Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
King_Stannis

An article I wrote for our hometown free paper

Recommended Posts

Recently I wrote an article on absinthe for our local free paper (revenue generated by ads) which finds itself in just about every bar around here as well as tons of other places. It's called the Erie Reader, and it's a pretty good publication. The issue that hits the stands today has my article in it, and they also maintain a website for the stuff they print, too. I have proviided the link below.

 

Hopefully this will get a few people to try it. It's a very top level piece written for the layman. I just tried to touch on the history, explode some of the more common myths and give some pertinent buying information for the folks around here.

 

Hope you like it.

 

http://www.eriereader.com/topics/food-drink/absinthe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done. You should have made personal preference about VC and Lucid more obvious as being that. Lucid has improved a decent bit, and while some prefer VC, it ain't universal. But other than that nitpick, 10X better than most articles. :thumbsup: says I.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great intro to the world of absinthe! As a newb, I really enjoyed and appreciated it. It should spark interest -- be sure to let us know what feedback you receive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moron maybe?

 

I'm re-reading Absinthe, The Cocaine Of The Nineteenth Century right now and I got a real kick out of this passage originally by George Saintsbury:

 

"A person who drinks absinthe neat deserves his fate whatever it may be, the flavor is concentrated to repulsiveness, the spirit burns like a torch-light procession". And besides the person loses "all the ceremonial and etiquette which make the proper fashion of drinking it delightful to a [person] of taste."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice article!

 

There might be a couple of small inaccuracies which I hope you don't mind me mentioning.

 

Like you, I'd always thought that the French military use of absinthe was to combat malaria. But apparently it was not specifically for that. I've been picked up on that point beforehand myself. A French blogger corrected me on that a couple of years stating "absinthe did not prevent malaria, it prevented ciguatera, among other things."

 

Secondly I think the relative consumption of absinthe v. wine in France has been somewhat exaggerated, and I probably do that myself too! However, the numbers suggest a slightly different picture. Absinthe's peak year in France (1910) saw sales of 36 million liters. In the same year, the French drank almost 5 billion liters of wine.

 

Hope you don't mind the minor corrections. As I said, it was a nice article, and we need many more like it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem Alan, thanks for the correction. I had thought based on what I had read and saw from Ted Breaux in the absinthe documentary that the wine industry was devastated from the phyloxera epidemic. They certainly gave the impression the wine industry was down and out for at least a few years.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"In France, total wine production fell from 84.5 million hectolitres in 1875 to only 23.4 million hectolitres in 1889." So, yes, it was devastated, and absinthe did benefit from that. But absinthe sales in its peak year of 1910 were still a long, long way behind French wine's worst years.

 

23. 4 million hectolitres = 2.34 billion litres, against absinthe's peak of 36 million litres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done! One always places one's head on a chopping block so to speak when writing an article. There are so many ways things can go wrong. Editors will even change something you write every so often without telling you, among other things. The article is informative, and you came from a good place; so many do not, often saying ridiculous things based on all the mis-information out there, and sometimes, to further their agenda...like sales of their fake absinthe for instance.

 

The only part I had a brief moment of pause with, was the intro sentence: "In 2007 absinthe, the shadowy drink of poets and artists from the Bell Époque."

This is how absinthe is perceived by many, and though yes, many artists enjoyed absinthe, it was really a drink of the people, and there was nothing shadowy about it, other than its louche. Absinthe was part of popular culture, and was enjoyed by many many people. The artists were in the minority. No harm done though! Again, nice job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Scott. The only reason I would stick with the shadowy term is that, for better or worse, that is how it is perceived. I saw this firsthand when some of my coworkers read it. Most had never heard of it or believed the sinister reputation it had. On the positive side almost everyone who read it said it was informative. I think I did a decent job stating that the drink was once quite popular before the banning. Keep in mind too I had to make the article somewhat entertaining. A completely dry history would have bored most of the people apt to read this.

Edited by King_Stannis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand. As I said, nice job! My point is that I like to take the opportunity to debunk the "shadowy mythology" when we can... your article presents absinthe well,

and it is among the better short articles I've seen out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point is that if we love absinthe, want it do well, and see its makers prosper, debunking the nonsense and cliches is important.

Playing on cliche mythology does nothing but keep people from understanding what absinthe is really all about. Too many hype this mythology, and it

does nothing but damage. Being banned by nonsense and lies does not make something shadowy, it makes it an innocent victim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point is that if we love absinthe, want it do well, and see its makers prosper, debunking the nonsense and cliches is important.

Playing on cliche mythology does nothing but keep people from understanding what absinthe is really all about. Too many hype this mythology, and it

does nothing but damage.

 

Agreed, which is why the plethora of articles that actually do this are, to varying degrees, worthy of derision. That makes your apparent fixation over the word "shadowy" a bit puzzling.

 

Being banned by nonsense and lies does not make something shadowy, it makes it an innocent victim.

 

To paraphrase Songcatcher, isn't it both?

 

Look, I'm not a professional writer but I've gotten a few things published nationally. The article was actually constructed in a certain way. Like it or not, many people have a perception of the drink as a hallucinogenic substance. The word "shadowy" at the beginning addresses that perception while not hyping it in any way. It also sets it up for later in the article when it is clearly revealed that the drink is not a hallucinogen and is no more or less harmful than any other spirit.

 

I think you've got a minor case of not seeing the forest through the trees, here, Scott.

 

 

I'm starting to gain a lot more sympathy for people who are quoted out of context in the paper or on the news.

Edited by King_Stannis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relax my friend...what part of nice job didn't you understand? :drunk: I have been a columnist for several magazines, and trust me, I know about the chopping block of writing. My point is a GENERAL one, and not aimed at you. I simply want to see the shadowy reputation of absinthe be dealt with, for many reasons. I (and I'm sure others here as well) am tired of constantly having to explain things to people who have things wrong. Just the other day a customer asked me if I smoke weed. I was stunned, and asked why... he then said "isn't a mellower and safer than that stuff YOU do?" He was referring to absinthe. I said "actually, no... absinthe is no more harmful than any other drink, and it also not illegal." It gets very tiring. So on that note, again, well done, and hopefully my point is clear. Others affixed "shadowy" to absinthe... it was not deserved. I stand by my opinion, and I'm often wrong about many things. Cheers.

 

"I'm starting to gain a lot more sympathy for people who are quoted out of context in the paper or on the news. " You're preachin' to the choir here...trust me!

Edited by Scott M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't belabor the point, and although I understand Scott's knee-jerk response to what might appear to be sensationalism, I read "shadowy" in this instance as more of a cue to the reader who might be less familiar with the topic, simply acknowledging its reputation. Don't forget though, that the word "louche" itself means "shady, dubious, seedy" and "disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way: "the louche world of the theater".

 

Good job, Stannis, and thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, you, taken out of context and vilified for what was a pretty nice interview by a local cub reporter? Nah! ;)/>

 

Agree with Gwydion about the use 'shadowy' in this case, but I also see Scott's view, I can't stand the whole 'mythical green fairy and strange artist angle. I prefer the artisan distiller of mountain herbs angle.

Edited by Père Ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×