THIS IS THE BORING BIT EXPLAINING THE RATIONALE: TODAY’S POST IS THE NEXT ONE DOWN.
A year ago (May 2016) when I started my daily rant about stuff ( an excuse to invent random reasons to get drunk) – my idea was to celebrate the Zen like qualities of wine. It’s a drink of the moment. It’s something to stop time when time goes too slowly or too quickly.
It’s all about enjoying the here and now. And I wanted the site to reflect that – to post something funny, moving or just me going on about some stuff and then delete it the next day. All of that is gone; move on. This, after all is the ethos of fine wine and fine company. We all fuck up, we all occasionally get it magically right. And then the sun sets and rises and off we go again.
But, it didn’t work. Occasionally I’d get comments (from my solid readership of four) and not be able to reply. Or people would look for the link from Twitter days later and it was no more. So I’m changing it.
So, this year, I’M GOING TO LEAVE THE FUCKING POSTS ON HERE FOR EVER LIKE A NORMAL BLOG!!!!!! (It might double my readership, who knows….)
Anyway we’ll see.
But, just to be different, I’m giving the site a theme tune to be played whilst reading the posts. ‘All the wine’ by TheNational. I’ll post it at the top of all the posts. Click it, it’ll open in a different tab and then read the post. Even if what I write is shit, the song is genius.
We are, after all, festivals, parades: we are drinkers of wine.
Jazz and wine. It’s ace! It’s like olives and wine. Risotto and wine. Pizza and wine. Cheese and wine. Wine and wine. It makes all the shit and the detritus of the day just slip away and get washed away down the drain like after an almighty rain storm.
And today is Fats Waller’s birthday. He was born in 1904 and his innovations in the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. In other words he was – like whoever first had the idea of fermenting grape juice – an absolute genius.
Listen to him play (and sing) It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie here and, as you feel all the day’s stress begin to slip away, slowly open a bottle of wine and imagine yourself in some speakeasy looking sophisticated and cool. (In reality you’ll probably just look slightly drunk but – as I’ve no time for sin (or the truth) if it gets in the way of a better self image – let’s not give it too much thought.)
Waller was once kidnapped to be the surprise guest at Al Capone’s birthday bash and, allegedly, left three days later extremely drunk with his pockets stuffed with tips. Even this intoxicated, he was no doubt still playing the coolest stuff imaginable when the rest of us would struggle to string three words together – let alone see the piano keys.
Anyway, too much talk – let’s boogie, let’s drink …..
A quote: ” Here’s to our guest — Don’t let him rest, But keep his elbow bending. ‘Tis time to drink — Full time to think Tomorrow — when you’re mending.” ~”To Our Guest,”Toasts for the Times in Pictures and Rhymesby John William Sargent, 1904
James Stewart was born today in 1908. A truly iconic actor and, on the whole, maker of great films – think Harvey, think It’s a Wonderful Life. Thankfully – as yet – no one has had the “great” idea of remaking them. (They did remake Rear Window though for some bizarre reason. Thankfully it flopped and can be pretty much forgotten about alongside remakes of things like Psycho, Sergeant Bilko and the Lady Killers.)
I watched these kind of films with my nan on a Sunday afternoon in her council flat when I was a young lad. She sort of fancied Gregory Peck – but that’s a different story. Some of these old films were total shite but others – like the ones mentioned – just took my breath away. Think seeing North by Northwest aged about ten and suddenly understanding what suspense was.
And I remember seeing Harvey really clearly. It’s a classic. And rightly so. (My kids don’t like it – it doesn’t go flash, bang, wallop enough or have frequent recaps in case your goldfish brain forgot what it was about and no one like Beyonce pops up in the middle of it to sell you Coca Cola. Oh well, it’s there loss…..)
Stewart’s character is a man who frequents bars and appreciates the joy of slowly watching the world go by accompanied by his imaginary rabbit Harvey (a pooka) – everyone else thinks he’s a nutter when, actually, he’s the only sane one among them. (you can watch James – and Harvey – in tip top form (and in a bar) HERE.
