Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Pledge Drive




We'll get right back to HoseMaster of Wine, but, as you may know, it is time for our annual Spring Pledge Drive for Wine Blogs. Wine blogs depend on contributions from people like you, the people who read these brilliant works for absolutely nothing. We don't charge you exorbitant subscription rates like Wine Spectator. Can't they just print that useless rag on normal size, recyclable paper? Christ, the Large Print Edition is the size of a toilet stall door, and, coincidentally, conceals the same activity. But when you dial up your favorite wine blog, be it the HoseMaster or Dr. Vino or, God forbid, Vornography (where wine journalism goes to fester and die), it doesn't cost you one thin dime. No, unlike print publications like Wine Enthusiast, with wine blogs you get exactly what you paid for, and without the tiresome ads (and, at Wine Enthusiast, those are the wine reviews). This is the great American way, friends, you put nothing in, you get nothing out. Why, it's exactly how God created Man to procreate. It's why wine blogs are God's work and mimic our very existence--you put nothing in, you get nothing out. We are here during Pledge Week to ask you as contributors to put something into every wine blogger you can think of. God knows they'll enjoy it.



Just try and imagine your day without Wine Blogs. OK, stop smiling. Seriously, where else can you find this kind of quality for free? Other than a dumpster? Look at the quality of programming you can find each and every day on Wine Blogs. Where else can you find reviews of wines written from a completely unschooled perspective? Yes, you can turn to professional critics with decades of experience and trained palates, but they don't enjoy wines the same way you do at home. They're know-it-alls, a bunch of old white guys, and women who basically resemble old white guys (I'm talking to you, Jancis baby), who talk down to you, try to educate you, when all you really want is to get drunk as cheaply as possible. So you come here. To Wine Blogs. Where people just like you, unskilled people with too much time on their hands and the ability to type, talk about wine endlessly and inarticulately, mistaking profanity for wit and opinion for meaning. This is where you find the wines you want to rush out and buy. Here you can find the scoring system and information you really seek. We're all tired of the 100 point scale, it's meaningless and intellectually dishonest. It's barely a 20 point scale! No one rates below 80. How is that a 100 point scale?! When's the last time you went to a track meet and the runners only ran the last 20 meters of the 100 meter race? How would that be legitimate? You know what it's like? It's like these old white guys, and the women who look like old white guys (I'm talking to you, Andrea), telling you, "I swear, I'm just going to stick it in a little bit, baby, I'm not going to put it all the way in." Well, friends, you know and I know that for absolutely nothing Wine Bloggers are going to stick it in you ALL THE WAY! As God intended.


Don't worry, we'll get back to HoseMaster of Wine momentarily. But I want you to think about what your life would be like without Wine Blogs, and I want you to think about what your contributions mean. Imagine your next dinner party, you've chosen the wine you want to serve with your meticulously prepared meal, but you don't know what music to play with the wine! Oh my God (OMG, for you cretins in the room)! What are you going to do? Now imagine you don't have a Wine Blog to turn to for that information. Think about the embarrassment you'll feel when you serve the wine and you have the wrong music playing! Yes, I know, the shame might kill you. But this won't happen because you can turn to Wine Blogs. You can do a search of Wine Blogs and you'll be able to find another idiot, an idiot just like you, who knows what song to play with the wine. You can't find this information in Hugh Johnson, the guy's a gardener, for cryin' out loud, he wouldn't know a blogger from a pansy (easy now), and he sure as hell doesn't know what music to play with your ten dollar Chardonnay. You won't find any help with music selections from the "Oxford Companion to Wine;" I know, I looked under "Music" and all it said was "WTF?," which I thought was the author's initials but turned out to actually mean WTF. So, no, you have to turn here, to Wine Blogs, to the expert opinions of folks just like you, who not only have impeccable taste in wine samples, but also impeccable taste in their own favorite music. Where else could you possibly find people like that? And without your contributions during Pledge Week those folks just might not be here the next time you log on. Wouldn't that be a shame?


