one tiny saving grace: the inventory for all the state stores is on-line, which allows one to survey the options before getting to the store and, e.g., Google up reviews of everything.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:12 PM
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I seem to like the amber ales. Dunno why.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:20 PM
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252: Also the product is uniformly reliable. I was horrified after going to a mom-and-pop liquor store near O'Hare Airport and buying something that turned out to be...well, somehow chunky and curdled.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:21 PM
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252 -- I love it how there's a "Chairman's Selection" category. I imagine a state bureaucrat with nothing to do but drink vats of wine every day and then recommend his favorite bottles to the public.

Also, what's a "Power Buy?" Mad Dog 20/20? Bacardi 151?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:25 PM
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250: Thank you! Better than feuerwasser.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:28 PM
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255: Ha ha. The head of SAQ in PQ has a very chic existence. Notoriously so.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:29 PM
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251: No doubt the locals will have better choices, but I enjoyed this place. Caveats: the company was good and the Manhattans were potent, so I was primed to enjoy pretty much anything by the time the food arrived.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:30 PM
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Thanks, NPH. Screw the rest of you uncaring louts!

Yea, I'm talking to you, Jersey girl.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:33 PM
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259: What do I know about DC restos??? NY/NJ/Chicago I could totally hook you up -- otherwise . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:36 PM
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It is the thought that counts


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 4:38 PM
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I went to Georgia Brown's once too, and liked it. This thread is dying out. Won't someone please insult someone else?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:04 PM
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Fuck you, will!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:08 PM
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Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Fuck you!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:12 PM
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251: I went to Busboys and Poets and I liked it. It's a scene.



Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:17 PM
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Also, fuck Robert Halford.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:17 PM
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Fuck you! Come on people, it's fun. That the blog chose to die on the day I'm stuck for hours listening in to an interminable and boring deposition just isn't fair. Where's my entertainment?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:23 PM
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Aw! Ok. Discuss: I would -- and I am deadly serious here -- rather drink a $15 peppery Cote du Rhone (and certainly a $70 Chateauneuf du Pape) over a zillion dollar Burgundy. They do nothing for me. Clearly this makes me a philistine.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:27 PM
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Hasn't someone killed that wine snob yet?

AC/DC is in Minneapolis today or tomorrow. Their act is the same as ever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:28 PM
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268 -- Really? But what about that sweet earthy goodness?

269 -- AC/DC is a university based musicology experiment designed to test how long it will take the public to figure out that they only know one song.

You don't want to see the potential trolling ideas I was coming up with to force a conversation!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:32 PM
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OK, here goes nothing.

"Feminism is a pretty lie that the unattractive tell themselves to feel better."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:39 PM
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Hilary Clinton's selection as Secretary of State shows that naive young Obama-bots have been mugged by reality.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:40 PM
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The public can stay dumb longer than Angus Young's heart can keep beating.

I've read that wine enemas are really an exquisite experience, but only if it's really good wine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:40 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:46 PM
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Actually, it's not the same public. Angus Young's supply of stupid audiences is an ever-renewing one. To say nothing of his nostalgia audience.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:47 PM
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That's some half-assed trolling, Halford. Show us you can do better.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:49 PM
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Literary criticism is basically worthless and adds nothing of value. English departments should be closed and graduate students should study history or the hard sciences.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:50 PM
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Actually, I rather like analytic philosophy.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:50 PM
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SWPL-ites who live in apartment buildings in trendy, dense cities really are hurting children, who need backyards and space, but the SWPL crowd doesn't care because they are basically selfish.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:54 PM
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The best pizza comes from neither New York, nor New Haven, nor Chicago, but from an amazing small restaurant in Pasadena that uses a cornmeal crust.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:56 PM
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Wait, really? Where? If you say Tarantino's, I'm going to have to punch you in the face.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 5:57 PM
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It's definitely Tarantino's. Best Pizza in the USA.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:01 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:03 PM
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Poor ToS. There's no one here for you to troll today, dear.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:05 PM
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WTF is Tarantino's? I've never even heard of it, have lived in Pasadena for like four hundred years.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:07 PM
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Sweet Jesu! I bike past there every day. Will try it.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:07 PM
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283 -- My only friend turns out to be the guy no one else likes. Just like Seventh Grade all over again!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:07 PM
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TJ, read the comment in context.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:09 PM
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Thanks for the tip on Budweiser and tomato juice, chaps - I've got some Budweiser in my fridge and some tomato juice, so I'll try the combination tomorrow.

On the slightly related topic., I managed to destruction-test the "my palate isn't so sophisticated" thesis at my own wedding, with the combination of some of the nicer products of Burgundy between 1998 and 2005, combined with actual herders of ungulates from the Cambrian mountains and, guess what - they thought that the booze on offer was fucking nice. Speaking as a career peasant, I can thoroughly recommend pushing the boat out on wine no matter what one's social circumstances, while spending a lot of money on beer is only to be recommended in circs where one is drinking in the company of beer connoisseurs.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:10 PM
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288: ow! my credulity!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:12 PM
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Clamato, not just tomato juice.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:13 PM
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This thread has successfully engendered some serious beer-longing.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:13 PM
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AC/DC is in Minneapolis today or tomorrow. Their act is the same as ever.

That is part of their majesty, that the song remains the same.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:17 PM
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Nobody has responded to the wine enema concept. That means I win, right?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:22 PM
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294 -- I thought I was points leader on unresponded-to comments. But I'll give you the prize if you come to a wine tasting with me. I'll be sure to tell you at length about the hints of chocolate and raspberry, and I have some great anecdotes about a bottle I drank three years ago whose price you wouldn't believe.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:27 PM
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Keep the blog alive! Without Unfogged, I'll have no excuse to visit Jesus McQ in Portland and get some great wine off him. Not to mention nothing to do when I'm being lame on a Friday night.

Please give me some recomendations for a nice restaurant in DC for tomorrow night.

DC is a lousy food town for its wealth and influence. No comparison to NY, SF, even LA. But a couple of places: Zaytinya has fun and good Middle Eastern tapas. The Blue Duck Tavern is not well known but has super food -- expensive but not outrageous (menu and prices at link). Actually for pure food probably the best place I've gone to in my year+ in DC this time around.

And if you want to dare you companion to split grasshpper tacos, you can try fancy Mexican Oyamel -- enjoyable but a little inconsistent (some fine dishes, some amateurish mistakes).

All those places are a little high end, but that's how I roll.

Any thoughts on Geithner as Treasury Secretary?

Larry Summers will have an economic advisor role at the White House, so it's almost replicating the Summers/Geithner team from the Clinton years except at a higher level. Geithner is much better at being diplomatic and making nice with Wall Street than Summers is.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:30 PM
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Do they give wine enemas?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:44 PM
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297: Larry Summers might.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 6:55 PM
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Analytic Philosophy is better than beer!

S'truth, reading this thread lead me to ask myself the question:Why am I a teetotaler? It has been so long, like 25 years, that I seem to have forgotten my reasons for quitting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:07 PM
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apropos of nothing, is dsquared related to a UK chemist?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:08 PM
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I went to Busboys and Poets and I liked it.

Ooh! I don't know how long ago that comment was, but I listen to WPFW (Pacifica Radio out of DC) when I can get it, and they frequently interview people who are speaking at that place. They seem to assume everyone knows where it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:17 PM
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I don't think of myself as having anything like a subtle palate (killed off by bourbon)

Heh. The wine talk in this thread inspired me to call my wine-making cob-logger for a chat, and he told me that drinking bourbon would kill my palate. I'd never heard that before.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:25 PM
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300: no, but I'm descended from the Trumpers of Mayfair hairdressing family.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:28 PM
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On the date-format thing, the subtler nod to the Economist crowd was the "Mr Davies" sans period. What a kiss-up, that Mr W-lfs-n.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:29 PM
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296: The Blue Duck Tavern is not well known but has super food

PGD, it is evil to provide a link to food like that when it's been swirly snowing throughout the day. I've already regressed to my childhood time in New Hampshire, accompanied by (imaginary) roaring stone fireplace and comfy socks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:32 PM
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303: Ah. A rather lovely little tract in my field is written by a David T. Davies.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:37 PM
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So, to sum up this thread:

-- I have gone completely insane from boredom and loneliness

-- John Emerson wants an enema

-- McManus is giving up sobriety

-- PGD is a wealthy gourmand

-- Dsquared is somehow related to Donald Trump's barber

All right then. Deposition-by-telephone over, time to go and get drunk. See everybody soon!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:38 PM
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Only a vintage enema.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:44 PM
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308: The problem is that if you start getting the $11 enemas, soon enough the $9 enemas aren't good enough for you anymore.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:48 PM
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Halford! Don't despair. Come over for homemade soup and roasted squash. I confess it's like 25 degrees with crunchy snow in the vicinity, however, and I'm listening to Peter Tosh. So maybe not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:48 PM
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Yoiu can't imagine how horrible a chardonnay enema is. I don't even want to talk about it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 7:59 PM
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It's sort of sad how Davies has fallen in the world. Working his fingers to the bone arbitaging and tranching and hedging and shorting, when he could have a nice easy indoor job hobnobbing with elite persons who can afford his deluxe haircuts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:04 PM
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Where is all this snow? Where are you guys?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:15 PM
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I, too, am really enjoying the onset of late fall weather. Daytime temperatures are finally comfortable again (high was around 80 today), evenings are cool, and we're beginning to get the nice winter light that comes with less moisture in the air.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:20 PM
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But it's supposed to rain like hell tonight, so if I float away it's pretty much my own damn fault.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:20 PM
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Very little snow here in MN, but the temperature fell to 20F today.

