MarthaStewart is a woman who has become a cottage industry from her craft/home decor type tips. Such things as putting several wine glasses stuffed with shredded tissue paper in the center of a table for a decorative centerpiece, or making your own potpourri from flowers grown in your own garden, etc.
Her two main problems are that she apparently is almost the opposite of her homespun image in real life, and that she has been convicted for perjury in connection with stock trading activities, and has spent several months in low security federal prison as a result. She has been rewarded with a lucrative book contract and a new syndicated daytime series now that she is released.
Her crime and conviction do not appear to be related to the QualityWithoutaName that she is famous for, it appears to be a tangential issue of her personal faults. In other words, her crime and conviction do not logically impact any issue that she ever discussed, and therefore her previous contributions, if any, to domestic arts, are still just as valid as they were before her conviction. -- DougMerritt (signing because I am trying to draw a very important distinction between a person's personal faults versus their professional work, which I think is essential in order to avoid ad hominem logical fallacies; what Martha was convicted for does not seem to me to be related to what she taught on tv/magazines/etc, and I will always go on record, if necessary to make that kind of moral and logical distinction)
Oh, and just to skip the jokes by going on the record again: I think we could all learn a lot from Martha about domestic arts. Mainly about things I don't actually want to do, but that's neither here nor there. :-) -- DougMerritt
See also http://grault.net/adjunct/index.cgi?MarthaStewart
I see how people would think this page is OffTopic, but I disagree; Martha is all about Patterns, and is arguably as on-topic as is Alexander in that sense. People find lots of things to dislike about her (mostly ad hominem and therefore logically irrelevant), but disregarding her personal life and looking at her business/magazine/tv shows/etc, what she does is find extremely high quality Patterns for handling things in life, and presents them to the rest of the world who has mostly experienced only low quality.
To that extent, she is all about QualityWithoutaName when she makes geometrically perfect 3-foot-high Croquenbush and we see that Julia Child's lopsided effort is "peasant style" by comparison. Julia is the "Common Man"; Martha represents unattainable goals of perfection.
Or, Martha represents the triumph of style over substance.
When the topic is style, what's the difference? :-)
Certainly Julia Child was a better cook.
In most ways, certainly. But Julia was approachable, she dropped food on the floor, she made mistakes. That was part of her charm, and by all accounts, the results were very tasty. There is one way in which Martha is superior, however, which is that Martha takes presentation and appearance of food seriously too. The Croquenbush example above was from one of the Martha episodes with Julia as a guest, and Martha made the "peasant style" comment.
Martha isn't primarily a cook, anyway.
More importantly, I didn't say that Julia's "Common Man" approach is inherently inferior to Martha's. I always liked Julia. It's just two different approaches.
Personally, I think Martha is more about hype and taking credit for the work of others, than about quality.
Perhaps. Then again, what she is taking credit for most certainly is about quality, whether one believes she deserves that credit or not.