You Find Out In A Little While

Food Network has Robert Irvine beating people into adequacy, Willie WhatsHisFace spying from crawlspaces and and health inspectors prowling around the salamander. On Spike, bars get backup and on BBC America, restaurant owners are going to get back to work if it costs Gordon Ramsay an aneurism. The two things all the establishments have in common is that they’re filthy and everyone’s embarrassed that they’re filthy. Dad used to say no one should be standing around in a restaurant; everyone who isn’t preparing food, serving customers or paying bills should be cleaning something. It’s true that Dad’s hobby was being angry and he was often very popular. So maybe people like to hear men shouting about clean freezers.

Where the Chess Players Used To Sell

I am pay-attentiony, so I am aware of stuff and shit, as Dad used to say.

Pete and I grew up in the same town, playing in the same woods, stomping in the same creeks and, when our town finally got a grocery store, walking up and down those same store aisles with our moms. That ShopRite left town and was replaced by another grocery store, which changed companies and names several times and recently moved to another building in the same mall for more, cleaner space. We know this Stop & Shop inside-out and backwards, so we were both perturbed when about a month ago, we found it in an uproar as the staff rearranged it. Last weekend, the stupid partitions, bread racks and crooked handwritten signs were gone, so the current arrangement has a look of permanence. It is our habit to walk in the front door, stop at the Hot Wheels display – because Hot Wheels! – and head right for the natural foods aisle against the left wall. We turned the corner and skidded to a rough stop.

At last, my camera phone captures both angst and ennui. Pulitzer, please!

Ta darling, you’re saying, just because spokesmodel Andrew Zimmern says don’t make it so. Perhaps the perimeter is optional, not optimal. Oh yeah?

The Mayo Clinic:

Picture your favorite grocery store. Chances are the fresh produce section, the meat and seafood departments, and the dairy case are all located around the perimeter of the store. This is where you should concentrate most of your shopping time. Why? Fresh foods are generally healthier than the ready-to-eat foods found in the middle aisles. This helps you better control the fat and sodium in your diet.

Staid Reader’s Digest:

Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where all the fresh foods are. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. Make it a habit — work the perimeter of the store for the bulk of your groceries, then dip into the aisles for staples that you know you need.

Doggone, even WebMD:

Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions – honey – but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” [Michael] Pollan says.

These helpful people agreed strongly enough to make YouTube videos about this topic. Not food, and certainly not natural food, but it is a lie and a very cynical manipulation, isn’t it? Anguished cries of Mommy, HoHos are health food! must rend the air a hundred times a day.

At this point, I was looking for store security but they were probably on their phones, too. In grocery stores, everyone is. Possibly with the Mayo Clinic.

Crossposted to Brilliant@Breakfast.

Some People Are In Charge Of Bombs

What’s clucking up at the Henhouse?

Fox News Says Gabby Douglas’ Leotard, Other US Olympic Uniforms Not Patriotic Enough

Bless us, a grown man is talking smack about a teenage girl, so it’s got to be about fashion. He must be very butch. So says the assistant principal:

[David] Webb noted that gymnasts “adjust their uniforms within boundaries sometimes,” but he still had an issue with the “anti-American feeling.”

“If you want to be in the Olympics, you’re playing for your country,” said Webb. “The Chinese are wearing red predominantly as that’s their national color, if you will, so why not us with the red, white and blue? There’s a meaning behind the red, white and blue that has been lost.”

Gymnasts sometimes push up their long sleeves and judges sometimes penalize for it. The rules are very strict. Last night, Gabby Douglass was chewing gum in the stands and I was as shocked as if I’d seen her eating actual food.

Has the gold medal. And detention, apparently.

Believe it or not, Webb, who should be arguing about hall passes in the Mr. Blackwell Middle School in Nowhere, Pennsyltucky, is in a state of high dudgeon over little pink leotards. I mulled over the pink uniforms too, but I wondered how the designers got away with it. The elite athlete of questionable patriotic fervor is a teenage girl; in the general population, teenage girls carry pink phones in their pink purses and wear sweats with the word PINK plastered on their tiny teeny butts. Teenage girly-girls wear pink and our women’s gymnastics team is composed entirely of teenage girls whose femininity is seriously and publicly policed by the US Gymnastics Federation and the Olympic authorities. Some committee okayed these uniforms made by the blistered hands of tiny Chinese slave-children. Just kidding. I’m sure they were slave-adults.

