If the moral theologians in practice among us were engined by anything properly describable as apostolic zeal, they would be giving over a large part of their time, in these apocalyptic days, to teaching their catechumens how to drink. For it must be manifest that some such teaching is sorely needed in this great republic. Drinking with skill and taste is no more a natural art than love; either it must be learned by the onerous process of trial and error, or it must be taught. Plainly enough, the latter way is the better; but so far there is no sign that the guides appointed for gropers are ready to take it.
In Slate today, Adam Gopnik, the "Adam Gopnik's kids" correspondent for The New Yorker, explains the fine distinctions of New Yorkerania: "compare Mencken and Liebling, often mistaken as twin stylists, and you see the difference between heavy-handed Teutonic mockery and the ideal ironic, stinging, New Yorker tone."