Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

“Cancel-Adjacent” When progressives eat their own

I’m read this New York Times article about a podcast series surrounding the disintegration, due to progressive woke-ism, of Bon Appetit called “The Test Kitchen” and how itself got canceled due to progressive woke-ism. The mental machinations these people go through in the name of trying to please everyone is psychotic and not productive. It’s a wonder progressives can get out of bed every morning.

First the host and editor of the podcast wonder if they should be telling this story because of their history with another company called Gimlet Media. The two were critical of employee efforts to unionize Gimlet prior to its acquisition by Spotify. That story is nuts and honestly has nothing to do with what happened at Bon Appetit.

In a Twitter thread a few days after the release of that second episode, Eric Eddings, a former colleague of the podcast’s creators, accused the project of hypocrisy. Ms. Pinnamaneni and Mr. Vogt had contributed to a “toxic dynamic” at Gimlet Media, the podcast’s parent company, themselves.

New York Times

Because of this chatter “The Test Kitchen” series got canceled. It was two episodes into a 4 part series. What’s the point?

Mr. Eddings, who was a host of “The Nod,” a Gimlet podcast about Black culture, wrote in his thread that his intention was not to get people to stop listening to the show. But online, many railed against “The Test Kitchen.”

Days later, “Reply All” canceled the series, declining to run the two remaining episodes.

New York Times

It devolved to blame one of Gimlet’s founders, Alex Blumberg, for creating the situation at Gimlet that made the host and editor of “The Test Kitchen” take a position on unionization of Gimlet.

“I think it is important for P.J. and Sruthi to be held accountable for their actions,” Mr. Eddings said in a recent interview, “but we are in this situation because of a failure of leadership. This all stems from choices made by Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber.”

New York Times

The series “The Test Kitchen” was going to start out with the phony premise of cultural appropriation in the food industry. The NYT article brings up a controversy I never heard about.

Alison Roman, a cookbook author (and former columnist for The New York Times), was facing criticism for her popular turmeric-infused chickpea stew recipe, which hadn’t initially acknowledged the influence of South Asian curry dishes. 

New York Times

At least they provide a link to the recipe. Kind of funny when you think about that. I first ran across this “cultural appropriation” in food with this story about a Chicago chef that got shamed online for calling her recipe “bi bim bop”, which is a Korean rice bowl. Some asshole Korean chef from Chicago demanded that she label it as fusion because it was not traditional bi bim bop (some spell it bi bim bap but to me bop is a closer approximation to how it sounds). This is a side rant but let me tell you that bi bim bop can be anything with rice. It’s a dish that’s meant to use your leftovers. Hell, my father, who is OG Korean (he came to the US in the late 1950’s from Chinju South Korea) used to take his spaghetti and salad at Olive Garden, put them together on his plate, and call that bi bim bap. If he can do that then bi bim bop can be anything. But… I digress.

The NYT story then gets high into the weeds on Gimlet and how they were not diverse. How 24 out of 27 employees where white. How a “POC” they hired to develop into a podcaster got left behind and eventually fired because he wasn’t getting the attention he thought he deserved.

Shortly after, Mr. Mputubwele was fired. His superiors said he had shown insufficient growth, a critique he felt was disingenuous.

“You promised to develop me, that’s why you said you brought me here,” said Mr. Mputubwele, who now works for “The New Yorker Radio Hour.” “It’s like they thought that they could do diversity without actually doing the work that diversity requires.”

New York Times

It talks about how podcasts at Gimlet were launched and then jettisoned if they didn’t get traction. Duh, why would you continue a podcast with no listeners if the business is advertising based? But this was important because it had a supposed greater impact on POC.

Podcasts were released and, if they didn’t find an audience, discarded, leaving staff members to attach themselves to other projects. The uncertainty was greater for contract workers, many of whom were people of color. Long-term freelancers received no paid time off or equity.

New York Times

The article goes on and on about Gimlet, it’s fight with unionization, and the actions of the host and editor of “The Test Kitchen” during that time. None of which was related to what happened at Bon Appetit.

The best part of the entire article is being introduced to a brand new nonsense term. “Cancel-Adjacent”. This is fantastic. The woman who caused the meltdown at Bon Appetit by sharing a photo of the magazine’s editor was going to be on “The Test Kitchen” series to tell her story. But she became “collateral damage” as she put it because the episode she was in didn’t get released. And then comes to this realization:

“Being ‘cancel-adjacent’ is exhausting,” Ms. Teclemariam said. It’s especially enervating, she said, when you’re adjacent to people being canceled for their coverage of other people who have been canceled. “There is a word for this, but I’m not sure what it is. ‘Irony’ is insufficient.”

“If we cancel everyone,” she said, “who will be left?”

New York Times

The entire article is exhausting. The twists, turns, backbends, and gymnastics it requires to think like a progressive. How can they be so woke when it’s so damn tiring. Who can run a business with these people?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay