Effing the ineffable

I just read two essays polemicizing against foodies. A more recent one by Steven Poole, and a less recent one by B.R. Myers. My reaction to these pieces was that I largely agreed with them in spirit, which is bizarre because here are two things I firmly believe: delicious food is one of the greatest pleasures of life, and puritan-style moralizing against pleasure is disgusting. Nevertheless.

I started thinking about what it was in there that I agreed with, and I think it comes to this: it’s really hard to talk about food interestingly and almost nobody can pull it off. The reason is obvious: the sense of taste is very very nonverbal. People can talk intelligently about books and movies and art because there are either words involved in the direct experience, or objects which have words for them. And yet people want to know about food, so you have to say something! But you can’t really say anything except listing the food and then doing some variation of “unfffffffff soooooo gooooooooood”. And reading that is not interesting so it gets on your nerves.

Another thing is that eating is probably too closely linked to shitting for people to not feel embarrassed to consider it a form of “culture”.

By the way, before I remembered the Buck 65 track for this post’s multimedia component, I wanted to use a picture of someone eating, so I google image searched “eating a doughnut”, and there is a surprisingly large and varied amount of stock photos of people eating doughnuts, including “two girls eating a doughnut“, “happy hispanic businesswoman eating a doughnut” and even “angry man eating a doughnut,” which is pretty funny. The more you know.

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One Response to Effing the ineffable

  1. vj says:

    The greatest homage to gluttony I know is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l94TvGMjtoo. I wish there was a subtitled version.

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