No, Gene Weingarten, YOU Are The Poopyface, But Not For The Reason You Confessed To

Weingarten cartoon2

Harry Truman liked to say “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” That applies in a lot of fields, but perhaps nowhere more than in the field of humor and satire in these days where would-be censors and race-baiters slither across the landscape. If you are going to venture into these dangerous environs (what they endanger is free speech, expression, and freedom itself), you better have the courage of conviction and willingness to fight the adventure requires. If not, you will make things worse. You will become part of the problem, and it is a big problem.

Gene Weingarten is a longtime columnist for the Washington Post, I’ve written about one of his serious pieces here (also here) and had debates with him via email on occasion. He often writes humorous columns, and it was one of those that unjustly made him the target of the social media mobs.

I assume Gene was a little stuck for a topic, because his theme, foods he won’t eat, is a pretty hoary one. I have read very similar joke essays by other writers, going back to Robert Benchley. Clarence Darrow used to riff on foods he didn’t like: he once said, “I don’t like spinach, and I’m glad I don’t, because if I liked it I’d eat it, and I’d just hate it.“ Another of Darrow’s was “I don’t like turnips, and I don’t like anyone who does.”

So Weingarten whipped off a lazy column joking about all the foods he says he hates; remember, actually hating them isn’t an ethical requirement. The idea is just a platform to justify snarkiness and to make silly comments like ” Balsamic vinegar likely broke up the Beatles.” Among his targets: Old Bay seasoning (hate it), hazelnut (I agree), anchovies (it depends), blue cheese (yecchh), pizza with more than two toppings (I think that’s about right), “garbage sushi,” meaning junk like California rolls (not worth hating) and sweet pickles (absolutely). It should be obvious to a spaniel that all of his laments are tongue in cheek, but that spaniel might object to “Drowning good food in wildly disparate other tastes is — I do not mean to exaggerate — like drowning puppies in a toilet.”

But Weingarten dared to impugn Indian food in his fake diatribe…

…which signaled its gravitas by concluding, “And if you still find me immature, you are just a bunch of poopyfaces.”

Never mind. A hoard of race-baiters and “gotcha!’ addicts online decided this was an opportunity to attack him as a racist and prove their cosmic worth by making him grovel. Some of the attacks on Weingarten were really racist, like reality show star Padma Lakshmi’s “What in the white nonsense is this? On behalf of 1.3 billion people, kindly fuck off.” “This one spice nonsense is a straight up National Front propaganda point, is the WaPo literally platforming white nationalist discourse now?” tweeted writer Shiv Ramdas. “…how the fuck is he allowed to speak on food when his palate is so numb he thinks CURRIES are a single spice dish & why the fuck is WaPo publishing straight up National Front talking points disguised as food opinions?” Ramdas added.

Oh, now American shouldn’t be allowed to joke about food? Gee, I thought that censorship would be further down the list. “First they came for the samosa haters, and I said nothing…”

There were more broadsides from the nasty–but politically correct!—perspective of anti-white vilification.

“What is it with white guys with elite media jobs thinking everyone wants to read their dumb, very poorly informed rants about how much they dislike all Indian food? It is not cute. It is racist,” read a tweet from filmmaker Arlen Parsa.

“…seems to me once you go to Everything Those Bazillions of Brown People Eat Is Beneath Human Consumption it takes it into a categorically different place and suddenly it’s just not fun any more,” added actor Vince Gatton.

Oh, bite me. Saying one doesn’t savor a region’s food, in jest or honestly, isn’t racist by any definition of the word.

Weingarten, whom I thought was made of sterner stuff, initially refused to grovel, initially tweeted “I take nothing back,” but quickly reversed course. “From start to finish plus the illo, the column was about what a whining infantile ignorant dickhead I am,” tweeted Weingarten. “I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, & I do see how that broad-brush was insulting, Apologies.(Also, yes, curries are spice blends, not spices.)”

The “illo’? The drawing above showing Weingarted turning up his nose at a spoonful of Old Bay spice? That shows “ignorance”?

