I was browsing online for recipes that use beef tongue and came across a vile, vile concoction called “lengua tacos.” The whole point of cooking tongue is to enjoy the extremely tender texture of the meat. What kind of a bizarre individual slaughters herself cooking the tongue for hours (that’s how long it takes) only to shred it – which will of course dry it out – and then dry it out some more by sticking it on tacos. And then kill every ounce of flavor by pouring sauce on it to make it less dry?
That’s Mexican cuisine in a nutshell. Dry everything out like a bastard and then smother it in something sticky to mask the dryness.
By the way, tongue is expensive here. Back in the USSR it was one of the very few cuts of meat that were accessible and affordable for the social dreck that was intelligentsia. This is why I always knew how to cook offal but only learned what to do with a steak recently. My mother still doesn’t fully know what steak is. She thinks you have to beat it with a pallet for 20 minutes before you can cook it.
A gigantic blind spot of about 99% of academics, thinkers, and theorists is their incapacity to see that leftism has been completely absorbed by neoliberalism. There is no leftism, absolutely none at all, that doesn’t aggressively battle on the side of neoliberalism.
Their mistake comes from a very primitive way of thinking. They have memorized that “the Left = good” and “neoliberalism = bad.”. So the two have to be on opposite sides. All evidence to the contrary – which is pretty much all evidence, period – is dismissed.
There are some rare exceptions – Patrick Deneen, for instance – but they are rare.
Another funny thing is how people use “neoliberal” as a stand in for “anything that I vaguely dislike.” Academics, for instance, are seriously arguing that opposing the transformation of colleges into online diploma mills is “neoliberal.” They want to stay at home and not to have to go to work – which is totally understandable – but that doesn’t sound too noble. Instead they declare that they will proudly veg out on the sofa as a hugely subversive act of their anti-neoliberal struggle.
Klara is extremely interested in pipes, plumbing, electricity, and water supply. I constantly have to explain how all of this works.
Today she spotted a small ancient water tower, and I had to explain that the town grew over the years and now needs a larger one.
“Isn’t it great?” I gushed. “More friends to play with, more restaurants, more stores!”
“More viruses,” Klara retorted with the perfect small-town scorn.
“A group of strangers is stranded in a remote cabin when a great snowstorm…” said a promotional blurb for a book I glimpsed at the bookstore.
I bought it immediately, not caring about the genre, the author, or anything but the knowledge that there would be lengthy descriptions of snow in the book.
The bookstore could make a packet if somebody removed the irrelevant and annoying piles of books about beaches and strategically placed every book about winter that the store has.
The riots, the smashing of monuments, the cancel culture – these are not political phenomena. These are economic phenomena.
I rarely say this because I see politics in everything. But here I see not a trace of any political goal or motivation. People are feeling rage because they can’t access the upper-middle-class lifestyle they think they deserve. They are slipping into the lumpen class. It’s degrading, so they fake exceptional sensibility that is supposed to signal to the world how different they are.
Think how many of the young and not-so-young people who are running around breaking things won’t be able or haven’t been able to form families, buy a house, start a good pension fund. That’s what they are so upset about. Precarity, loneliness, uselessness. It’s easier to pretend that life isn’t giving you what you want because you are too busy correcting social injustices and not because you are one of the “wasted lives,” the detritus of the current moment.