I am confident that the Japanese tuna fleet is perpetrating all sorts of crimes against the planet. But it's convenient for Alton that he chooses an adversary both remote and telegenic, instead of, say, looking in on stablemate Paula Deen's pig hell. Considering his track record as a histrionic scenery-chewer incapable of not mugging, it's not surprising that he went this route. Brace yourself for Alton Brown doing live shots from the bridge of the PT-109 -- I'll be on the porch reading a book.
Generally speaking, my engagement with the publication known as "T:" is like Ignatius Reilly's with the cinema. I know it will likely infuriate me, and yet I cannot look away. Not so long ago, in the early days of the Cod, the "food" T: provokedawholeweek'sworth of posts. In these latter, more jaded days, I can gaze on $353 ice buckets with placid indifference. With one exception. There seem to be plenty of folks with plenty of room under the bus for Julavits and the rest of the Believer crew, and while the mag seems precious at times, it does not seem worth the effort to put a lot of energy into disliking a magazine. However, this is the exercise Julavits describes:
As best as I can tell, this game is a ritual designed to establish that the players are cooler than their parents, but with the exception of Jakob Dylan and Scott Caan, who isn't? And this exercise in generational self-congratulation would be more plausible if the undertaking seemed a bit more shelf-stable: "Kate arrived in her Zipcar bearing not one but three salads." Of course she did. But this pronouncement crystallized my difficulties with this article:
You can judge for yourself, but I have a hard time with this logic--even if working for Sontag produced a Sontaggy comprehension of Camp, the entire exercise Julavits and her friends conduct seems to be deliberate and self-conscious in ways that Sontag derides as beneath real Camp. Camp, properly done, is an exercise in appreciation:
This contest of making dishes that allude to Betty Crocker receipts, but updated to reflect the more refined tastes of Julavits and her friends has more to do Alanis-level irony than anything Sontag writes about.
More generally, and I've already spent more time on this piece than it warrants, this article suggests that irony works less well for food than for other arts. You do not have to put an MC Escher poster, a Herb Alpert record, or a DVD of Smokey and the Bandit in your mouth.