I generally let criticisms of my writing go unanswered, the attitude being that everyone has a right to gripe. Plus sometimes the criticisms are correct, and those that aren't can be especially fun to read. I fully expect to raise a bit of a fuss when I write a post that tosses off random thoughts and accusations in somewhat carefree fashion, which is what I did in the Unholy Alliance blog. I say "somewhat" because I was careful in certain respects. For instance, I consciously lumped in some of our best chefs with some that I don't think are the best in my quotation-marked reference to "area's top chefs". I have no problem applying a "snide" categorization towards a group of people, but it would be mean to specify which chefs I personally don't think fit the description. Which brings me to Frodnesor, a frequent and welcome contributor to Short Order and numerous other food sites, including his own excellent Food for Thought. Frod recently wrote a post that takes me to task for being snarky towards these chefs Normally I would nod my head and say "fair enough", except Frod has no problem with mean spiritedness on food blogs. He has no problem with being snarky and snide on his own blog. He just has a problem with me.
A certain food blogger has been posting totally vicious and dishonest
stuff about me, and other local food writers, for years now. Frod
exchanges views with this guy on his own blog, and on this man's blog,
and has never once expressed any disapproval of the level of hate
expressed in his posts. In fact, Frod even posted a link to this
venomous blog on Chowhound. And yet he recently felt it necessary to
call me out for
"seemingly being unable to use the word 'blogger' without also adding
'blah, blah' or 'blather' - though that could also just be a symptom of
his penchant for alliteration (another writing trait I'm not enamored
of, but maybe others find it incredibly clever)."
A quick note to Frod on being snide: "Maybe others find it incredibly
clever" is a pretty solid example of snideness. Which makes your
accusations about my snideness seem, well, a bit hypocritical. Plus
mocking a writer for being overly clever might also be seen as
something of a double standard coming from someone who refers to his
family as Mrs. Frod, Frod Jr, and Little Miss F.
As for alliteration: It is one of numerous tools used by writers to
differentiate their style of prose from that found in a legal brief.
(btw frod: are you taking notes?)
But way back to the matter at hand: Whole Foods Market and Chefs Club
Miami. I was, as Burton Dale keenly noted in his comment, being
consciously controversial as a means of beginning a conversation about
how Whole Foods Market has let down some of our local farmers (which,
as I say, I'll pick up soon enough). I am not, however, opposed to
anybody or anything being sponsored by Whole Foods Market; as a company
I think it has done a lot of good. It has also, in recent years, done
some bad. And I just had the feeling that the Chefs Club Miami members
might not have been discussing stuff such as this. Or maybe they have
been. Only they know for sure. I was being a raconteur, a provocateur,
an auteur -- just an overall teur-ist travelling a taut path and
tossing taunts to get the attention of readers and perhaps those Chefs
Food writing, and blogging, needn't be taken all that seriously. (to
Frod the lawyer: This is a forum, not a courtroom.) Whole Foods Market
will not be hurt by my "snotty quotation-marked references", "snide
comments" and general "snark". Nor will any group of chefs. But if Frodnesor is really concerned about food bloggers getting too snotty,
snarky, and snide (alliterative accusations!) he ought to start by
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stemming some of his own sarcastic remarks (and Frod, I haven't even
mentioned your misguided Gustavo comments). Because otherwise, his
howls of indignation are hypocritical enough to make the head reel.