Monday, February 20, 2012

The Week in Food (The One Day Late Edition)

In honor of Downton Abbey, NPR answers the question of the ages: why was British food terrible for most of the twentieth century?

Slate's Explainer tackles another important question: does sloth taste veal?

First you kill a seal. Then you catch some auks. How to make the Inuit equivalent of the turducken.

Mmmmm....smokehouse fire.

The latest foodie craze...rats (at least in Thailand). Note: if you are at all squeamish don't click on the link.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Three Stooges, Part Two (and the Apocalypse)

Santorum is on the rise (I apologize for any unpleasant mental imagies provoked by that sentence). In the Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado primaries, he won the anyone-but-Mitt vote (rumor has it that in Missouri, dogs voted in record numbers). A recent national poll placed the former Pennsylvania senator in the lead, with Romney second, and Gingrich third. And there's a tell-tale sign that Santorum has his eye on Gingrich's (and the Republican party's) hard core base: fundamentalist Christians.

In a speech last week in Plano, Texas, Santorum repeated his assertion that the Obama Administration is hostile to religion, and came up with this gem:

Some commentators have been scratching their heads over Santorum's references to the French Revolution, but any members of the Bourbon, Capet or Valois families currently living in the U.S. can relax. An online associate who had the misfortune of being raised in a fundamentalist church gave me some much-needed context by directing me to Revelation 20:4:

I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

When a speaker publicly invokes hostility to religion and decapitation, he's invoking a narrative of the end of the world believed by millions of Americans: after the saved are swept up into the Heaven, the Antichrist takes over the world and those who still worship Jesus (or at least refuse to worship the Antichrist) are executed. Now it's never been adequately explained to me why if the saved have been gathered up into Heaven there's anyone left on earth who still worships Jesus, but nobody has ever asked me to edit apocalyptic narratives for logic and consistency.

But the larger point: any fundamentalist Christian who believes that narrative and who heard Santorum's speech heard a presidential candidate imply that President Obama is the Antichrist, or at best paving the way for him. If you think this conclusion is a bit of a stretch, take a look at this clip from a film called The Image of the Beast. My recovering Christian friend was required to watch it as a teenager by his church youth group. I've read the film is still popular with evangelical churches. It's on sale as a DVD at a site called In this clip, a Christian is decapitated with a guillotine.

WARNING: The film you are about to see has really bad production values. And even worse facial hair.

Oddly, at the same time that Santorum was invoking an American future where Christians are guillotined, he seemed to want to sound relatively sane to appeal to independents because he closed by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that."

Don't ask me how you call your political opponent an evil overlord with supernatural powers foretold by Biblical prophecy and then expect to be able to back-pedal from that, but Santorum has never asked me to edit his speeches for logic and consistency.

Hat tip to David Harnden-Warwick for the background information.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Week in Food

Public schools: the enemy of baked goods and entrepreneurship.

If you want to buy foods with a long shelf, put lard first on your list.

Purple tomatoes: you know you want them.

There was chocolate everywhere. Oh, the humanity!

Citrus: it's what's for dinner.

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