We are definitely living in interesting times. When I was putting in my post-pee-in-the-cup 46 months at the hometown paper, even a spouse was not allowed to slap a bumper sticker on the family car, lest some reader suspect bias. Today you can be an op-ed columnist and do a promo for a salad shooter, no problemo. But why should the Egopedist suck up all the gravy? Mr. Chunky Reese Witherspoon should team up with Chik-fil-A. And MoDo with Skinny Girl. Those two could redefine “mean martini.”
Archive for the ‘egopedist’ Category
It’s easy to walk into the field after the battle and shoot the wounded, but in all seriousness the fatal flaw with a food issue devoted to only the platinum links in the food chain really was the disconnect from a world of hurt. As I’ve been predicting, Walmart has itself seized the day to warn its shareholders to expect lower sales and profits thanks to the food stamp cuts; the Republican obsession with punishing the poors is already boomeranging on Big Biz. And it’s not as if advocacy in a cruelly unequal society isn’t glamorous — Mr. Top Chef himself has been everywhere walking the walk on getting kids nourished better; Mrs. O’s own has been recruiting marquee names to help upgrade school lunches; more and more chefs are signing on for hunger benefits. (And just as an aside, here’s how a kid raised around a soup kitchen turns out.) Instead you got the Egopedist abandoning his usual Mount to sermonize on chefs not staying close to their one-and-only kitchens to keep, yes, the 1 percent satisfied. Which was beyond pot/kettle rich. Are we to believe a cookbook celeb developed every single recipe while building his brand?
Just as nutz is getting caught with your shells down, with an ode to shrimp just as the warnings are out on just how risky always-risky shrimp are about to become thanks to those very same kkkrazies shutting down food safety inspections. You could say nobody coulda predicted, but only if you weren’t paying attention to where most shrimp comes from, and I’m not even talking irradiated waters. “Decomposed, covered in filth or or teeming with salmonella” is just “the treat of the wild.” Guess it was no coincidence the magazine was fat with ads for lawyers. Even in the US of Somalia the wingnuts aspire to, lawsuits will always be the American dream.
I also quite enjoyed a long “bloggers killed the restaurant world” screed that quoted not a single restaurateur pointing a finger at “new” media. It used to be that bad restaurants blamed bad reviews for their failure; now it’s the impossibility of keeping the buzz machine fed? Somehow I just can’t imagine most patrons of a Ducasse joint were making their dining plans based on the noise and not the signal. Far more persuasive was the actual restaurateur who pointed out that the Old Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be. I’m clearly in the minority in actually struggling to read the thing in print, and I can barely find the review in the acres of dull type. Increasingly I think the paperguy has brought me the Des Moines Register. A picnic story with ants in the hed? A picnic story with a tuna sandwich as the photo/recipe? As someone Tweeted, there should be a separate section for readers who don’t go back decades with the section; we never forget while moths fly out.
You have to give the golden-arched evil empire props for balls. On the same day its honchos were denying any role in the ballooning of the human race, the chain was boasting that it had come up with its most caloric item ever. Which happens to be merely a mega-order of enough fries to feed a village, but I’m sure they’re counting on suckers not realizing the so-called meat is not what packs on the lbs. It’s the sides. And not just the liquid ones.
I was also fascinated by the huge fuss over KFC deliveries coming through the Gaza tunnels, which was a story that came out of nowhere and was suddenly everywhere, Somewhere a flack has to be cashing a mega-check. I first saw the “news” on a British site, with the photo attributed to an agency. Other outlets sent their own lensmen to get the pic, but in every one the logo was front and center and very clear. You’d think it was Coke in a Hollywood movie. Once upon a time you would say you couldn’t buy advertising like this. Now you can ask: Why would you? Journamalists will do it for free.
And I’m sure I’ve written many times about the spectacle a young mother made of herself 25 or so years ago at a nutrition conference where we reporters were informed that no scientific evidence proved sugar is a menace if consumed in moderation. The poor woman was in tears insisting it had to be evil. It had to be! And how far we’ve come. Now it’s the demon all fat was before only trans fats were. You can hire a writer to make any case in an age where everyone can choose his own facts. I’m just not sure how it helps to ban anything. I’ve written this many times, too, but one reason I can exercise uncharacteristic moderation with sweets is that my mom baked a cake or some other dessert every single day she was not in the nut hut when I was a kid– as I later learned in restaurant school, sweetness shuts off your appestat, makes you feel sated. Not for the first time, too, I’ll note that “look for the industry label” on any “nutrition” research would be a healthy first step. Pom. Wonderful.
The truthful column hed would be: “Reporter” we never wanted to hire recommends the best free shit that came in the mail. Also, too, better than cat linkbait: “I was a ghostwriter for your most bloviating columnist.”
On the positive side, I was glad to see Beyoncé was not driven out of inaugural DC on a tarred rail for her deal with the devil du jour. If it weren’t for busybodies with typists, I wouldn’t have even known she was shimmying for shit. Fud frauds who are happy to have minions write up recipes using asparagus in January should, as Jon Stewart put it, shut up and shut up.
