So the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is reduced to slightly less than zero because the con man in chief bungled the #trumpandemic response. Wait till it sinks in that there will be no Thanksgiving dinners this year, either — all these months on, it is still not safe to gather around a table cuz you can’t eat or drink while wearing a mask. Get ready for sheet pan turkey and trimmings. And sadness. Whatever you do, don’t think about Christmas…
Heard tonight, at a picnic in the park crashed by pissants, a squirrel, three unleashed terriers and two rats, that Keith McNally had the interior of his last great stage set jackhammered out so one could infringe on his signature style. So many eras ending thanx to the #trumpandemic…
I’ll tell you how we got this fake president: Hefty packaging a one-inch roll of baggies in a box 2 1/2 inches wide and tall. Everything’s a cheat.
Between the insanity of Horseface and the horror of Bonesaw, good old everyday incompetence tends to get lost. But the mess the “deal” guy is making with tariffs on food is quite something. All this is behind the Murdoch Crier’s paywall, unfortunately, so I have to summarize rather than link: Pork producers are screwed because China is slapping 70 percent tariffs on the meat they export and going shopping in Spain and other countries for the cheap staff of life. Farmers are of course complaining the gubmint handouts cannot be big enough to compensate for those lost sales (and no one’s talking about how the U.S. will be borrowing from China to cover the dole to Heartlanders). But an unintended consequence is that food banks are about to be inundated with surplus pork, apples and cheese that good ol’ Washington is buying up to help farmers as well. Sounds good, given that the richest country on earth has so many hungry people. But dealing with all those donations, especially the perishable ones, takes money, for storing, managing and distributing. As one executive said: “Even free food has a cost,” up to $500,000 a year, another said. All those voters who really thought they were putting a businessman in the Oval Office? I have a bankrupt casino (or two) to sell ‘em. With a vodka-and-bottled water chaser.
This is how pathetic we the sane were: We were merely looking forward to taco trucks on every corner. Turns out the traitors were strategizing to guarantee caviar carts at every desk. Joke’s on them, though: We may have to walk a little farther for our Tuesday indulgence, but the 1 percent are hogging all the Beluga. Deplorables will have to continue continue scrabbling for off-brand Wonder Bread crumbs. Using the bags for shoes.
And the Murdoch Crier has a great new hire covering thoughtfulness in food, and there was much to like in her debut column (link only works if you subscribe). But I can’t eat an avocado these days without thinking of the tradeoff: 99 cents a pop in the short term, no monarch butterflies for forever. In case you doubted there are worse outrages than $9 for toast spread with mantequilla de la pobre.
More and more, it’s becoming obvious that the guano is getting real with all the foxes in charge of the Orange Henhouse. A report in the unlinkable Murdoch Crier detailed how the chicken industry is carping the diem to demand rollback of yet another rule imposed by the successful black prez, the one that limited poultry factories to whacking up a mere 140 birds a minute. A minute would now have 175 carcasses flying by, sort of Lucy-on-the-chocolates-line pace but now with more salmonella. The LOL, however, may be last on the greedsters. Their racist hero and his brownshirts at ICE are guaranteeing there will be no one available to do the work. Unless, of course, he succeeds in doing away with disability and Social Security. Guys on oxygen tanks and grandmas in wheelchairs will surely flock to feather their mitts with that sweet, sweet unliving wage.
Weird jetsam gets caught in my cranial sieve. Whenever I pass the Puck Building, as I did the other night on the way to a friend’s play in the East Village, I flash back on the Wall Street wedding we went to there a full 30 years ago. I commented that the passed food was surprisingly good and the best man, standing next to me, threw his toothpick onto the tray and spat: “It should be. It cost a fucking fortune.” Did I mention it was a Wall Street wedding? And they’re back . . .
If I could ever get it together to update my Trails page, I could make a very persuasive case for places like Bodega 88, which opened a few blocks from us not so long ago. In these T’ing times, a sports bar is the rare refuge from the all-orange-chaos-all-the-time insanity. You can be surrounded by 12 teevees, one on ice, and realize: Puck it, we’re tuning it out.
And at a time when wingnuts are actually debating whether fellow Americans need food to survive, I have to rant yet again that the best way to save SNAP would be to rebrand it as what it actually is. Not a lifeline for the poors. A huge subsidy to supermarkets.
And it gets worse: Climate change is killing off Champagne grapes. We will go through End Times with nothing to ease the pain.
Saddest thing about the Magnificent doc? How directly My Biggest Fan nailed what has happened to the food world, and why I have lost so much interest. Used to be you had a week’s or month’s respite before being ka-slammed with a barrage of hottest/newest bullshit. Now it is nonstop.
The Chinese must be laughing at us all for living in such interesting times. Immigration authorities are cracking down even harder even though immigration is way down thanks to the Kenyan Muslim. So in one day you will read that Tyson Foods is so desperate for workers willing to do hard, dangerous jobs that it’s actually (OMFG) raising wages. And that food pantries and other social services are finding immigrants are going into hiding, too terrified even to seek help, let alone sign on to suit up to whack up chickens. I guess safety through unaffordable food was always the plan?
I may be repeating myself, but for good reason: In 1992, when my consort and I schlepped to 12 states to document harvests of a dozen foods that come into season only once a year, we both got probably the sickest either of us has ever been after spending a day in a Vidalia onion field in Georgia alongside an industrial henhouse. Whatever was going on in that fowl prison would have put me off supermarket eggs even if I hadn’t already gotten wise to local=safe despite what the catapulters of propaganda will still tell you.
So I can feel North Carolina’s pain as the sad citizens, and the ocean, deal with the aftermath of the flooding from the latest storm to prove denial makes one crappy seawall when it comes to climate change. All the toxins that we inhaled a quarter-century ago are even more widespread in a country that has put a chicken into every 29-cent potpie. Add to the fowlness the 4,800 now-rotting sources of cheap bacon and you’re talking eco-disaster. The feces has literally hit the fan.
Back in the Seventies I worked on a weekly in Iowa where my job description included schlepping to farms to check out the status of the corn crop. Those were the days when farmers dual-cropped, and there were always a few hogs living high around the barn; the poop was relatively minimal and the stench bearable (think Blue Hill at Stone Barns today). Today I’m (somewhat) amused to see everyone freaking out at the photos of industrial agriculture a friend had published in the hometown paper. Twenty-five years ago Bob and I went to the pumpkin capital of the world at the peak of the season and stood by the field thinking: This is not a harvest. It’s mechanized rape of the fields. Now we’re finally seeing the shitstorm that is the reaping of the sowing. Even if a lot of deniers can’t spell the latter.
PSA, BTW: This is one of the most intense food movies ever made.