Thursday, August 6, 2009

the strong do what they can, the weak do what they must

I've had a trying day-- nearly all of it devoted to attempts to reinstate my troubled driving license, most of that nearly all spent trying to navigate various gov'mental automated phone services.

So nothing, save reading a long rich article about the fucked up history of colonialism in Cyprus, has been done to aid or abet my plan.

But I am trying to post every day, at least at first, so here I am. Here's a small beginning of a thought I had at Solano Cellars last week.

"Winemakers, or, rather, the owners of wineries, are like the rulers of independent city-states. Seemingly benevolent, if essentially corrupt in essentially blameless ways, they are apolitically rich. The larger regimes change, the armies march, but they remain. They are secure, behind walls of wine, prestige, and pleasure-- fat, jovial, prone to mysticism and sentimentality, they remain living relics of times gone by."

There are many, many fascinating refutations of this musing-- in Lebanon, in the post Soviet countries (for a while, the State, naturally, made all the wine), but there is something interesting, an assonance, between Mondavi and medieval Venice.

3 comments:

kim said...

your remark about the post-Soviet countries reminded me that Georgia is renowned for its wine. are you planning on going there?

Whim said...

Georgia is on the runner-up list, but I chose Uzbekistan first-- because of its utter strangeness, and because it also has a strong wine tradition. There will be issues of course, with visas etc, so Georgia might win out on that. There are so many interesting places in that part of the world-- but I can only visit so many...

Jeremy Russell said...

Reminds me of the old Italian in Catch-22, who says:

"Exactly," agreed the old man pleasantly, with a hint of taunting amusement. "Italy, on the other hand, is one of the least properous nations on earth. And the Italian fighting man is probably second to all. And that's exactly why my country is doing so well in this war while your country is doing so poorly."

"I'm sorry I laughed at you. But Italy was occupied by the Germans and is now being occupied by us. You don't call that doing very well, do you?"

"But of course I do," exclaimed the old man cheerfully. "The Germans are being driven out, and we're still here. In a few years, you will be gone, too, and we will still be here. You see, Italy is really a very poor and weak country, and that's what makes us so strong. Italian soldiers are not dying anymore. But American and German soldiers are. I call that doing extremely well. Yes, I'm quite certain Italy will survive this war and still be in existence long after your own country has been destroyed."