After a brief stop at a California vineyard, I was amazed by the photos around the place; mostly by how cliched they all were. Apparently, it is impossible to show grapes of any sort without them having that morning dew look to them (though likely, it would be from the watering systems that vineyards set up). The wine was fine, but the whole vineyard experience in general is so overly precious that my eyes hurt from quietly rolling.
When I got home to Boston (pre-Thanksgiving), I took my phone camera to the ivy berries growing on the west side of the house. Boston Ivy grows tiny beautiful-but-toxic berries in the autumn as the leaves begin to fall, and I decided to get VERY pretentious with some home photographin'.
Not cliched enough.
A spritz with the water bottle...
Morning dew magic. If only I could talk
annoyingly about the sun and the soil.
Cropped. There we go. This is the type of trite,
hackneyed crap for which I was hoping.
Men's style and wine very often have many of the same types of players, and the faults are often identical. Recently, I was able to draw some parallels between behaviors I can't stand for wine or for men's style.
-Focusing on clothing or wine (or mentioning either more than once) when you're out or hosting
-Pretending to be an expert on either out of status seeking instead of genuine enthusiasm
-Being constantly critical of items not within your narrow preference
-Insulting one's host in order to further one's agenda (turning a nose up at what is offered)
-Continually redirecting the conversation back towards your analysis and evaluations
-Mistakenly perceiving wine/clothing as providing access to groups traditionally viewed as exclusive
-Not realizing that wine/clothing are components of socializing, and that the focus should be on the comfort of your guests or the conversation with companions, etc.
-Not making decisions for yourself: blindly adhering to antiquated or nouveau notions, criteria, or terms and not unapologetically embracing that which you truly enjoy
-Wasting money on acquisitions purely for the sake of acquisition
-Unskeptically accepting marketing messages about value or worth
-Taking either one too seriously, and by natural extension, your opinions about them. Forgetting that the whole silly thing should be enjoyable
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Of course this list can apply to nearly anything; modern art and trendy food quickly come to mind. My (almost five year old) son indicated his displeasure recently at a gallery when he told a staff member that "it looks like just scribbles and trash". He was right. I have always been an advocate for calling crap crap, even if you are the only one who thinks so. The lone voice of dissent often kindles courage in others, occasionally resulting in a small vocal faction correctly yelling bull$h!t at the emperor's new clothes.