Finally I have something to thank Panchito for: rousing me from my torpor here. So much silliness flies by in the fud world that it’s hard to get worked up these days, but his about-face on the Butter Guzzler really was beyond the pale, so to speak. Suddenly “the champion of downscale cooking” scorned by elitists is now a “Confederate caricature” to be scorned by elitists. It’s telling that the guy who sold America a dangerous dry drunk in the guise of a good ol’ boy never bothered to weigh in when the ultimate shill for garbage food cashed in on her secret diabetes. And it’s laughable that he and his colleagues now all seem shocked, shocked by her blatant racism on their very own stage. Somehow, they had to wait for “cyberspace” to address it. Not for nothing is this my favorite photo in the whole mess. Just like the Lump in the Bed, they have an “out, damned spot” on their hands.
Mostly, though, I go back and forth on the whole overblown mess. As fascinating as it’s been to watch the Guzzler destroyed, you do have to wonder if the punishment fits the crime when so many have been complicit in it. All these years everyone pretended she wasn’t just the $Palin of the fud world — as if grifters don’t gotta grift. Even the paper taking such glee in covering her downfall not only ran gullible features on her but sold those tickets after the fecal storm over the diabetes deal. She’s always been what she’s been revealed to be, even though so many outlets showed only her Photoshopped visage, not the melting mess she now appears to be. But now everyone’s only looking at the bottom line. So I also go back and forth on whether she’s a zombie. As bleak as things look now, she could still come back if someone sees a few bucks to be made. After all, no friends were shot in the face in the making of her career (and I still remember when Martha was “dunzo”). Even if the wicked one herself doesn’t resurrect, she could very well see her own private South rise again after she’s dead. The most depressing part of the scandale has been watching people trying to rehab another reputation — pederasty is forgiven because he was so good on the teevee. You only hope he did those boys with butter.
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 . . .
I did my spleen-venting on the Butter Guzzler elsewhere, but I guess we’ll never be “Deaned” out. One thing that got lost in all the bloviating is that diabetes is no joke. And for all the knickers-knotting over the Photoshopping of an amputee who really isn’t, that poster says more than 500 magazine pages of ads for a $500-a-month treatment that may not even work. But it is amusing that the same paper in high dudgeon would run clearly Photoshopped photos of the poor, poor celebrity victim.
And Panchito of course had to go and make things worse with his dodging and weaving on a subject he really should stay the hell away from. (And I don’t mean politics.) The last thing people need at this point is silly scare stories on how you have to kill yourself to stay thin. Ask Mme “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” Hard as it is for him to imagine, and once was for me, it’s all about a healthy relationship with food. Which is possible if you tune out 99 percent of the merde you read/hear. But the funniest thing is imagining what tune the round one would be playing if the satanic drug dealer had been caught selling a line of food for companion animals that gave them diabetes. Somehow I suspect his editor the dog diarist would call out the pitchforks.
Just wondering: How desperate for cash/credit would you need to be to take on the job of wrapping text around “Deen Crisco’s” recipes? Or even subcontracting it out? I guess this is proof that industrial pork is the best grease for a slippery slope.
Epistemic closure is the undeniable diagnosis for most of wingnuttia, which probably explains why the deluded would look to an “economics” blogger sans calculator for advice on cookbooks. Naturally, she did not mention the manual for the socialist contraption she so proudly hailed after dropping $1,500. But she did “inform” readers that Maida’s books are out of print. Because that’s how capitalism works — no reissues are possible if the market demands. My advice to the closed-minded: Ask a liberal. We think anything goes anywhere, but especially in the kitchen.
Also, too, it’s unfortunate there’s no place where good people like Willie Nelson can go to get their food message out to a wide audience online. He’s totally right on Occupy the Food System, but I ain’t linking to a site that apparently believes we can all eat well when outlets don’t pay. Might as well shill for Smithfield processed crap behind photos of frolicking heritage hogs.
On our way to buy hardtack the other day, my consort and I stopped at an NYPL branch to return a carefully culled DVD and by chance found “City Island” on the shelf. I remembered several touts by our co-op’s own private Ebert, the Sun-thru-Thurs elevator operator whose taste is unerringly right-on, so we brought it home and watched it with great pleasure. Now all I want to know is why NPR’s producers weren’t mentioning it in their segment on the Butter Guzzler, the one that alleged her appeal is to “people who live alone or have fractured families.” I suspect what’s up is more the feeder/feedee dynamic the filmmaker ID’d in his quest for an obese actress in a celluloid world where 170 pounds is deemed over the top. And I don’t even want to delve into how Liberace had the same appeal to my lonely mom after her nine pregnancies in 8 1/2 years . . .
If I were the despairing kind, I’d be socking back the bourbon these days. The founder of one of the literally shittiest food businesses in the country kicks off, and he’s the taco-talk of Twitter, rates obits in legitimate papers and was probably all over the teevee, too. Then one of the most influential Southern cookbook authors and cooking teachers dies at 100 and gives new meaning to “joining the choir invisible.” Camille Glenn’s hometown papers gave her sendoffs, but farther afield it’s as if she never lived. Once again, I’m very glad I’m old and won’t be around when Rachael and Paula kick the EVO/butter bucket. . .
At least the writer of one of the most compelling food songs ever warranted international attention once she was no longer among the singing, but she was smart enough to leave two super-talented children behind. “Leftovers with mashed potatoes” really is an eloquent expression of what eating involves beyond sustenance. And somehow I suspect she lived a richer life than her ex with his “how many patty melts can one man eat?”
I see Andrew Cuomo’s paramour is getting her own magazine, which means more trees will be squandered for pap, more oil will be wasted getting said pap from printing plant to newsstands. If they want to publish, have her people not thought about matching the content to the carrier with this crazy new thing called Twitter? You don’t even have to make it from scratch.
I halfway hate to say anything positive on my home page because it might confuse the fucktards who read no deeper, but the worse industrial meat (and eggs, and milk, and cheese) looks, the better I feel about the future of small farmers. My new addiction is the bacon from Flying Pigs I buy at the Greenmarket on 97th Street on Fridays. It’s not as smoky-tasting as Niman Ranch’s, but it has amazingly clean, meaty flavor and doesn’t all cook away even if you like it crispy. The copious drippings are phenomenal in refried beans, as you might expect from a place that makes outstanding lard. But the best thing about buying it is buying it. The farmer who produces it actually sells it, and the last time I stopped for some in the bitter cold he offered me a choice of three packages, light to heavy. I asked if there was any difference, and he said only in the proportion of fat to lean and the size of the strips. “It all depends on the pig,” he added. Unspoken was the truth that he knew each of those heritage pigs before they were bacon. Somehow I don’t think surveillance cameras in slaughterhouses are going to clean up the food supply. It will have to happen one conscience at a time. And if bacon priced humanely sounds too elitist, there are always bean burritos.