“For something to be funny, the audience has to be in a position to sense the truth of it. It has to be primed. Satire can crystallize what’s already in the air, but it can’t really put it there.”--Garry Trudeau
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Letters, I Get Letters, I Get Stacks and Stacks of Letters
As you might imagine, my mailbox overflows with hate mail. Most of it from the AARP. Old fucks. But a lot of it comes from Viewers Like You. People I've offended or outraged, people I've insulted or hectored, people who wish I would be nicer, more like 1WineDoody or other bloggers who personify the success of Electroshock Therapy. What's crazy about folks who write hate mail is that they even bother. It takes a lot of energy and time to write a nasty letter to someone you hate. It's like going on a lousy date with someone so ugly the waiter serves their food stuffed inside a mackerel and having sex with them anyway. Which is how I learned to like mackerel, but that's a different story. I love hate mail. Here are a few of my recent favorites.
I was surprised to hear from this person. But you never know who's reading your blog...
Dear Mr Master of Hose,
I was referred to your natural disaster of a blog by someone who felt sorry for me. I've had it rough the past few weeks, what with my company turning the Gulf of Mexico into a giant toilet. BP makes one mistake, one little explosion on one offshore oil rig, and you'd think that was the only thing in the world that mattered. Sheesh. Let's look at the bright side. The fish that will be caught will be pre-packed in oil! This should save those whining fishermen lots of money. And, anyway, it's the damn Gulf of MEXICO, not the Gulf of USA, but you don't hear the Mexicans complaining. Not that it would matter if they did. When Meg Whitman becomes Governor of California she's going to buy Mexico and have them all evicted. And speaking of Whitman, how about the disgusting slick she left on her little eBay? How come no one is calling for her to clean up all the crap floating around there? Homemade Bert and Ernie merkins and crocheted iPads for Depends and all that other disgusting flotsam. All we did was spill a little crude out in the middle of the damn ocean where, frankly, it smelled bad to begin with from all the pollutants our refineries have pumped into the water for the past fifty years.
And, by the way, we expect to have that well capped very soon with a new plan I devised inspired by a movie I recently watched on the Adult Channel in my New Orleans hotel room. I've got my engineers designing a gigantic BP! Get it? Butt Plug! Slide that sucker in and, bam, no more icky gooey leakage. The BP BP is sure to work. And it's about time the Earth learned the joy of anal erotica. It changed my life.
Speaking of which, your blog spews more disgusting stuff in one post than our well does in a week. Why the hell hasn't someone tried a Top Kill on you? Oh, that's right, you're not at the top. Maybe someone should try a Loser Kill on your blog. I know you think you're funny, Mr Master, but, really, your jokes are about as funny as an oil spill and twice as toxic. Do all your readers have to wear hazmat suits? You're such a lowlife, I wouldn't abuse you with somebody else's dipstick. Though it does give me great comfort at a trying time like this to know that when it comes to polluting the United States of America, BP cannot compete with the HoseMaster of Wine.
Sincerely, Tony Hayward
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this piece of hate mail.
You No-Talent Fake,
How dare you aim your petulant, pedantic, pusillanimous, puerile, pissant blog at the esteemed judges of the Wine Blog Awards. The eleven of us have more talent put together than you have in your little finger! Our selections for the prestigious Wine Blog Awards, which are not called Poodles, Right, Wine Blog Awards Trophy by the way, but the Doodies, after the greatest wine blogger in history, the very wet dream of wine marketing people everywhere, 1WineDoody (and don't go making any scatalogical remarks about how Poodles Doodie all over the Wine Bloggers' Conference either, Enema Breath, we don't appreciate that sort of name-calling), are perfect. Hey, you don't even know us, how dare you insult us! We weren't asked to judge the quality of wine blogs because we're stupid. That was just a bonus.
We know that you think you deserved a nomination for Best Writing on a Wine Blog. Yeah, right, fat chance. We're giving it to Heimoff and that's the end of it. The guy won't speak at the Conference if we don't, and our first choice, Ron Popeil, turns out to be dead. We want to give the Doodie to the Negress because she's cool and, well, now that Obama has made it hip, it just made sense, but we have to give it to Heimoff. By the way, that voting thing, well, let's just say the WBA uses the same vote counting technique as Kim Jong Il. There are always fools that vote and believe the popular vote carries 50% of the weight. Sure it does. And Kobe Bryant never travels. We, the judges, picked eight winners and thirty-two randomly generated competitors. You don't think we read all that blog crap, do you? Have you read Bigger Than Your Head? The guy writes like Ted Kaczynski, but without the interesting hobbies.
You weren't nominated this year and you won't ever be nominated. You suck. All you do is insult the art of wine blogging as exemplified by our fine nominated wine blogs. These are blogs that are as comfortable and predictable as a "Gilligan's Island" rerun, but with far less drain on the intellect. The nominated blogs know that their job is marketing. Their job is to sell pedestrian wines and fraudulent gadgets and sanctimonious events nonstop and without questions. Is this so hard to understand, CrapMeister? You weren't even close to being nominated. We almost did give you a special award, though. Best Wine Blog to Read Out Loud to Gitmo Detainees.
