“The critic, if he is to justify his existence, should endeavor to discipline his personal prejudices and cranks…and compose his differences with as many of his fellows as possible, in the common pursuit of true judgment.” – T.S. Eliot
“A good critic is one who tells of his own soul’s adventures among the masterpieces.” – Anatole France
“The duty of a critic is to educate, not pander to the lowest common denominator.” – ELV
We at ELV haven’t had a whole lot of respect for GMG ever since they canned us over eight years ago (as the first restaurant critic for both Las Vegas Weekly and Las Vegas Life magazines) for being “too critical.” (Translation: we value advertising more than integrity, and our publisher doesn’t want to take any heat for whatever some pesky critic has to say.)
Now we’ve just heard that a new round of layoffs has claimed uber-food writer Max Jacobson, leaving Las Vegas with a serious hole in the knowledgeable foodie department.
Mad Max and yours truly have been friendly rivals over the years, but regardless of our professional differences, the fact remains that he has serious street cred in the gourmet world (20 years combing the streets and hinterlands of L.A. for food finds and restaurant reviews for the Los Angeles Times), so his absence is a serious blow to whatever food/chef/restaurant crediblility has been building up here over the past decade.
Regardless of the reasons for his layoff (the imminent death of dead tree journalism is the likely culprit), his voice will be missed.
In honor of MJ, our staff thought this a good time to rebroadcast an interview I did with him way back in 2003, shortly after he took the Las Vegas Life gig.
p.s. You’ll need RealPlayer to listen to this ancient history….sorry. But listen and you’ll hear tales of cockroaches, wormy soup dumplings, and grilled cheese sandwiches sold with a bite already taken from them. Slapsy Maxsy also has some deceptively simple, yet essential advice for how to get the most out of your dining out experience. In Part Two, we review the long-departed Tre (that we both enjoyed immensely-so much for the power of critics), and expound upon our loathing for tiramisu and other cliches of the food world.
Update: 13 people in all were let go, including Melinda Scheckells, Editor-in-Chief of VEGAS magazine. (Translation: that soft-core porn rag is abandoning all pretense of having any informational or cultural merit, and henceforth will be great for lining birdcages, especially if those birds enjoy taking pictures like this to the bathroom.)