Let’s see. The United States is mired in ugly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from which it looks as if there is no extricating ourselves. Since Sept, 11, 2001, the federal government has shown itself expert in all manner of lies and subterfuge, while civil clicquot_01.jpg liberties are being erased. Millions of Americans are without medical insurance, and millions of Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure. The effects of global warming grow more serious and seem irreversible unless drastic action is taken at every level of society. The gap between rich and poor, between the salaries bestowed on CEOs of companies and what their workers earn, has never been wider or more apparent.

And at this point, in anticipation, no doubt, of the coming Yuletide season, the venerable champagne house of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin chooses to run this banner ad at the bottom of The Arts section of today’s New York Times:

The Yellowboam … is the most precious bottle ever crafted by Veuve Clicquot. This limited and numbered 3 liter edition is entirely handmade from harvest to labeling. For the occasion of its 130th anniversary, the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label has been recreated using the world’s most precious leathers: ray, ostrich, and alligator. Each bottle is sealed with a foil covered in 22.4 carat gold and topped with a collectible, gold plated muzzle cap.

The edition consists of 3,600 bottles. Prices on the Internet range from about $2,000 to $2,400.

The motto on the ad?

“So Clicquot. So Responsible.”

How about: “So Sick. So Hypocritical”