Not on the team but still pretty, which counts bigtime in gymnastics.

Also: it never crossed my mind that Alicia Sacramone might have been the intended wearer of the fuschia leotard. No. Not at all. No. She looks great in fuschia.

Assistant Principal Webb again:

‘What’s wrong with showing pride?” Webb asked. “What we’re seeing is this kind of soft anti-American feeling that Americans can’t show our exceptionalism. Frankly, if they are offended about our showing our exceptionalism then they have that right and I don’t care. And neither do most Americans.”

Gymnastics has rules against showing your exceptionalism. Or your cootchy. Don’t do that. It’s a big deduction.

What is this frustrated jerkwad talking about, anyway? Four other girls were dressed the same unpatriotic way. He doesn’t mention them. Maybe he wanted Gabby Douglass to roll a tank down the vaulting runway and end every routine with a military salute? This is stupid and inappropriate and in keeping with Mouthbreather-Americans’ fetishization of all things military and flaggy. Yes, this is an international event, but the point of the Olympics is peaceful competition between nations. That point is lost on a lot of people. So what the fuck is this guy doing in turning one teenage girl’s outfit into a nightmare of thwarted hypernationalism? And doesn’t it sound a lot like what the Henhouse cluckers say about President Obama?

Live It Up And Die In Bed

Pete’s feets, being feety, doing feet things.

Good news: Scientists have developed an oxygen substitute shot that might keep patients alive for thirty minutes.

Researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a new microparticle that can be used to oxygenate blood cells and keep a non-breathing patient alive for up to 30 minutes, according to the scientific journal Science Transitional Medicine.

The particles, a combination of fat and oxygen, can be injected directly into a vein, giving medical professionals precious time to properly ventilate a dying patient.

Even better news: you are not a bunny.

Researchers first tested the injection on rabbits and found that oxygen saturation increased within seconds of the particles hitting the animals’ bloodstream, despite the rabbits’ tracheas being blocked.

There has got to be a better way. I don’t claim to know what it is, but this way is just gruesome.

Girls Against the World

Food Network has taken many wrong turns over the years but this time it’s driven the ice cream truck into a concrete abutment.
See this guy? His name is Willie Degel. I’m sure he’s a miserable person to work for and be near. Why? His visible-from-space boundary issues:

Willie Degel is known for running a tight ship at his restaurants. His secret: cameras canvassing every inch of his restaurant, allowing him to keep a close eye on his floor, staff and patrons. Restaurant Stakeout follows as Willie takes his practices to troubled restaurateurs looking to find and rectify the hidden problems that lie within their establishments.

My bold. Yes, that’s right. Cameras everywhere, rather than capable floor managers. How’s your carpaccio? Willie knows! Judging by the commercial alone – because I’d rather chew off my foot than watch an episode of this bullshit – Willie is a bully and a blowhard who doesn’t actually know how to run a restaurant but does know how to make people, especially women, really uncomfortable.

I can’t stand game shows and I’m not interested in buying ANYTHING Willie Degel’s selling. Hey, Food Network, any chance we can – I don’t know – talk about food? And why you now have an entire channel I don’t get devoted to talking about food?

Turning Round And Round They Go Back

Monday night, I was working on some photos for a project and not paying attention to the TV when I started to get a creepy vibe. Okay, so Andrew Zimmern is on Bizarre Food. He’s usually so diplomatic that I looked around for another source for the vibe, but no. It was Zimmern. He was in the Fez, Morocco – which is to say a Moslem country. He’s been to Moslem countries many times, so what happened next was fucking inexplicable.

He was in a kitchen filled with women. He was talking to the women about how men do not come into the kitchen. It was specifically a discussion of gender roles when I felt a twinge somewhere and looked up. The tone of his voice was all wrong. His hands rested gently on the shoulders of the woman who ran the kitchen. I sat up straight and started coaching, “Andrew, don’t touch her! You can’t touch a married woman!”

