I hate this article.

I hate this article that just came out in the LA Tmes about food blogs. Granted, I probably hate it because it doesn’t mention me, but that aside I hate what it says about food blogs and how limited they are. First of all, though I should put my anger on pause and congratulate my food-blogging cohorts on their mentions in the article. Clotilde’s in there, as is The Food Section and I’m glad this article gave them the exposure they deserve. But that said, I hate this paragraph:

“When a good writer chronicles his life, it is art. When an amateur feels the need to chronicle his life by listing what he made or ate for dinner each night, often the best that can be said is that it’s touching. In the world of food blogs, you may be touched and find some great recipes in the bargain.”

I just so disagree with that. That’s what I call limited vision. I’d like to quote Nabokov for you now: (after this colon was typed, I proceded to flip through “Speak, Memory” for 10 minutes trying to find the quote I want to quote and failed miserably so I will now make the quite up from my own memory): “Art makes big things small and small things big.”

Food is small. Writing about food makes it big. If a good writer writes about food, that’s art. If a good writer chronicles his life, that’s a journal.

Thank you.

10 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’m both sorry to be overlooked and disappointed the writer didn’t get it. She just didn’t see the potential of blogs–especially food blogs.

    Food is just a subject for great writing, a means to self expression like any other. But then again, I think journalists are often threatened by bloggers so they take turns taking potshots. At least this article didn’t say that reading blogs is a big waste of time, as so many others have said!

  2. I didn’t like the article much either and the para you quote is quite condescending, but the inference that there are more badly written food blogs than well written ones is probably true. Having said that, some badly written food blogs are very interesting on other levels.

    Amy, I don’t think journalists feel threatened by blogs at all. Most couldn’t care less. Or if they do, they blog themselves.

  3. I didn’t like parts of the article. There was a negative undertone that underestimated the power of blogs in general. Yes, some people have hit it big by food blogging. But some haven’t and don’t expect to. You don’t have to have a degree on your wall or perfect punctuation to prove you’re a writer. The fact that I’m documenting my life, my takes on the news, my experiences, recipes and thoughts is what makes me a writer. Even if the only one that reads “my work” is me.

  4. I ripped the article in the weekly food section summary we do. She didn’t seem to even have an idea of what a food blog was.

    What irked me most was her assumption that there was, “…simmering antipathy between print journalists and (bloggers…” I’ve had a number of very positive interactions with the print world. If there’s any simmering antipathy it’s between bloggers and LAZY journalists of any description.

  5. couldn’t agree more with the amateur gourmet’s take on this article! the writer completely missed the spirit of food blogs imho.

    i found it particularly timely in light of the RATHER incident. a portion of the American populace still doesn’t know that it’s bloggers (not the mainstream media) who helped to reveal the truth of the 60 minutes story.

    i, too, believe that some journalists are threatened by bloggers. remember that many journalists have gone to schoool, and had to endure the long climb up in the industry. i’m sure there are those who don’t find it quite fair that an inexperienced writer begins blogging and in short time, may have a comparable or larger audience than the experienced writer.

  6. Either way, spreading the word about food blogs is always a good thing. There are still tons and tons of people who have never even heard of the concept.

    Some parts of the article did grate on my nerves though.

  7. I’ll quote you, not Nabokov: “If a good writer writes about food, that’s art. If a good writer chronicles his life, that’s a journal.”

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your experiences with food. You manage to bring in tidbits about your life, and that spices things up. Perhaps your blog qualifies as an “art journal” and not a “food blog”?

    Keep up the good work, and most importantly, keep having FUN doing it.

  8. Bravo, Adam. While not sorry to be overlooked — rather, thrilled to be overlooked — I am disappointed to be misunderstood. I am glad to see that some, however, understand exactly what it is all about. Thank you.