This is a state familiar to wine drinkers who are frequently the only voice of truth and reason in the room. So, in honour of James, his super films and all of our imaginary friends (and my long gone nan), lets get stupidly drunk and watch some old black and white movies.
A quote: “There are two reasons for drinking: one is, when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it…. Prevention is better than cure.” ~Thomas Love Peacock,Melincourt, 1817
Today in 1962 Marilyn Monroe sang her iconic rendition of Happy Birthday to John F Kennedy.
As a man who’s tried (and failed) to get similar super hot birthday wishes sung to myself on regular occasions – not always my birthday – but who has so far failed dismally can i just pass on some posthumous congratulations to JFK.
To be fair it probably only happened because he was banging her brains out (and she his) but, even so, these things don’t happen like clockwise; they take work and commitment. Mrs Drink Wine Today – despite my being her “Go To” Love Machine – has stunningly failed to wear a sheer, tight fitting dress, lean on a lectern in a crowded room and sing a popular tune to me in a way that made me think about sinful passion in a hotel room. (She’s good at other stuff though so let’s not lose the plot.)
But hey ho – you can’t have everything in life so tonight I’ll watch the iconic clip and then drown my sorrows with fantastic glass after glass of vino. Hopefully Mrs Drink Wine will suddenly burst in and sing me Humpty Dumpty dressed as an egg. (Or something like that.)
Oh, and its the royal wedding if you like that kind of stuff…..
A quote: “Don’t trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover.” Jimmy Breslin.
Who – besides from us committed wine drinkers – gets a bit agitated if they don’t get a regular shot of their favourite red coloured beverage? That’s right, Dracula! And, funnily enough, today in 1897 Bram Stoker’s vampire classic was published by Archibald Constable and Company in London.
It must be a sign to drink, stay up all night and then drink some more. Oh and to eat something super rich that is full to the brim of garlic. And to act all super confident, seductive and immortal as if you’ve got an eternity to make your dreams come true. Maybe seduce someone. Maybe wear a big cloak and talk about hearing wolves – the children of the night – to your inept fuckwit boss.
It’s a perfect wine day in other words.
A quote: “Here’s to a temperance supper, With water in glasses tall, And coffee and tea to end with— And me not there at all.” ~A Plate of Toasts, collected and passed along by Edwin Osgood Grover, 1916
Once more we use the glory of science as an excuse to celebrate the chemical reactions that lead to grapes fermenting and, in turn, to the body experiencing that delirious giddiness of being ‘slightly drunk on wine.’
Because today in 1967 The Butler Act, a Tennessee statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution, was repealed after 42 years of religion peddling fairy tales to kids. Result!
It always amazes me how people who are ‘anti science’ process the world; it must be like being a role player in a Disney film as magical inexplicable things unravel around you.
I like my world to be based on peer reviewed, concrete facts, thanks, that change the second we find out something new. It’s far more exciting than thinking we were designed on golden paper in Heaven or that fossils are the work of the devil. (Even my friend Jamie The Satanist knows that evolution is true and he worships the devil!) And – just to annoy the religious nut jobs some more – it’s International Day against Homophobia when rational folk – like me and (hopefully) the majority of people who read my online daily rants – say we’re not bothered what gender of people fall in love with what gender and that sexuality probably isn’t something Jesus would have been that bothered about when churches were rolling in money and millions of people were dying in wars and famines everyday. (Just saying …..)
So I’m drinking to support everyone who ever fell in love (or lust) with everyone and everyone who celebrates the glory of blind chance every time they raise a glass to their lips with that really useful (undesigned) opposable thumb. (Interestingly WordPress highlights opposable as an error; who owns this site then? Conspiracy?)