You youngsters are supposed to be out unleashing your carnality right now, aren't you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:24 PM
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312: hah, Emerson, you don't know the half of it. I'm descended from working class stock who had to live in two-up-two-downs and wake up at the crack of dawn for the livestock market. Now I live in a deluxe maisonette and only have to saunter in for a 6am meeting before the stock market opens. A clear improvement in only two generations I think you'll agree.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:25 PM
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313: I'm in Baltimore. It was pretty cool here today, if you like the swirly snow thing (interspersed with sunshine), and the warming up the kitchen with essence of soup come sundown.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:28 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:34 PM
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From stock to stocks in two generations. And your stock now doesn't shit, squack, or bleed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:34 PM
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I was at a party the other day and people were talking about what school the Obamas would send Malia and Sasha to (yeah, DC...). I said of course they would send them to Sidwell Friends, since the Clintons sent Chelsea there.

Today the announcement came...I was right, of course.

I predict they will name their dog Buddy. And also get a cat named Socks.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:39 PM
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A pony! A pony named Holden!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:42 PM
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321: Assuming that's actually a Friends school, it's probably a good choice. And nevermind your nasty cynical whatsis! They should name their dog Nasturtium.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:45 PM
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321:

Is that really fair? Once the choice was made to go private, Sidwell Friends seems obvious. (NCS is too preppy and establishmentarian in tone, and Georgetown Day is both academically less reputable and less convenient to the White House.)


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 8:47 PM
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when I was in Boston last week.

You should have said you were in town, d^2.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:04 PM
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321: I'm sure it had nothing to do with the Secret Service having years of experience and procedures for Sidwell Friends.


Posted by: Duve | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:07 PM
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The Gore daughters went to NCS, so Sidwell Friends isn't unique in that regard.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:11 PM
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Fuck that GoGo music shit.


Posted by: Baltimore | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:14 PM
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I take it the ToS can't be actually blocked from commenting. In a technologically engineered fashion.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:27 PM
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I think that the Unfooged Central Committee should deputize a bunch of people to help the poor fellow retreat into obscurity more quickly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:31 PM
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328: Aw, c'mon, Mobtown! You know you love Slim Charles! And "Da Butt"! Breathes there a city with soul so dead which never to itself has said, "Tonya got a big ol' butt!"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:35 PM
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Unfooged it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:37 PM
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Actually, I hear the Bawlmer music scene is happenin' these days. And there's always High Zero.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:41 PM
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I love beer and am glad that there are now much better beers available in the USA than 20 years ago, but it is, should be, and always will be, a working man's drink designed primarily to relieve thirst while providing a nice buzz.

Yeah, and rock music is, and should be, 3 minute songs with shouty choruses.

The claim about "design" here is especially silly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:49 PM
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As usual, AWB gets this right.

I don't believe anything said about different buzzes derived from different ethanol vehicles. Or rather, I believe that any experienced differences derive entirely from culture.

Halford is also wrong to suggest that if you had an unlimited alcohol budget, you'd get wine. I also suspect that some thought to the effect that if you don't need to go seeking out the subtleties, they aren't there, is in play, even though that is manifestly false. It's highly likely, IMO, that if you devote enough time to it, you can discern equally subtle effects in just about anything (witness coffee, of late, and chocolate). I therefore accuse Halford of perpetrating a load of bluff, or of trolling.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:54 PM
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You know what are super, super good? Beers with just a shitload of hops in them.

I love those.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 9:57 PM
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I don't believe anything said about different buzzes derived from different ethanol vehicles. Or rather, I believe that any experienced differences derive entirely from culture.

I take your point, but this is hogwash. One certainly derives different buzzes from different alcohol vehicles. Don't be silly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:01 PM
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I never have.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:07 PM
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Q.E.D.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:08 PM
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When I was in berlin I would occasionally go to the food level of KaDeWe to drool over the vast array of strange brandies (and, I guess, Geister) on display. God damn were they expenseive, though.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:08 PM
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For me, the thing that is difficult about wine is how you extend what you know you like to new wine-buying situations. It seems like the wines on offer are never the same (not precisely true, but given the difference between years and so on, pretty darn true), so then what to do? I can go to a vineyard and taste some wines and find one I like and buy six bottles: great! I can drink some wine a knowledgeable person selected and enjoy it more or less. But then someone hands me a wine list and asks what I want and I have no idea.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:13 PM
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Huh? I turn on the Blackberry and find the conversation I'd been hoping to distract me at work finally got started after I left.

W-lfs-n, your idea that different kinds of alcohol don't produce different buzzes is obviously and manifestly far more wrong than anything I said. Have you never been drunk? This creates a real credibility gap about you as a reliable inforfmant for drunks.

I don't really get your point about subtleties. Maybe you're right that you can train a palate to find subtle variation in anything, even tap water from different cities. So what? I don't really give a shit about subtlety or flavor variety per se -- it's the blended perfection of the single product that produces the amazing result in very good wine. Is it possible to find something similar in high end beer? Maybe, but I've never seen anything like it, and the result good wine produces in other people I've seen is also different than anything with beer.

I know better than to mix it up with a philosopher about origins, but beer is just a qualitatively different product than wine, with different strengths and weaknesses. Good beer is good beer, but it's just not on the same playing field as good wine -- it's not the same product and not properly thought about in the same way.

I'm not totally sure what you're talking about when you say you'd spend your unlimited alcohol budget on something else -- whiskey? (I probably spend more on whiskey than wine, but I'd still put a really good wine above even the best scotch I've had). Brandy? I don't know brandies well enough to say.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:31 PM
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I was just saying that I wouldn't spend it on wine; I thought that was pretty clear.

Anyone can agree that good beer is good beer, and good wine wine, and never the twain shall meet; it's saying that the beer is only a beer, while the good cigar is a smoke, that wants justification.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:34 PM
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It seems like the wines on offer are never the same (not precisely true, but given the difference between years and so on, pretty darn true), so then what to do?

I detect a note of nostalgia for Pennsylvania, where the wines on offer at every store are the same. (well, larger stores have the same variety as other larger stores, and smaller stores have the same smaller variety as other smaller stores)


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:42 PM
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I know better than to mix it up with a philosopher about origins, but beer is just a qualitatively different product than wine, with different strengths and weaknesses. Good beer is good beer, but it's just not on the same playing field as good wine -- it's not the same product and not properly thought about in the same way.

This, on its face, is perfectly logical. Its intended meaning is pretty much ridiculous.

What is it about the humble grape that allows it to develop flavors more subtle than any other substance in the universe? I gather that the dedicated œnophile would see this as an important question, but c'mon. Wine holds its exalted place exactly because it holds its exalted place. It's all cultural.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:44 PM
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For me, and I think for most people who drink both, high end wine produces a "holy shit that was amazing, angelic perfection" in a way that high end beer does not. Not to say that you want or need that all the time -- there are a lot of times when a beer is better. But wine hits the high end in a different way that I've never seen with a beer, and I think I've worked my way through the beer list. I don't think this should be particularly controversial, although maybe there's some individual instance of a beer that does the same thing that I haven't tried.

There's another entirely separate, point, which is that wine, because of the way its produced and marketed, requires more initial knowledge to successfully purchase than beer does, which makes a certain kind of "snobbery" (really, geekiness, snobs are always unbearable) more useful in the wine world than the beer world (this is kinda redfoxtailshrub's point).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:47 PM
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So what you're saying, Rob, is that wine is on a different plane from beer because, well, you like it better?

All fine and good, but I don't know that the rest of the world need accept your tastes uncontroversially.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:49 PM
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As for this:

I don't really get your point about subtleties. Maybe you're right that you can train a palate to find subtle variation in anything, even tap water from different cities. So what? I don't really give a shit about subtlety or flavor variety per se -- it's the blended perfection of the single product that produces the amazing result in very good wine.

That just shows that you aren't a connoisseur of tap water. Connoisseurship isn't a matter of recording differences but of appreciating them; the true tap water connoisseur could, I'm sure, tell you all about the "blended perfection of the single product" he (or she, in the event of connoisseuseship) favors most. Likewise with beer. You may not care very much for beer and thus not be motivated to get yourself in a state in which you can appreciate the perfection of this beer or that. And that's fine.

There are also beers made with wine. I had one at the Map Room in Chicago once. It was pretty weird.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:54 PM
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You guys are assigning a shitload of power to the Winearchy, which, considering that it is basically a bunch of scrawny French dudes and nerdy UC Davis grads, doesn't really make sense. I hold no brief for the grape, but until someone shows me an actually-existing beer that holds up to creating a similar the best wine I've had I'm going resist this Kaus-style contrarianism and say that wine in practice currently has the ability to do things that beer can't.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 10:55 PM
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You guys are assigning a shitload of power to the Winearchy

Huh?

wine in practice currently has the ability to do things that beer can't.

