2011-11-11

Cult of the Green Fairy, Part I



When I actually stir myself to gather my thoughts and outline one of the ideas that occasionally flits through my head, I can still manage to come up with some decent direction for something to write about. At first I thought this would be a solid single post, but by the time I finished outlining it I realized we're in for another small series. At least that'll give you something to look forward to, right?

As those of you who keep in touch or are connected with me on the Google+ are likely aware, my latent interest in absinthe has lately blossomed into full-fledged devotion. As I learned more about the enigmatic aperitif, I naturally grew more deeply fascinated with the ritualistic behaviors associated with its preparation, and with the figure of the Green Fairy herself, embodiment of all the mystique of the drink and the culture surrounding it.

In absinthe's heyday, enemies of the Green Fairy promoted the notion of absinthism, an addiction distinct in severity and symptoms from common alcoholism. Of course, the scientific evidence adduced to prove the existence of this condition was flawed and insubstantial, and despite its infamy absinthe is in fact no more (or less) capable of harm than any other libation. However, as a modern absintheur I think it appealing and apropos to reclaim the term 'absinthism' for the peculiar fascination, devotion, and adoration that distinguishes absinthe connoisseurship.

Perhaps you can see already where this led me.