moral sensibilities and foodies, beach house wallpaper, conservative cannibalism

I’ve only read one article that was directly about Foodies (at Salon) so my knowledge of the movement is not enough at this point to argue one way or another with this article, The Moral Crusade Against Foodies

The contemporary gourmet reacts by voicing an ever-stronger preference for free-range meats from small local farms. He even claims to believe that well-treated animals taste better, though his heart isn’t really in it. Steingarten tells of watching four people hold down a struggling, groaning pig for a full 20 minutes as it bled to death for his dinner. He calls the animal “a filthy beast deserving its fate.”

Even if gourmets’ rejection of factory farms and fast food is largely motivated by their traditional elitism, it has left them, for the first time in the history of their community, feeling more moral, spiritual even, than the man on the street. Food writing reflects the change. Since the late 1990s, the guilty smirkiness that once marked its default style has been losing ever more ground to pomposity and sermonizing. References to cooks as “gods,” to restaurants as “temples,” to biting into “heaven,” etc., used to be meant as jokes, even if the compulsive recourse to religious language always betrayed a certain guilt about the stomach-driven life. Now the equation of eating with worship is often made with a straight face.

I have read a few articles over the past few years on the “slow food’ movement. Based on those writings, the general jest of which was an emphasis on raw foods – vegetables, fruit, whole grain breads, home-made pasta, rather than processed and fat laden fast foods – I didn’t go to the nearest slow food recruiting booth and sign up, but it seemed like a generally good concept. Unfortunately, at least according to this article, the slow food movement is beginning to overlap with Foodies.

The same goes for restaurant owners like Alice Waters. A celebrated slow-food advocate and the founder of an exclusive eatery in Berkeley, she is one of the chefs profiled in Spoon Fed. “Her streamlined philosophy,” Severson tells us, is “that the most political act we can commit is to eat delicious food that is produced in a way that is sustainable, that doesn’t exploit workers and is eaten slowly and with reverence.” A vegetarian diet, in other words? Please. The reference is to Chez Panisse’s standard fare—Severson cites “grilled rack and loin of Magruder Ranch veal” as a typical offering—which is environmentally sustainable only because so few people can afford it.

As someone who has something like a bowel of noodles or a huge apple-bran muffin for most lunches, this is all foreign territory. One cannot help but think the slow food movement will suffer by converging with food writers who think $100 lunches of free range poultry or other semi-exotic fare are a standard worth aspiring to.

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In other food news. What do you do when conservatives eat their own? Tell them to use a napkin, keep their elbows off the table or not to eat with their mouth open. Frank Gaffney Braves Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration To Warn CPAC About Grover Norquist

CPAC is the year’s preeminent conservative conference, bringing together the right and the far-right, but one very prominent neo-conservative voice had vowed to boycott the event this year because, he claimed, the Muslim Bortherhood had “infiltrated” it’s ranks. Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney has made a career of spinning theories about Islamic extremists infiltrating the federal government, but could radical Reaganites really be abetting radical Islamists?

ThinkProgress asked him the question Friday afternoon when we spotted him breaking his self-imposed exile to “do some interviews” at CPAC (we saw him again Saturday morning as well). In a lengthy interview with ThinkProgress, Gaffney warned that Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist and influential Republican strategist, was spearheading “active measure” campaigns within the conservative establishment on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. “I belive the conservative movement is being subjected to a concerted Muslim Brotherhood infiltration effort,” Gaffney told us, adding that Norquist began his insidious effort in the 1980s. Norquist’s wife is Muslim.

Asked for evidence of infiltration at CPAC, Gaffney pointed to the presence of Norquist — indeed, they passed within 20 feet of each other at one point — and of former Bush Muslim outreach director Suhail Kahn, whom Gaffney also accused of aiding the Mulsim Brotherhood. Asked for further evidence, Gaffney came up empty, saying, “I have not been here long enough.” The presence of Norquist and Kahn was “sufficient” evidence “to be of concern,”

Relax Frank. I happen to know for fact the Muslim Brotherhood is hiding under Glenn Beck’s bed.

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