That you think this is your fault (or so I'm willing to say for now). Prove to me you aren't like the baseball fan who thinks that there's a beauty to the sport than none other can match. (Or, if you think that that is true of baseball, like the cricket fan who thinks there's a beauty to that sport, etc.) Whereas really it's because you just don't have the proper grasp of the other sports.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:00 PM
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Of course, that'll never happen, Rob, because your tastes are overdetermined by culture and experience. The idea that there are somehow objective factors about wine that put it on a higher plane than beer is a pretty darn silly idea indeed, and if you're going to defend it it'll probably take more than "boy, I dunno, I've had some terrific wine."

Personally, I appreciate booze in all its manifold splendors. Will nobody speak for the superior connoisseurship potential of aquavit?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:02 PM
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Yeah, sure, maybe it's all just a matter of taste, and the true broccoli afficianado is going to get just as much pleasure out of a rare spring-blooming green tufted tuscan as a vinosnob is out of a '45 Lafite. Maybe -- we don't have the rat orgasm meter to find out. But I do think that I'm on firm ground in saying that (a) the experience is different (b) that there is a consensus among many drinkers that high end wine can "do" things that even a good beer can't, (c) that many people experience this as a more high end experience, whatever that means, and (d) that there may well be reasons for this that go beyond the almighty cultural force of the wine snob. I think in our time, with our wines and beers, more people are gonna get more powerful experiences out of the good wines than the good ales. Sadly, none of us have the budget to test this out, although I'd be happy to treat either of you to a personal wine vs. Beer-off if you're ever in town.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:07 PM
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Mmm, Karottenbrand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:07 PM
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Aside from Karottenbrand and aquavit, the only things I have room for in my liquor budget are MGD and pre-phylloxera cognac.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:09 PM
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But I do think that I'm on firm ground in saying that (a) the experience is different

They are, indeed, different beverages.

(b) that there is a consensus among many drinkers that high end wine can "do" things that even a good beer can't,

This is rather vague. But even aside from that, these drinkers aren't, by any chance fans of high end wine, are they?

(c) that many people experience this as a more high end experience, whatever that means,

I don't think it does mean anything.

(d) that there may well be reasons for this that go beyond the almighty cultural force of the wine snob.

I suppose it's possible. There also might be space ninjas!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:11 PM
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If I was going to defend the idea that wine is a uniquely complex and sensuous beverage, I'd probably start with the history of viticulture, the millenia of selective breeding, the role it played in high European culture, the vividness of descriptions in wine literature, and the incredible reservoirs of knowledge that wine enthusiasts can draw upon in understanding it.

But of course, I don't have to make that argument. I get to make the other argument, which is that there are millions of subtle flavors that can be created and exposed in various ways, and "sophisticated" taste is by definition a cultural phenomenon, and that wine tasting in particular is not only a heavily cultural phenomenon, but one which has been shown quite hilariously, and quite often, to be hugely dependent on external factors.

I like this argument better, because it's not a bunch of high-end hooey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:18 PM
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Seriously dude, what is the specific individual beer you would prefer to a 1989 cotes du rhone for the same kind of experience, and why? And do you think comparing In-N-Out to Chez Panisse as qualitatively different experiences (with Chez Panisse being "better" in some sense) is just the product of pure snobbery (as opposed to culture, who the fuck knows if all of our tastes are the product of 'culture' in some sense or not, the question is whetjer its a kind of false consciousness generated by pretension).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:19 PM
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the history of viticulture, the millenia of selective breeding

These are things that might plausibly fall under (d) above. With them, of course, the relative lack of attention paid to creating other fermented beverages of similar complexity/interest/whatever.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:21 PM
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Seriously dude, what is the specific individual beer you would prefer to a 1989 cotes du rhone for the same kind of experience, and why?

"the same kind of experience"?

I take it you're addressing Sifu, and not me, since I've never had a 1989 cotes du rhone, and Sifu probably has at one of the many Old Money affairs he attends back East.

And do you think comparing In-N-Out to Chez Panisse as qualitatively different experiences (with Chez Panisse being "better" in some sense) is just the product of pure snobbery

Actually, I really do think that someone whose definition and appreciation of excellent food doesn't encompass Super Pollo as well as Chez Panisse is a snob, and not a gourmand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:24 PM
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Chez Panisse is different than In 'N Out because Chez Panisse (a) has different goals, on (b) a vastly different scale with (c) wildly different costs by (d) people with vastly different levels of training and enthusiasm.

Also, analogies are banned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:24 PM
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If you want to give me a bottle, though, I'd happily take it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:25 PM
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356 -- sure, that defense is fine. Again, everything is a cultural phenomenon. So what? I'm talking about dealing with actually-existing wine and actually-existing beer that you can buy and drink within our actually-existing culture. Perhaps if the English and French aristocracy had decided to value beer, not wine, both industries would look different now and you'd have the amazing wonder-beer that blew the finest wine away on its home turf. Maybe some brewmaster of the future will come up with one. But there's nothing there yet, at least that I know of.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:26 PM
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I'm mostly with Rob here. The arguments Sifu & Ben are making (except for maybe the wine propaganda campaign argument) apply pretty much equally to all distinctions between any taste experiences whatsoever. Either there are no distinctions to be made at all or lots of them; I don't see how wine/beer is different from the others.

My one reservation is that I think peoples' physical taste sensations actually differ; e.g. I get a pronounced chemical, almost band-aid taste with a lot of syrah-heavy Chateauneuf du Papes that other people just don't seem to get. So there's an extra subjectivity from differences in how you physically taste.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:28 PM
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I've never had a 1989 cotes du rhone, no. I had a '68 bordeaux once, which was very tasty, and quite different.

I'd have to say, my most remarkable liquor experience was probably a 25 year old cognac I had this one time.

One thing about beer is that beers strong enough to age well haven't been particularly common until quite recently, and -- because standard beers will get skunked -- people don't quite have the perception that it's something you can do productively. But I've had some stouts and so on that were aged a few years and boy, they were something else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:29 PM
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362: but see, that's a vastly different argument than the one quoted in 334.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:32 PM
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Apparently Unibroue is selling aged versions of its Quelque Chose beer—which ogged and I once split at the Hopleaf!—and they're fantastic. I can well believe it.

apply pretty much equally to all distinctions between any taste experiences whatsoever.

Don't tell Sifu, but I myself used an analogy to the sporting world supra.

There's something with Carnapian internal/external questions flavor here: people in the wine game are in the same game, but people in the beer game are in a different game.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:33 PM
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Wow, I come back from a concert and this thread is all, like, "Wine. Beer. The Final Confrontation." I'll be disappointed if I learn that you're all stone cold sober. Me, I'm drinking...beer!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:33 PM
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I've had a lot of good beers that I found heavy, overwhelming, and oppressive. Big weird out-of-joint flavors. Wine at its best has a lightness that to me allows a greater range and subtlety of flavors to be expressed. I feel like I tried just as hard to appreciate both, as I would have much preferred the cheaper beer hobby, but I couldn't warm up to it.

In other news, psychedelics are objectively superior to pot.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:33 PM
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Naturally, though, I reserve the right to say that Coldplay is utter tripe and no one with any musical taste could possibly like them (people without taste are in the clear), except for plainly extramusical reasons, such as wanting to hear a simpering puss reassure them that they're basically ok.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:33 PM
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367: yeah I should really rectify that, shouldn't I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:34 PM
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I'll be disappointed if I learn that you're all stone cold sober.

I've never even consumed alcohol.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:34 PM
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360 -- yeah, and the wine and beer industries are analagous to that difference, with an extra layer of history built in, analogy despite the ban.

359 -- you should have a bottle, or something similar, and I'm serious about the offer -- it would make the discussion easier, in more ways than one iykwimaityd (by the way, I'm only at about level 2/10 in actual wine knowledge, despite fighting for viticulture here). I've never had Super Pollo, but I think I'd agree with you if we're talking abou Zankou Chicken circa 2000.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:35 PM
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I am drunk on beer at the moment as well. On several bottles of Dogfish Head, in fact -- the 60 minute IPA and the Palo Santo Marron. Nice beers, but not in the same ballpark as good wine. Totally different and less interesting experience.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:36 PM
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What is it about the humble grape that allows it to develop flavors more subtle than any other substance in the universe?... It's all cultural.

It's almost all cultural, which is to say it's not all cultural. I'll ponder a more elaborate response as I go grab another beer from the fridge.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:38 PM
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To be honest, I'm getting stone cold drunk on bourbon, not wine, right now while my wife and baby are asleep, and am having trouble keeping up with the pace of comments. Score one for high alcohol content!


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:39 PM
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However, the beer drunkenness is more mellow and relaxing than the wine drunkenness. So that's something.

I was drinking beer with a guy I know who works in the DC school system. It's crazy right now -- ultimate showdown between old-line DC black staffers and Harvard/Stanford trained white technocratic Teach for America management. The latter look down at the former, unsurprisingly. I was explaining the cultural mores of Harvard and Stanford elitist technocrats to him, and making many accurate predictions about their behavior.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:40 PM
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360 -- yeah, and the wine and beer industries are analagous to that difference, with an extra layer of history built in, analogy despite the ban.

