I was happy to learn I was not the only reader feeling cheated by the Omnivore Goes to MetFood stunt misplayed as “let’s draw in our own staffer with his own book to obfuscate on how the fuck you make a pizza for lunch when the oven needs proper heating.” It had more missed opportunities than Trader Joe’s has processed crap. A friend out in Portlandia emailed to say: “thanks for letting me know that Berkeley is a Northern California (!!!!) town that is also home to Chez Panisse. THAT clarifies things. And for letting me know that you can make a decent meal simply by shopping in a supermarket. How does that garbanzo soup sound to you?” At least I had a response to the last point: Soup needs fermentation.
Archive for the ‘what were they thinking?’ Category
My first thought on hearing Roger Ebert had died: The lede of the obit had better not mention the rice cooker. But the worst part of reducing the rocket scientist to Mrs. Mom With Mushrooms was how the offending dis/dish was simply disappeared. From a paper whose policy is not to “unpublish.” Then again, fast food workers just went on strike all around Manhattan. And all they got was one stinking photo, with a single-line caption.
Nice to see the ghost of Time choosing only the Butter Guzzler as the fud world candidate for its 100 list. If it was trolling for linkbait, it succeeded. But surely someone, somewhere is doing anything more significant at a time when so much is changing for the better. I guess it could have been sicker, though: It could have chosen a ghost who was happy to slap her name on a spinoff of the cash-in on The Sugar. I guess we should never forget how James Beard made enough to buy that townhouse with the mirrored bathroom . . .
While I continue procrastinating about spelling out the flaws in a certain muddled doc on “food insecurity,” I have to present without (much) comment: NYT versus WashPost. The former natters. The latter matters, making such a great case for the simple solution without ever even spelling it out: Pay people a fucking living wage.
On the way to dinner in the East Village, my consort and I passed a line outside a new spot giving out free “Japadogs.” My first thought was that the name sounds like an epithet. My second? What makes the original snout-to-tail food Japanese? Irradiation?
Not sure this was quite the right week to run a feature exploring what the wrecking crew literally feeding at the public trough is eating these days. They get the Styrofoam cafeteria; we get the screws. Considering Congresscritters poll lower than cockroaches lately, maybe next Wednesday we can be treated to what’s cooking in the Cheney bunker. (Chickenhawk heart, probably.)
So Pizza Hut is marketing perfume — “eau de dough,” as a Toronto newspaper dubbed it. Not sure what it will do for men hoping to be sniffed out for a gluten-free hookup, but wouldn’t women have to worry about evoking a yeast infection?
The bourbon on every newscaster’s lips certainly pissed away its reputation at hurlicane speed. What company literally dilutes its hard-won image? A colleague of my consort actually had the best reaction, though: In India, where he’s from, they sell hooch in “party packs.” The first bottle is full strength, but the others diminish until they might as well be water. Given the way bourbon is guzzled these days, a 24-pack marketing opportunity was lost.
Apparently Helen Keller was exhumed to redesign DI/DO. What a hot honeyed mess that debut is — the iPad version is actually easier on the eyes, and it’s just a list o’ links. Given that only olds read the damn thing in print, why make it even harder for us? (And I’m RTing myself, but someone really needs to start the equivalent of the bad-sex-writing contest for cheese excess. Some real stinkers were on display, proof that imitation is the sincerest form of stupidity. Besides: Typing about cheese is like dancing about architecture.)
As I’ve probably nattered a million times, newspaper copy editors have something called “save-get” headlines/wordings. Before Al Gore got fat, “It’s January, it’s blizzarding” would have been one. But these days apparently there are “save-get” billboards. The NYDN ran one right out of Groundhog Day: “Restaurant Week means cheaper meals, but there are tradeoffs for customers and eateries.” Ya think? What, you didn’t know you get piss in your Wheaties at a $25 lunch?
File under Reading the Slingers: At least now I see why so many of those crap food chains have been expanding into supermarkets — better to pour your own pancake syrup, or nuke your own frozen lasagne, than risk pissiness and germs from the uninsured help. Also, too, global warming must officially be here if Dunkin’ Donuts is touting 99-cent iced tea on the cusp of Thanksgiving. And, as always, the most entertaining part of going through the Saturday WSJournal is thinking someone assumed readers being sold $500 blouses might be interested in a dollar off on Grey Poupon.
I suspect ours will be among the very last households clinging to our print subscriptions, if only to see what online readers are spared. The other week, in the hometown paper, it was a photo that illustrated a little too graphically the line I once had to excise from a secretary-moonlighting-as-a-feature-writer’s piece on boned quail: “Legs splayed like the town prostitute.” For once those editors chose to show rather than tell.
Also, too, they chose a fine time to run a sad song about a diner owner in that strange land known as flyover country. Five days after the restaurant critic whimpers about too much food at a sitting, here we are meant to empathize with a woman struggling to keep a food biz afloat but who “somehow came up with the $35,000” to start it (truck, here’s your hole — HTF did she manage that?) and who never has to address whom she is voting for when she and her husband would clearly benefit from Obamacare. Worse, the real American is never awarded an honorific in this “pith helmet journalism,” as a North Forkser described it. Imagine a story about Ste Alice that used her first name throughout. Or maybe don’t imagine it — it would run over two full pages.
And not to rag on outlets that don’t hire me, and now never will, I was convinced my copy of USA Weekend was misprinted — the date was current, but the food content was from 20 years ago, the heyday of Snackwells and Snackwells ads. “Crispy oven fries” as a substitute for the real deep-fried thing? Go on — next tell readers to substitute yogurt for sour cream.
And we now live in a world where a groundbreaking newspaper can finally announce a game-changing redesign, then choose to run a recipe for sloppy Joes in its first new magazine issue. I guess tuna casserole would have been too adventurous.