Speak Up

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Age of Anger

I'm a fan of the industry; I love it. After all without it not only would my husband be searching for a new career, but I'd be out of a hobby-probably paying close attention to the magician industry. But something is happening in the restaurant industry that's really turning me off. This industry is getting gross.

What triggered my new observation were the recent comments I've been reading on Eater. I used to compare PXthis to the 7th graders smoking behind the school but now they look like a bus full of nuns compared to the vile behavior on Eater. I'm not wearing a halo here; I've been less than polite sometimes, but it's getting crazy. In general there are three causes of severe rage on Eater.

  • DC hate. Eater mentions a sneeze David Chang blows and all of the sudden comments are flying.

  • Eater hate (usually b/c of the DC hate). No one likes hating on Eater, more than the people who read it daily. I don't get it. At first it made sense, I'm sure some people thought "if enough of us complain, then maybe Eater will change what they post about" (which seems to be the biggest complaint). Well it's been a while and it seems like the same people are complaining and complaining about the same things. Just read another site already! Please don't think I should do the same, though. I can't stand most of the people who do the commenting, but as far as the actual blog goes, I like it. I read it.

  • Misc. hate. This can include:Batali fat jokes, Bruni insults, Top Chef cracks, etc. This stuff is fine, and usually funny, too.

I wonder... this rank behavior might have been like this years before my rookie blog showed up on Google. Anthony Bourdain talks about a heap of naughty chef behavior in his day, but again, it seems tame compared to the vulgar chatter between the industry followers of today. Who, by the way, may or not even be directly involved in the industry.

It may also have a lot to do with the particular area of the industry that I'm surrounded by and the media I read. What if I cared more about the purveyor industry? Would there be nasty remarks there too? Maybe it's the location. Everyone says NYC is the best place to cook with the best restaurants so maybe that's why everyone gets so hyped up over DC and something involving a mime. Are there people in Chicago who act like us and get heave-ho angry? I don't think it's a NY thing because the comments on Eater LA can get mean too.

Is the media (blogging/iPhones) to blame for the swell in rage? Everyone is so close, all crammed on the Internet like a hot subway car and we turn on each other. Everyone has opinions and because of high speed Internet we are able to thrash around these thoughts and ideas like umbrellas at rats.

Speaking of media, maybe it's all Eater's fault. Maybe by giving "the people" the privilege to comment it created a monster. I think I remember a day when there were no comments allowed and it seems pleasant to me.....ahh....

Am I to blame? After all I am contributing to the attack of commenters/foodies/everyone else by writing this? Sure! (Well, maybe, if this post was reaching a larger crowd. ) But I am adding to it hoping to understand it more.

Whatever, whoever the cause it doesn't really matter so long as it gets a little classy again. I really adore this industry. However cruel and selfish it is, it's what we're a part of.



Anonymous said...

Ahh, Eater - the Perez Hilton of restaurant blogs.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid most of this is about being noticed to sell something or be somebody more than anything else. This will sound very familiar but it's true...it's about being seen, being successful or both. The "if you can't make it-fake it" approach. There are many fakers out there. The real people aren't trying to be noticed. (I say this pertaining to bloggers trying to be famous).

Have a great weekend!!!