Except, no, they aren't. The high-end craft brew industry has vastly more in common with the high-end wine industry than it does with mass-market industrial brewing, or even with bottled-scale microbrewing.

Have you done most of your beer drinking in LA? That could explain it; the best beers from small brewers often don't make it out of a small network of local bars. Something you drink out of a bottle is simply never going to be as good as something fresh from a keg, and anyhow a lot of the special edition beers and so on are made in runs of 50 or 100 kegs. They aren't cost-effective to mass produce. LA doesn't have a beer scene that can support that kind of thing, for whatever reason, so you get a lot of relatively mass-produced stuff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:40 PM
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LA doesn't have a beer scene that can support that kind of thing, for whatever reason,

I think the reason might be, or be related to, the fact that LA sucks.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:42 PM
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378: I dunno, my current location kinda sucks, but it's awash in innovative craft brewers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:42 PM
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ok, running to get booze. You people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:43 PM
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Something you drink out of a bottle is simply never going to be as good as something fresh from a keg

special pleading. Score another wine for one -- you can drink it out of bottles and it's good.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:44 PM
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whoops, another one for wine. Hic.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:45 PM
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you can drink it out of bottles and it's good.

Classy, too!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:47 PM
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383: I pour it in a giant goblet the size of your head and swirl it around and sniff it, you fucker. I bet you don't even own any head-sized goblets, you wise-ass little punk. Also, I say Coldplay is better than anything you listen to, and can you disprove me using scientific measurement or words? No, I don't think so. I'm right, then. For me, I'm right. You can be right for you, but only for you.

Seriously dude, what is the specific individual beer you would prefer to a 1989 cotes du rhone for the same kind of experience, and why?

How many Cotes du Rhone (as opposed to CNdP or Northern Rhone) would last 20 years? I think I would prefer a beer to an 89 Cotes du Rhone, except perhaps if it had been amazingly well stored.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:50 PM
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377 -- I've definitely done MOST of my beer drinking in LA, as is true for the rest of my drinking, and haven't spent more than a few days in Portland, which I believe is the real craft brew hub. But I've traveled a bunch in Belgium and Germany (not really in England), and lived in the Bay Area, and am no stranger to the awesome joy of a great local beer fresh on tap. I'm really not trying to run down that experience, just to suggest that I really do think good wine does something very different and intense in a different way (the pot to psychadelics comparison isn't that wildly off, not that I would know). I'm open to the idea that there's some beer out there beyond the limited confines of my imagination, and if there is, let me know where to get it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:50 PM
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I'm getting belligerent. It will last another 5-10 minutes and then I'm passing out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:51 PM
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384 -- You're right, I was thinking of a specific '89 CNdP, not cotes-du-rhone, in a friend's cellar. This is why I'm more of a wine drinker than a wine expert.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:54 PM
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Also, I say Coldplay is better than anything you listen to, and can you disprove me using scientific measurement or words?

We can talk about it, if you like. What do you like about Coldplay, specifically?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:55 PM
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In other news, psychedelics are objectively superior to pot.

I'm not sure I want to know how one could back this up.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-08 11:56 PM
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Uh oh, angry phase setting in. 378 -- OK, who's the snobbish dickhead now? Good lord sometimes I just want to bitchslap the smug out of San Francisco but I don't think the human race is capable of generating enough force to do that. Maybe a repeat of the 1906 fire that somehow took out only the classy white straight people and left the gays, striving asians, Latinos, and the three black guys not named Willie Brown who still live in SF? I don't think God will answer that prayer, but that doesn't stop me from beseeching it. Also, fuck Stanford.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:04 AM
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390: dude, he grew up in southern California. You're dealing with a much more robust version of LA hate than your typical east coast-to-SF transplant.

I'm kind of tired of the wine v. beer grudge match, especially since I largely agree with 362. I just don't think there's anything definitional, is all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:08 AM
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391 - Yeah, me too. I've moved on to the LA vs. SF question, where I'm willing to take an even more beligerent and even less defensible position. I actually got into an IRL bar fight on this issue once (admittedly, while wearing a Lakers t-shirt in some preppy bar in the Marina)!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:12 AM
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Also, fuck Stanford.

Go Cal!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:13 AM
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392: didn't LA already win that war?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:15 AM
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Dammit, Tweety, I was hoping you were linking to something in the archives so I could respond to you with a link to Smog and Thunder.

A guy I know shot the mockumentary of that. They got Huell Howser to do a bit.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:19 AM
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395: I own the DVD. God, it's awesome. I'd like to see the paintings in person sometime.

I also have Birk's book Incarcerated, which is fairly moving, but I think not as funny as his other stuff. I've seen, but don't own, the edition of Dante's Inferno that he illlustrated, which looks fantastic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:21 AM
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394 -- yeah. Actually, I used to have the native Angeleno's naïve respect and admiration for San Francisco (what a pretty, charming old town! Awesome place for a vacation) until I moved there and discovered everyone hated me. And not just for the usual, understandable reasons, but because of where I'm from. I sense in Ben the zeal of the convert.

Also, for all its strengths, SF has some of the preppiest white dudes in the country, worse than Boston in some ways.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:25 AM
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Also, for all its strengths, SF has some of the preppiest white dudes in the country, worse than Boston in some ways.

Boston has Massholes. Totally different. You're thinking of someplace in Connecticut.

What were you doing at a bar in the Marina in the first place? There's a reason SF burned that neighborhood to the ground in '89.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:28 AM
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396: I've seen drawings from Incarcerated and I almost bought a sketch from the version of Rake's Progress he adapted to the L.A. Rampart Division scandal. But I've never seen the War of the Californias paintings live. My ex wrote a lot about him.

Speaking of said ex,

except for plainly extramusical reasons, such as wanting to hear a simpering puss reassure them that they're basically ok

"The Scientist" is an amazing just-broke-up song.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:29 AM
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You would probably get beaten up for wearing a Lakers shirt in Boston, too, but that's just common decency.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:29 AM
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399: oh, I love A Rake's Progress. Those might be my favorites.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:30 AM
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I didn't intend the oblique Kobe reference in 400, but I intend to pretend I intended it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:31 AM
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I was hanging out in the Marina with super preppy guys and girls, originally from Mass, NY and Connecticut! Literally one of the worst bars I can remember, even before I took a punch. My perspective may have been somewhat warped by this experience.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:33 AM
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403: but geez, why?

You know, I should amend: there's plenty of preppy douchebags in Massachusetts, but they tend to be out of the city proper.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:36 AM
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I would have felt better about taking a punch from a Celtics fan, at least the right kind of Celtics fan. Seems more natural and reasonable. After all, Mickey Mouse did chase Kevin McHale's kids out of Disneyland sometime in the '80s.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:36 AM
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The southwest corner of SF has long since been ceded to the masses.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:37 AM
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But re: our bitchy civil war: Yeah, I realio trulio dislike LA and all its works. I'm just glad my prejudices are inconsequential.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:42 AM
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406: wait, the southwest corner? What do you have against the Zoo?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:44 AM
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The north-northeastern rim, maybe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:45 AM
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403 -- I have some OK preppy credentials of my own, and some spectacularly embarassing ones through marriage, which I can't really go into without outing myself. So I fairly often am going through America meeting up with friends of friends who are some of its very worst people, including a crowd from Pacific Heights in the Marina (OK, in reality; not remotely everyone who's preppy is evil, but the evil ones are really unfuckingbelievably evil)


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:46 AM
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I've met some preppy people in my time, too, but it's not like I'm going to bars with them. Of course that isn't a good idea! Say "hey, nice to see you, thanks for the sail, gotta run" and get the hell out of there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:48 AM
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By southwest, of course, I meant northwest. It's an elaborate code. Sierra and Kirin had nothing whatsoever to do with the confusion.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:49 AM
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410: You got beat up by someone from Pacific Heights? I seem to recall a character from The Simpsons who was something of a bully...


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:54 AM
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Sifu, I needed you as my spiritual guide. Now I solve the problem by drinking at home after the baby goes to sleep, or by going to Taix and Musso and Frank where the drinks are strong, the preppies are few, and the angry drunks are old and soft.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:54 AM
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Yeah you're not likely to see any preppies at Taix. If somebody has a popped collar there it's because their home health aide forgot to fix it when they dressed them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:55 AM
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413 -- not quite beaten up, I did land a punch back before getting tossed by a bouncer. But let's just say that this wasn't exactly the Rumble in the Jungle on either side.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:58 AM
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The Tumble in the Parlor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:59 AM
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Why were you wearing a t-shirt adorned with the name of an athletic team, anyway?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:00 AM
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||

How did I never know Frank Sinatra humiliated Harlan Ellison for dressing like an asshole?

That's so fabulous!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:03 AM
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418: Pride. Passion. Commitment. Loyalty. Honor.

Actually, I think it was because on that trip I'd packed only a work suit and a t-shirt and jeans outfit, and didn't want to wear the suit. I bought the shirt a long time ago (it's since disintegrated) so I could look like Fletch.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:06 AM
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I bought the shirt a long time ago (it's since disintegrated) so I could look like Fletch.

Wow. That's... hilarious and just so weird and... man.

