Mad politicians got it all wrong
It's the winer mobs that's BAD
by PHILIP WHITE
John Rau and Campbell Newman have got it all wrong. Forget bikers. You want gangs with barricades? Check the wine mobs. Some hide behind walls of old worn out oak. For ramparts, others prefer ivory towers, or mansions on the swill. Some of the Petroleum Hair division wear real tight suits too small for a properly-developed person. You got your Bespectacled Marketing Mavens and their High-Heeler sub-branch and now and then you strike the Blazer Mob who drive German tanks and insist on fortresses of expensive new wood. Some of these attempt supremacy through their Family First splinter group.
Many of these, especially the hard-core cadre who dress like construction workers, nurse a blind faith that they can build an empire from sawdust, shavings and chips if there's enough plastic, colorbond and stainless steel around to contain it.
These Hardhats usually work for the Blazer Mob, but pretend they don't. Their secretive surveillance/white supremacy wing makes wines in refineries with no oak at all. They've moved from currants to water.
Obviously never thought of calling it Savigniño.
There's the quietly smouldering platinum lasses with a grandchild or two in the out-of-tune convertible who prefer their tincture in a chrome handbag, and then the Lurch and Morticias who avail themselves of every single free tasting in every pub and every bottle-o and sometimes fit in five or six in a row on a successful Saturday after the Central Market. Many of these are retired schoolteachers who expect individual bills in restaurants because you had a slice of bread which they refuse to pay for because they didn't.
Because of our belief in the weight of solid rock my loose lot's under constant attack from the Whitecoats who slither like Gollums in the hallowed halls of academe, insisting their regime can overcome all of nature, geology especially. They reckon the rocks are all in my head.
Then there's these new tribes of Hillsbillies who decry all the above and let their wine happen the way it occurred before science: away back before we even learned to think.
Just as the heathen live on the heath, as the wild haunt the wilderness and the bogans relish their bogs, these Hillsbillies live in hilly forested country or beside it and by shaman ritual convince themselves that all the rest of us are not attacking them to counteract their previous imagining that we were.
But punk was more of a reaction against the mascara'd platform heel glamrock crowd and the fried shoegazer jammin doodle hippy mob which was the musical equivalent of these Hillsbilly winos anyway.
The other difference is that punk was actually a new invention. Before they appeared, there was nobody like The Ramones. In contrast, orange, bearded and brown wines are not new. In musical terms, they are not punk. In some ways, they're the the vinous equivalent of the finger-in-the-ear folksingers who began somewhere around Richard the Lionheart or the Magna Carta or somewhere and the fanatics in the fifties and sixties who believed that blues could be sung only by impoverished blind black men in patched bib overalls. They bring to mind the sanctimonious duffel coated types who, having heard that a similar thing had happened the year before at Newport, got up and stalked out of the Palais behind The Exeter when Bob Dylan brought The Band on stage and plugged in a Stratocaster.
At first I thought, that to find their recipes, the Hillsbilly wine movement would never reach as far back in history as Nero, Caligula and Claudius, who to crazy effect drank wine stabilised by red lead, but fact is they stretched even further back into the pre-stabilisation epoch, before the sommeliers of the ruling classes tried some science to make the wines taste better and last longer.
Of course natural wines have their place and their market, and when their producers admit the existence of alchemy, even science, the wines can sometimes be wondrous burnished mysteries, if a tad ephemeral - the worst have the shelf life of unpasteurised milk. Thing is, this rebellion's a kick in the teeth of the university Whitecoats who train Hardhat winemakers at the Waite, and all the mobs who follow.
How long will it last? Probably as long as it did before the very recent Whitecoats invented refinery wine in conjunction with the Blazers and their armies of hi-res Hardhat drones. Like five or six thousand years.
Way back there in the smoke and the fiddling and Caligula making his horse a Senator one bright spark even abandoned the lethal lead business and began burning brimstone - sulphur - in the barrels.