I actually roused myself from my Twitter-facing Aeron to go take in a panel on “post-gender food writing” and am only glad I had the good sense to check out the revivifying bar at Fedora afterward (it’s transporting). Otherwise, this was one of the dumbest “debates” I think I’ve ever sat through. The concept was confused, given how many men who have written authoritatively on food through the decades were never mentioned besides A.J. Liebling (for starters: Roy Andries de Groot, Richard Olney, John Hess, Evan Jones, James Villas, Seymour Britchky, even Johnny Rotten) or how many are having such an impact right now (can you say Michael Pollan, or that other guy who ate everything?) Bloggers were (not surprisingly, given the moderator) dissed as “girlie-girls” when the most readable ones I read all have literal cojones. But mostly I was amazed at how many cheap jokes were made at the easy expense of Panchito. I’m the last one to defend that Chimp enabler. But the next forum should be on “post-S.O. food writing” for sure.
Someone over on the social media site that ate my life suggested bringing the Egotist to the White House to consult (or some such nonsense). I’d suggest bringing the guy who actually wrote the original script for what matters. He, after all, looked at a full page in the hometown paper devoted to cult cow and saw that it was actually only ordinary feedlot beef.
Dinner afterward was one long argument about the quality of the movie-making, but I have to say the new Werner Herzog is a seriously good food film. A few sequences are as slow as an Omnivorish exploration of his own dieting, but I got my fill on the shoe-eater’s quoting “the best description of hunger is a description of bread” and his observation that the base camp of the first explorers now looks like “an extinct supermarket.” It does make you think about dried fruit as the new canned mutton. And the Frosty Boy churning out something that Skimpy Treat would have happily served is richly ironic in the land of hard-frozen ice. Mostly, though, I came away wondering why scientists are searching for the origins of life when death for humankind is rapping at the front door. Those scallops and squid and seals are going to be there long after the last greenhouse tomato has been infected with salmonella.