Clouds In My Coffee
Jack Turner has in inspiring piece in this week’s New Yorker about the return of absinthe, in which he profiles Ted Breux, an absinthe “restorer.” Leaving New Orleans, one day before Katrina struck, Breux rescued only “a guitar, some vintage firearms, and a collection of hundred-year-old absinthes,” which seems to me to be a very wise decision.
Screw the pets, leave Spike and Missy to fend for themselves. Animals are perfectly capable of surviving in extreme situations; that’s why instincts were invented. Yet hundred-year-old bottles of absinthe are left completely immobilized, helpless to refurbish themselves. This is especially so in an age where the pastime of absinthe drinking has apparently died.
I’ve experienced absinthe before, yet I’m not sure now if it was the real thing. What I drank tasted more like a cup of Windex, although it did make me laugh uncontrollably and turn on my partner in crime, after he morphed into a talking cockroach. According to Breaux, however, “there are only a few dozen people alive who have had the opportunity to taste authentic absinthe.” So maybe I was just experimenting with Windex flavored vodka?
What we have here is an honest to goodness American hero: Ted Breux. Personally, I love addictions, they make people human. Addictions are a clear window to one's weakness and we all have them. It's just that some people choose really boring addictions, like Diet Coke. By restoring the absinthe addiction of the 18th Century, Breux is doing his fellow Americans a favor.
We are lacking in exciting addictions these days. Most drugs are either too expensive or life threatening and plain old booze only stimulates for so long. We need the return of absinthe, at least in order to provide some kind of renaissance to American recreation. The New Yorker, in publishing this article the week after Mardi Gras, and with that, the restoration of the city of New Orleans, is pointedly encouraging addiction.
Hopefully, by the time you get to the U.S.,Toby Shuster, of Jerusalem, Breaux will have succeeded with this restoration and we can go out for some absinthe after we watch a crappy movie.