40%, agnes repplier, balvenie, bigotry, chaz, chop, comedy, edward gibbon, equality, inequality, jack daniel's, japan, japanese, john cleese, land of the rising sun, marxist, monty python, natural law, racism, russia, seattle, soviet, surgeon, tenjaku, the life of brian, uniqueness, virtue signaling, Whiskey, whisky
For the record, I’m not so willing to lace up my jackboots to march in stride with the masses believing that a wiser, more advanced society is one that is completely blind to the differences between its citizens.
Of course, I’m by no means saying that the unjust treatment of any group is acceptable. In other words, bigotry in any form is bad. Read that again just to be sure you got it. Beyond that previous sentence, what I am saying is that it is, at a minimum, intellectually shallow to live as though the very unique differences that exist between groups of people and the individuals who comprise them don’t matter—that everyone is to be considered equal in every way.
But the current mood in society appears to be one that involves forcing the ideal of absolute equality down the throats of everyone. There seems to be a mass leveling of everyone and everything. In other words, there aren’t people of different nationalities anymore, only humans. There are no genders, only humans. There are no legal or illegal citizens, only humans. There aren’t different levels of success or achievement, only humans. And the list goes on and on. It all sounds so noble in the heat of a noisy protest. It all reads quite virtuously beside a hashtag. It all feels deeply principled when celebrities, corporations, sports leagues, and politicians join in the chanting. And yet, it only takes a splinter of common sense to know it’s an absurdly narrow way of observing people. I mean, you can’t demand that everyone be considered equal and then give preferential treatment to particular races applying for college. That’s reversed prejudice. It’s absurdly hypocritical. And after decades of doing it, it’s the kind of hypocritical absurdity that eventually gives birth to the kind of people who can’t see the foolishness of a six-block partition in Seattle cordoned off and guarded by people with guns who believe America should be gun-free and borderless.
It was Agnes Repplier, the early 20th century American essayist, who warned early radical liberals that if they became unable to see the absurdities being birthed among them, they would very much be in the way of civilization. I think she was right.
Digging a little deeper into forced equality, I used to visit Russia quite frequently. While there, I learned from residents who endured the soviet years that the functioning of Russian society wasn’t so much about employing Marxist doctrines as it was a devolution into making sure whoever didn’t starve to death could perform duties necessary for the basic functioning of the State. An example I can share is one regarding the father of a close friend. He was a renowned surgeon before the revolution. But afterward, they were in desperate need of transportation workers, and so he was assigned the post of bus driver. Unsurprisingly, a fellow doctor in his community who was by no means as skilled as he and yet was much closer to the Communist party leadership, was granted his former position in the local hospital. As a result, no small number of people died unnecessarily.
You might want to be a surgeon. You might even go to school to become one. But if you don’t have the natural intuition or adeptness, you’ll already be lacking in comparison to those who do. People with uniquely natural abilities in any field, no matter what that field may be, are of much greater benefit to a society than even the most educated hopefuls pursuing the same dream.
In another sense, this also applies to biology. A man may want to have a baby. Okay, I can understand even the strangest of human wants. But wants and Natural Law often know very little of one another. Thankfully one of the most important skills to be owned by any society can be found in its comedians. These are the ones willing to observe and communicate society’s absurdities to the rest of us. The gifted troupe known as Monty Python does this well in the film “The Life of Brian” as one male character responds to another male character’s desire to be a woman and have a baby. The surrounding discussion doesn’t necessarily nullify the man’s desires. In fact, everyone on screen begins talking about the man’s right to feel as he does. But by writing it into the script, the words of the resistant character serve to act as a curb to human desire when it’s aimed across the boundaries of Natural Law toward absurdity.
“Where’s (the baby) gonna gestate?” John Cleese’s character asks straightforwardly. “In a box?”
Why would Monty Python make into a laughable scene what for us has become a topic tearing at the fabric of our nation? Because in a very basic way, they understood that a functioning society needs women to be and do what is unique to women, and they need men to be and do what is unique to men, even if only to accept it in a biological sense. It isn’t sexist to believe this. It certainly isn’t bigoted to establish a society upon it. In fact, we stand in the way of civilization when we don’t. When we see everyone as totally equal in every single way, fewer babies will be conceived, and surgeons will be found driving buses instead of saving lives in the operating room.
In many ways, by affirming the differences between us, we help keep society from stalling.
I use to have a stalled view of whisky. I used to think that all whiskies were essentially the same, believing that any would do just as well for the bachelor party or the wedding. In fact, in those days, had you placed a bottle of The Balvenie beside a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, neither would have impressed me. I’d have been more than willing to clean the toilet with either. But then I met a kindly gent in a whisky shop in London who was willing to take time with my ignorance and to show me a better way. He began sharing miniscule sips from various editions throughout the shop, being sure to elaborate on the valuable uniqueness within each one. It was only after I’d become aware of these peculiarities, having tasted the differences and pondered what each brought to the world of whisky, that I truly fell in love with the beverage as a singular race.
Now, consider for a moment the Tenjaku Blended Whisky from Japan.
I would imagine that when most folks think of whisky producing nations, Japan isn’t the first that comes to mind. Admittedly, even as Japan holds a well-earned prestige in the whisky community, it isn’t the most abundant dram to be found on the shelves, which means if you walk into your local liquor store with Scotch or Bourbon on your mind—or worse, thinking that all whisky is just whisky and even these distinctions don’t matter—you’re likely to miss the Japanese stuff altogether. If so, you’d be missing out on a form of greatness that only Japan can bring to the table. Japanese distilleries have been harnessing and offering dimensions of flavor relatively unachievable to other regions. Some have tried to reproduce what the Japanese do naturally, fighting against the winds and waves of a regions natural laws. Nevertheless, the natural abilities of the Japanese distilleries continue to prove Edward Gibbon’s surmising that the “winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.”
The Tenjaku is an inexpensively delicious bit of proof that no one can do Japanese whisky like the Japanese. I say this reminding you of what I said earlier on in this piece, which is that it’s absurd to think it could be any other way. Behold, and see for yourself.
The nose of this blend bears a tad bit of smoke. Not much, but enough to let you know it’s there and streaming between ripened pears sun-warmed and nestled in a bamboo vessel. A sip is a swift stroke of malty caramel and gingered plums. A second sip confirms this.
The finish is longer than you’d expect, settling in past the swallow as Hokkaido milk bread basted with buttered raspberries.
Wonderfully unique and having no equals.
For an inexpensive whisky arriving from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Tenjaku is most certainly worth your time. My recommendation is that you sip and savor it while contemplating just how much longer your tolerance will hold out for the foolishness being exhibited in our land. As I already said at the beginning, for the record, I intend to keep my boots in the closet with this nonsense.