Friday Dog Blogging, 7 August 2009: Good food, big mouths, and the sublime

7 August 2009

The theme of the day: food, or maybe mouths, or mouthing off, or some combination therein. Part of the reason  food’s on my mind right now is that I’ve been working on an event we’re planning for November with New York Times food blogger Mark “Bitten” Bittman. It’s shaping up to be a really good time, Mark’s a real pleasure to work with, the food, drink and conversation is going to be terrific, and I’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do…Consider yourselves the first to know about it, so if you’re interested in joining us in November, let me know and I’ll add you to the list.

But speaking of things mouth-based (besides food) what would Friday Dog Day be without Mingus the Super Dog? Here he is on our NorCal/Southern Oregon (SouOr?) vacation last week, doing one of the things he does best: turning a simple rock into an oral object of pleasure. He’ll do this for hours, grab it, push it around with his snout, bury it, find it, and start all over again. Usually in a altered state of canine awareness: that rock, it’s aliiiive. P1030165

Well, Mingus the Super Dog wasn’t the only one who had a gustatorily enjoyable vacation: Rachelle and I did, too. Including, as we headed home down the Northern California coast, a fine lunch stop in old town Eureka at the Cafe Nooner, and a totally outstanding piece of strawberry rhubarb pie at the Bluebird Cafe in Hopland (home to Real Goods for all you post-Whole Earth Catalog folk). (And for all you Twitterati-based Brooklyn/Bronx/where-evah permanent brunch people – fuhgeddaboudit: NorCal brunch beats all comers, no doubt.)

Anyway: it was tasty.

From mouthing to mouthing off: a hat tip to Jane Hamsher at FDL for best in show for headline of the day:

Rahm Goes Apeshit On Liberals in the Veal Pen

“Veal Pen”? Oh, that’s a good one! Rahm’s not pleased with the Beltway lib orgs in DC snapping on Blue Dog Democrats for weakening the health reform legislation. Doesn’t help that the White House cut a deal with the drug companies that pretty much sucks (here‘s MoJoler Jim Ridgeway on that piece of political legerdemain).

Of course Rahm’s not the big noisemaker this week: nope, the Right Wing Noise Machine is back in full swing with its just-slightly-under-the-radar dog whistle racism in action at a town hall meeting near you. Mike Mechanic put up a post at MoJo today wondering why the “cable bullies” do what they do (in Mike’s mind, that would be to enrage liberals). Mike goes on to describe Glenn Beck, Rush, Bill-O, M.Savage as “the proverbial kids who never got enough love, or were bullied or ignored, and now they’re having their comeuppance on the kindergarten playground of ideas.” Well, okay, maybe true, and of course Freud would have a field day analyzing these guys’ oral fixation issues (sticking to our theme of the day for a bit longer).

But Mike? “Enraging liberals” is only IMO a second order reason these guys get paid to do what they do – which is why, if other journos stopped paying attention to them, it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference to the noise level. The first order reason, as D. Brock and others have documented: these guys are the mass media endpoint of the transmission belt that moves the message of the day to “the base.” That’s what they do. Every day. While enraging liberals might create the controversy that helps drive up ratings (thanks, Keith!), their political function has nothing to do with us infidels outside the tent, and everything to do with preaching to the faithful choir. It’s about power, always.

But onto something far more sublime: I took a break from this blog post to go see Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Amy Adams and Chris Messina in Julie and Julia – a fine story, but more an astonishing performance from Meryl Streep. And when Streep is joined on screen by Jane Lynch as Julia Child’s sister Dorothy – that is a scene worth watching. The two of them, with Stanley Tucci’s Paul Child playing straight man, show what superb actors can do together when they so clearly enjoy their craft, their script, and the characters they inhabit.

And the food!

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