No matter how miserable your life might be, feel very fortunate you are not the flack trapped at a desk at 9:30 on an early weeknight shilling Xmas BS before the razor blades have even been inserted into the Halloween apples.
Archive for the ‘flackery’ Category
Relatedly 2: I Tweeted the other day that using “infamous” in a bar/restaurant press release should be an immediate firing offense unless you represent the cannibal cook/cop. But what inspired that gets worse: The client is not just infusing Campari with guanciale grease but adding mezcal to his new-wave Negroni to minimize the bitterness. If you want a Negroni that tastes like diabetes, why not just add ketchup, with a French fry as a swizzle stick?
I’m already dreading the descent of the holidays, with flacks hitting me even now with “halfway to St. Patrick’s” pitches. But once in a while something tantalizing flushes up amid the dross. Like the announcement that a smart company has come up with “just add wine” mixes, right as wine targeted specifically at moms is making news. This could be the best mother’s little helper ever. Macon & cheese again?
I see lots o’ change down at my old place of employment, both encouraging (new public editor) and ominous (departing multimedia editor). And I liked an interview I saw that acknowledged the guys who, when I worked there the second time, thought the Internets was for playing solitaire but are now jumping onto the Tweet train. But I also found it just absurd considering the barrage of e-releases I get every week touting DI/DO contents. How lame is your content in a viral age that you have to pimp it out? For Pinch’s sake, start making videos with kittens added to taste.
Sometimes I actually almost want to weep for flacks. As judgmental as I am, I realize they need to make a paycheck, and if a chef/client says whipping up gnocchi is easier than boiling boxed pasta, yeah, sure, they have to regurgitate. But please don’t feed me rabbit ragu and call it Gnocchi Helper.
Also kinda suspect Paul Newman would be spinning in his grave if he knew his legacy was advertising dog’s dinners. And I don’t mean pet food. Upscale Hamburger Helper, indeed.
Way behind on posting, distracted as I am by all the KKKraziness out there on the series of tubes, but I can’t resist responding to the pitch I just got. The one that was only slightly less Onionesque than yesterday’s promoting a weight-loss “cleanse” as a Mother’s Day gift (talk about shitting where you birthed). This is for a chain whose name will not be mentioned, hyping a new chef transforming its sandwiches (lemon aioli and lemon dressing!) He can layer all the “blank” Angus onto all the “ciabatta bread” he wants. I will still read “all natural chicken” and see the counter guy at LaGuardia one morning responding to my sad request for an egg sandwich by grabbing a round of yellow rubber from the prep bins, flapping it in the air and asking: “You wanna eat this?”
Dr. Vino over to the Twitter passed along the best oops in a long time: an invite to a lunch showcasing Burgundy “appalachians.” I thought it meant to hint at hiking a certain trail, but he topped me with the potential of a reality show: “The Burgundy Hillbillies.”
I sometimes feel guilty when letting my fingers do the walking in reporting these days, but if you try sometimes you can get what you need online and in books. Take my take on the Oreos centennial — judging by James Trager’s “Food Chronology,” those iconic black-on-shortening wonders originated as a knockoff of the now-long-gone Hydrox cookie. That was the “biscuit bonbon” that came into stores first. And it’s the dark secret you won’t find anywhere in the expanded press releases and blog blowouts everywhere on the anniversary. Instead, look, over there! It’s a factory tour.
For all my mockery of flacks whose skill set does not match their career choice, I have to admit I felt a bit sad on reading a certain restaurant has gone out of business. The “once a copy editor, always a nuisance” side of me so enjoyed the ridiculous menu descriptions. It was my own private Onion.
I also have to Tweet Longer on the premature exultation that makes this time of year so miserable for a food writer. Bad enough I’m inundated with xmas flackery before we’re even at Gobbler Hysteria Day. But I’m already getting e-releases for VD. Shouldn’t there be a mandated period of candy corn digestion before we have to start going all dark chocolate?
No wonder I can’t get focused to snark here. Minus 140 characters will always reverberate around the Twitterverse before I can get my MacBook started: “Television personality is a pretty sorry job description.” I meant it as a retort to all those flacks flooding my inbox flogging babbling heads for a dying medium. But if the dis fits, run with it.
Not sure this was intentional, but a review copy arrived on the doormat the other day with the press release obscuring three letters of the title so that it read “The Bris Book.” I doubt even MFK could say how to cook a foreskin, though.
Speaking of infamous, I do not think that word is what was meant in the release for a new cookbook. Unless the author is a member of the Borgia “foodie family.”
I tried to tune out all the flackery while I was away and only noticed the shilling for yet another a name chef signing up to do airline food because it struck me as more ridiculous than usual after I’d flown Turkish Air, which was like a flight from before Saint Ronnie turned travel into midnight in America. Even in steerage, the attendants passed out menus (along with amenity kits) to build anticipation, then served drinks with toasted hazelnuts, then dispensed dinner and finally took their sweet time clearing trays. By the time everyone was fed and fine, the plane was so serene you could sleep straight through till a full breakfast (eggs with roasted mushrooms etc.) My pasta with eggplant, tomato and cheese on the way over was so good I’ll get an Epi post out of it, and the whole grains and vegetables with the beef on the way home were easily among the best tastes I’ve ever experienced above clouds. No celebrities were involved, though, just good cooks using respectable ingredients. Interestingly, though, on each leg a chef in toque-to-clog regalia was positioned at the door to say buh-bye. Turkish Air must know walking the walk costs a lot less lira than talking celebs.