Boxing Days: Readers on Saletan.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Sept. 11 2002 1:51 PM

Boxing Days

Our readers respond to Saletan's changes of heart.

(Continued from Page 3)

Dell has been, and still appears to be, successful. but if you actually examine their PC offerings, on a product by product basis, you invariably find them priced $200 more than the competition for similar features. How long can this consumer knowledge deficit last? I would have expected this to have run its course already, so obviously I don't have the answer. however, I do have a Sony PC which has better features and a lower price than Dell. Maybe the next Dell commercial should feature that teenager telling us: "Hey Dude, you're getting hosed!" 7:35 p.m.

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Quick Checks: The Chatterbox Fray is legendarily unreadable. This is a shame when the article is meaty and contentious. People who wish to discuss the "moral equivalent of the war on terror" should look for my checks (click here to select View Fray Editor's Picks). They may soon be well off the front page, but the dozen or so checked posts should provide anyone with a way into serious discussion.  Lee's post here  is one of the best posts I have ever read in the Chatterbox Fray.

Piney's post here explained the Explainer; it's another place to debate the administration's conduct of the war on terrorism … 6:40 p.m.

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Monday, Sept. 9, 2002

Chain ganging up: The Food Fray responded to Sara Dickerman's review of upscale chain restaurants with Loved it!/Hated it! posts. Hordes of dissatisfiedchain customers weighed in with their disses. Godels-Yodel pronounced Olive Garden "crapitaliano," Stacy called chain proliferation "Irvine-a-sation," and Jerry snarked that it is appropriate that chains rule the Zagat in largely Republican Orange County. The chains "are quite representative of Republican taste—insipid and full of empty calories." Is this all part of mindless suburbanization, as Dragonfly laments?:

Municipal planners pay a lot of lip service to creating vibrant, exciting towns and then they just give us the same blah shopping and eating choices the that next suburb has. Why should our food be any different?

Things always become more interesting when Fraysters offer unprovable speculations like this. (Or when they discuss blubber.) European Amateur Gourmet Chef bashed the American palate here:

The problem, ultimately, is that the clientele has no taste. For the most part, Americans systematically and willfully suppress their ability to taste food.

How the hell can people not taste the difference between margarine and butter? How can they not even notice the noxious flavors of artificial food colorings? I have no answers, but the fact remains that most people here do not really taste these things.

Unfortunately it all boils down to supply and demand. If you demand crap that's what will be supplied to you.

Rick offered a gendered theory of chain enjoyment, that Real Men Don't Eat Cheesecake, here.

Fragat? Many Fraysters offered helpful dining guides as a way to avoid the chains if you find yourself on the road: Bunny for Dickerman's own Seattle, Chismo for Lancaster, Pa., babelle for the Gulf Coast, Joe for Westchester County, N.Y., In defense for Raleigh, N.C.; linda offered an escape from Orange County.

Instead of pointing us toward independent restaurants, Rachel turned Dickerman's review to the Dark Side, which happens to be pro-labor:

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