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Posts Tagged ‘rants’

Thanks For The Tacos. Now Go Home.

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Sign outside a restaurant that says "Free Nobel Prize with every order of shrimp tacos"

Publisher’s Weekly has an interesting piece up about the rise of non-mainstream cuisine on the American foodscape (kill me for using that word), contrasting the rise in Vietnamese, Cajun, Mexican, etc. recipes and cookbooks with our current desire to drive out many of the people who brought these cuisines here. PW sees this as evidence that the food world is more welcoming than say, Arizona:

[T]here are no borders in the American kitchen. Surveying the cookbook market and the culinary scene in 2010, it’s clear that American cuisine is more diverse than it’s ever been, a true—and delicious—reflection of our country and what makes it great.

Oh, bullshit. Seriously? Cherrypicking things like recipes and fashion statements from other cultures is a fine colonial tradition, one that is not any less exploitative if the colonies are within one’s own borders. It’s nice that A Taste of Lebanon is selling well, but how many people can find Lebanon on a map? Are we supposed to think people are eating fried kafta and talking about how Suleiman jailed three people for denigrating him on Facebook? (And before you think that is some craaaazy Middle Eastern move, a school in Florida tried to do it to a teen who said her teacher sucked!) Also think about it this way–people are immigrating here and bringing us these delicious foods because we, a superpower, are not helping them to end the conflict and problems in their own countries. We are in fact, in most cases making it worse.  But hey, thanks for the tacos. Now go home.

What really infuriated me about this piece was the closing quote, from one Anthony Bourdain:

The kitchen is still a place where you are judged on how well you do and nothing else. It’s kind of wonderful. It’s the last meritocracy.

Apparently Anthony Bourdain has not noticed that “the kitchen” is still mostly full of straight white dudes. And they can eat all the international cuisine they want, but that still won’t make it a meritocracy.

Temple Grandin: Local, Smaller, Not Always Better

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Temple Grandin, advocate for ethical slaughterhouses and “world’s most well-known autistic person” (I KNOW), had this to say about the safety of small meat processing operations:

What I get concerned about is the little local places that are not being audited. I’ve been involved in working with and training auditors for big plants and small plants…for the big plants the audits started 10 years ago, in 1999. The little plants, there was a five year delay for them. The big plants were just horrible when we first started and then when we walked into some of these little plants they were just as horrid.

and she is calling for using video as a form of transparency:

I’m at the point right now where I want to put it all on live video on the internet. I’m at the point where I want the industry to take all the mystery out of things. Some of the companies have video auditing and that’s good… but put a live feed out to the internet so anybody can look. What have we got to hide?

I’m all for it, and people should have to watch. I also think we should show broadcast executions and those who are pro-death penalty should have to watch. Also, just to continue my ranting, there should be more gun regulation, comprehensive sex education in every school, marriage for all who want it, and free, safe and legal abortion. The end.


Instead Of Explaining Why You Don’t Like Something, Just Say That It’s Hipster

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Really it’s the laziest, laziest thing to do. It’s meaningless. I thought it was hilarious when SUF first started and some people said “Oh, it’s just a bunch of hipsters making fun of food culture,” while others said “It’s awesome! they make fun of hipster foodies,” depending on if they liked us or not. Because if you don’t like something, it must be hipster. Why bother to engage with it, or figure out why you are intimidated or why you don’t like it, or think at all, when you have a kneejerk, ahistorical, insider-feeling label to stick on it? Sometimes people pop up in the comments with anti-hipster rants and I delete those suckers like an Old Testament God, or Meatball when she’s hung over. And I’ll do it on this one too! Take it to your own blogs, people.

I have no stake in this game—I’m a chubby middle-aged catlady—but lordy there is no crime against having good hair and caring about music. Get over your issues and take people for who they are, not for what you’ve decided about them because they happen to be wearing a certain kind of jeans.

So I say to you, Esquire magazine, about your “7 Steps to Survive the Hipster Coffee Trend“—with bonus misogynistic line about estrogen levels—shut up.


Women Have Food Feelings, Men Just Have Food

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Newsweek’s Jennie Yabroff wonders why women write food memoirs and go on food journeys while men write penis-y books like Cook to Bang: The Lay Cook’s Guide to Getting Laid. I KNOW.

I was still reeling from that title when Yabroff shared this quote from Mario Batali: “There’s two ways to make someone happy—both are by putting something in them.” He must love meals with Tina Fey!

The issue I have with Yabroff’s analysis is that after considering various essentializing forces and class and sex issues that might account for the gendered paths of men and women in the food business, she throws up her hands and places her faith in the market, saying that food writing is gendered like that because it is what the public wants: “We may have the same expectations of what comes out of men’s and women’s typewriters as what comes out of their kitchens.”

Uh, since when? And how do you know that, Jeannie Yabroff? What do we expect of men and women in the kitchen and as writers? Has anyone checked? When was the last time the items in a bookstore (or any store for that matter) really reflected our expectations and needs? Last time I checked, the items on offer are a combination of the assumptions and prejudices of the people who work in the industry, along with calcified distribution channels, pressures from big business and limited access to the means of production. That’s true of everything from food to magazines to shoes. That’s part of what keeps us shopping—we don’t really ever get what we want.

Maybe I should get a strap-on and some donuts so I can write this and see if it comes out differently.

Shut Up, Bacon III

Monday, March 29th, 2010

First, turn the sound down on your computer. Then, head over to Boss Hogg’s Bacon is Meat Candy Bacon Club, “Where ‘Baconism is More Than a Mere Philosophy, It’s Our Very Way of Life!” You can recline on your bacon pillow, slather on some bacon lip balm, and eat some bacon candy. Which is, ironically, strawberry flavored. There is also a chocolate-and-bacon concoction called sueyts. (Get it?)

Or perhaps you prefer the sophisticated bacon stylings of the Royal Bacon Society, where they blog about bacon, share bacon recipes, discuss bacon pet products, and even have a section on bacon porn! (Dear Reader: I did not click.) There are people getting bacon tattoos. They are putting it in tea. Bacon tea.

I don’t get it. Why? Why? Why bacon? Why? Is it because it is salty? Is it because it is fatty? Is it because it is from pigs? Why bacon? WHY WHY IS BACON THE HELLO KITTY OF FOOD? WHY?

Not only that but loooooooooving bacon is now this kind of shorthand for loooooving life. It’s like the Rachel Weisz character in the movie version of “The Constant Gardener.” She’s a lusty earthy lady who is possibly having lusty earthy affairs as she traipses around Kenya saving children. Her character is so lusty that she is always doing succulent things like picking grapes off the table and eating them with her fingers, and sucking the spoon as she makes soup because she is so freaking sensual and fertile that she has to keep shoving it in your face or she’s going to have a baby right then and there or something.

If that movie were made today, she’d be eating bacon all the freakin time.