There's a reason we eleven judges chose to be anonymous, and it wasn't to avoid lobbying from pinhead wine bloggers--as if the predetermined awards could be changed by poorly written emails. We chose anonymity because we deserve it, that's why! Shithead.
Sincerely, The Eleven Wine Blog Award Judges (not one of whom is a marketing person, we swear, not even one of us, why would that be?)
I can't believe you told him. What the fuck were you thinking? You and I had a good thing going. You were the first man in a long time to melt my glacier. You raised the temperature of my globes with your man-made emissions. I worshiped your hanging chad. But now you've gone and ruined it. You just had to brag about it, didn't you, HoseMinuscule? You just couldn't help yourself. And now Al wants a divorce and we have to pretend it's amicable and all just fine for the press, to save Al's jowly face. You just had to post about your affairs with me and Liv Tyler and Robinson Cano, you whore for fame. You just had to declare, "Tipper, Cano and Tyler Too!" Well, I hope you're satisfied. I know I never was.
After 19 years as a Sommelier in Los Angeles, twice named Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers' Association, I moved to Sonoma County to explore the other aspects of the wine business. I've spent, OK wasted, 35 years learning about and teaching about and swallowing wine. I am also a judge at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition--so I can spit like a rabid llama. I know more about wine than David Sedaris and I'm funnier than James Laube. Stay tuned for an informed but jaded view of everything wine and everything else.
What the Critics Are Saying About HoseMaster of Wine
"If you want a great hoot and howl moment or two...go read the HoseMaster's year-end reflections...that guy is without a doubt the funniest SOB in the blog-world...and thank him for having the brains and balls to target his laser of laughter on anybody...HoseMaster for President...HoseMaster for Blogger of the Year...although he would be the first to say the bar is so damn low for that award, he should win it every year..." --Robert Parker
"...With sometimes crude analogies and occasional droppings of f-bombs, Washam cleverly uses satire to expose the underbelly of the wine business. It's often hilarious stuff as long as you're not the one being lampooned. Washam takes no prisoners in skewering all that is silly, stupid, frustrating and pretentious about wine, and his favorite targets are other bloggers and writers. No one is immune."
--Linda Murphy in "Vineyard and Winery Management"
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity." --JancisRobinson.com
"As serious as the world of wine is, it does allow time for humor. Each Monday and Thursday, Ron Washam customarily posts a commentary on his needling wine blog HoseMaster of Wine. Washam, a former sommelier and comedy writer – he might say they are closely related – is the most opinionated, humorous and ribald observer in the wine world. His body of work is irreverent and remorseless. It’s almost always satire and parody, though he occasionally drifts into straight commentary, sometimes even with tasting notes. This past year, one of his posts was named the best of the year in the Wine Blog Awards. His success has spawned several imitations, which in their awkwardness show just how difficult satire is."
--Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/21/6089630/dunne-on-wine-wine-blogs-and-bloggers.html#storylink=cpy
"Please let this guy write the scripts for Saturday Night Live which has gotten so lame...his newest "wisdom" is worth an Emmy....I wonder if he is the genius behind all those Hitler/Parker,etc. clips? No one else is remotely as funny or as talented.And the wine world sure needs someone to poke fun at all the nonsense and phoney/baloney unsufferable crap out there."
"Washam uses his own blog, HoseMaster of Wine, to skewer the industry in general and wine blogs in particular. If your mouse scoots to your browser's close box while reading a wine blog, Washam may be the blogger for you."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Ron Washam, former sommelier, is easily the most bitingly funny blogger/wine writer that we have ever come across. He is an equal opportunity crusader who pillories big wineries and amateur bloggers alike, as well as everything and everyone in between...One needs a sense of humor and a tolerance for earthiness to enjoy reading The Hosemaster. We must have both because this guy deserves a wider audience, in our humble opinion." --Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
"In my opinion, and that of many others, his blog is one of the best. And in terms of satirical or parodic wine blogs, it has no peer. Ron’s alert eye catches every pretense and skewers it with laugh out loud mercilessness."
"This site should carry a warning label. It's sort of a Dave Barry/George Carlin approach to wine. The Hosemaster (real name Ron Washam) skewers fellow bloggers and industry savants with glee, while offering hilarious wine guides such as his Honest Guide to Grapes..."
--Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times
"Washam is a skilled wine judge (I have judged with him) who is willing to judge wine double blind, in public. To my knowledge, Parker does not do this and never has. So Ron's credentials are in place, and so is his sense of the absurd."
--Dan Berger, VintageExperiences
"...I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit..."
"And if any free sites think they can conquer the world, there’s always the Hosemaster to take ‘em down a notch."
--Tyler Colman "Dr. Vino"
"Those of you who know Ron either love or hate him, because he throws jabs like a punch drunk boxer, and we’re all in the firing line. He’ll throw them if he hates you, and he’ll throw them if he loves you. He’s a satirist of exceptional quality."
--Jo Diaz "Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz"
"I must say you are an idiot. I've never liked you. I have no idea why people find you funny."
--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.