By Matthew Yglesias
Over on some boring blog about politics, I’m talking about Joe Nocera’s notion that we should eschew bank nationalization as a solution to the financial crisis because nationalization “cuts against the American grain.” But beyond the policy rationale, this raises the point that you’re often supposed to cut against the grain.
Consider the case of flank steak. It’s a relatively cheap steak. And if prepared correctly, it can be quite delicious in your taco or fajita or as the “steak” in you “steak salad” etc. And “prepared correctly” in this case means (a) marinated, (b) grilled, (c) cut against the grain. If you cut with the grain it’ll be chewy and gross. But against the grain, it’s tender and delicious.