Adventures In Journalism: Or, The Grate-est Story Ever Told*


I’m just looking for more favorable taxes!

Hey there, gang.

Still stupidly busy at work, so I haven’t had a lot of time for posting. And, honestly, this shit is wearying. It’s not even much fun mocking the dumb shit that the right-wingers say, because 1) it’s predictable and 2) reading that shit costs me IQ points (insert your own joke about how I can ill-afford that).

So I haven’t had a lot to say or much time to say what I want.

However.

I was just chilling out, reading the NY Times–nothing political! I was checking out the “Dining & Wine” section (it’s usually full of bougie shit, but you can occasionally find good stuff there). And there’s anarticle about Microplane graters. If you like cooking, you’ve probably got one of those things. I was always amused by how much they resemble rasps, and it turns out that’s not accidental.

Anyway, I’m reading this article, and, in the third fucking paragraph, I see something that makes me want to throw my computer out the fucking window.

“I didn’t set out to make cheese graters,” Mr. Grace, an engineer by education, said recently. In 1977, he moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and more favorable small-business taxes.

Read that again. Go on, I’ll wait.

Notice something there? I did.

First, who gives a fuck why he moved to Arkansas? Hell, maybe he wanted to ride a tick to work every day. Maybe he had relatives there. It just doesn’t fucking matter in an article in the Dining and Fucking Wine section of the paper. Second, WHAT THE FUCK. Consider the following alternative sentence:

“[H]e moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and in search of workers who are, with the help of a pig-ignorant and ‘right-to-work’ fetishizing government, much easier to fuck over than unionized workers in Michigan.”

Yeah, you’re right. It’s not the International Socialist Weekly. Try this:

“[H]e moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and a more easily-exploited workforce.”

Still too incendiary? Why not this:

“[H]e moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and a more anti-worker and anti-union business climate.”

Still too negative? How about:

“[H]e moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and an environment less friendly to workers and environmental protection.”

I could go on, but I’ll spare you. In the next paragraph, they casually drop that he’s also got a factory in Mexico, so it’s pretty clear that this Galtian hero is just looking for a lower wage floor wherever he can get it. And you know, I understand. Given corporate law, owners have to do everything possible to maximize profits and cut outlays, and, as capital is far more mobile than labor, that (as we all fucking know by now) means ditching any uppity workers who are concerned with things like “standards of living,” or areas that say things like “you need to pay into the public treasury to help, among other things, cover for all the goddamn externalities that we have to deal with.”

But, again, this is in the Fucking Dining and Fucking Wine section of the paper. I guess that makes sense, because it made me want to start drinking right the fuck away. You can’t even read about a fucking cheese grater without “pro-business” fluffing going on. I know it’s minor, and kind of a throwaway line, but, again–it’s told completely from the perspective of the capitalist, and, perhaps more importantly, it’s totally fucking superfluous to the article. It’s bullshit that unnecessarily advances a pro-capital, anti-labor point of view.

I will leave it to the reader to find out a bit more about John T. Edge, the article’s author. Hint: When you find out where he works, you probably won’t be surprised at his slant.

*Sue me. I liked watching Bullwinkle reruns when I was a kid.

11 thoughts on “Adventures In Journalism: Or, The Grate-est Story Ever Told*

  1. liprap says:

    John T. Edge wrote that? Oh, Lordy, he’s letting all the fried chicken and assorted junk foods he’s eaten in the name of research go straight to his brain. That’s just sad.

  2. MichaelF says:

    Garden & Gun, eh?
    “Go ahead, pink(o) rhododendron…make my day.”
    You know, seventy-five miles north of Little Rock isn’t going to be a hell of a lot warmer than Michigan…unless by warm, they mean what you’re saying.

  3. Elspeth Ravenwind says:

    Damn, I love my Microplane…but now I won’t buy another one. In a way – it’s good they mentioned that and it pissed you off enough to write – now the rest of us know what kind of skeevy creep the rich dude is.

  4. mothra says:

    “Dining and Fucking Wine.” Heh. Cracks me right up. I miss your writing, Jude. Thanks for the heads-up on the Microplane graters, though. I surely won’t be buying myself one of those. I will look for something made in Europe. At least the workers there have fucking healthcare and decent fucking vacation time.

  5. mothra says:

    Wait…so I went to your link and I cannot find in the current version of the story where Mr. Grace says he moved looking for more favorable climate for small businesses. Hmmmm… The paragraph regarding the plant in Mexico is still there, though.

  6. Jude says:

    It’s still there for me. Third paragraph.
    “I didn’t set out to make cheese graters,” Mr. Grace, an engineer by education, said recently. In 1977, he moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and more favorable small-business taxes.

  7. Jay Goldfarb says:

    We are well and truly fucked. I spent part of my morning the other day arguing with two blue-collar types about unemployment; they said unemployed people are just lazy.

  8. JenAndTonic says:

    I raised an eyebrow at the part about Mexico and another one at Arkansas’ pro-biz climate.
    But come on Mothra- let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. At least Microplane employs Americans in one of our country’s most impoverished states. If we all run out and buy a Euro made rasp, say goodbye to those jobs, too. Perhaps it would be more effective to write to the company or call them and tell them how you feel about them having a plant in Mexico.
    I buy Lodge instead of Le Creuset for the same reason.

  9. Interrobang says:

    The first thing that jumped out at me was how much the second sentence in that graf was a huge nonsequitur. I was like, “What? What does the fact that he didn’t set out to make cheese graters have to do with his moving to Arkansas?” So yeah, not only is that big-time corporatist fluffery, but they’re actively having toshoehorn it in.

  10. BillinChicago says:

    Wait a minute. Are you sure this wasn’t the “Dining and Whine” section?
    Also, how about this:
    “I didn’t set out to make cheese graters,” Mr. Grace, an engineer by education, said recently. In 1977, he moved south from Michigan to this town 75 miles northwest of Little Rock in search of a warmer climate and a crappier public education system for his inbred children.

  11. BlackSheep01 says:

    well, if Microplane’s off your list, get yourself the appropriate Surform blade refill.
    Yes.
    A bondo rasp for a body shop.
    Costs about a buck.

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