And, aside from information and wine knowledge gathered from total amateurs, what about the sheer entertainment value? What about the laughs? Here's an absolute classic from a recent post at Vornography. The post begins, "Fellow wine writer Eric Asimov..." Priceless! Alder ingeniously takes a harmless four word phrase, adds the word "fellow" to the front of it, and provides us with the biggest belly laugh since Wine Bloggers nominated themselves for Wine Blog Awards! "Fellow wine writer Eric Asimov!" Hilarious! You can't make this stuff up! It's like starring in your third grade play and saying, "Fellow actor Peter O'Toole once said..." How does he think of this stuff? It doesn't matter. Where else can you be as highly amused for free? And not get in trouble when your wife walks in the room and you're doing it?


So we're asking for your contributions. Corporate sponsorship, like Rodney Strong's, or Huckleberry Jackson's ownership of Steve Heimoff, doesn't support Wine Blogs 100%. Wine Blogs depend on the contributions of Viewers Like You. Without your contributions, Wine Blogs would cease to exist. Imagine that world. A world without Wine Blogs. Then decide what you want to do about it.

An operator is standing by. We now return to HoseMaster of Wine.

41 comments:

Scott said...

QOTD - WTF actually turned out to mean WTF.

I seriously LOL'ed

Thomas said...

You forgot to mention how many times the tweets went off during the pledge drive. You need remedial motivational training.

Samantha Dugan said...

Dammit Washam I was working on something just like this when I popped over to see if you had posted. As always yours was better than mine so...again, dammit Washam! The "My fellow writer" thing freaking killed me, wonder if Eric knows he has been included in such an esteemed typing pool? I'm sure he will be terribly flattered....

I am shamefully part of the, those in need group here. I have begun treatment for my Needy Writers Syndrome but it is a slow and painful process. I still find myself scratching where my stat counter used to be, (okay it is still there but I am pretending it has been amputated) and am still relying on comments for infusions of inspiration from time to time....using them as a crutch when I feel I cannot go on. So I thank you O Funny One, thank you for shinning the light on this little talked about illness.

"Fellow wine writer"...dude

Jimmie Schnipke said...

Ron

Thomas is right. We need pictures of operators standing by. You need enticements, like ascots worn by Bobby Balzer and puffs poofed by Charlie. How about Samantha's brown shoes?

Since your now tight with Ed McMahon, I mean Paul G, how about an ear stud? Signed styro shippers from Steve H?

I will donate an original Charles F Shaw Beaujolais Nouveau label from 1982! Let's get those donations rolling in.

Jimmie Schnipke

Charlie Olken said...

My guess is that Eric Asimov is going to be mightily pissed off at Alder. Not that Eric will mind that Alder thinks of himself as a fellow wine writer. That title is cheap. It costs nothing to claim it.

No Eric won't be upset by that. But, he is going to not take Alder's real failure quite so easily. Eric knows his real title, and he expects it to be used when he is mentioned. He is the MFWWW. Alder is out in the weeds on this one.

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh no! First my commas, quotes and crunched crunders...now my beloved shoes?! That will leave me with nothing so I have to draw the line at the shoes...

Marcia Macomber said...

As a "fellow" blogger (insert gaffaw here), but decidedly NOT a fellow wine writer (OK, except this one teeny weeny time), and since you brought it up, my take on wine and music (at the very end of the post): http://cornucopiacreations.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/standing-out-from-the-crowd-april-in-carneros-sea-of-wines/

'Cuz I was just so irritated with (mostly) bad musical pairings. Kinda like... boiled potatoes with a nice zin, or a syrah, or, well...anything. (Have I used enough commas yet, Sam?)

I hereby pledge...not to write about wine again...or use my word verification, clatioug, in a sentence.

Sip with Me! said...

Hey, fellow wine blogger:
Get any contributions yet? I gotta pay my power bill! Could one even 'blog' with pencil and paper? It almost sounds dirty doesn't it?

John M. Kelly said...

Wait! WTF!? Charles F. Shaw makes $2 Boo-jo-lays No-vo?! Back in 1982, even!? Again - WTF?! Schnipke (if that is your REAL name) this is exactly why I read wine blogs! So ah kin larn me sumpin'! Ron - thanks again for your matchless public service.

