Letters

Easy, cheesy
Although I chuckled at his many Wings musical in-jokes (and frowned on the blooper "Howard" Arlen), Tom McNichol's cover of Linda McCartney's new frozen food line ("Bland on the run," Feb. 15) could have brought us more to the point -- all the products McCartney is trying to hoist on the public are e-a-s-y to prepare, and I would think especially so for those she's catering to (graying former Beatlers with bucks). There's a contradiction in most frozen foods -- the real thing is almost always easier and cheaper to do. Pasta, some cheese, two to three teaspoons of salt, two to three tablespoons of sugar -- hey, I too can be a Linda McCartney cook. Smile away.

Judi Thomas
San Francisco

Fact or phallus-y?
I was appalled by last week's cover story on Linda McCartney's vegetarian entrŽes. Specifically, I found Tom McNichol's sophomoric and overtly sexist approach to the topic unworthy of a professional journalist. Exposing the unhealthy ingredients of health food may be a worthy goal, but limiting your attack to one brand, and constantly referring to the sexual and musical reputation of its owner to diminish the appeal of the food is downright pathetic.

McNichol's interminable article resorted to such sexist comments as "Linda's set to go horizontal again -- this time right in your grocer's freezer," alluding to her first meeting with the Beatles, when according to McNichol she appeared "looking like a professional, though perhaps not a professional photographer." Why is Linda McCartney's sexual history relevant? Why imply that she is promiscuous, listing several of her previous lovers' names, if the focus of the article is the unhealthy ingredients of her product?

McNichol's contempt for vegetarian food in general was also obvious, and also couched in sexist rhetoric. Calling the McCartneys' band a "meatless entrŽe on the menu of popular music" reminds us of the intimate associations between meat and manliness in the minds of many men, whose idea of a real meal and a real man is pitifully phallocentric.

Adriana Craciun
Berkeley

A Paul apologist
Wow! Your cover story on Linda McCartney's frozen foods was a truly amazing piece of work. It actually made me feel like defending Linda and Paul McCartney. Fortunately that urge passed quickly. In its wake, however, I'm left with a few questions about the new editorial policy of the SF Weekly.

If this piece is indicative of a new hard-hitting investigative style, can we look forward to similar searing exposes on such topics as Dionne Warwick's Psychic Friends Network or Roseanne's love life?

And while I'm all in favor of longer articles that allow a writer to explore an issue in depth, isn't it the editor's job to shape the piece so that it's about something? I can't figure out whether Tom McNichol is incensed about the celebrity-driven marketing of a line of frozen foods of dubious nutritional value, or whether he's just still really pissed off that after the Beatles broke up, Paul married someone McNichol thinks is a hypocritical slut, made some records that weren't as good as the Beatles and didn't get shot instead of John Lennon.

To be quite honest, I always thought that the old SF Weekly was okay, but nothing to get excited about (at least they didn't consider themselves God's gift to investigative journalism like the Guardian). But if you guys keep this up, you're going to make me nostalgic.

Peter Moore
Berkeley

Not on beans alone
Last week I sampled two of McCartney's entrees and they seemed more like airline food than anything else. However, a point you completely missed is that there is almost nothing in the frozen section for vegetarians: bean-and-cheese burritos, supposedly cheese pizzas, a prepared spinach lasagna (good but expensive) and Lucca cheese ravioli (great but not even stocked at some supermarkets because "our customers only buy the meat kind"). It can be really hard to find anything to eat!

So even though I didn't like Linda's meals, I'll probably buy them occasionally. And although I often don't agree with PETA, I'm comfortable with their getting a pittance of my consumer dollars, rather than Coors or Anita Bryant!

Carolyn Crampton
San Francisco

Flesh eaters, repent!
Tom McNichol states that the McCartneys have been strict vege-tarians for the past two decades, a commendable lifestyle choice marred only by the self-righteous sanctimony they can't resist bringing to the subject." McNichol goes on to defend this opinion by stating that "Linda pointedly referred to meat as 'flesh' and a 'pound of fear.'" What does McNichol think meat is? Meat is the flesh of an animal. There is nothing either self-righteous or sanctimonious about referring to meat as flesh. We use words like meat, steak, chop, burger and so on, so as not to remind ourselves that what we are eating was once a beautiful, breathing, feeling, thinking creature capable of feeling pain, hunger, reverence for life and fear. Speaking of fear, does McNichol honestly think animals don't feel fear? Has he never seen an animal that has been abused? Does he think that the animals that live on today's hellish factory farms don't feel fear?

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