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Why no Schadenfreude, Chowhound-style, over Bruni's announcement he has gout?


Are we not equal opportunity snickerers?

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  1. Nothing to snicker about. Mr. Bruni wrote a seemingly honest and well-balanced piece about his condition and how he is adjusting to it. Also, he has not announced that he is a spokesperson for an expensive drug to treat this condition.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pamf

      +1...pamf, you are exactly right. He didn't keep his diagnosis a secret for years while exhorting others to eat gout-triggering food, and I've yet to see him shilling any of the new gout drugs.

    2. I give Bruni credit for talking about gout. Very few people do. He gave some good advice. Perhaps he will help others avoid it.

      1. Has he done something hypocritical or self-serving? If not, then this situation is missing the snicker-worthy part.

        1. As others have pointed out, he handled his "news," both personally and professionally, in an admirable manner. John Bradford's words come to mind: "There but for the grace of god . . . ."

          1. Ah nothing like perspective when you need to make a lifestyle change. In the wake of Ms. Deen's horror show across the food writing and not so worthy writing, I imagine we'll see alot more admissions of health from high profile food people.

            Good health is nothing to sneeze at no matter how much we love great food.

            1. Someone on one of these boards a few years back coined a term for reveling in the food related misery of another. Chowdenfreude.


              2 Replies
                1. re: Davwud


                  Perfect term for the feeling one gets when an arrogant "celebrity chef" (do I hate that term) gets a bad review, is forced to shut his/her doors, or best yet, goes to jail for tax evasion. (The last seems to be more common in the fashion world, where I am sure the feeling is exponentially greater due to the even greater egos at play.)

                2. The disease of kings and the king of diseases!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pedr0

                    My husband's had it since his late 20's - due to kidney issues. Diet does absolutely exacerbate it. I feel for anyone suffering from this - my husband is already miserable, and a flare up makes him even worse!

                  2. I'm saving my Schadenfreude for when I can erupt with Bordain-ish glee if something bad happens to Alice Waters.

                    1 Reply
                    1. http://www.chow.com/food-news/109462/...
                      ips, did you see CHOW's coverage on this news piece running?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: HillJ

                        No, I didn't. Thanks for pointing it out.

                      2. He gets points as a man for even going to the doctor but loses points because the doctor always told him he was prone to gout. If it was me, I'd ask "What does that mean? What should I do?"

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pdxgastro

                          It means that you can be genetically predisposed to gout attacks if you have a history of gout in your family.

                          My man suffered from horrible gout attacks (one turning his foot the size of a balloon) until he finally went to "the right doctor" for advice and is now on medication.

                          I have had the occasional attack (not nearly as awful, but painful nonetheless) -- not enough to suggest any regular meds to be on, but it happens. And guess what - my mom had gout, too.

                          Not everybody wins the genetic lottery, and that may well include Bruni. Schadenfreude? Please. Get a life.

                          We eat rather healthily, and MANY doctors agree that diet only has so much effect.

                        2. Being English I wasn't aware of Mr Bruni but having read the article I like his candour.
                          I also like his writing and obviously this is no consolation but it will make me check out more of his stuff,

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Paprikaboy

                            I've started to appreciate his writing more myself recently. I thought, "I felt just as effervescently happy to be surrounded by my nieces and nephews as I had when viewing them through cabernet-colored glasses[,]" in the instant piece, was wonderful. This weekend's column was also quite enjoyable: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/opi...

                          2. Given Bruni's ongoing relationship with his reading public - especially marked in his book Born Round - he clearly has struggled with food, eating and his health his whole life. While most likely not a dietary role model, he is someone who's also been honest and upfront about all of his food/health issues. So that plus the fact that he's not the spokesperson for a drug make the response to him entirely different.

                            Though - had this been someone like Bourdain....I think the contrast in response would be more interesting to compare.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: cresyd

                              I concur - except w.r.t. Bourdain.

                              Bruni has been fairly forthright, and his writings have seemed without artifice to me. Deen, on the other hand, has always seemed artificial to me and given to subterfuge and role-playing. It is *not* a gender issue, to me at any rate.

                              1. re: cresyd

                                But Bourdain hasn't done anything fishy like Deen did. He quit smoking when his daughter was born (I think that's correct), but he didn't become a sponsor for Nicorette or some patch. He just quit.

                                Bruni did the same thing - had a problem and delt with it.

                                Deen on the other hand had a problem, concealed it for years, continued to push the problem-inducing lifestyle, became a sponsor for a drug company to cure her problem, and then admitted her problem. Major difference

                                1. re: Bart Hound

                                  My mention of Bourdain has more to do with his mix of both being pretty aggressive in regards to Paula Deen and also his promotion of restaurant food that often is as unhealthy as Deen's recipes. (how many dishes at Les Hailles fit the definition of 'heart smart'?) And I'm not even saying that I wouldn't be inclined to defend Bourdain, but I think the whole "why Paula and why not Bourdain" debate would be more dynamic. As it is, I think that comparing Bruni to Deen is just a case of forcing an issue that is only interesting if you know nothing about it.

                                  However, everyone from Bourdain to Bruni to Deen are all associated with unhealthy eating. Whether it's in a restaurant or deep frying mac n cheese at home. Where Deen becomes objectionable is that she's being paid by a drug company - but I also think that the public out cry is louder because she makes 'lower class food' and is a fat woman. That being said, if Bourdain also started writing about how he was diagnosed with a food related condition/illness - I would still be most sympathetic to Bruni because of his ongoing dialogue as a writer regarding his health.

                                  1. re: cresyd

                                    I don't have an issue with Bourdain and his eating habits and his former history at all. I don't think he ever suggests that meals at Les Halles (that aren't heart smart) are what one should aspire to eat daily as part of one's dining routine. On the other hand, PD states that her food is good, every day home cooking, PD has said in her defense of her cooking style that she can't afford the food that Bourdain eats, that her food is family and everyday oriented for the "average person". That's where Bourdain and many others take exception. It isn't the special event "one of" meal at Les Halles that will break you (I don't know of many who could afford to partake of the delicacies at Les Halles every day of the week with the family). Its the defense of sticks of butter and deep fried, cheesy oily entrees as being an every-day, normal way of eating that is the issue.

                              2. Too close to the bone