I like to view only the visuals on the monitors at Bally’s. One thing I’ve noticed about more movies and TV shows is how they visually signal that someone is sophisticated and urbane. They put that person (invariably attractive) in a darkened restaurant, seat them across the table from someone else (invariably attractive), and show them both sipping wine.
Which reminds me of how Hollywood used to convey sophistication. They’d put a cigarette in someone’s hands and show how they, with great style and panache, lit, fingered, mouthed, and stamped it out over the course of a conversation. Usually, the person’s face was filmed through a cloud of nicotine smoke. The more sophisticated they were, the more likely the smoking was to take place indoors, in formal clothes, and as a carefully choreographed social occasion.
Now I look at those ancient smoking scenes and think about all the hacking, coughing, and smelly clothes, sets, and soundstages—and all the cancer-dead actors and crews. Now I look at contemporary wine-drinking scenes and wonder how many of them involve drinking unfermented, non-alcoholiic grape juice.
Wine is not sophistication. It’s also a tiresome conversation topic. Inebriation tends to drag down the quality of the conversations in which I’ve participated.