The Anxiety of Appetite

Salon • Jan. 23, 2007

America’s food enthusiasts may find it hard to place the name Barry Glassner. He’s not a television chef, or a restaurant critic, or a diet guru. Indeed, the University of Southern California sociologist is known primarily for his best-selling 2000 book, “The Culture of Fear,” a dissection of the anxious underpinnings of the American psyche. It’s a subject that might seem to have little relevance to the dinner table, but Glassner begs to differ. If his latest book, “The Gospel of Food,” makes one thing plain, it’s that few topics generate more worry among Americans than our breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

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Working, Stiffed

The American Prospect • Aug. 25, 2006

It’s difficult to imagine a more sympathetic figure than Barbara Brooks. A full-time child care supervisor and part-time college student, Brooks is raising five kids on her own in a downmarket Long Island town. In the entire 90 minutes of Roger Weisberg’s Waging a Living, a documentary about the working poor set to air on PBS on August 29, few moments resonate more than when Brooks wipes away tears to explain, “The harder I work, the harder it gets.”

Premiering a week after the tenth anniversary of welfare reform, Brooks’ on-screen debut also happens to fall precisely one year after Hurricane Katrina thrust poverty back into the national consciousness.

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Kiwi Culture: New Zealand’s Capital Gets Hip

Metro • March 29, 2006

Wellington, New Zealand–Say New Zealand and three things come to mind: Hobbits, sheep and mountains. Soon you’ll be adding a fourth: Hipsters. After a flurry of government investment in local creative industries—everything from film to fashion to popular music—young trendsetters are choosing to roost at home and they’re bringing the silkscreened T-shirts. The result? A transformation of Wellington, once known as a drab government hub, in to a vibrant arts and culture center, and the nightlife that comes with it. Here’s the best of what hip Wellington has to offer:

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