The Corner

Slate’s Whine Critic?

From a reader:

Subject: I’m about 60 percent sure this is a parody...

From Slate’s wine critic:

During the Bush era, wine service at the executive mansion has been hostage to a profoundly misguided strategy that has turned this most civilized of beverages into an unnecessarily crude instrument of statecraft.

[snip] 

Delicate wines will be overlooked; only strapping, assertive ones have what it takes to be “noticed in the context of the White House experience,” as Shanks [the White House’s wine guy] put it. In other words, the desired effect is shock and awe, achieved not with cruise missiles but fruit bombs.

[snip]  

According to Shanks, the White House currently stocks around 500-600 bottles. That is pathetic and another example of how America’s infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. During his eight years in office, Thomas Jefferson amassed a 20,000-bottle collection, which he kept in a cellar that he had built under what is now the West Wing. Two centuries later, that space is being used for other purposes, and the president of the United States has less wine in his basement than I have in mine.

Read the whole thing.

If the quality of a parody is inversely proportional to the number of people who get it, then this piece is a rousing success. Assuming it is a parody, that is. What say you?

I’m sort of with the reader. I don’t think “parody” is the right word though, because I think the author actually believes the things he’s writing, it’s just that he thinks this silliness is clever.  Ironic? Sardonic? Stupid? I just can’t tell. But looking at the various blog posts about it, it doesn’t seem like a lot of people think it’s a parody.

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