August is routinely the year's stupidest news month. This year was no exception.
I think Josh has been spending too much time talking to Ken about Federal statutes when he starts describing diabolical claims like the Hot Dog being a sandwich as “colorable”.
I’ll grant that the French were instrumental in essentially creating modern fine dining techniques, but I would choose something like Uncle Boons (RIP) over Daniel any day. I can’t be the only one bored by French food.
Top Ten August news item, evergreen category: Is food from country/city X better than country/city Y?
I think a qualification is in order for food quality in the "United States."
Quality is non consistent over such a large country. I'm from Kansas and spent my first ten or so years there, and until 2020 went back there annually to visit family. Kansas food in supermarkets or (most) restaurants is atrocious. Of course not every single place that sells food in a state with Kansas City and Wichita and plenty of tremendous home cooks is bad. But day to day it is atrocious, and much worse than France, and most of the rest of the US.
And then there's Sonoma County, where I now live. I'm not even a foodie, and yet it's evident to me the highest quality of nearly any kind of food you want is available at a local supermarket. And a California farmer's market has to be in the running for single greatest venue for food selection and quality anywhere in the world. There are even excellent croissants and bagels, if not in every nook or corner.
I've been to France only twice, for only a few days each time, and I would put Sonoma County (and for that matter most of Northern CA) and NYC and Chicago and LA food on an equal or superior footing to "France". Chicago is equal and the other locations are better.
Without question. In my opinion.
Fantastic as always. I don’t know if it qualifies as an August story, but the “third party candidate from No Labels will doom Biden” seems to keep coming up for reasons that baffle me.
Okay, BUT ... that article about Pete and Chasten was absolutely fucking awful, and the fact that it was all (as you pointed out) nonsense we all heard (and either dealt with or debunked) three goddamn years ago made it infuriating beyond my powers to explain or even comprehend. I wanted to find that columnist in real life and punch THEM in the face.
So a few thoughts
- you missed RFK Jr. stories! I know this goes back into July and even June but I feel pretty good in saying so much of the attention he got can be at least partly attributable to slow news cycle. And yes RFK Jr. stories have definitely extended to August.
- as for other past examples of non stories that became stories because of slow summer news cycles. I submit to you quite possibly the paradigm example from the past 10 years; New York Times running not one but two long form pieces about how Alan Dershowitz can’t get invited to parties anymore on Martha’s Vineyard. I mean “chef’s kiss” pure worst stereotype of New York Times in actual article form. Also, clearly an example of multiple reporters trying to get a free vacation to Martha’s Vineyard on the company dime.
- regards to food. I sort of alluded to this another post but the extremely boring answer is it depends. As Tyler notes, in comparing grocery stores, France almost certainly has better ingredients in a narrow sense, but we have better variety. Also, I’m sorry we’re America aka the ultimate melting pot. You can’t just exclude “ethnic” cooking as this is, I’m sorry, American. I mean their might not be a better example of this than the most popular food in America; pizza. Sort of Italian but in actuality really an American invention. So best slice of pizza in New Haven vs best slice of pizza in France? Who do you got?
Regarding the Covid news and opting out, living in LA it becomes difficult to remain informed without being bombarded with “Covid is going to kill everyone” news. It’s the volume of LA Times stories that leave me exasperated.
The Times has a pair of reporters who spend a significant amount of their time writing specifically Covid content. Additionally, another 2-3 writers who regularly drop in with more “potentially” “perhaps” “maybe” “might” Covid will be back stories. These headlines are frequently prominent in the paper.
I want local & national news, info, dining recommendations, human interest stories and the like without the constant specter of Covid.
- Old man shouting at clouds.
Did liberals really "lose their minds" over the song by the bushybeard guy? That may have happened, I don't know, but if it did I missed it. I did see a lot of folks pointing out how stupid the lyrics were, which was not hard to do.
While I do enjoy French food and appreciate what it has brought into the culinary world all over this Earth, I think the idea that France has better food than America is preposterous. The most popular French taco chain is a hideous abomination called “O’Tacos” which are really more like burritos and generally inferior to either.
The French are temperamentally incapable of successfully handling any cuisine that is not their own, and the fact you can get exceptional examples of nearly any global cuisine in most American cities is evidence, to me at least, that despite the dregs of our food system dragging we have the best food in the world. We can easily adapt the best elements from any cuisine and add it to our national gastronomic verve. This is our superpower and the French cannot fathom it.
Re: Covid. CNN had six stories all at the top of their site today about Covid and how to protect yourself. One was a Q&A and one question was about canceling Labor Day activities and masking and if people should do it. 🙄
Did they actually ever figure out what happened to Chandra Levy?
Edit to answer myself: No, her body was found in May 2002, the primary suspect was arrested in 2009, tried, and convicted; then received a new trial in 2015 due to prosecutorial misconduct; the new trial was dropped; and the suspect was deported -- he was not convicted of the murder and the crime remains unsolved.
ICYMI your Vivek rant was mentioned in the 538 Politics pod this week. Stupid August news is also how Chris Ingraham, former WaPo data reporter, ended up moving to far northwestern Minnesota. I live in Minnesota and can assure you that's really stupid.
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf met his untimely demise the week of 9/11 and never received his due. Unlike the rest of the Stern groupies he had talent.
We all really need to use the word TWERP more!
So much stupid this August but Ramasmarmy and that country singer may have made this the stupidest August for the record books!
Also, thanks for the pods and editorials. I look forward to them each week.