Then the Post absurdly added a correction to the article, stating that “A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Indian cuisine is based on one spice, curry, and that Indian food is made up only of curries, types of stew. In fact, India’s vastly diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes. The article has been corrected.” Wait, does that mean balsamic vinegar really did break up the Beatles?

Yeah, I know what happened. The Post put a metaphorical gun to Weingarten’s head, saying, “Nice little gig you have here. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.” Winston Smith-like, Gene declared that He Loved Big Brother, and never would challenge The Great And Powerful Woke again. He’s a weenie, and handed the censors, bullies and totalitarians one more victory on their way to crushing freedom of speech in the United States and creating a monolithic ideology.

Thanks, Gene. You’re not just a poopyface, you are a sniveling coward when the Bill of Rights is desperate for heroes.


Pointer: The Blaze

21 thoughts on “No, Gene Weingarten, YOU Are The Poopyface, But Not For The Reason You Confessed To

  1. Indians seem to be an easily-offended bunch, at least in my personal experience. While I was running A Sea of Blue (a sports blog about Kentucky), I photoshopped a graphic depicting the Hindu pantheon and replaced the gods with head shots of various coaches, and wrote an article around that. Clever? Probably not, but my excuse is that it was the middle of summer, a typically difficult time to find story fodder, and I was out of ideas at the moment.

    Some person with an Indian-looking name (it could’ve been anybody) claimed to be offended. I informed him that there are tons of Kentucky sites on the Internet and if my commentary offended him, he had my blessing to read whichever of the others caught his fancy so he wouldn’t risk offense by my cynical sense of humor. And while he was at it, I said, he could let my superiors know of his dismay and gave him their email addresses.

    I never heard from him again, nor my superiors on the subject. Therein lies the lesson I learned — ask people who take such offense to go elsewhere, and good riddance.

    Jack said:

    Yeah, I know what happened. The Post put a metaphorical gun to Weingarten’s head, saying, “Nice little gig you have here. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.”

    Yep. Well, all I can say is if you have linguini-spined superiors, that’s what you get. He should do what I would’ve done had I received that threat — resigned, and wrote elsewhere.

    A parting shot — anyone who writes for a living and does not put away a significant fund for “wokeness unemployment insurance” these days is mentally deficient or fiscally irresponsible.

  2. If I am not mistaken the reason some cuisines use pungent spices was to mask the smell of rotting food.

    That is not to say that the use today is for that reason but rather to say people learn to like what they have grown up eating. I am sure many detest salt cured or dehydrated meats. I for one have no taste for jerk anything, monkey brains or any other brains for that matter. Regarding the latter it is a texture issue with me. Not everyone is Andrew Zimmer who delights in eating everything. Actually, I am waiting for the woke crowd to attack him for culturally appropriating their foods for his show.

    • If I wrote a different kind of blog, I’d do a post about Mongolian food. So-called Mongolian beef is named after the Mongols’ meat tenderizing method, which was to put it under their saddles as they rode, thus mixing the meat with horse sweat, fleas and heaven knows what else. But tender! The best Mongolian food restaurant in the Capital served dozens of dishes with only a few different ingredients: lard, onions, and mutton in various proportions…it was like the Monty Python spam skit.There was also horsemeat and the occasional goat. Yum. But the Mongolians seemed to love it.

      And that’s all that matters.

      • I think, if I remember correctly, the Mongolians typically placed the meat (often dried, so not very tender and in need of tenderizing) in a leather bag or at least between the saddle and the blanket, not directly against the horse (yuk!). They would also place milk curds and water in a leather cask, attach that to the saddle, and, as they rode, the mixture would be churned into yogurt, which they would later eat. Odd by Western standards, but perfect for a nomadic people who had to eat on the go.

