Social Entrepreneur Professor Palimpsest at his renowned winery, Château Babeuf.
Bonjour, mes amis! I'm sending in this installment from my artisan winery, which is magnificently situated in the picturesque Côtes du Rhône region of southern France.
I purchased the establishment back in the early '90s and renamed it "Château Babeuf," in honor of François Noël Babeuf, the father of the proto-socialist "Conspiracy of Equals" movement that flowered during the French Revolution.
When looking for a suitable winery to acquire, I naturally eschewed the viticultural regions of the United States, and, instead, chose the progressive country of France, where I'd be assured generous government subsidies to get my "enterprise" up and running. I must admit that it's so nice to be back here among the enlightened French people and to get a respite from the unsavory commercialism and myopic mindset of America.~
|François Noël Babeuf, leader of one of the world's first socialist revolutions, was executed by reactionaries for daring to espouse egalitarian views.|
Château Babeuf's award-winning "Propaganda" Syrah. "A bottle a day keeps thoughtcrimes at bay." Contains mind-control agents.
The Oscar-winning comedy, Sideways, certainly familiarized more people from "fly-over country" with the passion that many members of the urbane intelligentsia have for the fermented "juice." Unfortunately, however, the uninitiated folks who saw the movie probably came away with the false impression that the Pinot Noir grape produces the world's finest and most complex wines. Au contraire! In fact, Pinot Noir is the bourgeois prima donna of varietals; not only is it ridiculously delicate and temperamental, but it is also terribly inconsistent, often succumbing to the vagaries of climate and environment. In this respect, the Pinot Noir grape is much like the unstable capitalist system, which itself is subject to the "business cycle" of expansion and recession.
Che-idolizer Robert Redford helped pave the way for "social entrepreneurship" with his pioneering Sundance Film Festival.
Like the staffs of all trendy, up-and-coming wineries, we here at Château Babeuf have selected some enigmatic and highbrow-sounding names for our wines. We offer an opulent Syrah called "Propaganda," a sensuous Mourvèdre called "Liquidation," and a fruity Grenache called "Gramsci's Reverie." Need I even mention that we only produce red wines here at Château Babeuf? I didn't think so.
Of course, Château Babeuf is a model of the new "social entrepreneurship," the subject of PBS's current mini-series, "The New Heroes," hosted by the progressive actor-director, Robert Redford. There will always be a special place in my heart for Robert Redford for producing The Motorcycle Diaries, a touching film that recounts the story of how Ernesto "Che" Guevara came to embrace the cause of social justice. But enough about him; let's get back to me and my activist endeavors.
Château Babeuf employee, Guillaume Artaud, takes advantage of his privilege to drink on the job
Here at the Château, every worker is viewed as an indispensable cog in the machine. Everyone, regardless of education, specialization, and competency, makes the same salary and receives the same generous benefits' package. Therefore, the vintner (winemaker) makes the same as the chef de culture (vineyard manager), who, in turn, makes the same as the vigneron (vineyard laborers), grape crushers, tasting assistants, etc. Each worker, in accordance with the French custom, is also entitled to six weeks of paid vacation yearly and may only work a maximum of 35 hours a week.
Another perk that our employees enjoy is the ability to drink on the job. Yes, that's right: I said drink on the job. Taking a nip from the bottle is not only allowed at Château Babeuf; it is whole-heartedly encouraged through our popular "Employees Drink For Free" policy.
We have yet to turn a profit, though we almost broke even last year thanks to the considerable amount of "Propaganda" that we moved. When, or if, the winery ever reaches the black, I, as a social entrepreneur, plan on sending all surplus revenue to the French government to help fund its numerous altruistic initiatives.
I'm currently here to oversee the summer pruning efforts, but my favorite time has to be the late fall, after the grape leaves have turned red. It's a sublime sight, indeed! Sometimes, after a few bottles of "Gramsci's Reverie," it even brings tears to my eyes. With their post-and-wire training system holding them up like the superstructure of the welfare state, the vines intertwine, each reaching out to embrace the other. The rows of crimson-leaved vines evoke such a splendid mental picture: I imagine serried ranks of red-clad comrades marching arm in arm, down the hillside, into the grand socialist millennium. Please excuse my sentimentalism.
At any rate: Cheers, or, as we say in France, À Votre Santé! And don't forget to look for "Propaganda," and Château Babeuf's other exceptional products, at one of $. $. Halliburton's wine stores near you.
Dr. W. S. PalimpsestStoneGiant,
Quote:...knowing there are holes of darkness
Dr. W. S. PalimpsestMr. Giant,
StoneGiantAnother in a fine tradition of socialist wines?
E. TooheyWho is the guy in the very middle?
Quote:I lament your poor Gr'uncle's grave misfortune. Such tragedies, regrettably, are the rule rather than the exception under the baleful capitalist system.
Kommissar BettyWhere I live, people are so desperate to put in vineyards that they have converted all unused space into areas where they plant vineyards. Even if it's only 50sq ft.
Dr. W. S. PalimpsestWe must stop these parasites, these cryptogams and demand the collectivization of the wine industry in America.
Comrade OtisThank goodness for your lone sane voice in the wilderness. It isn't only that your label is the only Party approved label, this goes far deeper than that. It is truly a waste of our vital resources of manpower and land to have more than one label. If we allow our resources to be wastefully used willy-nilly by every fool with an idea it will lead to gross inefficiencies and beggar us. This is why Capitalism always leads to poverty and hunger.
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