I would have gone for the caftan, fake afro and rollerskates, but yeah, damn, way to work it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:08 AM
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Sadly, at this point I look more like Fat Sam, but at least I haven't "turned state's evidence."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:12 AM
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Hey, George Wendt's good people. No shame there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:16 AM
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One would think anyway Ellison dressed would become dressing like an asshole by definition.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:17 AM
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424: well right, but in 1966 I'm not sure it was quite as obvious that he was an asshole. Except to Frank. Who, sure, was another asshole, but knew how to dress.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:19 AM
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I love Sinatra, but I was listening to "My Way" the other week and realized for the first time that the song would really be better titled as the "Dickhead's Anthem.". How insanely arrogant do you have to be to go through that non-ironically? It helped me understand why the baby boomers fought with their parents so much.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:30 AM
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Why did you think Sid Vicious covered it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:34 AM
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I was surprised at how inconsistent he could be -- ERA boycott vs. making-a-fool-of-yourself on stage.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:36 AM
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427 -- to get some money to buy some more heroin?


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:38 AM
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429: which makes him an...?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:39 AM
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Cool dude who's holding? Wait, that's not it.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:41 AM
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Cool dude who's holding?

I'm cracking up imagining anybody describing Sid Vicious this way. "Aw, man, I wanna get high." "Oh shit, I totally know this cool dude who's holding, down at the Chelsea!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:50 AM
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So speaking of cool dudes who were holding:

THIS WAS HIS SECOND night in Las Vegas, and Frank Sinatra sat with friends in The Sands' dining room until nearly eight a.m. He slept through much of the day, then flew back to Los Angeles, and on the following morning he was driving his little golf cart through the Paramount Pictures movie lot.

At fifty-one he's partying until 8AM in Vegas? Benzedrine, all the way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:09 AM
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Say, I'm the only one here, aren't I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:52 AM
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Why, yes, I think I am! Sweet! Blog's my oyster! Say, look at the weird crap you get when you google blort.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:55 AM
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Meanwhile, is anybody surprised that Kool Keith, too, is kind of an asshole?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:57 AM
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Hey, did you guys know the Mystery Park closed? That fucking sucks!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:01 AM
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Also, in re: ley lines: do you suppose it's possible that, during moments of great harmonic symmetry, all the fecaliths in North America line up with each other? I think it's pretty much a sure thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:04 AM
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I'm a regular coast-to-unfogged-coast-AM up in here!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:04 AM
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440

Which is good, because I have to tell you people: that shit is real.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:06 AM
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You know, people made a lot of fun of the Minnesota voter who wrote in "Lizard People", but I think that isn't fair; if David Icke is right, and I see no reason why he wouldn't be, the lizard people caused 9/11. What good Democrat wouldn't want them in office?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:10 AM
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Meanwhile, the inventor of Hitler's home-defense sea-monkey is free to peddle his shrimp-flavored hate. What a world, am I right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:12 AM
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Man, this conspiracy theory stuff is exhausting. But 100% true! I had a friend in the old days who was known to keep a "survival kit" packed with weapons in his truck, and declaim vociferously at anyboy who criticized him in re: their assumed participation in CIA black ops. That shit is real.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:15 AM
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For myself, I expect I'l soon have cause to hire on of these bad boys to follow me night and day, just in case the black helicopters (note: the helicopter I reference is actually white) reappear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:16 AM
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Which, you know, I'll need, because Mr. Obama can pry my Nerf Blunderbuss from my cold, dead hands.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:19 AM
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Well, that's it. You probably won't know it in the morning, whoever you are, but I own the sidebar. The world is mine!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:20 AM
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Oh, that's right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:26 AM
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re: 434

Not so fast, Sifu.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:53 AM
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Woohoo! Fuck this stupid volleyball, there's real internet friends about!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:57 AM
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at the start of anthony bourdain's kitchen confidential he tells the story of how he stopped being -- as he now sees it -- a self-absorbed unadventurous parochial kid and became a connoisseur and a foodie (and eventually a high-end chef)

he was on holiday in france with his parents and brother (younger i think -- i could look it up but so can you), and throwing tantrums every time they had to eat or drink anything "weird" (= non-macdonalds, as he tells it)... while his brother, more biddable, was winning the "best kid" wars by just bolting something mildly different down and being good at looking sweet about it

anyway, came a time when the grown-ups staged an entirely selfish intervention, and left young ant in the car for two hours while they enjoyed a sophisticated meal w/o added unwanted whining --- and young ant got ver' ver' bored and restless, and had a LIFECHANGING REVELATION hurrah

that eg he could RETAIN his precious bolshy badass reputation and outflank his weenie brother, by beating mum and dad at their own game... so (as he tells it, which i imagine is compacted and edited for drama and entertainment -- certainly my version is) from then on, in any restaurant, he reaches for the MOST gross-seeming outlandish american unkidlike option on offer, until even his parents were reduced to peeking through their fingers as he scoffed [insert unlikely but delicious possibly worm-related dish here] with wicked and (increasingly unfaked) relish

hence by assiduously paying the "culture" game -- initially manipulatively and competitively -- he opened himself up, without planning it, to a way wider range of potential flavours, food as adventure, and began to enjoy himself on a far more complex set of levels (some of them much less noble than others)

which is an over-elaborate way of saying, it's never really simply "culture versus flavour" -- bourdain's shtick is pretty much that he's a pushy piratical working-class oaf who happens to have lucked into knowing how to be wildly daring in the palette-scape, and also how to get the lesser ruling-class shlub to pay for his adventures


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:13 AM
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Nobody seems to know what happened to Alexander Ivanovich Dorogokupetz.

"Chardonnay enema" gets 9 Google hits. "Vintage enema" gets thousands. Beer, wine, and various sorts of hard liquor enemas get anywhere from dozens to thousands of hits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:08 AM
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I sense in Ben the zeal of the convert.

As Sifu hinted above, I hated LA since long before I lived in SF.

Plus last night I had just had to drive through the entire city, so you've got to cut me some slack.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 9:48 AM
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Anyone who drinks anything fancier than Carling Black Label is a running-dog lackey of the capitalist, imperialist war-mongers.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 9:50 AM
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That's why I drink Tsingtao.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 9:52 AM
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450,453:

Anyone who drinks anything fancier than Carling Black Label uses capital letters is a running-dog lackey of the capitalist, imperialist war-mongers.

after the revolution all letters will be equal and no letters will be more equal than others the soviets will determine the value of punctuation and subordinate clauses


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 9:57 AM
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read has one follower already


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 10:02 AM
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A hard liquor enema is a really bad idea. You could kill yourself.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 10:04 AM
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These are all conceptual enemas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 10:06 AM
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453: See? I knew w-lfs-n was okay.

I like Tsing Tao too. I've even drunk it in the PRC. I have not had a Tsing Tao enema, I hope I never have one. But I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather have than grab one.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 10:31 AM
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I meant 454! Damn you, unintentionally solipsistic typographical errors!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 10:32 AM
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insert unlikely but delicious possibly worm-related dish here

cheese with maggots? It exists. I've seen it, been offered it, declined.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 11:14 AM
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I've seen it, been offered it, declined.

Indeed, but I wonder, why do people who happily eat prawns, snails and squid draw the line at maggots and scorpions?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 11:18 AM
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I grow my own cheese worms at home to ensure good quality. Commercial cheese worms are "forced" and lacking in flavor.

At my URL: "Slime eels and maggots: cash crops of the future?"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 11:28 AM
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I've had termites and liked them. People who've had grubs and grasshoppers also liked them.

Termites are cleaner and safer than most anythings else you eat, as long as you've been vaccinated for dry rot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 11:32 AM
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Frank Sinatra and Harlan Ellison. That truly is some asshole on asshole action. In one of John Gardner's books on writing he very effectively used some Ellison as an example of bad writing.

421: It helped me understand why the baby boomers fought with their parents so much.

I never thought of it that way, but it is true that Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.* and the whole Ratpack, Jerry Lewis and Johnny Carson all really were the most loathsome contemptible assholes. "Fuck you, losers in the audience" entertainment.

*I will give Davis a bit of a break because of an interview I heard of his where he said, "Well ... when you wake up one morning in Vegas and realize you're married to two women ..."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 11:55 AM
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463. So is this going to be your economic program when you run for Mayor of Portland, John? I don't see how it could fail. A chicken in every pot and a hagfish in every tub: change we can believe in.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:21 PM
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I'm a progressive, OFE, and forward looking. And free maggotburgers from pure Oregon manure in every school lunch program.

Whoring: It's What Republicans Do: Overview Of the Coleman / Franken Recount


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:25 PM
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I ate a garlic fried scorpion in Beijing. It tasted like a flavored potato chip. My only hesitation came from the possibility that scorpions are sentient. But I've been convinced by David DeGrazia's arguments that insects and arachnids are incapable of consciousness.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:33 PM
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I am willing to eat anything with an IQ less than about 40, if it tastes good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:43 PM
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469: If this gets combined with the Bush thread, things could get ugly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 12:45 PM
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in reality; not remotely everyone who's preppy is evil, but the evil ones are really unfuckingbelievably evil

If you expect anyone to believe you here, you have to give a lot more detail. Names can be changed, although ideally they wouldn't be.

