What if Luke is actually Snoke? Bear with me here. I think that a careful examination of footage from Episode IV will show that this guy has been with the Dark Side of the Force since we first saw him. Don't believe me? Ask any bartender.
I got this theory from an excerpt from the Steele Wars podcast with guest Mr. Sunday Movies (embedded at the bottom of this post.) And while I rip off their idea, I'm going to expand on it, upgrading Luke from maker of the dick move to obvious Sith mastermind.
Exhibit A: Luke Simply Enters the Bar
Luke is how old? 16? 17, maybe? I'm pretty sure that he is under age. A seventeen year-old who walks into your average dive bar here on Earth puts the whole operation in jeopardy from the Bureau of Liquor Control. The Cantina is in The Empire. This is how Stormtroopers handle a simple case of suspected receipt of stolen goods.
Can you imagine how they'd handle someone they want to make an example of?
Exhibit B: Luke Tries Bringing Undesirables Into the Bar
Really Luke? Droids? In a bar? Have you no social graces?
Exhibit C: Luke Tells His Friends to Piss Off So He Can Get In
The bar straight out discriminates against Threepio and R2. And Luke, who is focused on sneaking in while underage, just outright shoves them back out into the street!
Your hallmark, it is not!
A true Sith can be evil on both sides of an issue!
Exhibit D: Darth Maul Wouldn't Be This Big of a Jerk When Ordering
Bartenders will take this piece of evidence by itself and scream, "Guilty!" Luke walks up to the bartender, who has his back turned, is clearly in the weeds, and has a room full of patrons who will clearly not take well having their drinks delayed, and grabs his sleeve.
This is not cool, folks. And not only was it a Dark Side move a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Luke probably also knew he was setting a bad example for young movie viewers a long time later, in a galaxy far, far away form Tatooine. Don't tell me a Sith isn't capable of projecting his evil beyond the confines of a story he's a fictional character in. They have some serious power, those guys. If you don't think Luke's "dick move" rises to the level of true evil, look at the hapless bartender's reaction.
That is the face of a man who wants to eighty-six punks like Luke three times an hour, but he works in a "hive of scum and villany", so if he did, his tips would suffer or he'd get shot. Instead, Luke has this guy so terrified that the drink he hands over doesn't even kill Luke. This bar serves fifty alien species, at least one thing on offer there would kill this kid. If he wasn't a Sith, of course.
Luke, Sith or not, you tug on a bartender's sleeve to order on earth, and your cocktail will at the very least contain 3/4 oz. of saliva.
Exhibit E: Luke Gets Some Dude's Hand Cut Off
Why does the fight start? The (admittedly rough and tumble) patrons to Luke's left quite politely make room for him when he first approaches the bar. So when does the apparent hostility arise? Why, after Luke is such a dick to the bartender![caption width="800" id="attachment_11372" align="aligncenter"] "I have the death sentence in twelve systems, and even I am not as big a dick as you!"[/caption]
Luke has to know his behavior is unacceptable to them, but he callously shrugs off their concerns. This quite foreseeably enrages them, but Luke knows he can duck (or be thrown) out of the way and there standing behind him is a galacticly famous wizard with a magic sword. The results for the concerned patrons are predictable...
...especially in stories in the Star Wars universe.
See? Case closed: Luke is clearly a Sith from moment one. If that is the case, then how do you explain the events of Episodes IV, V, and VI? Clearly, this is Luke getting rid of the Emperor and his own father to clear the way for himself. He then waits until he finds his own henchman. He turns his own nephew to the Dark Side, the disappears to the shadows while Ren wreaks havoc on a helpless galaxy. All the while, controlling him through the simple expedient of a fake, Wizard of Oz-type hologram as "Snoke".[caption width="800" id="attachment_11378" align="aligncenter"] "Pay no attention to the Jedi behind the curtain!"[/caption]
It's air-tight. You know you can't argue with logic. Luke is Snoke.
I don't normally use port when making drinks, but when the PeguWife needs some for cooking, I enjoy the rest of the bottle in something or other so it doesn't go bad. This time around, I've been working my way through a number of the recipes at Portcocktails.com. The clear winner so far, for both my wife and me, is the Saint Valentine, an original by David Wondrich. It is a delicious "improved" Daiquiri, and if you have some ruby (or even tawny) port lying around in need of being used, I can't recommend it highly enough.
