Is that memoir done yet?

For 27 years I’ve driven my consort crazy by distilling the semantics class I took in high school with a “textbook” by S.I. Hayakawa. Anyone today who even remembers him probably recalls only the senator* who seemed to suffer from narcolepsy, but he deserves to be quoted into infinity for one observation: The word is not the thing. Or, to put it another way: Words have no power until your brain charges them. (You disagree? Try saying “asshole” to Ferran Adria and see what reaction you get.) All of which is a roundabout way of marveling, yet again, at how a restaurant critic for a once-respected newspaper could confuse a television persona with the food on his plate. I don’t remember who said this, but one of my favorite quotes ever is: Sometimes the news is in the noise. And sometimes it’s in the silence. Bluster makes good teevee. What the fuck does it have to do with cooking?

Oh. Right. This is the guy who informed us the Chimp would be the best candidate with whom to sit down and sock back a few brewskis. Foreign correspondence school should include a class in how “the image is not the person.” And how it’s a slippery slope from Panchito to Kristol-Cloudy.

At the expense of a feeble laugh, I also have to add that I remain amazed at how many people these days will pile on and criticize without reading anything more than a headline. I hate to point out the obvious, but that’s the first warning sign of cretinism. Then again, I force myself to slog through the shallow Bruni waters before dissing, and you can see where that gets me. . .

*Oops — I said he was from Hawaii, but an alert reader notes that the sleepy one was actually from the great state of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan.