So I got a new belt today. While this might not seem like a monumental thing, I tend to make it a big thing. Since I am incredibly picky about certain clothing accessories and I just can’t go to any old store to get belts that fit properly, it usually requires going to the tubby man store and a…
I’ve reached a tipping point. I don’t know if I was channeling grumpy old man today or what, but it seemed every other post I saw made me want to stand on a chair and scream out, “This is how you should do it!” That, or pour a stiff drink and sit fully clothed in an empty bathtub:
There’s Jay Parkinson’s comment on the Pollan quote. Full disclosure: I saw Dr. Parkinson speak at SXSW, and he was great. I admire that he brought back the idea of the neighborhood doctor, and that he was able to do it profitably is even better. But in his statement, he does what so many of us on the Great and Powerful Interwebs do: He pointed out the obvious and didn’t go the extra step to push people to action. Of course we need political leaders who aren’t beholden (or who are at least less beholden) to big business interests. It’s the only way we can get food policy changed (and enjoy the cascading benefits to overall public health and environmental wellness) in this country. But how do we do that?
1. Vote in local elections. Make sure your school board commissioners, county commissioners, state senators and representatives have your best interests in mind. And if they don’t, work to get them out of there. It’s not that hard. Seriously. In this liberal oasis of Gainesville (a blue island in a sea of red, mind you) our new gay mayor almost lost to a self-described Tea Partier who vowed he’d keep the women and children safe in public restrooms (around here, this is code for banning freaks and fags from using public restrooms and helping ensure business can do the same). I’m glad he lost, but man, his supporters really got out the vote.
2. Join organizations that promote healthy eating and healthy agricultural policy. I know there are a million things vying for your attention these days, but I can’t stress enough how important food is, not only to your health, and to your family’s health, but to the health of the economy, the health of the land, the health of our nation’s standing in the world.
Don’t know where to start, you say? How about these fine links:
There are KFC’s Buckets for the Cure, which promise fifty cents towards breast cancer for ever bucket bought (they don’t mention consumption, so I guess you could conceivably buy the chicken and throw it away, confident your contribution had made to the right people).
But it kills me that people would do this. Why buy chicken to donate money? Don’t you have money you can donate by itself? Here, for example: The National Breast Cancer Foundation. You don’t get any chicken, but you can donate online. Skip the chicken. Skip the pink Kitchen-Aid, the pink this or the pink that. Skip middlemen all together and give where it counts. And if you still don’t feel as good as a bucket of KFC might make you feel? Volunteer.
And if you still want chicken, Michael Ruhlman provides a recipe for simple roast chicken that’s fucking fantastic.
There’s Neven’s Note on Jim’s grilled cheese post at Salt & Fat. Again, let me first say I think what Jim and Neven are doing is great. It’s always wonderful to see people become interested in food, and these two guys seem to be throwing themselves into food with the same fire and same attention to detail that have made them successful in their chosen careers.
But Neven. First, let me say I like to use butter for my grilled cheese (personal preference), and I always achieve a wonderful, crispy, caramelized shell. The secret? I butter the pan, not the bread. Yes, I end up using a lot more butter, but the sandwich is amazing. Also, when you heat butter in a pan, there is a point when you’ll notice fine bubbles forming on its surface. This is most of the water boiling away, leaving behind the wonderful fat. So if you’re doing it right, by the time your bread hits the pan, there’s no water left in the butter. If you use olive oil for the flavor, then great. Just don’t use it solely for its absence of water.
Then there’s shitty headlines like this one: “KFC’s Double Down Healthier Than Salad.” When your salad dressing is basically high fructose corn syrup with a little citric acid thrown in for balance, then of course the salad’s going to be an unhealthy mess. And yes, there are probably many salads, especially of the taco or chicken Caesar variety that are basically sugar and fat with a garnish of lettuce.
But how fucking lazy is that headline? How desperate and clearly intended to draw a single click? Very.
I swear, the vortex of shitty food science and low-brow link bait wrapped in that single headline is enough to make me throw my arms in the air and declare America unfit for saving. Maybe even Western culture.
Here’s the thing: I’m not about to berate you for eating a KFC Double Down. At one point, a friend of mine and I had a pretty lengthy discussion about how they could have made it better. And by better we meant more decadent. It mostly involved a sawmill gravy dipping sauce and the addition of chicken-fried steak. But sweet crimminy, eat something healthy for breakfast and dinner. Oatmeal, and simple, stir-fried vegetables. I won’t even berate you if you’re eating the KFC Double-Down because you never learned to cook, but I will encourage you to give cooking a try. Start with a little kosher salt and The Internet. Find something you loved from childhood and make it new, from real food, recognizable in your hand as something from the earth.
And if you fuck it up? Order a pizza. Most of the delivery places actually have pretty good ingredients and their sauces are low in (if not free of) sugars and corn syrup. Then try again tomorrow.
PS: Greg, you are great. Really, really great. Thank you.
"Fashionable?" Sure. Because, like most busy people, I suddenly get all Karl Lagerfeld whenever a random ad for an SEO newsletter crashes my browser.
Thinking Flash is the only medium for serving fresh and charming content is like thinking you can’t have a good cheeseburger without a greasy styrofoam box.
As for those small hoops? Neat idea. But end-users have no control over any aspect of the design or implementation of a Flash app; it’s a mildew-black box, and I’d argue that’s one of its primary flaws as a web medium.
With respect, Flash folks who can look at that screen grab and think I’m the dick here need to think hard about what they’re doing with their day.
I’d also suggest checking the office for undetected gas leaks and aging groupthink.
The more important any service becomes to what I’d loosely call “my infrastructure,” and the more zeroes I mentally calculate it’d take to make the service work well at scale, the more desperate I become to open my wallet. Fast.
Ironically enough, it was another of our high dramatists of African-American culture—that klan-hugging genius, D.W. Griffith—who was the originator of that irksome little tic Tyler Perry now famously suffers from.
Um. Sorry. Let me correct that to give due possessory credit:
"Tyler Perry Presents: Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Tyler Perry’s House of That Irksome Little Tic Tyler Perry Now Famously Suffers From Something Something The Color Purple Reference. Based on a Novel by Sapphire. But, As Noted Earlier, Presented by Tyler Perry. Who Definitely Presents It. Tyler Perry. Say It Loud and There’s Music Playing—Say it Soft and It’s Almost Like Praying. Yler-Tay Erry-Pay. So, Yeah. Tyler Perry."