Friday, June 08, 2018

About Bourdain

To be honest, I’ve met rather too many chefs who were trying a little too hard to be Anthony Bourdain, whose death was announced today; some of them ended up closer to Ainsley Harriott. One thing that distinguished him from many of his contemporaries was that he could write. (Or, to be less charitable and because I know how these things work, he had a ghost writer/editor who decided Bourdain’s schtick might appeal to people who could read.) This, from Kitchen Confidential:
I was a sous-chef at a very fine two-star place on 39th, where I dimly recall preparing a four-course meal for Paul Bocuse; he thanked me in French, I think. My brain, at this point, was shriveled by cocaine, and I made the mistake of telling a garde-manger man that if he didn’t hurry up with an order I’d tear his eyes out and skull-fuck him, which did not endear me to the fussy owner manager.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

About Kate Spade

A genuine Facebook exchange I just saw:
“OMG, RIP Kate Spade 
“They closed down?”
Wrapped up in there is a whole narrative about the extent to which capitalism is trouncing real life but for the moment I’ll just let it hover here.


Monday, June 04, 2018

About women’s things

I report, without comment or gloss, that the BBC’s forthcoming series of monologues about women’s lives over the past 100 years will be called Snatches.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

About self-criticism

Friday, May 18, 2018

About stupid


A politician may or may not have called another politician a “stupid woman”, which is very bad, apparently. I understand it’s not exactly the sort of thing you’d like to hear from a colleague, but it’s fairly low down the rankings as far as political vituperation goes.

It turns out, though, that “stupid” is now verboten in many schools. But I’m not sure if that means it’s just considered too hurtful to draw attention to someone’s stupidity — or whether stupidity as a thing is considered not to exist.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

About safe spaces etc

A couple of pull-outs from Bret Easton Ellis’s interview (by Nathalie Olah) in the TLS:
It’s terrible. And it’s a terrible way to live as an artist. You see it affecting the arts on a vague, vague but vast scale – where is the taboo? Where is the Other? So what if it’s offensive? Good! Where is this bizarre idea of art created by committee, by a democracy, coming from? Art isn’t created by a democracy! And there seems to be this thing, especially on social media, of group-approved art, that’s chilling.
I wouldn’t have been the writer I am if I’d been raised in a very safe, no-bully environment with a nice mom and dad who looked after me and made sure everything was ok... I think your experiences of pain and alienation and people marginalizing you is what forces out this expressiveness. I think we’re becoming a society that wants to erase all of that. Put everyone into this safe group that is all taken care of and everyone’s the same and no one’s different and we all love each other and we’re eradicating all pain and it’s all very nice and it’s all very utopian; I just don’t think that’s who we really are and I don’t know what the end game of that is.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

About trolling

According to the musician Courtney Barnett, the phrase
I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you
is a manifestation of trolling and “male aggression”. Or is it just criticism?