I don’t even want to think about how much that little punk Putin is gloating as he watches Americans with money line up to buy bread and Americans with no money line up at food pantries.
I spent nearly the entire Bushwhacking on here trying to crack wise as the situation got direr and direr and the bodies stacked up higher and higher and corporate media still pretended the dangerous dry drunk was just a harmless good ol’ boy you could have a beer with. Now my advice under “hashtag we’re all gonna die” is: “Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left to you.” Too many Americans seem to forget what it was like to travel in Italy and be asked “Americana?” and have to respond, trying to save face: “No, New Yorkese!” Now the orange national nightmare has made that designation humiliating, too.
As soon as the “Fairway is falling” hysteria started, I knew exactly how the saga would unfold in all the news outlets. Instead of seeing it as Chapter EleventySeven of the Twinkie tale, they sold it as the usual “not adapting to online shopping and new competition.” When the reality is that vulture capitalists loaded the chain down with debilitating debt while mismanaging what they had bumbled into. Now the lawyers and other bankruptcy grifters will loot the last assets until there’s nothing in the cash register left for the 1,400 employees, either for their severance pay or, most definitely, for their pensions. Who coulda predicted?
On one foray to Philadelphia, I came across the food world equivalent of the most famous six-word story ever. This was the sad sign in the window of a vacant space off Rittenhouse Square: “Restaurant equipment for sale. Bought brand-new. Used for seven months.” Of course, not even Hemingway would have opened a hummus joint so close to Dizengoff.
So old I’ve decided previous olds collected so many canned pineapple recipes cuz A) the main ingredient seemed so exotic B) it was about the only fruit available year-round before this 24/7/365 all-the-food-all-the-time world.
Our Goodwill Guide in Osaka was walking us down “the longest street in Japan” on the one cold and rainy day of our trip when we passed a pachinko parlor and my consort, Mr. Curious, asked if we could check it out. We stepped inside and my world was instantly rocked. After more than a week of living largely in real life, seeing and experiencing rather than compulsively clicking and reacting, I had just been transported into IRL Twitter. It was loud, a steady, rhythmic din of slot machines, like the firehose feel when everyone is responding to something either newsworthy or stupid (or, these days: both). It was too bright and too young and too neon-y but somehow still dark. It was smoky, very smoky, and even that felt right despite the fact that Japan has pretty much ostracized old-style nicotine addicts — assholes can always get through. It had everything but my keyboard and the instant notifications/gratification. I was almost vibrating.
Then I saw the writing on the wall:
This space overflows with dreams, hopes, stimulation and excitement
Dramatic developments await you
Please be released from everyday life and enjoy yourself free.
May the fortunate goddess smile at you.
@Jack could not have put it more insidiously better.
I was still scribbling that down when Bob reacted the way he did at Churchill Downs back in the early days of the consortium when I once won a few bucks on a horse. The same guy who insisted I get on Twitter (“if you do the cat book, you can drum up interest in it”) grabbed me by the arm and said: “We’re getting out of here.”
And here I sit, with the sound off.
Me, on waking every morning, still: And to think we were promised taco trucks on every corner . . .
Just to get the politics-is-policy stuff out of the way: The so-called prez wants to cut SNAP benefits when I have been ranting for years that food stamps should be rebranded supermarket subsidies, which you would think the “party of business” would be all for. I also keep getting sucked into a bizarre debate over whether a fruit-and-vegetable shortage or a disruption for automakers would be a worse consequence of closing the border. It makes me even more amazed that congestion pricing went through, because car dependency is apparently a hell of a drug. Fords over fruit? Mexico is not just sending avocados and tomatoes — at least half the produce section comes from there and Central America. What good are wheels if the produce aisles are empty when you get to the Piggly Wiggly?
Inneresting to see the whole Molto Ego scandale being treated as “one bad orange.” Everything’s fine now; nothing to see. Meet the new fud world, same as the old fud world. Also, too: Once an egoist, always an egoist. So the carrot color thing didn’t work out so well. The gadflying for Holy Foods kinda backfired. Why not swipe not just a name but a logo? The only amazement these days is that the Butter Guzzler is not back out on the national stage, letting her Confederate flag fly.
I keep justifying overindulging in sauvblanc, as the server in an Indian restaurant in Sydney shorthanded it, as a way of supporting New Zealand and the world’s most inspiring leader (#putawomanincharge). But I also have to acknowledge that liquid support comes at a cost. We took a winery tour of Marlborough Sound last summer and were almost sobered by the grown-and-raised-there bus driver who lamented, as we looked out on vineyards stretching for miles in every direction: “We used to have apple orchards. Now, it’s all grapes. We lost our birds.” At least that takes some pressure off Northern California. Wineries there can buy the stuff by the tanker load, bottle it in the USofA and charge as if it’s Cloudy Bay.
One not-so-recent Saturday I opened my Sunday paper and found the latest “we need ads and we can’t get ’em” color supplement. After a quick flip through the extravaganza my skepticism was so validated I envisioned hundreds of copies laid flat alongside induction cooktops all across the gullible country as readers followed along. Taking away measurement lists and technique steps but spelling out how to make one dish yields . . . a recipe. It’s not liberation. It’s a change of format. FFS, that’s what Elizabeth David was doing decades ago, and so well.
Because we invite only the family we have chosen rather than those we were saddled with, our Thanksgivings are always liquid and raucous and fun, with a mix of old and new “strangers.” So much so that I didn’t get a chance to recount my favorite memory from the 23 feasts over the last 26 years in this dining room: The time friends looked up mid-turkey to spot a woman in the apartment building across the street vacuuming her bedroom walls. Naked. But at least that was not as unsavory as my recollection of the November when I was living in L’ville and took the bus up to Dayton to meet a friend who escorted me to a cafeteria for our turkey&trimmings. I will leave to the imagination what it was like to ride hours home on a winding highway while lurching back to the bathroom to upchuck on the regular. So maybe that’s why those “real ‘mericans” are so enamored of the trash in the WH. He, too, ate like an Ohioan on the all-American feast day, walking the buffet line for his iceberg salad and pie, glorifying his plastic-gloved main dish as coming from the “carving station.” Allah help all the imported maids who had to clean up the literal shitstorm afterward.
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.
I also suppose it’s no wonder we got Mango Mussolini given that Molto Ego was once considered the most famous chef in America. Orange worship is weird. And I’m guessing there are more than a few women chefs who regret that blurb on their cookbooks. . .