I started to Tweet this as the saddest food story of the week. But then I reconsidered. Starving would be a far crueler way to go than a bolt through the head. Too bad the banksters who created the crisis will never experience the former . . .
Just as all the culi-pundits are sending people around the bend over the too-muchness of Thanksgiving, the silly government decides to inform anyone paying attention that 49 million people are going hungry in what boasts of being the richest country in the world. Much as I hate the bureaucratese of “food insecurity,” it does hint at the awfulness of not knowing where your next meal is coming from. And much as I hate kids, I can’t deny they’re the future — I want them growing up healthy and strong enough to change my diapers someday. In my lifetime I never thought I would see a cartoon of a family at the table with the parents advising the son and daughter to clean their plates because “children are going hungry in Oregon.” To think it all began with ketchup as a vegetable. . . .
Or maybe not. Thanks to the Cod, I see no incompetence still goes uncompensated in this fucked-up society. The old girl has a book deal. Involving definitions. Of “the way we dine now.” Her agent must be very good with moving targets. Not even Applebee’s is safe with apple carts on the way any day now. Notice, though, I am avoiding all the obvious “who do you have to blow around here?” jokes. They seem to write themselves.
I was chagrined to think we might have been just catapultees, but my consort and I still had an outstanding time mingling by the fire the other night in an apartment just down the street from the Bloomberg palace. Real critics were there, and at least one real blogger, and a whole cast of other characters I both recognized and didn’t. The super-savvy and always-gracious boss turned up, too, with French journalist in tow, and that made me even more appreciative of the marketing wizardry on display. What better way to signal how nimble your organization will be even if apple carts are cluttering the streets? What better way to instruct hyper-wealthy clients on entertaining at home than DIY in a real home with a buffet of cheese and killer charcuterie, with no waiters beyond the hostess and one supremely efficient bartender? As that superb and agile hostess said, always serve one homemade thing (mushroom soup in demitasse, say) and you can get away with buying the rest. It was one great performance. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether to feel reassured or terrified when the top of the food chain is demonstrably tightening its links. . . .