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Exposing fallen cuisiniers – Du Fresne’s take on Gladstone’s mission

  • February 4th, 2013

Karl Du Fresne feeds the archetypal Listener reader's anti-Americanism in the Listener of 2 February. With prolonged dedication to duty  he has hunted through city after city for the most gross cuisine our American friends can offer. The 72 oz (2kg) steak segues to V8 pick-up trucks to satisfy Listener man's craving to shudder, and to be glad at what we do not have.

But his descriptions are just too succulent. Perhaps he searches out gluttony for reasons that could be misunderstood, like those which had a great reforming 19th century British Prime Minister prowling the streets of London at night. Among William Gladstone's passions was rescuing "fallen women" (prostitutes). There is contention whether it was as weird then as it seems to our jaded judgment today.

Whatever Mr Du Fresne's motives, all power to his arm and jaw muscles.


  • peterquixote
  • February 5th, 2013
  • 7:24 am

enough, enough already,these words confuse, you make the writers all of us, Sam Hunt, Jack Kerouac sans idiot.
Hemmingway himself was boring and grandiose.
I wanted to elect you to the NZ Parliament of the people, and my dear wife Miss Bangkok Wan, she said never give up on you dreams

  • Karl du Fresne
  • February 13th, 2013
  • 6:59 am

Stephen, you imply that I set out to feed the “anti-Americanism” of Listener readers. I’m surprised that anyone who knows me, as you do, would think there was any such intent; I am as offended by kneejerk anti-Americanism as you are. (Incidentally, I have a son who is married to an American and who has taken out US citizenship himself; I’m proud to also have an American grandchild and another on the way.)
I didn’t go “hunting through city after city” for examples of American excess; as my article pointed out, billboard advertisements for the 72-ounce steaks you refer to confronted me all the way from Tucumcari to Amarillo. You could hardly avoid them.
Excess is, in fact, an inescapable fact of US life. No matter how much we might admire other American characteristics, there’s no getting around that.

  • Stephen
  • February 18th, 2013
  • 4:28 pm

Plainly I should have made my tongue-in-cheek more obvious. I do not for a moment think that you are anti-American. I thought your piece was great. But it amused me to tweak you for the suitability of your news for those who would take it for their own purposes. That does not mean that you should have earnestly changed a jot.

  • Karl du Fresne
  • February 20th, 2013
  • 11:49 am

Oversensitivity syndrome on my part. Occupational hazard.

  • Stephen
  • February 21st, 2013
  • 10:45 am

From what my family say, my occupational hazard may be under-sensitivity, also known as blundering blindness

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