Ron Washam’s satyr: sexuality, satire, and self-projection in 21st-century wine blogging

From the department of ostentatio genitalium… id est, NSFW…

satyr-penisAbove: an ithyphallic satyr as depicted in a Roman mosaic in Naples (image via Tyler Bell’s Flickr Creative Commons).

Ithyphallophobia or ithyphallophilia? It’s hard to put your finger on it. Before you can, you have to get it up.

It’s only natural that the Hosemaster of Wine would resort to puerile sexual violence in a pseudo-satire of Alice Feiring, his debut piece for Robert Parkerization, Jr.’s venerated Wine Advocate. It’s behind a paywall that keeps “free for all,” I’ve been told, even the hoi polloi out. Read it if you must. Just be sure to don a doily doused in eau de toilette.

And it’s only logical that he would have no better arrow from his quill to loose… or to release, as it were.

As he wrote in his peppy post announcing his new brave collaboration, “nothing is more deadly to a satirist than becoming part of the establishment.” In the wake of Washam’s self-castration and the fulfillment of his Oedipal reversal, the now blinded however once beloved satirist now found himself in a conundrum: whom to attack when the platform whence he casts his missiles is that of the king?

Pietro Aretino, arguably the greatest of all satirists, self-fashioned himself the flagellum prinicipi (literally the flagellator [the scourge] of princes, for those like Washam who arrived tardy to Latin class). And as the whipper of kings taught us, satire has no balls (pardon the pun) when it resides in rich men’s halls. By virtue of its very nature, its vice is that used to squeeze the powerful and lustful, not the meek and just.

He’s parodied Alice, her writing, and advocacy before (5 or 6 times now? I’ve lost count). But when those feathers were launched from his Heraldsburg treehouse, they were lithe “as vines among the trees.” Today, they are as lugubrious as the masthead from which they were cast.

I can’t say that I was a follower or lover of his writing in the past. But respect and honor were due to the man for the outsider role of flagellator that he played so well in the enoblogosphere. I mean that most sincerely.

To attack Alice from Parker’s mansion on the hill, with crude sexual innuendo no less, is by no hand of a man. It’s from the palm of a puer.

Below: caps off to you, Ron! Cheers! It’s all in good pun… (image via Wikipedia Commons).


7 thoughts on “Ron Washam’s satyr: sexuality, satire, and self-projection in 21st-century wine blogging

  1. Pingback: Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 9/11/16 - Vinography: A Wine Blog

  2. Pingback: The Mother And The Friend. Sexism And The Silvaner | Bloggsom

  3. “Sexual violence”? Pretty sure he was making fun of her for her fanatical love of natural wines. I really tried to see your point, but one pussy joke does not a sexist make. It was supposed to be in verse, based upon a children’s book. So it’s puerile? Cool, I think that’s the point.

    Seems like maybe you’re a bit jealous of someone paying for Ron’s writing. Since Robert Parker has been on the pointy end of many Hosemaster jokes, I think it’s great that his old website publishes this sort of satire. People who can laugh at themselves are more fun. Wine needs more fun.

    Cris Carter, GFY

    • Jeremy, it means so much to me to have your blessing! I mean, I saw your Ph.D. right there on the masthead of your blog, so I overcame quite a lot of hesitation to even offer a comment. But now, with the light of your doctoral attention, I finally feel whole….

      (See, this is an example of sarcasm; different than Ron’s satire, but equally as important for human culture. People have been making dick, pussy and shit jokes since the beginning of language, probably even before. You’re not required to like them.)

      Look, I don’t know you, or of you. This was the first time I visited your site; thanks Vinography! I just think it’s ridiculous to accuse someone of “sexual violence,” a very serious accusation, and not even offer a single word to support for your case. You don’t like Ron when he makes fun of natural wines? Fine, but I’d hope in all those years of working toward your doctorate, the countless essays written, you’d at least have learned the art of debate. You take offense when someone attacks your pseudo-religious beliefs in winemaking? Cool, but don’t act like some spoiled college kid, without an ounce of levity in your body. It’s just too tiring to get outraged at every imagined slight.

      And dude, if your doctorate isn’t related to grapes or agriculture or winemaking, why do you have to have it so prominently displayed on your “wine” blog?

      Lovingly yours,


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