My best friend and his wife are expecting. It was a surprise, but they’ll be great parents. Love them! Congrats JBL :)
As a young adult brought up in a Midwestern middle-class family, I have never given much thought to where (or what for that matter) my food originated. The Omnivore’s Dilemma written by Michael Pollan masterfully illustrates the trials and tribulations our “food” goes through to reach our digestive systems. His writing bombards you with facts that scare the modern day consumer into wanting to perpetually fast. However, Pollan also explains that food (primarily corn and soybeans) is unavoidable since it is interwoven into the fabric of American life.
Food is a subject with many levels; governmental, economical, cultural and personal. Although these things might not seem connected, they truly are. I am a person who enjoys food, but has never questioned what ramifications my choices might have. My senior year of high school I took Advanced Placement Environmental Science, which taught me that everything was connected. So, by eating a hamburger for dinner last night, I engaged in making a decision that affected me on a personal level, but also a decision that perpetuated a culture of unhealthy eating practices encouraged by governmental policies which are lobbied for by industries with strong economic self-interests.
What I have derived from reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma is that if it is not broken, do not fix it. However, America has not heeded its own advice. With the dawn of the industrial revolution came the demise of natural evolution. No longer are people living within their means by farming only what they need. Instead corn, comparable to a parasite, has infested the body and soul of America, as well as its brain trust. It has us as a nation hypnotized by its golden kernels, high yield potential and hundreds if not thousands of uses that are not as practical as they may seem. I believe this spell must be broken, that we must begin to take responsibility for and control over our food source for the overall health of society. Cracks are already beginning to form in the shiny exterior of corn’s reputation; an example of such a crack being this book.
Over the past few days I have been trying to discuss this book with my friends. My attempts have been futile, for they refuse to listen. When they do pay attention to what I am saying, they become disillusioned after I utter the words corn, beef, high fructose corn syrup or the phrase “Did you know…” These people can be included in the generalized public Pollan alludes to, “Eating industrial meat takes an almost heroic act of not knowing or, now, forgetting” (Pollan, 84). From reading these passages, I have gathered that most people do not know or do not want to know where their food comes from. It is simply too abhorrent and would make most people lose their appetite. What does this say about our culture? I guess ignorance really is bliss, and in some ways, not knowing is better than knowing, for it is a form of self-preservation. If people knew that food preservatives such as tertiary butylhydroquinone, a form of butane that in one gram can cause serious illness and in five grams can lead to death was being allowed by the FDA to be sprayed on our food according to a passage in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, they would stop eating altogether.
Since I have been enlightened to the realities of the food industry, I choose to know where my food comes from and exactly what it contains even though that poses an incredible challenge since big business is trying to keep us in the dark, for their benefit. Although one might develop a nihilistic view of food and our future, I still remain optimistic. I still believe that this is a problem that can be fixed, if we start small and work our way up. And since food is interconnected with almost every aspect of life on Earth, maybe changing this industry for the better will change Earth for the better.
Baking my awesome orange double chocolate brownies with Tom and Jo… in a Dinosaur pan!!!
Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of sitting down and watching a new episode of my favorite television show of all time Curb Your Enthusiasm. The episode was about several different things including women who wear shirts showing off a less than flattering midriff, not scooting over to make room for someone at the dining table and of course, Larry’s character having trouble controlling his medication-induced extremely strong stream of urine. Needless to say, three brilliant concepts to pack into one show. At one point, Larry accidentally splashes a picture of Jesus with spray from his strong steam and his midriff-showing secretary and her mother take it to be a miracle as it appears the piss makes Jesus look like he was crying. Hilarious, and a pretty awesome social satire in my humble opinion. Of course, some people didn’t think so.
Bill Donohue, the president of the “Catholic League” (what kind of sport they play I’m not exactly sure) released this statement regarding the episode:
Mention Larry David in a word association game and “Seinfeld” rolls off the lips. That show, which David created, wrote and produced, was brilliant. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is not. Indeed, last night’s episode demonstrates that David’s best years are behind him. He ought to quit while he’s ahead.
At one point in the show, David goes to the bathroom in a Catholic home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus; he doesn’t clean it off. Then a Catholic woman goes to the bathroom, sees the picture and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her equally stupid mother and the two of them fall to their knees in prayer. When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers, “every erection is a miracle.” That’s what passes for creativity these days.
Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother? This might be fun to watch, but since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics (it was just a couple of weeks ago that Sarah Silverman insulted Catholics on “Real Time with Bill Maher”), and David is Jewish, we’ll never know.
Pretty ridiculous, right? I thought so too. Let’s start with the first paragraph of this so called “statement”.