Somehow, he didn’t hear me. Then he was around on the other side of the table and I saw his hand gently touch another woman. I was now out and out shouting, “Andrew! Stop it! Don’t touch her!” He leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek! She took a step back, horrified. The voiceover, done by Zimmern, explained why what he had just done was wildly inappropriate – AS IF THAT COULD BE A SURPRISE TO HIM. I can’t say this enough: Andrew Zimmern has traveled all over the world.

Believe it or not, the rest of the episode was filled with appalling little moments and indelicate outbursts. I spent more time than I want to admit with my hands covering my eyes and not working on my project.

Oh. My. God. He was like a one man International Incident.

It’s not embedded because I have no attention span, but you must watch this video. It’s about four minutes.

How could this fucking happen? How could the Travel Channel broadcast this?

Might Be Big Big Fake Fake Lies

Why doesn’t the whole world smell like coconut sun tan lotion? It might protect us from the weeks-old santorum:

Those politics don’t play well in Riva del Garda, a community of ultraliberals. On the campaign trail, Santorum often touts his grandfather’s flight from Italy “to escape fascism,” but he has neglected to publicly mention their close ties with the Italian Communist Party. “Rick’s grandfather Pietro was a liberal man and he understood right away what was happening in Italy,” Mrs. Santorum told Oggi. “He was anti-fascist to the extreme, and the political climate in 1925 was stifling so he left for America. After a few years he returned to Italy with his wife and children, including Aldo, Rick’s father, who passed away late last year. It’s a shame he won’t have the joy to see his son’s success in his bid for the White House.” She goes on to explain how the family then became pillars of the Communist Party in Italy.

“There are Santorums who would roll over in their graves to hear [Rick’s] rhetoric.”
The matriarch lauds her distant relative as a “masterpiece” of the family, whom she calls a man of high intelligence and integrity. “He would be a great president,” she told Oggi. “But if he wants to make it, he will have to soften some of his positions. To take a stand against homosexuality or to oppose divorce is harmful. Principles count, but in politics one must have the capacity to be open-minded.”

The Oggi piece also quotes an angry cousin who preferred to voice his dissent anonymously, remembering the time when high-ranking Communist Party members frequented the Santorum household in Riva del Garda. “There are Santorums who would roll over in their graves to hear [Rick’s] rhetoric,” he said.

But the rest of the family seems content to turn a blind eye to their American cousin’s political persuasion. One cousin, Michela Santorum, told Oggi that she fondly remembers Rick’s interest in his Italian heritage, and especially Italian cuisine. “We were always astonished at how many ice cubes he put in his drinks,” Michela told Oggi. “But he loved everything else, including polenta.”

According to Oggi, the general sentiment is that the Italian Santorums will forgive their American cousin if his bid is successful. “When he wins, he will send the American presidential airplane and take all the Santorums to the White House,” Bruno Santorum told the magazine.

Well, Bruno, at least Jimmy and Billy Carter were two separate people:

SANTORUM: They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

I’m sorry, cugini. Your ambitious American cousin hates immigrants almost as much as he hates himself and history.

Let Me Be Your Ocean

We’ve already seen this movie. It starts with an epithet, in the middle there’s an apology pie and it ends with a food fight.

Maybe I missed the meeting of all people in the whole world in which the news spread that it was hunky dory to close talk at the only person on the entire planet whose body may be more closely guarded than the pope’s. Well, if that’s the case, I’d like to apply for an interview in which Mr. Obama and I have a knee to knee chat about how Tim Geithner and Larry Summers are not actually his friends and Austen Goolsby, while often hilarious, does and says some very unfunny things. This would be an excellent use of my truth-telling powers. Also: Mr. Obama and I are nearly the same age, so we could chitchat about how super-cool and regrettable are those fading pictures of us as awkward teens at Bicentennial celebrations on opposite ends of our country.

Governor Brewer wanted the president to go places and do stuff with her, but she already told her friends he’s not her secret boyfriend, no backsies. Then there was this tete-a-tete, during which he walked away, leaving her without a prom date. I’m not a fan of either one of them, but when the music starts, none of the popular boys will ask her to dance.