Wed 14 Oct 2009
Q. You are on record as despising Twitter, Facebook and other social-networking devices, yet you recently signed up for Twitter. Que pasa?
A. I signed on to Twitter because everyone said that I should use it as a marketing tool to bring traffic to this blog. More traffic may lead to more advertising. No, wait, make that some advertising, any advertising, at least something more than Google ads, which I assume that everyone regards as annoying to the point of invisibility. Those Google ads net me all of $100 annually. Whoa, bring up that Wells-Fargo armored truck now!
Q. And has Twitter brought you more traffic?
A. Not noticeably. Of course I only have 34 followers, so I guess it will take time, you know, slowly building the Irresistible Momentum of a Force of Nature.
Q. We notice that you aren’t following anyone on Twitter. Pour quoi?
A. I tried that for a few weeks, but found the suffocating inanity intolerable. It’s amazing what intelligent, college-educated people will reveal about themselves or the trivialities they so breathlessly report. It’s like reading a Freudian treatise on the madness of crowds via telegraph.
Q. On another subject, do you accept wine samples for review?
A. Let me say this about that. The whole reviewing apparatus — wine, books, music CDs (what’s left of them), household products — depends on review samples. Rare is the publication or writer who possesses the fiduciary prowess to afford paying for the items he or she reviews. Probably 80 percent of he wines I review come as samples from wineries, producers, importers and wholesalers; some of these are sent with prior notice, some I solicit, to fit into a particular theme or post, but most just arrive at the door. Another 10 percent I encounter at trade tastings or similar events, and the remaining five percent I buy.
Q. That being the case, would you state your policy about accepting samples and reviewing the wines for this blog?
A. Of course I will. Let’s practice full disclosure. As I said in the previous entry, yes, I accept wine samples for review, but I accept them on no assumption on the part of whoever sent the sample that I will give a positive review or even any review at all. While it gives me great joy to recommend wines to my readers and share my enthusiasm with them, I am obligated, both by conscience and professional considerations, to dole out negative notices when necessary. I also reserve the right to make fun of, parody or downright deride — without being a total asshole — press releases that are badly written, deficient, vain, pompous and utterly fantastical. You would be amazed how many press releases embody all of those fatal flaws.
Q. On another subject entirely, is it true that when you were a child in Rochester N.Y., you and your older brother were a Cossack-dancing team and you performed on local television?
Cool question mark image from verticalmeasures.com. Cossack-dancing kid from Koeppel Family Archives.