  3. Obviously he didn’t get the memo. White guys are allowed to make fun of Republican politicians and Christians, but that’s it. Otherwise, sit down, shut up, and take your lessons, white boy. Just looking at your pale, ugly face makes us sick, but we can’t get away from it unless we leave this country, and that’s not what we want to do. You’re not allowed to make fun of food any other race eats or is known for. No offhand references to collard greens, black people ate that because you kept them poor. No poking fun at curry or other Indian food as being too spicy, that’s disrespectful to brown people, a protected class. No mocking traditional Chinese food or other Asian food, Asians need protection now. But it’s perfectly ok if we poke fun at Italian food, especially the weirder stuff like shellfish and tripe, and perfectly ok if we affect a Chico Marx accent while we do it. You guys chose to be white and were accepted as white, so now you take the consequences. It’s perfectly ok if we make fun of Greek food and call moussaka “moose ca-ca.” While we at it, paint over that stupid blue and white flag on your garage door, before we paint it over for you. It’s perfectly ok if we poke fun at Irish cuisine, if there is such a thing, and say all you Irish are drunks. What’s that? You say you’re not Irish, you’re Scottish? Whatever. So you get drunk on whiskey instead of beer. You folks are all the same, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, just white folks from some foggy islands who talk funny, drink too much, and owe us for the slave trade.

  4. How anything as personal as one’s taste in food could be seriously regarded as “racist” by or toward anyone is beyond me. I have Black friends who eschew “soul food” while many white friends like it. Does that make the Black guys racist, or are they all guilty of cultural appropriation? We need a scorecard!
    This is just another example of Leftists looking for offense, finding it everywhere, and blaming the white man.

  5. Read the food writer’s column. Agreed with most of his assessment. However, do like hazelnuts and anchovies are a favorite. When I order my pizza with anchovies on the side ( because my wife does not like them) the pizza place usually gives me a whole tin, which is highly appreciated, because it doesn’t fly off the shelf. I share His assessment of Indian food and feel the same for what is served at the ubiquitous Mexican restaurants. The flavor profile is all the same, the only difference is whether the tortilla is corn or flour-based and whether it is open, folded, or wrapped around the ingredients.

  6. These people that are professional offendees need to grow up.

    Everyone should go to India to see it first hand. Goldman Sachs keeps talking about how in the not too distant future India will be the dominant country and economy in the world. I’d say, before that happens, among other things, they’ll have to stop shitting on their sidewalks, peeing everywhere, and treating their lower castes at least better than they treat dogs (which is horrid). If India’s so great, why did you leave it to come here?

    • Was it you who told the story about the scrupulously clean facility in India maintained by a Japanese company with a shack outside the gates with an open ditch for a latrine behind it, during the dry season, with no water to flush the ditch so if someone had a bowel movement it just stayed right there?

      • My dad had an opportunity to go to India for a year for work, which would have included a home with servants. My mom shot the idea down, though. She would have jumped at Bournemouth, though. Alas, it was never offered.

        • You can definitely live like a minor pasha with a corporate gig in some of those places. My (ex) brother-in-law was a manager in the exploration arm of a big oil company. My sister and he lived in Jakarta for a couple of years in a compound of four marble-floored mini-mansions, behind a 12 ft wall, with a cook, housekeeper, driver/dog-walker, and shared gardener. Downside, however, was that she could never go out anywhere without being transported and accompanied by the driver, so it wasn’t all that much fun overall.
          They had a pretty sweet longer stretch living in a nice suburb of London. No servants included there, but much more freedom to get out and about, and a populace that often spoke something approximating American.

          • Not to mention relatively easy access to continental Europe. And I agree – you can live like a rajah, but step out the door of your compound, and it’s nothing but shit, curry, and dead things.

  7. It’s still OK to mock British food, right? Often, the best food in any particular area there is a local Indian restaurant.

    We went to The Eagle and Child pub (Oxford) for lunch once, and sadly, neither was actually on the menu. They did have curry.

    • Ha ha ha. My parents and I were there in 2007 for late lunch after a visit to The Kilns and a walk around Magdalene (pronounced “maudlin”) College, the haunts of C.S. Lewis (I am a reformed Narnia fan). The name is because the sign shows the taking of Ganymede (later cupbearer to the gods) by Jupiter in the form of an eagle. They did have curried dishes on the menu, most UK pubs have at least one, but I opted for “toad in the hole,” which is actually pork sausage in pastry dough. Somewhere I think I have a picture of myself seated at the table where CSL, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings used to meet. That evening we went to “Shadowlands” in the West End, with Charles Dance, OBE, as CSL, in his pre-Tywin Lannister days. Good times.

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