Saturday, January 30, 2021


Alexei Navalny, Eugene Goodman, Alexander Vindman, Sally Yates, Rodney King, film director Bi Gan, Steve Jobs, The Sainted Arepa Lady, Mamma Grimaldi, Hunter Steinitz, Michael Bloomberg (with reservations), King Juan Carlos of Spain (read his story economically told in The New Spaniards, one of my favorite books).

There are a few hundred more, but this is all I could think of. Maybe by starting this list, others will start popping out of my sludgy brain.

I don't know if John Thorne is my hero, but he's my favorite food writer, plus he helped me understand myself better. Writers and reporters in a previous age felt obliged to try to "do right by their subjects." This credo sounds archaic today, when being profiled leaves most everyone feeling a bit mugged (major media has the power to shape reality, so if you're characterized as X, well, X = you, baby). Few profiles of me or of Chowhound left me feeling like the writer really got it, but Thorne towered distantly above them all. His write-up of my first book actually explained me to me, which is 10 quadrillion times better.

That's what greatness is: when it's 10 quadrillion times better.

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