Nice job Bill, you’ve managed to point out that Larry David was a co-creator of Seinfeld, something that everyone and their brother (Jerry Christ in Jesus’ case) knows. Further more, I like how you mentioned that Larry’s days of brilliance are behind him and that he should quit. That’s really Christian of you. Who knew that you could judge people and personally insult their work and it would be perfectly within the bounds of how Jesus said a Christian should live? And, who made you the authority on what is considered good and bad? I personally don’t like Seinfeld and never did, yet I find Curb Your Enthusiasm brilliant and important all the same. The difference being, I don’t pretend to adhere to religious dogma that tells me “Don’t Judge, Lest You Be Judged.” That’s your guy that said that Bill, remember? It’s in that one book, I think. Strike one.
Cross the desert with 12 men and land right on paragraph two. You take issue with the fact that Larry pisses on a picture of Jesus, but doesn’t clean it off. Would it be better if he had cleaned it off? What difference does him cleaning off the picture make? It’s a picture, it’s not like he’s pissing on Jesus Christ himself. Here’s the funny part, later in the episode Larry accidentally DOES piss on his bare midriffed secretary and you seem to have no problem with that. According to your logic, wouldn’t that be offensive to women? Shouldn’t you take issue with that? Don’t the rights and respect of women matter? I also like how you point out that the CATHOLIC mother and daughter tandem in the episode are “stupid”. That’s really great that you’d call your own folks by such a Christian-appropriate term. The funny thing is, this kind of thing happens all of the time across the country. People see the Virgin Mary in grilled cheese sandwiches, Jesus in pancakes, the baby Jesus on a brick wall, but these people are perfectly logical? Or, are you calling all of the people who follow your sect of Christianity stupid?
Also, I find it really funny that you have a problem with Larry saying “every erection is a miracle”. Perhaps if it weren’t so easy for your lot to get erections from sexually abusing underaged altar boys against their will, I’d be interested in your take on this situation. You are not the judge of humor and you certainly aren’t the judge of who does what with their sexual organs. Strike Two.
And here we are at your swan song, the third and final paragraph. You bring up the fact that Catholics are apparently being targeted by HBO which is just so blatantly untrue it’s laughable. In the case of Curb Your Enthusiasm alone I’ve seen Larry David make fun of Jews, Christians, African Americans, Asians, dentists, doctors, patients, nurses, comedians, parking attendants, lawyers, chefs, holocaust survivors, survivor cast members, lesbians, Ted Danson, old people, child singers, private investigators, adoption, cousins, Richard Lewis, hookers, corpses, dogs, hurricane Katrina survivors, dolls, children, deli’s, HBO, freaks, car salesman and women who wear bras, and that’s probably just one season. Boy, it is time for you guys to grow up and stop making everything about you. It’s vain, and I’m pretty sure Jesus was against that too.
Also, nice job making mention of Sarah Silverman and Larry David, and pointing out that Larry happens to be Jewish (so is Sarah for the record which I’m sure you knew, hence mentioning them together). So, to get this straight it’s not okay for Larry to poke fun at people of the Christian faith, but it’s okay for you to insinuate that Larry can make fun of Catholics (which he never does directly by the way) because he is Jewish? That sounds pretty pretttttty pretttttttttttty anti-Semitic to me, buddy. Strike Three, you’re out.
So, Bill, here we are. You’ve officially shown us in a short three paragraph “statement” about the last episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that the truest of Christian ideals and values apparently don’t need to be applied to someone in a position of authority in the “Catholic League” like yourself. Why should these humble values of charity, forgiveness and lack of judgment apply to the stupid (your word) followers of your religion but not yourself? Sounds kinda hypoctrical there, Bill.
What Larry David did with Seinfeld and what he is doing with Curb Your Enthusiasm is to point out some of the more ridiculous aspects of our society for the sake of amusing people, making people laugh. Larry David takes what our society has given him and puts something positive back out into the world, in the form of humor. Rather than judge and insult Larry David, why not commend him for encouraging people to not take themselves so seriously and allowing them to laugh at themselves and the world around them? Why not show the world that the Catholics can turn the other cheek and laugh just like every other group (including fat people, bald people, Paul Simon fans, independent clothing store owners, and widows alike) has been able to do? Or, if none of this suits what you want to do, why not change the fucking channel?
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1c. vegetable oil
- 1.5c. sugar
- 1/2c. cocoa powder
- 1c. water
- 2 spoonfulls peanut butter
- add flour until desired consistency is achieved
mix ingredients. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. roll dough into balls (similar to peanut butter cookies) and place onto prepared cookie sheets. Before placing in the oven, pat down the dough balls into “pies”. Place cookie sheets into oven and let bake for 10 minutes.