The Gävle Goat. / Casey Bisson
The Baffler,  December 7, 2015

Daily Bafflements

The Gävle Goat. / Casey Bisson


• Chefs’ memoirs, restaurant reviews, and cookbooks are everywhere, and yet the “creepy, and classist, and outdated” field of food writing—from Yelp to the New York Times—insistently ignores the millions of service employees who make the food appear. “Food simply happens in this genre, entering the scene of writing with an uncanny suddenness.” Presto! Welcome to our magical culture where “Diners are, in general, empowered to say whatever they want. Service employees, on the other hand, are strictly constrained in their speech.

• The traditional giant, straw Yule Goat erected each year by the citizens of Gävle, Sweden, has survived its first week on Castle Square, despite a 50-odd-year on-again, off-again relationship with arsonists, thanks to an electric fence and round-the-clock CCTV. Enjoy an excerpt from the timeline of this goat’s festive history:

1969 The goat was burnt down on New Year’s Eve.
1970 The goat was burnt down only six hours after it was assembled. Two very drunk teenagers were connected with the crime. With help from several financial contributors the goat was reassembled out of lake reed.[…]
1972 The goat collapsed because of sabotage. […]
1976 Hit by a car
1977 N/A
1978 Again, the goat was kicked to pieces.
1979 The goat was burnt even before it was erected. A new one was built and fireproofed. It was destroyed and broken into pieces.
1980 Burnt down on Christmas Eve.
1981 Nothing happened.
1982 Burnt down on Lucia (13 December).
1983 The legs were destroyed. 

• Even though the Washington Post’s editors “don’t pretend to understand all the tax consequences of” Zuckerberg’s decision to use an LLC when making flashy philanthropic gestures, ever trusting, they confidently assert that “it seems the LLC has no more advantages than a nonprofit and perhaps fewer.” Oh, so glad that’s sorted. Let’s get back to worshipping our meritocratically-anointed king with “likes.”

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