Five to nine

Have a drink.

July 28, 2004

Drinks with Directors

Recently I was lucky enough to have drinks at the Directors Guild of America building. The cocktail conversation was revolving around the Kubrick film we'd all just seen, Paths of Glory. A movie about a french unit forced into an impossible attack with too few men by a zealous general. The movie did not have a moment of levity from 4 minutes into it until that first cocktail. There's an awful feeling that comes with WWI movies. A certain sense of fatalism. It was the last time trench warfare was fought on such a large scale. It was also the first time machine-gun fire was used as a line of defense. This is no coincidence. Such an effective and affecting movie needed just the right drink. Something strong enough to take the edge off, but not so heavy that it would dull your ability to discuss the movie with people who i could learn from. I decided to celebrate the end of the war movie the way some might have celebrated the end of the war, with a Gin and Cointreau cocktail. Zesty and refreshing just like all the good conversation with strangers. The theme of the night was comparing the incompetent general with our own real life commander in chief. It was a nice thought and it brought people out to the movie, however the parallels stand on shaky ground. The general used his unquestionable authority to put his troops in a hopeless position. The goal was in sight but not attainable. In the case of our commander in chief, his authority is questionable because he undermined the very source of it; his goal is an iceberg that Joe Libguilt only sees the tip of, but most importantly, his situation is not hopeless. When i say his goal, I am not naive enough to pretend it was finding WMD and bringing democracy and utopia. Oil is an important and complicated resource. It has many uses, from reprehensible, (like making the already rich superwealthy) to noble (like helping starch farmers in developing nations make more efficient use of their land). There's a billion different things 6 billion different people do with it, and only very few of those things have "alternatives". And in many of those cases the alternatives are the plaything of the haves rather than an actual alternative for the have-nots. We need this oil. Not we Americans, we humans. To leave the last great nearly untapped oil reserve in the hands of a man whose record with natural resources is less than stellar may be viewed as irresponsible on our part. I'm just sayin'.
The arguments against our President are many and valid. But to simplify it as so many have as "Because he started a war instead of pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels" is glib, sad; a sign of ignorance and perhaps most importantly, dangerous.
A tip for mixing thinking drinks. Anything that has gin and something that tastes like fruit in it, will benefit from squeezing half a lemon into it. Also, avoid big cocktails. If you need a drink with some weight, consider lowballs with large ice cubes to keep them from diluting your drink too quickly.

The Delilah

1 shot of gin
1 splash of cointreau
1/2 lemon

Shake hard, take a twist, rim a glass, and sip quickly.


At July 30, 2004 at 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric, not only do you have a really great blog here, but I also agree with your thinking: yes, blood for oil! I mean, that was hardly the only reason for war, and it could never be a decisive reason, but it's certainly a Big Plus for the entire world for Iraq's oil to a) be more efficiently exploited, b) have its profits spread more fairly throughout Iraqi society, and c) not be sold to raise money for Palestianian suicide bombers. it also gives us more leverage against Saudi Arabia (as well as allowing us to get our troops the hell out of there), which is cool.

also, you *know* you owe me a phone call (at least), but you don't know how much we have to catch up on. you'll get a kick out of it, I promise -

John A, 646.734.2709


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