I guess I have to weigh in on the hometown paper’s knockoff of the New Yorker’s food issue and note how amusing it was that the flack paid to promote it in the age of social media linkapalooza chose to highlight some of the lamest material. To me the best piece was, of course, the one on the politics of food, but it could been more explicit. As I learned 20 years ago as we were researching our ill-fated harvest book, money’s what buys you power in this country; even Vidalia onion farmers had to kick in like 5 cents a bushel to protect their AOC in DC. Until there’s an Occupy K Street, Big Food will rule. And it definitely will as long as any old bacon, even the industrial kind, will do in 50 recipes from a sermonizer.
And speaking of W(here)TF are the editors, I liked how the Egopedist got to lay on the faux love for farmers and then revel in the accolades for his enlightened thinking (AKA recycling of a million others’ thoughts). But I assume his praise was meant only for those not doing the devil’s work? You know, like running dairy farms?
Finally, I’m holding off on writing my ode to the wonders of PGH until I can’t sell it, so I’ll just knock off some asides here. My consort and I had to check out the Polish shop on the Strip, and I can say this because Mr. Third Generation sort of laughed: On the way out, I noticed potholders for sale that were both tiny and crocheted — as in full of holes. “How’d you burn your hand?” “Oh, I used a Polish potholder.” We also had one of those experiences where the server was just a little too frank about the lamest options on a menu, which made me think it would be a wise chef who wiretapped his tables just to hear what the traitors say. And, without a doubt, this is the dumbest overwritten euphemism for burgers ever: “Hand-crafted handfuls of beef.” Overall, though, this was one of the best domestic eating expeditions in donkey’s years. The only downside was that it started and ended with me strapped into a JetBlue seat watching the Egopedist stretching out a pizza crust with a rolling pin and paving it with clods of cheese. File that under “how to fuck up everything.”
And the Egopedist is really getting nutrition-nutty, not to mention confusing himself with either that God the founder or at least a kitchen messiah. He’s not a doctor, but he’s playing one online, at least when he’s not calling the dead “pigs.” What’s amazing is that the outlet that created a monster used to have standards; now no one has a problem with him basically yelling milk in a confused theater. He really is the Paul Ryan of food. Meanwhile, back in the Sunday book review they’re getting all snarky on lose-weight-fast best-sellers. Fake physician, stop yourself.
And my supremely wise consort has long insisted any think tank given print time should be identified by its political bent: Left or KKKrazy. Never was that more needed than the day the Egopedist became the dummy for ventriloquists who hide their animal-rights activism behind the white coat covering 5 percent of their organization. I can’t remember who on Twitter added the perfect hed to the milk dis — “Got ghostwriter?” — but I was glad to see I was not alone in calling BullShit. This is where the editors who mistook a $500-a-week gig for a deal might want to face what a monster they’ve created. An audience of millions needs to be fed truth, not pop science. Especially when it’s being spoon-fed by an organization that cares nothing about health and the environment. Contrast the “milk’ll kill ya” with this sanity. As I have said many times, the first time I was assigned a piece to edit, I was warned: “He’s not a very sophisticated writer.” He was brought on when the 1/2/3 passed on the zombie Franey gig. One day the seersuckers will look back and realize they should have put Panchito on the nutrition-nuttiness beat. At least the word salad could have been doused in Ranch dressing . . .
I’ve been so distracted by the Twitter this has been languishing, but: My kingdom for a fly on the wall in Grand Forks on the a.m. the Most Important Paper in America weighed in on the silly successor to the Wasilla Hillbilly’s own private happy meal. Apparently it’s a joke for a small-town reviewer to evaluate a chain moving in. But it’s service journalism for a big-city editor to order up a taste-test of the latest in chain stunts. I could maybe see it before Taco Bell invaded the city all those years ago. These days it’s about as exotic as 7-Eleven. You would never read a feature on how plastic slipcovers feel on a couch, or how a Skinny Girl cocktail goes down, but for some reason fast food is always treated like something the sophisticated reader needs to have interpreted. Maybe that’s because those chains don’t advertise and there’s no fear of a JC Penney backlash? Whatever. This is what bacon sundaes distract from.
I see those left behind at the hometown paper are not happy about the consequences 30 years on of sitting by silently as the wingnuts came first for the air traffic controllers. Now they have a buried-the-lede video out trying to drum up sympathy that is totally undermined by two Travel developments. First the section ran a typically dazzling AA Gill feature on London that butted up against a typically dashed-off piece on where to eat in that singular city by the Egopedist. Who, as was famously described the first time I had to turn shit into Shinola, is “not a very sophisticated writer.” Hope the editors were provided bags to wear over their heads, but j’doubt it with all the $$$ going to the bought-off CEO. And then there was the cry for help that was a lede story on a luxury eatin’-and-drinkin’ vacation gone bad. Could there be clearer evidence of how “journalists” are disconnected from readers? Or more damning proof that the blind are leading the aspiring seers? I mean, I once led my consort and me to Northern Ireland after hearing only that it was home to a one-star Michelin. But the trip was worth it. And we made it before the Google. What kind of reporter heads off to drop mega-dollars without even interrogating Yelp? Oh. Right. One whose every review needs a correction. Even if she’d gone to the website, she would have gotten it wrong.