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Its not about them being more or less progressive.  Its about expecting them to exist outside the structure & to base their decisions solely on classless/raceless ideals.  We all might try to be our best selves, but we live within an economic structure that we participate in & cant stand outside of.  I might direct my "investment counselor" to funnel my funds into certain types of companies (& stay away from others) & thus I might not maximize my potential gains.  However, to live my life in this system, I need an investment counselor & I need to participate in the market.  I think Orik hit on the economic basis of the star system upthread.  They can "walk back" aspects of their product but they cant refuse to see what they need to do to be part of the system.  Its "all the news that's fit to print" while remaining relevant to the overall nature of the system.

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We had one of those lessons in 7th grade. I was called up to the front and presented with a NYTimes (I guess because the teacher assumed I'd not be familiar with such a sophisticated paper). She start

keep buying lotto tickets

Roman's Yacht, 2023  

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But that's not the point, Steve. 

They're trying to change.  They're trying to drop the iniquitous and increasingly irrelevant Star System.  The issue I raised that started this discussion was whether we on this board should promote that change and aid them in accomplishing it, or resist it.

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1 hour ago, Sneakeater said:

There are also people who regret that The Times' music coverage now mainly focuses on pop music, which The Times critics now treat as seriously as classical music.

What a decline from the days more than 40 years ago when a Times music writer said, in these exact words, that he saw no need to learn about Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis when there was still a single Monteverdi madrigal he hadn't yet heard!

You are talking about the arts again. I am just talking about restaurants. 

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There is a very specific history of restaurant ratings. They served a clear purpose. They may indeed be outdated.

If there’s an analogous history of rating ballet performances tell me about it.

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Y’all are aware of sites with hotel ratings, yes? Reliable or not, they serve a purpose. That is what we are talking about here, not rating sculpture or poetry.

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Just now, Sneakeater said:

I do want to be clear that I agree with you that food isn't art.

It can be discussed in aesthetic terms, sure. But that is not the origin of ratings or their purpose for (most of) the last century.

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Interesting, if only to me, is that the consensus of what makes for a comfortable hotel room has not been shattered in the way that consensus over restaurants has.

A communal room with wonky furniture and heavy metal piped in might appeal to some, but is going to be cheap.

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13 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

But that's not the point, Steve. 

They're trying to change.  They're trying to drop the iniquitous and increasingly irrelevant Star System.  The issue I raised that started this discussion was whether we on this board should promote that change and aid them in accomplishing it, or resist it.

there’s no reason they can’t change the star system to be more “equitable”. it’s just a grade about the overall experience at the end if the day, but in my view, you have to pair it with the text. 

you might also have to re-educate the dining out masses (i.e. that haute cuisine from germany exists) but that’s likely a different story…

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Remember Fritzl’s Lunchbox?

Bare room. Not especially comfortable. Wines…eww. A beer list. Shockingly good, inventive, cheffy food. But everyone else ordered the burger.

There would once have been a consensus that a place like this would have been zero stars but recommended. I doubt that consensus exists any more because a lot of people would prefer the bare wooden tables and the beer list to anything “fancier.”

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2 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

I still can't figure out how to fold it.

Why I love my tablet computer. Takes up about the same amount of space, does not need folding.

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1 hour ago, Wilfrid said:

Interesting, if only to me, is that the consensus of what makes for a comfortable hotel room has not been shattered in the way that consensus over restaurants has.

A communal room with wonky furniture and heavy metal piped in might appeal to some, but is going to be cheap.

Or is it just a matter of the cultural debate around hotels? One can analogize grand amenity heavy palace hotels (trad three stars), equivalent hotels in a more modern style (modern three stars), ultra lux small hotels with fewer overall amenities (multi star tasting counters), modern boutique hotels (bitronomic/new paradigm restaurants), small inns (trad bistros), etc., etc.

It seems to broadly parallel the kind of cultural splintering we've seen with restaurants. Thing is, no one pretends that they are need to be rated using a single cohesive critical review system (as opposed to the kind of nebulous star system that is effectively a thread and amenity count) and no one finds it weird to say that you find a smaller boutique hotel better than a large luxury hotel (or vice versa). 

With food, I think that people have a much harder time separating subjective preferences from more objective, or at least more experienced and technical, critical judgments. 

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