Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hey hey, ho ho - can I get this beef tartar to go?

Monks are being shot in Burma. Lawyers, judges, and opposition leaders are being beaten and jailed in Pakistan.

In Toronto, Margaret Atwood is refusing free food at literary galas:
More than 400 A-list guests dined in style at last night's Giller Prize bash at the Four Seasons Hotel. The literary crowd feasted on tuna tartar and beef tenderloin.

But two of the most notable guests took a pass on that menu and instead brought their own dinner in a box.

Former Giller Prize winner Margaret Atwood and her husband, Graeme Gibson – author of The Bedside Book of Birds – quietly declined the food being passed.

The reason: They were protesting the Four Seasons' role in a massive resort development in Grenada that threatens an endangered species: the Grenada dove.

It's not quite this, is it?

For fuck's sake, even TV writers know how to use a fucking picket line...


Anonymous said...

Ms. Atwood wants to have her cake and eat it too (to use a food-appropriate expression).

She wants to sweep into the Gillers, but also wants to get attention for being social conscious by brown-bagging her meal at a hotel. As though bringing your own food to a dinner is some sort of political statement.

"Look at me! Look at me! I'm making a protest." Silly and smug at the same time.

Anonymous said...

At times like this, it's hard to resist seeing Atwood as the epitome of the failure and breathtaking hypocrisy of her "world-changing" generation. Here's a woman who writes novels bemoaning the excesses of Western partriarchal, technocratic societies while living in a giant house in the Annex with one other person: who shills for Heather Reisman, a mono-capitalist who is trying to knock the Canadian book business back to the bad old colonial days and who uses part of the proceeds from her business to set up scholarships for mercenaries in the employ of the Israeli army; who lends out her bizarre anti-human-contact book-signing machine to a uber-patriarch media mogul who severely limits the ideological range of his employees' published opinions (and who once called for the public horsewhipping of liberal-feminist writer Linda McQuaig) – this woman finally decides to make her stand: to save an endangered bird. Not that she allowed the fervour of her conviction to get in the way of attending an insiders-only party.

Reminds me of one my favourite lines from Oliver Stone's Wall Street: "You know WASPs: love animals, hate humans."


Anonymous said...

I am wondering if all of you people who don't like Grenadian doves cannot for the life of you understand that perhaps Ms. Atwood is terribly shy, and really, her brown bagging was to cover up a food allergy which, for whatever reason, she wished not to share. Studies have shown an alarming rise in allergic reactions to tartar (especially gluten-re-enforced tartar), perhaps brought on by the slaughter of Canadian virgin forests to produce untold (and often unread) copies of Surfacing, some hard-cover copies of which have been implicated in the slaughter of baby seals. Rather than drawing attention to herself, which she NEVER does, this way she can divert attention from herself to the speckled dove that perches in the cinnamon trees, which she no doubt feels guilty about since she neglected to stand up for the tweet-tweets when the tiny island was invaded by US forces in 1983. What does concern me, however, is the fact that she brought in her brown bag, among other things, cucumbers (and we cannot assume they were locally sourced and organic either), which have been shown, by their very presence, to cause migraines for those whose food allergies extend to that family of vegetables. Perhaps the solution to all of this is to hold the next Giller in a scent-free, cruelty-free, food allergen-free environment with booths for pet causes set up along the walls of the hotel room. That way, anyone uncomfortable with a particular dinner guest can be excused to sign a petition or buy a bumper sticker (that will be used for their bike, since no one would drive a car to such an event).