Thursday, Jan 7, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Jenny Lawson
M/C Journal (December 2009)

“At the end of the episode “Crowd Pleasers,” from her television series Nigella Feasts, we see British food writer and television cook Nigella Lawson in her nightgown opening her fridge in the dark. The fridge light reveals the remnant dishes of chili con carne that she prepared earlier on in the programme. She scoops up a dollop of soured cream and chili onto a spoon and shovels it into her mouth, nods approvingly and then picks up the entire chili dish. She eats another mouthful, utters a satisfied “umm” sound, closes the fridge door and walks away, taking the dish of chili with her.

This recurring scenario at the end of Nigella’s programmes is paradoxically constructed as a private moment to be witnessed by many viewers. It resembles acts of secret eating, personal food habits and offers a glimpse of the performed self, adding to Nigella’s persona. Throughout Nigella’s programmes there is a conscious tension between the private and public. This tension is confounded by Nigella’s acknowledgement of, and direct address to, the viewers, characterised by the knowing look she gives to the camera when she tastes her food, licks her fingers as she cooks, or reveals her secret chocolate stash in her store cupboard; the overt performance of supposedly surreptitious gestures. Through her look-back at the camera Nigella performs both sin and confession, communicating her guilty-pleasure as she self-consciously reveals this pleasure to the viewers.”

Latest in Food

How British Social History Is Written Through Our Cookbooks
— Felicity Cloake (New Statesman, 27 June 2011)
Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism
— Conor Friedersdorf (The Atlantic, 4 May 2011)
The New Geopolitics of Food
— Lester R. Brown (Foreign Policy, May 2011)
Why "Top Chef" Gets Me Cooking
— Allen St. John (Salon, 16 June 2010)
I'm a Burgundy Man
— Mike Steinberger (Slate, 12 April 2010)
Cocktails Cops Can't Resist
— Katherine Mangu-Ward (Reason, 2 April 2010)
Hipsters on Food Stamps
— Jennifer Bleyer (Salon, 15 March 2010)
Russia’s Evolution, Seen Through Golden Arches
— Andrew E. Kramer (The New York Times, 1 February 2010)
Hipster Moonshine: Hooch Isn’t Just for Hillbillies Anymore
— Wayne Curtis (The Atlantic, April 2010)

Latest in General Culture

Frank Miller and the Rise of Cryptofascist Hollywood
— Rick Moody (The Guardian, 24 November 2011)
The Monoculture Is a Myth
— Steve Hyden (Salon, 10 October 2011)
All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
— TIME (TIME, 2011)
The UK Riots: The Psychology of Looting
— Zoe Williams (The Guardian, 9 August 2011)
Why Don't We Love Our Intellectuals?
— John Naughton (The Observer, 8 May 2011)
Oh, Britannia, How You Have Changed
— Andrew Sullivan (The Sunday Times, 24 July 2011)
How Google Dominates Us
— James Gleick (The New York Review of Books, 18 August 2011)
Can Watching ‘Jackass’ Turn You Into One?
— Tom Jacobs (Miller-McCune, 7 June 2011)
Going, Going, Gone: Who Killed the Internet Auction?
— James Surowiecki (Wired, 17 May 2011)
Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?
— Larry Sanger (LarrySanger.org, 6 June 2011)

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article