Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, October 5, 2009

That's Entertainment!

We are behind in our mocking. Let's see what Megan McArdle is up too. Hmmm, a tribute video of Monty Python. Does McArdle really like Monty Python or is she just trying to fit in with her liberal friends? On the one hand they are British and upper class, which is Good. But they also make fun of the British and upper class, as well as everyone else. That's Bad. Plus they are anarchic, which is Bad, and some of them were scathing critics of Bush. That's Very Bad. I'll vote for "fake tribute." Moving on.

Gourmet is dead, and McArdle is "shocked and horrified." Since torture didn't shock or horrify her, I'm very impressed. Gourmet must have been a heck of a cooking magazine.


Conde is keeping the decidedly mediocre Bon Appetit, which might be described as "things you can make your girlfriend for Valentine's Day without setting the kitchen on fire." Conde may be making the right commercial choice--maybe America's food culture has slipped so far that there's no real reason to publish a magazine aimed at people who are willing to spend all day making a meal. All I know is, when I go onto Epicurious, and I have a choice between a recipe from Gourmet and a recipe from Bon Appetit, I choose the former--and the few times I've violated this rule, I've always been disappointed with the results.
Remember when McArdle talked about "New York food culture"? That was funny. McArdle seems to think her own likes and dislikes, as well as those of her friends, embody the entire nation's "food culture." Now we're supposed to believe that Bon Appetit is bourgeois because McArdle prefers Gourmet. Why? We are not graced with a reason beyond McArdle's personal taste. We need no further authority or explanation.

Here is more Food!Megan, for your enjoyment. (Remember, children, cooking sherry is not as good as drinking sherry!) And, here, if you can stomach precious young Julian Sanchez's precociousness, is the famed cooking contest that McArdle mentions during her macaroni and cheese recipe post. I lasted about five minutes but I have a high tolerance level for pain, so use caution.

10 comments:

Mr. Wonderful said...

MM is right in that the recipes in Gourmet are better than those in Bon Appetit. (Where "better" = only slightly more complex or using slightly upscale ingredients, with noticeably better results.)

But B.A. is all recipes and equipment reviews. Gourmet is mainly feature articles obtained by sending good, well-paid writers and photographers all over the world.

Which does she think is cheaper to maintain? Or does she just want to show off her soi disant culinary skills by stamping her little foot?

bulbul said...

McArdle seems to think her own likes and dislikes, as well as those of her friends, embody the entire nation's "food culture."
McArdle thinks her own likes and dislikes embody the entire nation. Period.
Also, as we learned here, Megan actually advocates using sugar in tomato sauce. No need to listen anything she says on the subject of cooking or food.

clever pseudonym said...

"maybe America's food culture has slipped so far that there's no real reason to publish a magazine aimed at people who are willing to spend all day making a meal."

Most of the recipes in Gourmet do not take all day to make, which is why I know it is something she buys and throws on her coffee table to appear to be into cooking without actually reading it. It's a pretty crap magazine as far as cooking goes.

America's food culture has not slipped. It's migrated to online food sites, which are fast, free, and have reader feedback and ratings that are endlessly helpful. That post was idiotic. It's Megan assuring herself that her fake interest in cuisine puts her above everyone else, whose taste for fine food is "slipping."

constant gina said...

You raise very good points, I agree. I even use Martha Stewart Every Day Food more than those for weekday meals – so good! I rarely buy all of those magazines. Publications also needed to get into the online game more, especially robust, beautifully designed online password-protected content for subscribers.

Mr. Wonderful said...

CP, say it ain't so! "a pretty crap magazine"? I've made entire dinner parties from Gourmet recipes, and they all turn out great.

Of course, that was 20 years ago (like everything else at this point), so maybe it's declined. But on Epicurious, if one recipe is B.A. and one is Gourmet, I'll go with the latter.

And a LITTLE sugar in tomato sauce isn't such a crime.

satch said...

Bulbul: "...Megan actually advocates using sugar in tomato sauce". To be fair, so does Clemenza in "The Godfather".

clever pseudonym said...

Mr. W.
I don't mean the recipes themselves. It's just that, as you noted, it's got other food-related features that just don't interest me personally. I don't need to know which restaurant in Saville serves the best veal, etc. I prefer straight cooking mags.

tigris said...

It's Megan assuring herself that her fake interest in cuisine puts her above everyone else, whose taste for fine food is "slipping."

Substitute "anything" for "cuisine" and take out "for fine food" and I think you've nailed the motivating factor behind most of her posts.

Dr.BDH said...

Food magazine recipes are full of mistakes. Cookbooks, too. (And they don't publish retractions when you point out that 1 cup of vanilla extract is a little too much.) Just as some people can read musical scores, my wife can read a recipe and point out how crappy the result is going to taste. It's the result of professional training and an extremely sensitive nose and palate. The only food magazine we still get is Cook's Illustrated. We enjoy the endless attempts to make the perfect pot roast on the grill; a tribute to the thankless task of making classic American food edible.

zak822 said...

I have been a subscriber of Gourmet, BA, Food and Wine and Saveur.

I have issues of Gourmet and BA from the mid-1980's. Both have dramatically changed in how they cover food and the recipes they each offer, catering far more to the home cook in a hurry.

I can understand that in BA, but not in Gourmet. What they offer now is seldom "gourmet" cuisine, for all that I love the recipes I find there. A 5 ingredient meal is far different that the 1985 recipe for Chicken in Chaud-Froid Sauce with Vegatables in Aspic--an all day recipe. The examples are endless.

So yes, the magazine people think America's food culture has slipped. I think they overreacted. I know quite a few people that have monthly dinner parties where fine dining is the order of the day.