So food-writing is macho now. Must remember not to snicker when straight guy friends say reductions, mesclun, arugula, or gherkins. Paul Levy explains why he’s opting out of the macho food-writing movement, whose practitioners include Anthony Bourdain and Bill Buford. He particularly dislikes it when food is described as “fecal”. For instance, John McPhee in The New Yorker describes durian as “a fruit that smells strongly fecal and tastes like tiramisu.” I think it’s an accurate description, but I am a testosteronic girl.
Archive for September, 2007
David & Goliath the T-shirt store has an ongoing exhibition at Archaeology on the second floor of Power Plant Mall, Rockwell. The organizers asked a bunch of people for personal statements which were then printed on black T-shirts. My T-shirt expresses a personal observation regularly verified by empirical evidence. (The T-shirts are not for sale. I got a customized T-shirt, which is what passes for couture in my wardrobe.)
Saw Carlos Celdran and Quark Henares at the exhibit opening. They, too, went for statements of fact. Carlos: All artists are liars. Quark: Truly, Madly, Crazily In Love With Cueshe.
Did anyone else see this during the televised Senate hearings this week, or was my friend Underwood hallucinating? You know how each person on the Senate panel has a bottle of water on the table in front of him? Underwood claims that when someone was asking or answering a question, a hand (presumably connected to a body off-camera) would stealthily turn the water bottle around so the label was facing the camera.Â Did this really happen? And if it did, was it Addams Family, or Evil Dead?
The word is that Ian McEwan will win the Booker Prize for his short novel On Chesil Beachâ€”wonderfully-written, but literally a finger exercise compared to his other workâ€”because he should’ve won it in 2002 for Atonement (as the new film adaptation reminds everyone). If that happens it would be the second Booker correction in McEwan’s career. In the late 90s when he won for Amsterdam, the general perception was that he’d gotten it because he was overlooked the previous year for Enduring Love.
1. Why do we care so much about awards?
a. the publicity/celebrity
b. the prize money
c. the additional income from sales generated by the publicity
d. possible role in reality show featuring ex-celebrities
2. Awards are
a. all about the flavor of the season; next year no one will give a shit.
b. an indicator of the zeitgeist.
c. given to the work that all the judges can get behind, and not to the work that causes discomfort, offence, or debate, which is what great work tends to do.
d. excellent for padding one’s CV or grant application. (I am a beneficiary of the awards culture; if I hadn’t won a Palanca my book publisher wouldn’t have known I exist.)
e. according to a snooty friend, “so midul-klass”.
3. Inevitably, anyone who is adored by critics and the public becomes the subject of a backlash. We’re already seeing the McEwan backlash.
4. I cannot stand biographical notes that begin with “multi-awarded” or “award-winning”. It’s like I’m being cowed into admiring the artist because some jury somewhere gave him a trophy for being the least annoying entry.
5. Then again, there is an element of schadenfreude to all this.
6. As a Marxist, a Groucho Marxist, I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have someone like me for a member.
Take pictures of your pets reading books and send them to email@example.com.
At the Senate hearing into the ZTE broadband deal, Senator Nene Pimentel asked this question: “Ano ba ang broadband? Can somebody explain this in layman’s terms?”
Help our politicians join the 21st century.