Also, can there be any doubt whatsoever that LA is culturally superior to SF? I mean, there's no comparison. SF: Beats and geeks. LA: world capital of the leading 20th century art form. I'm serious here. In 500 years, people will still be watching and writing about the cultural creations of 20th century Los Angeles. 20th century SF will be a footnote, a pretty place where people did some computer stuff.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:19 PM
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20th century SF will be a footnote, a pretty place where people did some computer stuff.

Art historians might think this way, but not historians of technology, economics, progressive politics or sexuality.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:40 PM
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472: progressive ... sexuality
That's where you go to a bunch of different peoples' dwellings and have sex with the occupants, right? Man, those San Franciscans really know how to live.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:46 PM
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473: Again, I am undone by my failure to use the serial comma!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:53 PM
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LA: world capital of the leading 20th century art form.

Freeway construction? Plastic surgery?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:54 PM
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The suggestion that historical importance in the development of cinema equals current cultural superiority is laughable on its face.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:54 PM
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Progressive sexuality is sex that is currently underway even though it may not "finish".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 1:56 PM
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472: Economics?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:00 PM
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You think economic historians could ignore the dotcom bubble or the long lasting effects of computer technology on almost every industry on Earth?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:05 PM
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Freeway construction? Plastic surgery?

Porn. He's really talking about the San Fernando Valley.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:06 PM
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Economics didn't really come into its own as an art form until the 21st century.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:07 PM
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477 is funny.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:14 PM
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Did the dotcom bubble really have that much of an effect on the distribution of wealth, power or property?

The history of the Internet will have both profound and entertaining chapters set in the greater Bay Area, for sure. Not to mention the greater Seattle area.

San Francisco and L.A. both have deep wells of crappy art with a layer of good stuff. Most of L.A.'s crappy art gestures toward commercial illustration -- they call it "lowbrow", and there are some wonderful outliers (I love the Clayton Brothers) amid the repetition. There's also a huge scene of young art school graduates doing interesting things; in a good year, they'll take the "95% of everything is crap" dictum down to 90% or even 85.

San Francisco's art scene seems entirely dominated by Burning Man types. Please correct me with counterexamples. It's rich with enthusiasm, scale and solder. Burning Man will keep SF in the history books too, for turning the utopian social experiments of the turn of the last century and the 1960's into a form of accessible entertainment, with all the good and bad that that implies.

For its size, SF does OK. LA will be remembered for crisis as much as anything else: racist police abuses, economic dislocation, immigrant driven transformation.

As entertainment-business narratives that shape great stretches of the culture, Hollywood and Silicon Valley may stand side by side.

I like L.A. better is all. San Francisco feels like an unending effort to recreate summer camp. "Are you going to the bunny party? No, I'm going to be at the Big Wheel drag racing."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:21 PM
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The suggestion that historical importance in the development of cinema equals current cultural superiority is laughable on its face.

Hollywood is a leading world cultural center (of television as well as the movies) and has been since the 1920s. You can debate how much its fallen off its golden age, but its still a center. America in general is no longer as much of a leader in world culture as it once was, but LA is indisputably one of our cultural capitals, along with NYC. SF simply isn't.

Art historians might think this way, but not historians of technology, economics, progressive politics or sexuality.

One of my theories of why SF is a cultural underachiever because it's so smug and self-satisfied (combined with the California idea that my personal lifestyle counts as a cultural achievement). And the notion that SF invented economics, politics, and sex is indeed a wonderful example of Bay Area smugness. Even during the 1970s gay liberation movement, an important cultural movement, New York and not SF was the cultural center -- the most important authors, artists, and even activists to come out of that movement lived in NYC. E.g. Edmund White, Larry Kramer, Andrew Holleran, GMHC, Act Up, the list goes on. Armistead Maupin doesn't really compare.

I do think there's potentially something special brewing in what one might call the fusion of culture and technology in SF (it's probably necessary to point out that Silicon Valley is not actually located in San Francisco). We'll see the eventual impact.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:28 PM
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San Francisco feels like an unending effort to recreate summer camp. "Are you going to the bunny party? No, I'm going to be at the Big Wheel drag racing."

I really think this is the fault of the people you know, and not the city itself.

SF has an excellent jazz/improv/experimental music scene. LA stabs its interesting musicians in parking lots. It also has Vinnie Golia and sometimes the Cline twins, which isn't too shabby, but doesn't add up to a scene.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:32 PM
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Hollywood is a leading world cultural center (of television as well as the movies) and has been since the 1920s

Being of national cultural import as a result of its exports doesn't make a place culturally superior—those aren't the same judgments.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:35 PM
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(For much the same reason, PGD's blather about being of cultural importance, generally, is beside the point. There's more to culture than being on some east-coaster's (there, I said it) radar. Towns the nation across may well be better, culturally, than LA, despite not having any sound stages of note. Somewhat relatedly, I thought notice by the successors of n regarding the minor works of literature being brought into greater public attention by the NYRB book publishing series was interesting.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:37 PM
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And the notion that SF invented economics, politics, and sex is indeed a wonderful example of Bay Area smugness.

My sentence was obviously unclear in very many ways. I didn't mean to say that interesting economic theory had been done in the Bay Area, but that the economic changes brought about by Silicon Valley will be interesting to future economic historians for some time to come.

Also, I've only been to SF once, and have no dog in this fight. I just thought that using art as a measure of the historical importance of a city was narrow, and was trying to emphasize all the other ways a place could be important.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:40 PM
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483 is a great comment. I'll admit 484 is somewhat over the top and snotty and narrowly east-coast in its conception of art as an actual product that lasts and communicates outside of a particular subculture. But it's hardly blathering to point out how SF has been an underachiever in that area.

Burning Man is the right thing for Wrongshore to point to, that's one of the things I was thinking of in the last para. SF does regularly seem like someplace where a culturally important moment is happening -- the beats in the 50s, the Summer of Love in the 60s, gay lib in the 70s, maybe Burning Man now. But those moments don't seem to *produce* much (well, I guess '68 produced a few good bands), or in retrospect even have the real leadership position in the moment they symbolize. It might have something to do with insularity, self-satisfaction, and lifestyle orientation of the place. Maybe it's just too pretty and nice to live in.

San Francisco feels like an unending effort to recreate summer camp. "Are you going to the bunny party? No, I'm going to be at the Big Wheel drag racing."

hah. I noticed that too. DIY dorkitude is of the cultural moment, though. Now that everyone has their own laptop movie and recording studio plus publishing house, maybe it will be the most important cultural movement and SF will be the center.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:50 PM
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I am willing to grant that SF has more to offer the ben w-lfs-ns of the world than LA. Let me qualify that: the ben w-lfs-n of the world.

Ben have you heard the LA Electric 8? Edmund Welles has been playing with them and they are working on a collaborative piece.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:50 PM
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But it's hardly blathering to point out how SF has been an underachiever in that area.

Insofar as it's beside the point, it is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:53 PM
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What it comes down to is, SF has that geographical whateverness, and LA doesn't. This claim is entirely independent of their artistic resumes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:54 PM
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SF has that geographical whateverness, and LA doesn't

Help me out here.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:57 PM
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"compactness that helps foster an artistic scene"?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:57 PM
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If I were to say that Hyde Park is culturally superior to Los Angeles, that would not be because of the lingering ghosts of Ellison and Bellow and the IM Pei toasters on 55th. It's not like saying that Athens was culturally superior to Rome.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:59 PM
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I don't know that I would say that, mind, but if I were to.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 2:59 PM
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ANSWER MY QUESTIONS BEN


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:00 PM
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I'M NOT EVEN THAT STRONGLY OPINIONATED


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:00 PM
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Ok, fine.

No, I'm not familiar with that band.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:01 PM
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ALSO 493


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:03 PM
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493 doesn't contain a question.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:05 PM
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You're right. Never mind, then.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:05 PM
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Victory is mine!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:07 PM
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I can't hear you, I'm not using capital letters anymore.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:10 PM
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I think what Ben is saying is that SF is a better place for a cultured person to live than LA is, with cultured being taken as some Ben-esque combination of avant-garde and SWPL tastes. He wants to define this as being culturally superior. Well, fine, you can define it however you want, and it's the type of lifestyle-based argument SF people commonly make. But there are other equally valid definitions of culturally superior.

No question that Silicon Valley has had a big cultural influence in every sense. For better and worse.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:10 PM
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But there are other equally valid definitions of culturally superior.

Yeah, and Coldplay is good for you but bad for me, you sophist.

I note, without claiming that 505 adequately characterizes any position I have ever held or will ever hold (come on, swipple?), that when you're thinking about places with an eye to living, lifestyle is a reasonable thing to think about. If you care about places only insofar as you care about what they produce, then sure, other things are more relevant. But that also leads to a more tenuous connection to the places themselves.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:16 PM
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I like this argument better when I'm drunk and feel like swearing and punching, but here are some of my disparate reasons for LA partisanship:

(1) The SF:LA =Boston:NY analogy is a pretty good way of thinking about the difference. SF is fundamentally a more stodgy, but also more university and college-oriented, town, with that particular combination of stodginess and youthful experimentation that college towns imply. Yes I KNOW that you're not thinking stodgy, you're thinking about Burning Man and the experimental burning man music scene, but trust me when I say that the corporate culture of SF proper is infinitely more conservative in orientation than that of LA, and has been for a while.