Dave said...

I tried to call in but the lines were all busy. Does this make me a "Fellow Whine Righter"? I may have to look for a 12 step program.

Thomas said...

Now that the Parker bulletin board is subscriber only, this blog is bound to see its traffic skyrocket--remember your old friends Hosy...

Yes, that's a scoop for you: http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/

Arthur said...

Thomas

There are still other wine boards where people can go berzerk without having to pay membership fees....

Charlie Olken said...

Sounds like Mr. Parker is feeling the pinch. Love to know how his subcription rate is holding up.

If he really has the 50,000 subscribers as rumored, that is $4million. Plus his books, speaking fees and bribes and it is hard to believe that he has money problems.

I should have his problems.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for your generous contributions. It is Viewers Like You who make Wine Blogs possible. Your continued support is much appreciated. We have nearly reached our goal.

And with eBob now subscriber only, the world is a much better place. It is but the first radical change in the wine world that results from Parker's death. More will follow.

What I loved about Alder's Vornography post was that he could begin it with "Fellow wine writer Eric Asimov" and all the stooges who comment there let it slide. But I guess, Charlie, you are unconcerned with that particular denigration of your profession, so I'll let it go. However, I wonder if you'd be so cavalier if he'd said "Fellow wine critic Charles Olken." Then again, you probably would, gracious man that you are. Either way, the arrogance is funnier than hell. Alder is the Ted Baxter of wine bloggers.

Jimmie, man, I had a whole riff on gifts for contributors, but, you know, I get tired of carrying the comedy bandwagon and thought I'd let someone else do the work. Thanks for helping.

Marcia Darling, I read your piece, OK, I skimmed your piece, and I think you need to stop reading Tom Wark. Don't we all?

Dave, the lines weren't busy, I just couldn't get Vaynerchuk to shut up. Can anyone?

Tamara Love, I prefer "fellow poodle."

My Gorgeous Samantha, keep scratching where that counter used to be and you'll get a nasty stat infection. I adore you.

abc said...

Gosh, so you don't want Hugh's Trees book?

Arthur said...

Charlie

Have you tried to run a farm? In Maryland?

(plus, depending on his tax status and incorporation he may be forking over 40% to the man every quarter)

Arthur said...

Sam

Re: that stat infection: take a gram of Keflex for a week and call me in the morning - but only after 10....

Samantha Dugan said...

Damn, Skunky and now infected? You fellas really know how to flatter a girl.

Charlie Olken said...

Have I ever tried to run a farm in Maryland? Gee, thanks for asking?

As for the fact that Parker may have to pay 40% of his $5 mil, I should have such problems.

Arthur said...

Charlie, you'd be surprised how much of a $15 mil annual gross just evaporates before you see any in your pocket

Charlie Olken said...

Yes, Arthur, it's a crying shame. $15 mil just does not go as far as it used to.

How much longer before Parker goes on food stamps? Oh wait, he's dead. Why are we talking about this guy?

Arthur said...

LOL, Charlie

Charlie Olken said...

Ron--

Re Alder. I have absolutely no problems with him, as you have surmised.

I started wrting about wine like a babe in the woods. I had been collecting for about three years. I had no idea how much I did not know until I was confronted by the need to be a professional.

Alder, whatever else he might be, is no fool, and is a decent person. I have been critical of the way he reviews hundreds of wines at the rate of one per minute. I would never review wines at wineries the way he does. But, he is in a very different business from me, and he has an audience. One of the lessons that means the most to me is to not look down my nose at those who are successful.

Lampoon them, have fun at their expense, it is all fair game. Getting angry at them personally. No thanks. Just not in my game.

1WineDude said...

Confucius say, the higher the monkey climbs, the more can be seen of his behind.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Amy Darling,

Does Hugh's Trees book mention alders? Does it begin, "Fellow tree Alder...?" And, frankly, don't all poodles love Trees? Especially the bark.

