Not exactly fud, but . . .

. . . “Into the Abyss” is one of the most retrospectively powerful movies I’ve seen. Werner Herzog definitely gets at Real America and its gated communities, so safe you could die for want of a clicker. The ending is beyond compelling, and even as I joke about my epitaph from the crematorium being “Twittered Away,” I am thinking more and more about The Dash. Mostly, though, I’m trying to get the crime scene with the vintage cookbook and the half-finished batch of cookies out of my head. Also, too, many furious thoughts about The Chimp and his enabler, Panchito. . .

Mrs. O in a Walgreens

I keep thinking doughnuts are an overlooked trend story, but then I’m so busy gobbling digital doughnuts I can’t even keep up with my own work. So I’ll just start by ReTweeting myself: This country needs an #OccupyPanchito. He gets paid megabucks to dribble drivel after selling the “ambler” who drove the country into the #OWS ditch. I’d suggest the foie gras treatment, but apparently that would not be painful. . .

S&B in Torino

I always joke about selling decoder rings, but for this you might want to order brain bleach: I slogged through Panchito’s sad dodge-and-weave alluding to his part in foisting a dry drunk onto the country as a harmless good ol’ boy. And all I could envision was Lady MacBeth shoving double bacon-cheeseburgers embunned in Krispy Kremes into her maw. Only guilt could explain it. And was he really saying take the Big Mac and leave the blow job?

Season with bullcrit

Apparently Panchito would like to return us all to those wondrous days of yester2000 when a presidential candidate’s wife could have a dead body in her past and the story stayed safely buried. How’s that working out for the world? I can’t believe I’m saying this: Put him back on the eats beat. Burgers are totally bush league.

Four out of nine are in possession of vaginas

And now we come to the sorry end. Or, as I Tweeted it, the aspen falling in the dead-tree forest. I just wish Johnny Rotten were still in the baath and could weigh in on the lightweights taking the heavyweight jobs. My consort keeps saying stuff like “I don’t want to insult you, but food is just not serious news.” And he’s mostly right. JR was so wise in only dabbling in fud while swinging from the side of the heavyweights. Plus he was never empowered with opinions. Heading into a particularly contentious election, with the country on the skids, they picked a fine time to entrust a reviewer with oversight of unbiased news coverage. But if it gives the guy, and his readers, a break from a verbal form of what did in Elvis, I’m all for it.

Beer, hold the pretzel

Never thought I’d say this, but maybe Panchito was not so abysmal on the restaurant beat. By comparison, he’s not waving but drowning in the new gig. As my consort said, you have to bail at the first sentence. And as someone Tweeted: “I wasted one NYT click on this bullshit?” She linked, though, so maybe that’s the plan. People do like lookin’ at train wrecks. Code those Gucci ads even faster, ye who were left behind. . .

Isn’t it Rich?

One great thing about the stop-time, eerily silent weekend in Manhattan was that we woke up on Sunday morning to neither of our usual hometown papers on our doormat. No deliveries were getting through; even Famous Famiglia was closed for the first time I’ve ever noticed. Which meant I was spared having to see whatever blithering Panchito engaged in and could instead just watch him get eviscerated all over Twitter and the blogs all day. Happiest part: Finally, after nearly 10 years of me getting ragged on for using that nickname, people have caught on to the idiot who was responsible for bestowing it. Next hurricane, though, should start on Friday so we’re spared 6,000 ways to eat your lobster. How does that fit with sustainable/local/who-will-feed-the-poors?

Mesh glove, extra round

And I guess I have to wade into the melted butter even though my biggest fan (not in the Loudon sense) has defended himself well, and one of the best food bloggers out there crafted a verbal-Astaire response as well. I’ll just say what I did all those years ago when a guy whose strongest credential was having eaten at the McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps was first anointed to pass judgment on an art form that probably means more to the city’s bottom line than even theater: WTF were the bosses thinking? Eric Alterman had a good warning that the worst Chimp enabler ever should “stay the heck away from politics,” but letting him back anywhere near food has just been proven equally embarrassing. What the AA is selling is not cuisine for the noble heartlanders. It’s processed crap, tarted up. (Whored down?) I got an email within hours from a friend in Philadelphia who is not even in the food world saying he spotted at least four egregious overstatements, and of course anyone sentient is still waiting for the correction on whether Les Halles is a very busy bestselling writer/television star’s restaurant 10 years on. Mostly, though, the drivel illustrated how far removed your average op-ed writer is from the red states they all claim to celebrate. The rubes aren’t rubes eating from Applebee’s salad bars. They must understand Liberace is not Fannie Farmer.

“She is that section”

But why do all silly roads lead back to Panchito these days, I ask facetiously? How could readers have survived all those years of his droning about the cliché that is tuna tartare only to be informed that you can put pickles up yourself? Jeebus. Maybe out in “flyover country” — or in the birthplace of Ste Alice’s 40-year-old — they don’t know from crudo. But come on. This is New York. We have sushi in Duane Reades. And the cure for it one aisle over.

Going medieval on those carrots

Just back from Parma and Milan, I’m obviously having a slow time processing where I was and where I am. But I do know Panchito should be lambasted, not lauded, for his nonfood debut — he had his head so far up the Chimp’s ambling ass he apparently didn’t notice equal rights were being held back a decade along with everything else in this country (all chaps, no saddle?) And I do know it was nice to be among people demoralized about their own leader for a change (as the Economist put it, he screwed an entire country). For once, the only jokes I heard about the occupants of the White House were lame ones, about Mrs. O and her ortus. I guess they’d be happier if she were growing wars? Mowing down boyfriends?

Crottin, floating

Panchito’s new gig, with which the NYTimes adds insult to the readers’ injury of losing Frank Rich on Sundays, escaped my cranial sieve when I finally got around to posting this week. But I could not have had a more blistering reaction than Eric Alterman did. Who could ever care what the useful idiot had to say about restaurants or booze after he happily sold a dangerous dunce as a good ol’ boy in fuck-me boots? (Even if he did know the McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps so well.) It’s the old gray shuffle, and it will put Ambien out of business.

Leaves on a prickly pear cactus

This was not a great week for reviewer/book match-ups down at the hometown powerhouse. The Forelock prolly shoulda walked away from the competition, for any number of reasons, and his assigning editor shoulda brought in the G that starts with D. Plus Panchito was clearly sulking after reading the “inevitable memoir” after seeing it, by all accounts, reviewed so much better than his own. I didn’t think I could get one more laugh out of his lack of self-awareness, but I have to say reading a guy who was criticized for TMI now bitching about another memoirist not laying out TMI was pretty fucking rich. So, Ms. Prune: Two fingers or three?

Don’t just stand there . . .

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.

Egg Not, embellished

And I also am now in possession of what I guess is the first Twitter cookbook. Shove it back somewhere constricted, and not just because the foreword is by Panchito. The only laugh is his overwriting: Two adjectives alone would nearly eat up a single Tweet. Twitter is not meant for the mainstream; I often find myself deleting emails I want to send to friends who are not in the cult because I realize they will never be able to wade through, let alone translate the abbreviations and symbols. A link to a good recipe database would be the best Tweet of all. I didn’t waste much time with it, but the guacamole recipe is indexed on the wrong page and also sounds like one only an Irishwoman could love. Nice stunt, but even Strand ain’t buying.