Martini Quotes

"I'm not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube.

I'm talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight.. comfort; redemption and absolution. I'm talking MARTINI.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Savages and Civilization


        It is a characteristic of our refined society I think, that we have the leisure to vacation, to escape the trappings of the modern "rat race" and find our personal idyll, a brief respite to recharge the inner batteries of our soul. Our fore bearers
on the other hand, were much too busy toiling away in order to survive, and vacationing was a luxury not often partaken.  Today we labor for money to acquire things, most of which we don't necessarily need, attempting to fill a void that on closer introspection is probably more easily filled with something a lot closer at hand. Nevertheless, for many of us, particularly in the temperature climes, we look to milder temps, abundant sunshine and warm topaz seas as that place of tranquility.  An island escape seems to offer a slower paced existence, resetting our grasp of what is fundamentally real and personally significant.  But there is another aspect of an island paradise to consider.  Rather than the hula skirts, umbrella drinks and deep tanning oil, consider island life without the hotels, and consider instead the isolation and savagery associated with remote islands and primitive cultures.  And, rather than having the choice to travel there, what if one was forced onto such an island, either accidentally marooned or perhaps even forcibly exiled.  Islands then might be considered a sort of metaphor for a link between the extremes of civilization and savagery.  


     The classic novel by William Golding, Lord of the Flies, explores that very fine line that separates the savage self from the civilized person.  It is the story of a group of private school English boys stranded on a remote tropical island who are forced to police themselves with no adults to answer to. They begin as a single unified group lead by a commonly elected leader Ralph who attempts to maintain order.  They hold meetings announced by the blowing of a conch shell and only the boy holding the conch may speak, but the boys soon separate into two groups: the larger, aggressive hunters led by Jack and the otherwise nameless few who attempt to maintain order led by Ralph. As the storyline of the novel progresses, the boys regress to a more primitive and savage self, spiraling into a world of chaos where fear and evil rule.  The last bastions of an orderly society are, one by one, hunted down and meet their end violently at the hands of their mates.  Ultimately, Ralph survives by sheer chance as a rescue party arrives just as the hunters close in to eliminate Ralph.  It would seem that the author is expressing his view that civilization is a human construct and man at heart possesses but a savage soul.  Maybe, just maybe, the hold we have on a civilized world is perilously tenuous and that what separates civilization with its law and order from savagery and chaos is more a mere crack in the pavement than a continental divide. 


      Let us combat the collapse of civilization armed with a Martini, for nothing conveys the quality of civility like the Martini.  For me, it is the epitome of refinement and elegance, and sometimes elegance can come from a simple understated thing as previously penned in Sometimes Less is More post.  Although Washington Island in Lake Michigan doesn't exactly bespeak of tropical imagery, still it is an island, and Death's Door gin is produced with ingredients produced right there. So this island-made Gin immediately came to mind while reading Lord of the Flies.  Made with only 3 botanicals, coriander, juniper and fennel, it is at once simple yet flavorful.  It makes for a wonderful Martini which is the very definition of sophistication.  It is an unyielding choice for order and civilization over chaos and savagery.  

Consider what Hemingway had to say about the Martini:

"I had never tasted anything so cool and clean."
"They made me feel civilized."

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