Charlie,

I have no problems with Alder either, though I'm guessing he may have one with me (which is a form of flattering myself). Nor do I have one with Steve Heimoff or your son 1WineDoody. Or WineHarlots or BrixChicks, or anyone else I mock here. Where would I be without them?

And I agree with your sentiment about not looking down your nose at those who are successful. Though, as you know better than most, it is the job of satire to point to human weakness and sanctimony and foolishness and hypocrisy, traits Mr. Yarrow displays in abundance. I just wish someone would gleefully point out mine.

1WineDoody,

HoseMaster say, Never look up if there's a monkey above your face. You may end up with tongue in cheeks.

abc said...

Ron
You will be pleased to know that there is a several page section on Alders.
-A

Charlie Olken said...

Ron--

Without targets, there would be no satire. My guess is that you will never run out of targets. I grew up in a household and in a neighborhood and in a tradition where you could not get away with anything--so not only do I get it, but I am happy to engage in it.

If I could write comedy the way you can, I would not write wine. So, just as I have no problem liking Steve H. and Alder, so too do I have no problem laughing at jokes at their expense.

As for you, be careful what you wish for when you write, you wish that someone would target you. The next time you show up at my house, it might be pie in the face time. Yes, I know that slapstick is not satire, but sometimes you have to take your comedy where you can.

Thomas said...

"I just wish someone would gleefully point out mine."

Hosemaster is a pun and doody show--ha, ha, ha, ha.

Gleeful enough? Or maybe another ha?

Puffalo Bob said...

Tom--

Pun and Doody?

Ouch. That was painful.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Soupy Daddy,

The only thing funnier than a pie in the face is midgets running. Though baseball players have ruined it for everyone with their constant shaving cream pies during interviews. I think this should be banned along with steroids, though a steroid pie in the face would be funny AND satirical.

HoseMaster would be hard to do without the contributions of all the nice and talented and funny folks who turn up here regularly. Comedy dies a very slow and painful death without an audience. They matter even more than the targets. I am always aware of the presence of you and My Gorgeous Samantha and Thomas and Marcia and John and Arthur and Amy and Tamara and your son Joe and Dave and Jimmie Schnipke when I write. And I'm aware of all the lurkers who never comment but who stop here to see who I've offended this week. The targets don't keep me going, all of you do.

So knock it off.

Dave said...

"Alder is the Ted Baxter of wine bloggers."

Damn you HoseMaster, any idea how hard it is to get nose coffee and bloogers out of a keyboard?

Now wondering who Vaynerchuk is, the Eddie Haskell, Pigpen, or perhaps their love child?

Samantha Dugan said...

I think Gary is more Oscar Mayer....

Puff Daddy said...

Sam says " I think Gary is more Oscar Mayer.... "

Does Oscar Meyer make ham?

Samantha Dugan said...

Ham & B-o-l-o-g-n-a....

Puffalo Bob said...

That Oscar. He does have a way with words.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha, Dave and Puffalo Bob,

My own opinion? Gary V has a striking resemblance, in looks and personality, to Knucklehead Smith.

Anonymous said...

Bot K-C Lafond 04 (HMW: 889,065P!)@deep discount on your reco. Contribution pending outcome.

off2wine said...

To get back to helping with the life-sustaining pledge drive...
I am willing to rent at whatever price Prats comes out with for Cos d'Estornel '09 (price effective 90 days after RP announced he loved it; 72 hours rental) my t-shirt.
I will donate a full 5% of the proceeds (minus round-trip postage..wash before sending, I probably will).
This shirt has gotten me through many difficult times. I don't have a photo but the front says:
"Will write for food."

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Anonymous,

I may have underestimated the Syrah. At a recent tasting I rated it 889,065+. Thanks for contributing so generously, and anonymously.

off2wine,

Thanks for contributing to the Cos!

off2wine said...

Avec plaisir, monsieur master.

Anonymous said...

Actually rethinking contrib. Boss saying you actually owe us $. Also anon is because most of you people seem more insane than me and I've already driven past three posters' houses (you don't know who your are). Don't want to waste money on more restraining orders.