It all came full circle last night. For Hennacornoeliday (our most awesome family holiday and namesake of this blog) Corey got me a bunch of travel oriented books that included David Mamet’s South of the Northeast Kingdom. A collection of thoughts strung together like essays then put into chapters, the book perfectly captures the magic of Mamet’s Vermont. Corey also bought herself Tenth of December by George Saunders (a clever but maybe over rated collection that seems to repeat the same short story over and over). Last Sunday the front page of the Arts and Entertainment section of the Tribune featured a fawning article on George Saunders and a piece by Chris Jones discussing David Mamet’s recent embrace of nutty NRA politics.
I do not think I have ever felt cooler than I did in that moment. The Chris Jones article concerning David Mamet aluded to how surprised some of his fans are by his almost Rush Limbaugh stand on handguns. There could not have been to much of a surprise for anyone who had read his Vermont book as he frequently talks about his love of hunting and collecting guns. In that same book he slams the Bush administration for its escalating war in Iraq and Afghanistan and subtly but firmly defends same sex marriage (a hot topic in early 2000 Vermont). Above all else, however, is his fawning over hand crafted goods. Mamet is definitely a man who appreciates a sweater woven by hand and worn by generations (where the stain of human urine, used in the processing of the wool, is present for years after receiving the gift). Our own quick impressions of the state confer with Mamet. Not only are Vermont’s byways populated with an abundance of hand made goods, but the population consumes (often literally as it would be hard to find any Vermont native who admits to using Aunt Jemima over the good stuff) those same goods.
This brings me to the circle complete. Yesterday night on NPR I heard that Makers Mark (a favorite drink of mine) is going to dilute their product by 3% http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-11/news/chi-makers-mark-water-20130211_1_maker-s-mark-jim-beam-bourbon-drinkers due to an increase in demand. So, instead of allowing the market to inflate the cost of their product, a good honest one that has brought joy to many a Hennacornoeli Day celebration, they are going to cheapen it in order to make more money. They have every right to do so. But I know David Mamet would not approve and neither do I. Noel Schecter
Update: After a lot of angry customers weighed in, Makers Mark changed their mind and decided not to water down their product. I like to think it was this post that sealed the deal.