(2) Further to (1), until it was saved by Silicon Valley in the 80s and 90s, San Francisco's stodgy corporate culture had basically choked off economic development in the city - - it's been a very long time since SF was in any meaningful sense the economic or population capital of California. But the industry that now supports San Francisco, which of course is a zillion-dollar, world beating industry, isn't actually located in the city proper, or even that close to the city. The offices and most of the more ambitious silicon valley types are all in the Valley proper, not SF. San Francisco now largely functions as a very pretty, very pleasant museum-town bedroom suburb to Silicon Valley. In this sense, SF is a lot like a European city like Rome, with a well preserved historic core that is basically a nicely tended museum for rich people, tourists, and the industries that serve them, with the actual economic vitality of the city/region located someplace else.

(3) #2 means that SF is basically now a very pretty, very safe, affluent, very white, very non-diverse town, albeit with a large gay and large Chinese/Asian minority. That makes it completely different than LA, which is as "diverse" a city as any in the county, for good or for ill, largely for ill. LA has a spark of melting pot danger and chaos that SF doesn't, at that, to me at least, is the hallmark of a world city as opposed to just a pleasant urban environment.

(4) The safety and university-orientedness of SF creates a particular culture for young hite professionals that WS describes. You can have weird childlike-seeming parties that are like college because the environment you're in is kinda like college.

(5) The SF environment is more conducive to certain kinds of cultural/artistic experimentation (like experimental music?? what does this philistine know?), but LA is the ultimate home of the ruhless cultural professional, a type that I personally admire. The amount of intelligence and cut-throatedness that it takes to survive in the entertainment industry produces, contra the stereotype, legions of very, very smart, very, very professional cultural types that are capable of doing amazing work, together with a flotilla of bimbos who go in front of the camera.

(7) SF really does have a horrible case of the smugs. Yes, it's nice, but the constant self-affirmation of it being the best place on earth starts to feel provincial and suburban and really grates.

(8) All combined, to me, this makes LA ultimately a much more interesting place to live, although you'd have to be on crack to think that LA's a better place to visit. But who knows -- I was actually just in SF last weekend with my wife and daughter, and the smug feeling that used to turn me off now seems like kind of an attractive thing. Maybe it's just that the ironic big-wheel pajama party is more comforting when you're starting to host non-ironic big wheel pajama parties for 2 year olds.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:21 PM
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Yes I KNOW that you're not thinking stodgy, you're thinking about Burning Man and the experimental burning man music scene,

There's an experimental music scene associated with burning man? This is a real question; I've never been and while I have some acquaintances who have, I don't think our tastes in music coincide.

A large part of my LA-dislike stems from my feeling that it's not really a city at all, but a collection of smallish enclaves and largish roads.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:23 PM
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#2 means that SF is basically now a very pretty, very safe, affluent, very white, very non-diverse town, albeit with a large gay and large Chinese/Asian minority

You're still bitter they renamed Army Street to César Chávez, aren't you?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:26 PM
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I like this argument better when I'm drunk and feel like swearing and punching

Yeah, me too. I think I'll go get some beer.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:28 PM
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You know, I'm so far from this question that I can't even troll effectively here. I've been racking my brains.

I've always felt that people from the Frisco area have a kind of group mind, where when you're with a bunch of them one person often speaks for all of them. But that's probably just me. Whereas people from LA seem hung-\ loose to a fault.

On the other hand, I haven't been to either place more than once or twice in 20 years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:30 PM
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The pro-/anti-SF debate is rather timely as I am looking to be in SF on business in a couple of weeks -- sadly, traveling with Mr. Buzzkill: "SF weather is unpredictable, the hills make me tired, it's so hard to catch a cab." Um, yeah, gonna be a real fun trip.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:30 PM
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508 -- I have, of course, absolutely no idea. Seriously, I like hippies and all, but the only way I'm going to burning man is if some Manson-esque cult kills me and drags my corpse there to be burnt on the pyre.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:32 PM
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Further to 509: I mean, seriously, what, do all the people who live in Bayview/Hunter's Point and the Fillmore and the Mission suddenly not count as San Franciscans? Not to mention that I'm sure the Vietnamese and Japanese and Filipino communities are totally thrilled to be lumped in with the Chinese. And I'm not sure what you're doing with all the Russians who live out in the Outer Richmond.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:32 PM
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We're working on that, Halford.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:33 PM
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The pro-/anti-SF debate is rather timely as I am looking to be in SF on business in a couple of weeks

I'll bring you a sazerac.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:34 PM
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There's an experimental music scene associated with burning man?

Depends on how experimental you consider psytrance. I don't think you'd particularly like it, at any rate.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:36 PM
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516: Careful what you offer, ben. I'll totally take you up on that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:36 PM
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sadly, traveling with Mr. Buzzkill

I take this means you're going to come out here and blow us all off *again*.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:37 PM
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Do I have something to fear from you, Di?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:38 PM
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517: not too much psytrance there these days. Not too much avant garde jazz, either. A bit!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:39 PM
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519: Assuming I can ditch Mr. Buzzkill, I will beg and plead for a meetup. I may, in fact, adjust travel plans around that, if need be/possible.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:39 PM
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Burning Man might be a good environment in which to perform Feldman's second string quartet.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:41 PM
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520: After a few Sazeracs, I can be a bit of a handful.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:41 PM
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That will be Mr. Buzzkill's problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:44 PM
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not too much psytrance there these days

I *knew* Burning Man was better back in the day.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:44 PM
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I've definitely seem some pretty cool sound art there. And interesting noise-like pieces.

It's a total digression from the profoundly silly debate you're all having. LA is better because it's a huge world city with tons of everything. SF is better because it has many of the same things on a walkable, human scale. SF could definitely get over itself sometimes, and LA can be a dystopian shithole on occasion, but they're both pretty great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:47 PM
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After a few Sazeracs, I can be a bit of a handful.

My hands are capable.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:47 PM
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525: In fact, Mr. Buzzkill sounds uniquely qualified for such a task.

Now didn't you hint at a meetup last time you were passing through town and then just, somehow, "run out of time"? Can we trust you again?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:48 PM
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And lots of people from both go to burning man, which is incidentally in Nevada.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:48 PM
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I've definitely seem some pretty cool sound art there.

That's quite an accomplishment.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:50 PM
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And lots of people from both go to burning man, which is incidentally in Nevada Hell.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:51 PM
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514 -- Yeah, I know. Obviously there are poor and non-white people who live in the boundaries of the city of SF. But the Inner Mission has been gentrified, the Outer Mission is close, and wasn't there just a big controversy because a new development in Hunter's Point threatened to drive out what remains of SF's once large black community? The truth is that SF is just not a comparable city to LA in terms of the richness, size or diversity of its non-affluent white communities, where you can look out the window from my house and look south to 15 miles of nothing but poor immigrant neighborhoods. This creates a very different urban "feel" which is really what we're talking about in these "your city sucks/my city's great" kind of arguments.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:52 PM
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514 -- Yeah, I know. Obviously there are poor and non-white people who live in the boundaries of the city of SF. But the Inner Mission has been gentrified, the Outer Mission is close, and wasn't there just a big controversy because a new development in Hunter's Point threatened to drive out what remains of SF's once large black community? The truth is that SF is just not a comparable city to LA in terms of the richness, size or diversity of its non-affluent white communities, where you can look out the window from my house and look south to 15 miles of nothing but poor immigrant neighborhoods. This creates a very different urban "feel" which is really what we're talking about in these "your city sucks/my city's great" kind of arguments.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:52 PM
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My art appreciation knows no bounds of comprehensibility.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:52 PM
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527 -- Sifu, you're being too reasonable. Where is the drunken beligerence d'antan?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:54 PM
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Now didn't you hint at a meetup last time you were passing through town and then just, somehow, "run out of time"? Can we trust you again?

Hey, I had only 2 1/2 days, a hearing, and a 9-year-old in tow. Cut me some slack.

But, no, I don't generally recommend trusting me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:55 PM
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Ben has Sazeracs and capable hands. Maybe I'll have a meetup just with him.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 3:56 PM
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I think it's kind of like LA is wine and SF is beer. Something like that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:04 PM
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The truth is that SF is just not a comparable city to LA in terms of the richness, size or diversity of its non-affluent white communities, where you can look out the window from my house and look south to 15 miles of nothing but poor immigrant neighborhoods.

Well, sure, because the city limits of LA are vastly larger than those of SF. If you exclude the rest of the Bay Area (which this entire conversation has been doing), it's a ridiculous comparison.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:10 PM
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Certainly there's nothing more beautiful than 15 miles worth of impoverished immigrants, unless it's 30 miles worth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:12 PM
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Is Mr Buzzkill a defective relationship unit or some kind of business associate? Or is it a code word for female problems? I seem to have come into the middle of something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:14 PM
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Not Mr. Buzzkill, but Mr. Buzz Kill.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:20 PM
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The guy behind Mr. Kill looks pretty undead.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:28 PM
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542: Colleague.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:28 PM
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The guy behind Mr. Kill captures what appears to be the current mood of my traveling companion. On other occasions, he can be more Mr. Kill. I wish I knew which personality was coming along on this trip. The one already whining about the hills is going to annoy the crap out of me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:33 PM
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Well, he seems marginally better than menstrual cramps, even so.

