During a trawl for relevant articles for a client this morning, I happened across a piece on a dining-out website. This is an extract, and it is quite genuine:
“Natural or manmade catastrophes can act as earthquakes, which then generate tsunamis of interest in the flavors of that region …And now the newest incident with the devastation in Japan turns the world’s eye toward that island nation. Like its cousins, expect flavor interest in Japanese cuisine to spike. So while many crystal ballers are touting Korean cuisine in 2011, the disaster in Japan is a game changer as far as food and flavor trends go.”
Personally, as I watched the images of the sea flooding onto the land and taking the lives of thousands, I wasn’t thinking about sushi and sake.
This could easily be some sort of thoroughly sick sketch on a really bad-taste comedy show – a roving reporter standing in the ruins of Sendai oblivious to the death and carnage all around and instead spouting about culinary trends.
Can you believe that any freelance writer would dare use such a monumental tragedy as a springboard into an article on possible future restaurant trends? I am not easily shocked by some of the things humans do and say, but I am utterly staggered by this.
The person in question, according to her biography on the website, is very well educated, with a couple of degrees and a Masters. I suppose this just goes to show that there is a chasm of difference between being academically intelligent and possessing good ol’ common sense.
One of the key skills of a freelance writer is to be able to self-edit. That may come at the end of the process after allowing an unimpeded free flow of creativity and ideas to roughly form the article, but it has to come at some point. The smart writer absolutely has to swap out their passionate head for their analytical head and read and read and read again. They have to be satisfied they are content to publish their thoughts and take on the chin whatever criticism those thoughts may provoke in others.
Just read that first sentence again. This woman is actually punning on the words “earthquake” and “tsunamis”.
Hands up which of you would have failed to edit that (if not the whole idea of the article) out of existence? Yeah, I’m not seeing any hands.
Don’t get me wrong – I like to be contentious at times. I like to challenge and unbalance and “put it out there”, but I could never write the tasteless drivel puked out by this socially clueless lobotomy-job. Who … who could possibly read her article and not think it thoroughly ill-conceived and inappropriate?
I assume she got paid for it. Maybe she can use her ill-gotten gains to visit a Japanese restaurant.
And I hope she chokes on it.