Friday, August 20, 2004

Julia Child, Conservative

Our friend, Steve Teles, discusses the conservatism of Julia child, here and here. According to Teles, she was characterized by both patriotism and domesticity along with an attachment to a certain kind of traditionalism.

For my part, I'm disappointed that she didn't like Italian food, though I can certainly forgive her lack of enthusiasm for Mexican food.

I happen to be an inveterate watcher of cooking shows, and I've always thought you could tell something about America or a certain decline of American popular culture by marking the differences between Julia Child's shows and Emeril Lagasse's. Now, there are aspects of Lagasse that I like. But he uses bad grammar ("Where I get my fill-in-the-blank, it don't come seasoned."), and he yells a lot. Of course, I understand that that's all part of his act. But there's a sense of aspiration, an understanding that we're learning how to be a little sophisticated and civilized with Julia Child that is lacking with Lagasse. Oh well, at least Emeril had her on as a special guest a couple of times before she died; it says something good about him that he admires her.


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