But I've never had menstrual cramps, and each individual cramp is a unique snowflake, so I suppose I shouldn't have said that. For other minds cannot be known.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:44 PM
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I think it's kind of like LA is wine and SF is beer.

Inapt. LA is like acid and SF is like mushrooms. Furthermore, the whole argument can be explained by the fact that the SF Bay Area misappropriated LA's naturally occurring sincerity reserves.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:49 PM
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I was about to say that a little ibuprofen goes a long way toward making menstrual cramps tolerable -- as if to imply that there was no similar medication to address stick-in-the-mud-itis. But then I remembered liquor.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:52 PM
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LA is like acid and SF is like mushrooms.

I'm reading this as balsamic and champignons, and wondering what city is like filet so that we can round this dish out.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 4:55 PM
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507 is totally brilliant, thanks Rob. Exactly how I would have expressed it if I was smart enough to do so. Points 5 and 7 were particularly dead on.

I note, without claiming that 505 adequately characterizes any position I have ever held or will ever hold (come on, swipple?),

Oh, Ben. The most SWPL thing of all is being in denial of your SWPL-ness.

that when you're thinking about places with an eye to living, lifestyle is a reasonable thing to think about.

I'd rather live in SF. But I'd never claim that makes it culturally superior. I mean, I'm not culturally superior.

If you care about places only insofar as you care about what they produce, then sure, other things are more relevant. But that also leads to a more tenuous connection to the places themselves.

Not if you're part of a productive artistic community. Peoples' professional identities can link them closely to place (though this depends on how the profession works). Point being, residents of LA aren't necessarily more tenuously connected to the place.

Yeah, and Coldplay is good for you but bad for me, you sophist.

I actually never listen to Coldplay. I was secretly hoping you could provide a foundation for objective aesthetic judgements, for the next time I was at a party or something and had to listen to people call crap things good.



Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:12 PM
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similar medication to address stick-in-the-mud-itis. But then I remembered liquor mushrooms.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:14 PM
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548: Inapt.

Do tell.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:20 PM
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SF is wine and Portland is beer. This much I know. It's been true for at least 38 years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:35 PM
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Okay post about things that are cool about LA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:36 PM
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One problem people seem to be having (looking at you, PGD), is thinking of LA as "one thing"; not that the SFBA is a monoculture, but "LA" as it is usually referred to is a conurbation of thirteen million people, 4 million of whom live in the city proper, with significant populations coming from everywhere on Earth. To try and pigeonhole it as any one anything (except "big") is fairly absurd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:40 PM
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The top picture here is great. I was startled as all get-out the first time I saw those mountains.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:41 PM
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Oh, Ben. The most SWPL thing of all is being in denial of your SWPL-ness.

Yeah, but also non-swpl people can issue denials.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:47 PM
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555 is a pretty good list, although a little hobbyist-shop heavy. Also I really am not aware of opportunities to fish for carp in the LA river, but I will have to look for them.

By the way, it actually appears that we will have something of a liberal as President of the United States. Since we're going to be heavy into the infrastructure and clean energy spending, maybe LA can actually have a decent light rail system!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:48 PM
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You know, my insomnia had me awake as Sifu was creating his chef d'oeuvre last night, but I didn't comment for fear of ruining it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 5:59 PM
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556: THERE ARE A MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:02 PM
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People who dislike LA would also dislike Nairobi, Calcutta, and Mexico City.

Racist motherfuckers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:05 PM
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(L)A=(L)A


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:06 PM
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562: exactly!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:08 PM
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560: dangit! I was trying to incite people to entertain me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:09 PM
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556: THERE ARE A MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY.

The Times sure didn't like Night and the City.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:10 PM
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Was Naked City all that violent? I saw it a few months ago and I suppose I don't remember it now. A little too much of a procedural for me, I guess, though I did like it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:14 PM
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553 Do tell.

Well, for starters one location is a center of wine production and one isn't and you've apparently mixed them up. Beyond that I shan't elaborate. The beer I purchased to better prepare myself to defend the honor of my homeland has instead made me placid and forgiving. Stupid alcohol.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:23 PM
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568: SF is a center of wine production? Since when?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:30 PM
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Heh, speaking (as we were earlier) of psytrance, the pricing on this page is amusing:


2 used from $99.95
Buy the MP3 album for $6.99 at the Amazon MP3 Downloads store.

It's the future of the music industry, encapsulated in two sentences.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:32 PM
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569: Since we were using SF as metonymy for the BA.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:34 PM
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SF is a center of wine production? Since when?

If we're counting Alameda, since 1987.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:34 PM
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571: they make a lot of wine in Santa Barbara, too, if we're being all expansive like that.

570: it's not worth either. Goa Gil sucks so bad. Actually I heard that set in person, come to think of it. It was terrible. Some people with a flame cannon threatened to burn the stage down if he didn't play Zeppelin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:40 PM
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573: I like psytrance, but I have absurdly low standards for it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I can't distinguish between good psytrance and bad, but it has to be really really shitty for me to notice.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:46 PM
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Of course I also find the notion of listening to psytrance in the presence of other people, let alone dancing to it at a party/rave, actively unpleasant. Good work music, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:47 PM
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Yeah, and the central coast has better wines than Santa Barbara. It's almost as if the closer you are to a grape-growing climate the better your wine turns out. Bizarre.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:47 PM
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Eh I mean the individual tracks were basically okay for psytrance, but Gil's big thing is that he doesn't beatmatch, just mashes from one DAT to the next, never mind how much the beats step on each other.

And it's not like he gets it over with, either. He'll just sit there, chuckita-chuckita-chuckita trainwrecking while everybody stands around (can't dance to that) and beams at him. Ugh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:49 PM
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Ha. My brother just texted me from the wedding he's attending to tell me that Keith Olbermann just walked in.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:51 PM
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I didn't know Keith Olbermann did weddings.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:54 PM
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Olbermann'll do anything in a dress.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 6:59 PM
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575 applies to me only if you replace "psytrance" with drum "n" bass. But of course I date myself (no longer that hott).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:00 PM
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581: do you listen to dubstep? I bet you'd get a kick out of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:03 PM
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No, I don't. Or at least if I have, it's been lost in a sea of Jamaican style-jargon. Link?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:09 PM
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I liked breakbeat drumn'bass back when I was cool. What please should I be listening to today?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:15 PM
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anthony bourdain's kitchen confidential

I just listened to this book and loved it. But it made me very hungry.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:19 PM
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583: e.g., or as so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:22 PM
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Isn't Napa closer to SF than Santa Barbara is to LA?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:27 PM
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584: depends when you were cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:27 PM
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And I think the wine stuff "around" Santa Barbara is even farther north than that, isn't it? I don't pay much attention to alcohol, so I'm not really sure where the vines are.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:30 PM
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589: I was thinking in general terms; "drive a couple hours, be at a winery."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:32 PM
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Jackmormon I actually have no idea what to point you towards. There's lots of cool, high energy, danceable electronic music being made right now. I don't really know how to narrow it down.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:33 PM
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There's this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:35 PM
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Yeah, but it's plausible to think of Napa as part of the Bay Area (especially with the whole 9-county idea). The Paso Robles area, at least, is pretty much on its own.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:36 PM
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I suppose so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 7:56 PM
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You don't have to go as far as Paso Robles to get to good wineries from LA. Once you get past Solvaang, you're doing fine. The whole Santa Ynez to Paso Robles Wine Continuum is about 2-4 hours from Los Angeles.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 8:36 PM
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LCD Soundsystem has a nice piece of dance music about having once been hip: http://www.last.fm/music/LCD+Soundsystem/_/Losing+My+Edge?autostart

Faithless is nice if you don't know them.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-22-08 8:44 PM
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Only 1 "a" in Solvang -- it wasn't founded by Finns, you know.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 7:34 AM
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non-running dog deployment of caps = when words need stress

ps this is not mere internet shoutiness ordinaire -- instead you should imagine that the (revoutionary) poster QUIETLY STANDS AT HIS/HER KEYBOARD while the relevant words are scanned, then demurely sits again



Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 7:49 AM
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non-running dog deployment of caps = when words need stress

ps this is not mere internet shoutiness ordinaire -- instead you should imagine that the (revoutionary) poster QUIETLY STANDS AT HIS/HER KEYBOARD while the relevant words are scanned, then demurely sits again



Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 7:49 AM
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592.---Hm. It's okay, but too damn cheery. There's no sex appeal.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 8:44 AM
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What does our Ezra Pound have against Vichy?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 9:03 AM
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592 i have that song in my ipod, i guess it's from the unfogged mixes, i really enjoyed the guitar, summer, xenofilia, baby, jazz, unfunkked mixes a lot, still haven't listened to half of them though, presidential mixes for example


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 9:25 AM
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Mochipet's "Dessert Search for Techno Baklava" has a good title.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 9:40 AM
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Faithless is nice if you don't know them.

I've found this to be true of many bands.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-23-08 9:47 AM
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great article.thanks.


Posted by: dış cephe | Link to this comment | 11-25-08 8:44 AM
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