Author Topic: What are you watching these days?  (Read 1752 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2020, 10:15:29 pm »
The only time we had fish after that was when we went out to a local Arthur Treature's Fish & Chips restaurant.






OMG!  :o  That's a name I haven't heard in years on years. Are those places still around?

Does anybody (besides me) know who Arthur Treacher was? (Without googling, I mean.)
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2020, 10:19:58 pm »
I don't think Americans in general were very sophisticated eaters in general. Thank goodness for Julia Child and Alice Waters!

I wonder what sort of influence they've actually had, and with whom. I mean, if you were watching Julia Child, you were watching PBS, so weren't you already sort of sophisticated? Or did they teach people who were already sophisticated how to eat sophisticated?

 ???
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2020, 11:19:57 pm »
I wonder what sort of influence they've actually had, and with whom. I mean, if you were watching Julia Child, you were watching PBS, so weren't you already sort of sophisticated? Or did they teach people who were already sophisticated how to eat sophisticated?

 ???

I think it was spillover. I rarely watch PBS, would never attempt a Julia Child recipe, have never read anything Alice Waters wrote or said (aside from a quote here or there). But I think they affected the culture overall and it changed what chefs made and what foodies valued and what became fashionable and inspired other celebrity chefs and food writers and gradually trickled down to regular people like me.

I became a "food writer" in the mid-'80s, which is to say I was a lifestyle writer and part of my job was to write a weekly food piece. I didn't know much about cooking, so I wrote more cultural food things, like what people made at their vacation cabins. I wrote something about cabbage, I remember. I got free cookbooks like the Silver Palate Cookbook, which provided the vinaigrette recipe I use to this day.

I can't remember any other food stories I wrote in that job, except that once I wrote something with the word "puke" in the first paragraph (I don't remember the overall topic) and a reader called to complain that it had made him sick.



« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 10:50:42 am by serious crayons »

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2020, 05:39:35 pm »
I wonder what sort of influence they've actually had, and with whom. I mean, if you were watching Julia Child, you were watching PBS, so weren't you already sort of sophisticated? Or did they teach people who were already sophisticated how to eat sophisticated?


Very clever of you to weave all these musings together into a post that brings us back to what we are (or were) watching! No, I missed the chance to watch PBS when I was young. I was already off in college when it was established in 1969, away from home and with no television. I'm trying to think when it was that I had a television again. Probably not until 1983 when I was married. Even then, I hardly ever watched until my children came along in 1988. Then PBS's Barney the dinosaur became part of my daily life! I did watch "The Galloping Gourmet" a couple of times, a couple of Martha Stewart specials, but the first time I saw "Julia Child" on TV, it was Dan Akroyd on SNL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSxv6IGBgFQ
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2020, 05:47:50 pm »
OMG!  :o  That's a name I haven't heard in years on years. Are those places still around?

Does anybody (besides me) know who Arthur Treacher was? (Without googling, I mean.)


I don't think there are stand-alone restaurants anymore, but as I understand  it, they've kinda been taken over by Nathan's Famous.  Anywhere that sells Nathan's Famous hot dogs and such, you should see a menu of Arthur Treacher's seafood.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2020, 11:50:45 am »
We watched PBS now and then when I was a kid. I remember my parents watched the breakthrough documentary (or first reality show!) An American Family in its entirety. I was only vaguely aware of it, but around that time I was watching some things I would still think are good, like The Smothers Brothers, and some that wouldn't seem especially good by modern standards but at least culturally significant, like Laugh In and The Mod Squad, but also, as we've discussed, a lot of Gillian's Island, Petticoat Junction and the like.

Over the years I've known a lot of people who don't own TVs, or never watch TV. I did a story about them once years ago. I always felt like, sure, a lot of TV is schlocky, but it's also Ken Burns and ... well, Ken Burns anyway.

Now, though, I feel sorry for people who never watch TV because so much of it is really good -- better than most movies, IMO. Except now most movies are on TV, too! I love movie theaters and hope they don't die out, but I'd already been watching more movies on TV because a) Netflix, Amazon, etc., have been making some really good ones and b) it's so much cheaper to watch at home, even if you miss the big screen, dark theater, trailers and popcorn. Still, I hope COVID isn't the final nail in the coffin.

Now I rarely watch more than an hour of TV a night, and sometimes not even that. But it's pretty carefully curated because there are a lot of things genuinely worth watching -- more than I have time for, even. Especially since there's also the teetering stack of New Yorkers and books and the NYT and Washington Post and the paper I actually work for and the entire internet. 

Last night my son made smashburgers and I like to watch TV while eating dinner, but I had nothing specific I wanted to watch. I'm kind of between shows, having just finished a good one (Fargo) and didn't have anything else ready to dive into, so I turned to my old reliable -- The American Experience. I record all episodes, so they're always there whenever I need something quick that I know will be good. So last night it was one segment of a multi-part series about the women's suffrage movement. Very interesting! I'd never studied it that closely. It's kind of mind-blowing to think of it now, and realize it was only about 100 years ago. And some things have changed so much, and other things so little. It was about 90 minutes long and I got through about 50, so have more awaiting me whenever the time comes. Maybe tonight!

Speaking of which, OT (but we'll get right back to TV!  :)) but there's something I always wonder whenever I watch when of those documentaries. Jeff, maybe you know the answer. I hope I didn't already ask you this and forgot what you said. But why do the historian talking heads in documentaries always describe events in the present tense?



 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2020, 01:46:49 pm »
Speaking of which, OT (but we'll get right back to TV!  :)) but there's something I always wonder whenever I watch when of those documentaries. Jeff, maybe you know the answer. I hope I didn't already ask you this and forgot what you said. But why do the historian talking heads in documentaries always describe events in the present tense?

Ya got me. Just like I wonder why people write fiction in the present tense.

I saw some--I'm sure not all--of the program on the Suffrage movement. I seem to remember something about the early advocates for women's suffrage had also been Abolitionists. And I remember the young member of the Tennessee legislature whose mother told him to "be a good boy" and vote to pass the suffrage amendment.  ;D
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What are you watching these days?
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2020, 03:31:05 pm »
Ya got me. Just like I wonder why people write fiction in the present tense.

I saw some--I'm sure not all--of the program on the Suffrage movement. I seem to remember something about the early advocates for women's suffrage had also been Abolitionists. And I remember the young member of the Tennessee legislature whose mother told him to "be a good boy" and vote to pass the suffrage amendment.  ;D

The reason for using it in fiction is to convey a sense of immediacy, of being in the moment. Some writers go back and forth with present and past when they're talking about two different eras or stories and want to distinguish them. But history is, by definition, in the past! And I wouldn't be surprised if one or two historians did it, but it seems to be de rigueur for all historians.

(Speaking of de rigueur, I saw someone on Twitter ask "Do you realize queue has four unnecessary letters?" :laugh:)