A quote: “Come, landlord, fill a flowing bowl, until it does run over; To-night we all will merry be, to-morrow we’ll get sober.” ~Popular song, c.1700s
A sad reason to drink wine today – on this day in 1984 American comic Andy Kaufman died. It’s a perfect night then to watch the movie Man on The Moon and, whilst steadily drinking more and more, discuss whether Andy was a comic genius or something else altogether? (That discussion though is, of course, part of the Kaufman joke.)
Also, as you get steadily more drunk listen to REM sing Man on the Moon or Great Beyond and then go to YouTube and watch endless footage of Kaufman press the buttons of American culture with seemingly endless monologues, female wrestling and crazy puppet shows.
Finally finish off , well and truly smashed, by doing your own Elvis impression whilst standing on the coffee table. Maybe even wrestle ….
These are the moments wine was made for ….
A quote: “Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. ~W.C. Fields
I like my cartoon icons to be much like my real life heroes: a bit anti establishment, a bit anarchic and semi deranged. Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry types – the one’s you wouldn’t trust to look after your house but who you’d recommend to people you didn’t like. The world needs a bit of craziness and comedy violence every so often. So let me come clean right at the beginning _ I don’t actually warm to Micky Mouse. (I’ll probably now end up with Disney hate from those people who walk around wearing mouse ears and singing songs from Frozen under their breath.) But he always seems a bit of a do gooder, a bit of a god botherer type who always wants to do something worthy. In short he’s a bit too wholesome and ‘vanilla’ to tick my boxes. (Oh and he’s a mouse which doesn’t actually endure him to me.)
But – because I’m an openhearted kind of guy – I’ll ignore all of these negative things and happily use the squeaky rodent as an excuse to open up a bottle of wine to celebrate the fact that today in 1928 he made his debut in Plane Crazy. You can watch the whole thing HERE on YouTube.
(My one other Disney fact is that Walt, apparently, couldn’t get it up.)
A quote: (and one that Disney folk wouldn’t like!) “What is your advice to young writers?”
“Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.” Bukowski.
Talking Heads front man artist (and all round genius) David Byrne was born today in Scotland in 1952. As previously discussed at length in this blog, I like people who appear to do what the fuck they like and Byrne seems to fall strongly in this camp. As I saw in the comments to some youtube video of him playing live (wearing a head to foot purple furry suit): “It’s fucking fantastic because David Byrne thinks it’s fucking fantastic and very soon everyone else realises it’s fucking fantastic.” (Or words to those effects.) And it’s true – his sheer force of will makes what he does magical.
This site now has a theme tune. Go to YouTube and search The National All The Wine. Listen and read.
Talking Heads don’t sound dated, Stop Making Sense remains one of the greatest music movies ever made and “This Must Be The Place” remains one of the very few songs that can actually make the tears well up in my eyes because it’s so beautiful and expresses – somehow – what love is about. For these reasons alone it’s worth putting on a Talking Heads play list – or even just a David Byrne one as his solo stuff is good too – and getting drunk.
Today in 1965 The Rolling Stones recorded the anthem of wine drinkers at the end of a long night drinking and sharing the love: Satisfaction.
You know that feeling – like when is not being quite complete, when the movie is good, when the risotto feels nutritious but not the stuff of culinary dreams. Well – to non drinkers – all these things are catastrophic and explain why they walk around with that easy to spot beaten look on their faces and the screaming desire to make life a misery for others.
But for us – for the elite elite troupe of wine guzzling disciples of Bacchus – these trifling problems are easy fixed. We simply lean across to that big bottle pile in the corner – where we used to keep unimportant stuff like bills, photos and ornaments (the type of stuff those hoarders on television can’t be bothered to get rid of) – and we grab the first bottle to hand, open it and watch as the magic seeps out.
That day? Suddenly fucking spectacular!
That movie? It should clean up at the Oscars.
That risotto? It’s Michelin starred.
Welcome to the world of wine. Transforming worlds since the year dot.
So put on The Stones – let’s get drunk.
A quote: “He who knows how to savor will no longer drink wine but rather taste secrets.”Dali.