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Alice, glad you decided to write about this after all. The more voices the better on this topic. Especially now that some of Bressan's friends in the Italian press have decided to write pieces suggesting that, despite the offense given, people should still buy Bressan's wines.


Thanks, Alder. Thanks for the encouragement. It is important and the more I thought about it, the more it was clear I had to write something. Could have written a whole book about the issue, there's a lot to dig.

Brigitte Armenier

As harvest is underway, this case of severe verbal diarrhea caused by excessive fermentation should maybe raise the suspicion of a professional disease?

Seriously: through its animalization, stereotypes and "pest-control strategy," Mr. Bressan's comment has displayed a fine example of social Darwinist thinking. So far, I agree with you Alice, case closed.

On the other hand, don't you think that we should be careful not to fall into the trap of the other face of this very type of thinking, i.e., the mechanistic reduction and "equal" comparison of an individuality (Mr. Bressan) to some other distinct individualities (here Picasso, Philip Roth and Ezra Pound)? In so doing, we eradicate a human being's personal biography always "in becoming" within a specific context. With this movement of objectification, we deprive this man/woman of his/her uniqueness, freedom and responsibility.

And as we know, it is both animalization and objectification which start and nourish wars.



Excellent, excellent piece.

I must ask, though, who is the perpetual wife beater? Can you not name names because of fear of libel?


Thanks, David. And exactly, I can't divulge. It's not really public knowledge.


Brigitte, Thanks for your comment. My purpose was not to be reductive or draw any analogy. My point was that the situations, in fact, are entirely different.

James Silver

At first I was put off by the Ezra Pound (et. al) comparisons until I realized that old Ezra himself might have the answer to the violent collision of racism and artistry that is Bressan...

Pound said of himself in 1967 "...anything I’ve done has been an accident, in spite of my spoiled intentions the preoccupation with stupid and irrelevant matters ... but my worst mistake was the stupid suburban anti-Semitic prejudice, all along that spoiled everything .... I found after 70 years that I was not a lunatic but a moron. I should have been able to do better ... "

Couldn't it be that perhaps Bressan is simply a moron?

James Silver

Paula "Deen" not "Dean" by the way.


James, Am grateful for that.

Cutter Knox

Well, it's not always easy to be politically astute and morally correct in our consumerism. I wish there was an easier way to discern a company's politics. Take the company Curves for example. Apparently the people that own this are extreme right-wingers and donate largely to those causes. So whenever I know women who talk about going there, I inform them.

And it's rampant. Take Unilever and their Dove campaign for "real beauty". Well that'd be super and all if they weren't the same people making Axe products and doing a 180 where men and women are both treated reprehensibly.

I guess my point is it's hard enough knowing what the major corporations are doing, and who they donate to, so picking out a few winemakers out of the 10's of 1000's out there around the globe is the proverbial needle in the haystack.

And then there's being too politically correct as it were. Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade. And if people are going to flip out over it then the problem is with them being over sensitive. Much like your cheese analogy.

And as always, George Carlin said it best....

George Carlin on "soft language"

Brigitte Armenier

But Alice, could you come to the conclusion that "the situations, in fact, are entirely different," had you not first presupposed an analogy at some level?

By the way, what about scientists, mathematicians, economists etc? Why choose artists only? Maybe because the mechanisms of cultural hegemony are insidious and multiform :)

The sole relevant situation here is Mr. Bressan's one, and needs no more than being understood in the light of its own individual and collective context.

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