Jul 21, 2009
Grub Street Bites More Than Just Food. Compare & Contrast Reviews of Brain Food. Get Your Grubby Hands Off My Work!
(from Grub Street)
It's not everyday when I'm alerted to plagiarism of one of my blog posts by an unlikely ally in the form of a PR rep of the very website that bit my shit. Yesterday morning the aforementioned PR rep for Grub Street emailed me about a story on Grub Street's Los Angeles site (albeit, she didn't realize the piece was jacked). It was a short write up about "sesos" or brain tacos. What instantly struck me was the title of the piece "The Brains are Back in Town". My brain taco piece posted almost exactly two months prior to the Grub Street posting was called "Brains Are Back". And that was only the beginning of the uncomfortably plagiaristic similarities. However, I withheld judgment until I finished the story. Who knows, I thought, maybe I'd be linked or mentioned somewhere. Not likely it turned out.
My sesos story unfolded with the recollection of the dark and bleak times when brains were banished. Grub Street's opened like a cliché with "After a few dark and gloomy years..." The remainder of this blogjack parallels my piece in structure and mimics it in content, even down to the incubation period of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, which is estimated to be between 5 and 50 years depending on your source. (Obviously, my entire article was this "author's" source.) And although the piece listed other sesos purveyors, Grub Street got their grubby grub on at the same restaurant where I enjoyed my brains, Reseda's Carnitas Michoacan.
To be fair, Grub Street's editors may be clueless to this blogjacking (although most editors come up with a story's title). This post is really dedicated directly to one Hadley Tomicki, the piece's poser, er, poster.
I'd like to point out in particular another area of suspicion Tomicki's description of consuming a cow's brain. He claims to have eaten this cerebral snack before and yet he describes it as "flavorful" and "a slightly complex taste". Anyone who has ever eaten beef brain and paid detailed attention to doing so (like a standard writer of food would) can tell you that this delicacy is delicate in flavor, in fact, bordering on bland. Further, Tomicki explains the texture of beef brain as "a soft, smoosh-in-the-mouth feel that one might expect from a purple potato, but not from a rubbery brain." Again, any brain dead zombie who's ever wolfed down a beef brain will tell you that it has more of a dense tofu consistency. Unless, you're trying to eat a brain from the ACME magic and gags shop, then it's not ever going to be "rubbery", not even when raw, Hackley, I mean, Hadley.
Finally, and this has nothing to do with the blogjacking of brain tacos, Tomicki prefers using Menupages as his special source for the truly unique food finds in and around LA. In his words (or are they?): "Using MenuPages' "Find-A-Food" feature as our immediate J. Gold substitute..." Hadley, puhleeze, what non-stealing food writer substitutes MenuPages over the Gold Standard? Maybe a sell-out food writer. Just maybe? Yes, dear reader, MenuPages is in bed with GrubStreet and apparently so is Mr. Tomicki.
So, my question to Tomicki: Is there anything about your writing that is authentic? Anything at all? Oh right, apparently you're a real expert on the ladies.
What do you expect from a hamburger "expert" who likes his burgers medium? Have it your way, Hadley.
*Grub Street recently (as of around 2PM 07/21/09) added a link to Deep End Dining at the bottom of Tomicki's piece and calls it "related".
Also, check out acclaimed author Gustavo Arellano's take on all of this over at the OC Weekly.