Wednesday, September 16, 2020

An Elite Preparing for Seppuku (If They Are Lucky)

 9/8/20 San Francisco Chronicle:

Wine language is so often absurd that it’s a punchline. Notes of smoldering tobacco or forest underbrush or underripe Jonagold apple — it sounds almost farcical in its specificity. Even worse is when the descriptor is inedible. How many people have actually tasted a wet river stone, anyway?

But now, it’s becoming clearer than ever that the conventional language used to describe wine isn’t merely intimidating and opaque. It’s also inextricable from racism and sexism, excluding dimensions of flavor that are unfamiliar to the white, Western cultures that dominate the world of fine wine and reinforcing retrograde notions of gender.

For those who think a white majority is a bulwark against the loss of Western Civilization, how much more WASPy can you get than being the newspaper's wine writer?


Unknown said...

When I was working on an EU funded project analyzing consumer perception of 'quality', two of our team flew to UC Davis to participate in a workshop on Professor Ann Noble's schema for wine-descriptors.

It is all based on multivariate statistics of sensory data from double-blinded taste-testing. Those who use the 'wine wheel' descriptive terms regularly are remarkably consistent both internally (same person test retest days or even moths apart) and externally (consistency person to person, even across different races & cultures).

I think that this is one of the reasons why when a new region of the world becomes suddenly noticed for the quality of its new wines, when you look into vineyard personnel there you will find that the prominent vineyards have one or more UC Davis Viticulture and Enology graduates in key positions, and the others around are copying them.

The same approaches are being applied most comparably in other beverages, but also to food more generally worldwide

It's like the number of crayons in the crayola box - I'm content with 8, and but I can distinguish between the different 'greens' in the 16- and 32-crayon boxes. I understand that others with more visual acuity training may find the differences to be really important between the green crayons "shamrock" and "carribean green" or between Crayola "mountain meadow" and jungle green". But for me, I wouldn't be able to pick out which was which without the printed label.

So yes, we rib people who talk about the distinction between aquamarine and turquoise, but although there are certainly poseurs, to say that "excluding dimensions of flavor that are unfamiliar to the white, Western cultures that dominate the world of fine wine and reinforcing retrograde notions of gender" is pretty much the opposite of the truth, and those who say it would know it to be false if they had even read one (pre-controversy) wikipedia article on the subject.

Che Dolf said...

Clayton, I asked a few posts back, "how many conservative white candidates for statewide or national office can you name who got the support of a majority of non-white voters in their district?" You can't name even one.

Instead, you offer two substitute bits of evidence to make the argument that conservatives shouldn't worry about racial demographics.

1) Black and Hispanic Californians voted for Proposition 8.

2) A single non-white demographic (Cubans) in one state (Florida) supports Trump in 2020.

These are weak counter-examples when you have no evidence at all that non-whites in aggregate will vote for conservative white candidates. Virtually nothing in the U.S. is decided by referendum. And if we did determine policy that way, the 2nd Amendment would be doomed in the relatively near future (check the numbers). The three most fanatically anti-gun states are the ones with the highest percentage of foreign born citizens. Not a coincidence.

Non-white Americans, particularly blacks, tend to be remarkably tribal in their voting. Look, for example, at how blacks who self-describe as "conservative" voted in lockstep to give Obama a second term. The Democratic left understands all this perfectly well, which is why they celebrate immigratation-driven "diversity." See for example this (California) and this (Virginia).

You want to mock the possibility that "a white majority is a bulwark against the loss of Western Civilization," but a glance at the demographic voting patterns that drove Trump's 2016 election should correct your misunderstanding of the problem. The numbers are unambiguous: a non-white electorate would have given Hillary Clinton an unprecedented landslide victory.

Clayton Cramer said...

Che: No question that non-whites (really most blacks and many Hispanics) overwhelmingly vote left. But I do not see that as inevitable. There are an increasing number of blacks who figured out that they were played by Obama, and this is why Trump's black numbers are better than for many previous Republicans.

Tying an ideology to race is what the left has historically done. We are better than that. Ideas matter, not race.