In which we look at the history of lunch, the breathtaking inanity of the NYTimes's Style section, what kills us then and now, the latest tempest in the blogging teapot, and some of the best songs from one of my favorite bands.
As late as 1755, according to Samuel Johnson’s definition, lunch was simply “as much food as one’s hand can hold” — which, as Laura Shapiro, culinary historian and co-curator of the New York Public Library’s new Lunch Hour NYC exhibition, recently explained to me, “means that it’s still sort of a snack that you can have at any time of the day.” And it wasn’t until later still — around 1850 — that lunch became a regular fixture between breakfast and dinner, added Rebecca Federman, the exhibition’s co-curator, Culinary Collections Librarian at the NYPL, author of Cooked Books, and a star panelist at Foodprint NYC. Finally, by the turn of the century, “lunch was taking place between 12 and 2, more or less,” concludes Shapiro. It was a real meal at last, with a time associated with it, and particular foods and places assigned to it.
We at Gawker have warned you previously that the New York Times Style section exists solely to introduce you to society's biggest shitheads, and yesterday's profile of the Brant Brothers is no exception. At this point, it feels as if the Times is going out of its way to troll us all. No one at that paper could possibly think these two teenagers—who have yet to contribute anything meaningful to society—are inherently interesting. A much more reasonable explanation is that someone at the Times Style section sits down every week and is like, "Oh hey, how can we piss off everyone this week? I KNOW! Let's profile a pair of privileged dipshits!"
A look at the top causes of death over the last 100 years, and how they have changed. The paper's pretty dry, but the interactive bar graph is awesome.
SciCurious asked for my thoughts on the matter, and what follows is very close to what I emailed her in reply this morning. I should note that these thoughts were composed before I took to the Googles to look for links or to read up on the details of the particular controversy playing out. This means that I’ve spoken to what I understand as the general lay of the ethical land here, but I have probably not addressed some of the specific details that people elsewhere are discussing. Here’s the broad question: Is it unethical for a blogger to reuse in blog posts material she has published before (including in earlier blog posts)?
[T]he legacy of the most explosive Whigs records — Congregation and Gentlemen in particular — is practically written in blood. Lyrics detail emotional warfare, crumbling relationships, infidelity, sexual humiliation, and a never-ending stream of lies. But even the worst lines come from a place of vulnerability: Dulli needs to hurt because he hurts. Listening is a harrowing, addictive experience. Now that the Afghan Whigs have officially reformed and begun releasing new material (check out last month’s simmering rendition of Marie Lyons’ “See And Don’t See,” the time is ripe to revisit the band at their characteristic best, which means digging into their emotional worst. Here are 13 of the most vicious Afghan Whigs songs, spanning their entire career — strap yourself in for a hell of a ride.