Magazine May 3, 2010, Issue

A Hymn to Bacchus

From the cover of I Drink Therefore I Am (Continuum)
I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine, by Roger Scruton (Continuum, 211 pp., $24.95)

Maybe the oddest and most wonderful thing about this very odd and wonderful book is that its title is a literal description of its contents. It is a joke too, of course; indeed it is two jokes.

The first joke is borrowed from Eric Idle’s “Philosophers’ Drinking Song,” in which the Monty Python cast, lightly disguised as a group of Australian philosophers all named Bruce, list the world’s thinkers from a drinking standpoint. This includes the couplet slightly amending Descartes’s proof of his existence: “And René Descartes was a drunken fart / ‘I drink therefore I am.’”

The second joke is that

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