In my previous item I wrote of the bullshit imbued world of art criticism and the unadulterated nonsense many reviewers indulge in, particularly with so-called installation art. Tracy Emin’s unmade bed, capturing both awards and rave reviews, epitomised this. It was an unmade bed for God’s sake and had no artistic or creative aspects. But I also raised the possibility there was another activity which attracted similar hyperbolic imagination and excessive verbiage, and that is wine criticism.
Cathay Pacific’s first-class passengers’ wine list currently includes “Chris Ringland Shiraz Barossa Valley 2007” and is described so (I’m not making this up). “Aromas of Christmas pudding, chocolate raisins and brambleberry jam with hints of spices and vanilla; a velvety palate with wild blackberries and smoky biscuit dough; a fresh finishes fresh, with lingering dark chocolate and rhubarb compote.” That, I’m sure readers will agree, is world-class bullshit. I especially liked a “fresh finishes fresh” gibberish. To write this nonsense requires either insanity or an obsession with piss-taking. If the latter, then I concede it must be a fun career and frankly would thoroughly enjoy a few days at it myself.
Mind you, to an extent I did in writing my 2003 novel True Facts. This was about a newspaper targeting the underclasses in which all the “news” was made up. Writing that made me realise what fun the poseur art and wine reviewers have. I had stories such as “Boy born with horses head due to sperm bank balls-up”, “600 lbs. woman marries 68-year-old retired jockey” – you get the picture.
Here’s an interesting point re this issue. To the best of my knowledge all the bullshit purveying art and wine critics are male. Why? Do women lack the imagination? That’s one possibility, but my explanation based on extensive and diverse experiences with the buggers is they don’t like taking the mickey and see it as unkind to mislead the innocent.