The World Wine Web

The World Wine Web

The World Wine Web

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Oct. 7 1999 3:30 AM

The World Wine Web

Subject: Illegal Internet Wine

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From: Paula

Date: Sun Oct 3

As a liquor store owner, I'm not so concerned about my fair state losing out on millions of tax dollars through Internet sales. What does concern me greatly, however, is the fact that I pay $2,000 annually to my local selectmen for the privilege of selling wines in my town. Why should someone from across the country, having paid no licensing fees whatsoever, be able to take potential business away from me? Granted, some locations are state regulated, but for those of us who are privately operated, the idea of someone being allowed to compete with us for free is insulting. I have no problem with competition; just make sure that it's a level playing field.

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Subject: The Spanish Inquisition

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Date: Fri Oct 1

This whole unsavory episode brings back memories of skits with Monty Python! One of my favorite lines was, "You are guilty of six--no, seven--charges of heresy. Of course, the limits of television broadcasting prevent me from presenting a shred of evidence to support them."

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Subject: Bauer and the Press Sharks

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From: pdbrophy

Date: Thu Sept 30

If the behavior of the reporters was so indefensible in your mind, why aren't they identified by name? Professional courtesy?

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Subject: Buchanan and "Anti-Semitism"

From: Jewish in Spirit

Date: Thu Sept 30

Nowhere does Slate prove that the following definition (from the "Anti-Semitism"sidebar) has anything to do with the examples cited in Mr. Buchanan's book: "[Anti-Semitism] is an ideology--an interlocked set of principles and prejudices--in which certain nefarious traits or practices are ascribed to Jews as a people, even when few Jews exhibit those traits or when other people engage in those practices."

Slate proceeds to name very specific individuals, presumably Jews, whose policies Mr. Buchanan takes to task. Where is the generalization to "Jews as a people"? Where does he impugn that only Jews subscribe to such policies? Which of his examples involve "traits or practices"? The examples simply do not support his premise that Mr. Buchanan is prejudiced.

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Subject: For Artists, "Diversity" Doesn't Mean "Catholic"

Date: Thu Sept 30

The uproar by the liberals is understandable. Catholic bashing is OK since it is, a priori, art. Doing the same thing to, let's say, blacks or Jews, is hateful and mean-spirited ...

I do not want my tax money to support trash art, or any art for that matter. If I want to enjoy art, I go to the Met or MoMA in NYC. I pay my admission for the privilege. We have no more business supporting art precisely because one person's art is another person's trash.

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Subject: "Art" Does Not Equal "Beauty"

Date: Fri Oct 1

While the Madonna and dung are certainly (and certainly intentionally) inflammatory, I think there's a bigger and older issue still unresolved. Namely, that the art world thinks that the purpose of art is to expand the boundaries of human perception and to confront our cultural limitations while hoi polloi would be far more likely to define it as to render beauty with skill.

Until curators and critics manage to convince the great unwashed that beauty and skill are irrelevant (or even antagonistic) to art, we will have these contretemps every year or two.

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Subject: "Intrusive" Literary Devices

From: Jon Ihle

Date: Thu Sept 30

So a literary device fails if it is intrusive, destroys the illusion of transparency and calls attention to itself as a construct? Like the final scene of A Winter's Tale, or the last speech of The Tempest? This standard for literary achievement would also discredit any work in the modernist tradition--for example Brecht's and Beckett's plays. You might also have to dump a few classics on the order of Paradise Lost or Tristram Shandy.

It is only a very narrow and very recent tradition in literature that demands we prop up the notion that art should resemble life as closely as possible and in all its probabilities. This doctrine of expressive realism is a nineteenth-century notion that most historically aware writers have moved beyond. At least Morris isn't pretending, like most traditional biographers, that he is in command of some untainted objectivity beyond authorial presence or beyond fiction. The subjectivity of the author is indelible--at least Morris has the guts to expose it.

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Subject: "Normal" Weather?

From: Bill McKibben

Date: Mon Sept 27

I thought Mr. Plotz's article was very funny. But I think he is factually incorrect on the question of whether severe storms are increasing. Across this hemisphere, according to the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, severe storms--meaning more than 2 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period--are up about 20 percent compared with the century average. That's an enormous increase in a baseline physical phenomenon; it's as if you woke up and everyone was suddenly seven feet tall. It begs for explanation, and the most plausible explanation, according to the climatologists, is global warming.

Warm air holds more water than cold air. Hence, a warmed environment (and we've seen the ten warmest years on record since 1980) will see both more aridity (due to increased evaporation) and precipitation (when those clouds finally let loose). This may make me a Greeniac, but I think it actually makes me more like a physicist. If you add more heat energy to a confined space--the atmosphere--that energy is going to express itself, and one way it will do so is with increased rainfall and storminess.

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