Remember High School? I bet you think you do,--the problem is that for most of us as we grow older, those memories have become vague, slathered over by years of TV sitcoms and movies, a plaster of idiocy telling us how High School actually was. It has become a familiar cautionary tale, a staple of sitcoms and a host of ill conceived cheerful movies. How the jocks accost and bully the poor Nerds, shoving their heads in the toilet, how the sensitive but underthatgreenDolceGabbanasweater gracefully lithe and muscular male manages to negotiate the thin line between 'nerddom' and 'jockdom' and therefore attract the bevies of panting females who have just been waiting for a man who will not submit to to becoming mere charachiture.
Me? I don't remember any of those people, I don't think the word nerd had been invented yet. If anything preoccupied me during those years (besides the intense yearning for a series of unattainable females) it was the question of who was most likely to be shortly turned into a game of tic-tac-dead in Vietnam.
I was probably what the movies would call a nerd, I got really good grades, I found the academic work at once easy and challenging, and I occasionally smoked pot with my friends (or maybe it was banana skins, I don't remember) and played in the orchestra. I never had my head shoved down the toilet. I didn't even know who the
captain of the football team was (to my embarrassment), I didn't even go to the prom.
On my biggest date of my senior year, strolling down the Ocean Parkway bridle path I saw a man shot and bleeding out through the knees. My date, believe it or not whose name was I think Buffy, was really nice about the whole thing and handled it better than me actually, much better, but honestly it kind of turned me off to dating for a while.
Anyway, the point is that the easy stereotypes that we are offered as 'options' for self-characterization are always to some extent harmful in that the permit us to ignore our actual life experiences. Whether it involves becoming a 'good ole boy' in the south or falling into the jock-nerd dichotomy in High School, they all encourage us to become something we are not for the sake of easy classification.
In America it seems, everything is destined to be turned into a cautionary tale sooner or later. Beverages have likewise fallen into this same puerile pattern, beer is for jocks, wine is for nerds,--it is somewhat understandable, just imagine the contest in the movie 'Beerfest' conducted with Sauvignon Blanc--the butchness just disappears completely. Anyway, we should understand one thing, the rest of the world is not this way,--the foolish characitures by which we misremember our lives somehow do not obtain there, or at least they do in some way which is incomprehensible to the casual tourist. I don't know why this is,--I grew up here remember, but having traveled in Europe I got the picture to some extent, the effeminate, intellectual image of the wine drinker simply does not apply there.
Anyway, don't get me wrong, I love good beer, always have, but the next time you are gathered in front of the telly with a bunch of guys watching the Super Bowl, try asking for a nice Cab Franc, see what happens, maybe you'll get your head stuck in the toilet, maybe not --but remember this, at least there is a slim to none chance you will get shipped off to Vietnam.