One of the O/B editorial department’s favorite activities is calling bullshit—on wannabe posers, ridiculous trends, shameless marketing spin, and any other assaults on reason and our collective common sense. Which is exactly what we did last issue, with our article about the latest dietary craze to muddle the minds of an otherwise intelligent and open-minded Bozeman populace (“And a Side of Gluten, Please,” Winter 2011-12). As expected, we received several indignant responses, mainly by overzealous fad-followers unable to see the forest for the trees. One notable exception was Marie-Luise Klotz, a bona fide celiac with enough objectivity—and bread-free backbone—to tell it like it is. For her immensely reasonable stance on the matter, Marie wins Letter of the Season—and with it, her pick from the fabled O/B Treasure Chest. Other letter-writers this season tried—and failed—to point out mistakes we’d made. Thanks for playing, folks; better luck next time. We may not be perfect, but we’re damn close.
I just wanted to write a quick message saying that I can’t thank you enough for publishing the article “And a Side of Gluten, Please”! I have celiac disease and while having gluten as the "new bad nutrient" has made my life a lot easier in many ways, it has simultaneously (and this is something that even a lot of celiacs don’t realize) made my life a lot more dangerous. It’s a very two-sided issue and it has been so amazing at which ease I can get a meal almost anywhere and start to feel normal about eating again. I’ve gone from gluten-free hell ten years ago when I was first diagnosed, to gluten-free heaven in which everyone knows what gluten is. Nevertheless it really worries me to what extent people think they need to avoid gluten for health reasons. I call BS on that. In the end I have to worry more, because the waiter at the restaurant may not take my real, serious health requirements as serious, because he thinks he doesn’t have to be strict. Bottom line is, I do have to be strict―no crumbs from the contaminated toaster, please. I actually don’t have a choice like those people who go with these strange fads. I’m not one of those people who decides to “go gluten-free” but still drink beer―but how would the person making my food know? So in the end I never know whether something is truly gluten-free.
So I’m glad someone spoke up and got the facts straight. Thank you. For the future, everyone: please, keep all the amazing variety of GF choices out there for all us celiacs and please be patient with our dietary needs, but let’s not get ridiculous and market unnecessary restrictions, because I would give a lot to trade and be able to eat that real wheat pizza.
Glass Houses and Grammatical Stones
I just wanted to point out an error in your Fall 2011 issue that I found to be an epic editing blunder, unless you were aiming for irony. Believe me, I can’t stand J-Holes either. I do want to address the fact that you gave yourself a nice big pat-on-the-back in regards to “impeccable editing”, when in the same article, I believe there to be a mistake. Albeit, a math mistake, which is the polar opposite of journalism, but a mistake nonetheless. When you calculated the score for Bozeman vs. J-Hole, it should actually be 3 to 2, not 4 to 2, unless you count a tie as a win, which in that case, it would be 4 to 3, right? Either way, the town of Bozeman is superior, as well as it’s publishing of this fine magazine! Just be more careful when pumping one’s own tires.
Good eye―that same figure caught our attention during the proofread. But being impeccable editors (that’s our managing editor Dave’s verbiage; he’s rightfully proud of our hawk-eyed editorial team), we noticed that Bozeman got two points for the Local Outdoor Publication category... so the tally is indeed correct. And in your second-to-last sentence, it should be “its publishing”―a possessive pronoun referring back to the town of Bozeman, not a contraction for “it is.” See how good we are?
Not So Infallible After All
Every once in a while we do make a legitimate mistake—and one big one from our last issue is in “Up and Over Lone Mountain” (Winter 2011-12, page 24). In Terry Johnson’s account of skiing from Big Sky to Ennis in 1971, he describes being in a snow cave with so little oxygen that a match won’t light; he claims the lack of oxygen is common and that he and his ski partner weren’t in any danger. Which, as experienced snow-cave-builder and O/B editor-at-large Drew Pogge points out, is “Totally, deadly wrong—yes, it’s common for the interior of snow caves to ice over, but people die every year of carbon dioxide poisoning in similar situations (and I’ve written the obits). I’ve experienced CO2 poisoning myself, and it’s as serious as it gets―it’ll kill you in your sleep, with no warning. Long story short, Terry and his friend were effing lucky.” Look for a how-to article on snow-cave construction and usage in next winter’s issue, including proper ventilation.