3 parts good white rum
1 part ruby port
1 part orange curaçao
1 part fresh lime juice
Shake well and strain into a stemmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel or orange peel.
One final note: I came to this as a port drink, but the star of the show is the rum. It's going to make or break the cocktail. I've been using Plantation Three Stars, and it works fabulously.abc
This lovely little video tells a bit of the story behind one of Columbus's fine local distilleries, Watershed. It is a student project by Kelly Insinga here at Columbus College of Art & Design. The quality of this little six minute documentary says great things about Insinga's talent, and the instruction at CCAD.
I've featured Watershed's products on this blog before, as well as a (far less impressive) video of my own, but they are worth talking about again. And again.
There are small distilleries popping up all over the country, and I visit every one I can when I travel. I have taken to using Watershed, which I have studied since they opened, as a benchmark by which to measure all these other brave ventures. And most every visit to another micro, whether I'm impressed with what they are doing or not, leaves me a bit more impressed with Watershed in one way or another.
Their Four Peel Gin is my favorite among their products. I like the citrus-forward profile. The price is reasonable. But most importantly, They have locked it down. Gin is a deceptive spirit to make. It requires no aging, so the economics make great sense for a startup, but it is devilishly hard to make consistently over time, especially for a small manufacturing concern. Watershed definitely had some wobbles after a great start in their first few batches. I know a number of people who first tried it back when their production first started to accelerate... um. I had some of those early two-digit batches myself. I didn't find them bad, just not as special as those very first runs were... or as special as the current gin is, batch after batch. Consistency is the key in gin, and Watershed has had it for a while now.
Right now, you can only get their products in Ohio for the most part. Given Watershed's success so far, and the way they've achieved it, I expect that will change in future years. In the mean time, come visit Columbus. Drop me a line.abc
I just want to highlight an outstanding new video from The Mixology Guys on the Small Screen Network's YouTube cocktail channel. Embedded below it is a brisk 90 seconds of slow-mo drink pr0n and four bedrock principals in making any drink the best it can be.
For those who can't watch it for whatever reason, here are the four elements that go into a truly good drink:
Mix Ingredients. You might say, "duh", but until you understand why this is important, you don't really understand the Dao of cocktails. The purpose of making drinks is to produce a potable that is better in some fashion than any and all of its component ingredients. A few years back, I went to a session at Tales of the Cocktail where some of my favorite big names in the liquor industry discussed how seldom they actually drank cocktails any more. The gist of the argument from much of the panel was, "the distiller's art has reached previously unheard of heights. There are so many beautifully crafted spirits out there, it makes sense to enjoy them on their own to fully appreciate them."
Fair enough. There are indeed many truly fine, expensive bottles of whiskey, brandy, rum, and even gin out there that are so crafted as to make them immune to the "improvement" of the mixed drink. But if you can spend your life drinking nothing but ultra-premium liquor with naught but the occasional splash of water or ice, you are either a wealthy alcoholic... or a brand ambassador. (Some might argue that the difference is that brand ambassadors are seldom wealthy.)
Dilution. Enough said. Until you understand the effects of dilution, you can't really understand how to make a really great drink. Anyone who sneers at dilution on general principals doesn't know the first damn thing about cocktails.
Temperature. Make sure your cold drinks are cold. (And your hot ones actually hot.) Ever get into a really good argument with someone and turn back to your Sidecar, only to discover it has gotten warm? Ew.
Aeration of Ingredients. This is both perhaps the best element of this video, and the only part I have a quibble with. For the vast majority of mixed drinks, air is critical to making it the best it can be, for the reasons they outline beautifully. But not for all drinks. I strictly adhere to the "clear ingredients—no shake" credo. I like my Martinis stirred. I will call Child Services and report you if you shake your Manhattans. I don't muddle fruit in my Old Fashioneds, so I also don't add any soda.
Air is amazing in what it can do to for drinks that can benefit from it. 90% of the drinks I make can, and I take great care to ensure that I apply aeration liberally there. But please, please remember that this rule is NOT universal!