“Whole Foods is a point of entry into a new version of American whiteness, one which leans on a pseudo recognition of diversity through sanitized food presentation. It offers a new order of “otherness” in which the other is a pleasant-looking piece of food, totally safe, and with a pedigree. Within the Whole Foods’ bubble we are turned instantly sophisticated, and the store becomes the place where we can self-indulge in notions of cosmopolitan openness to world products and political struggles. To buy an avocado “with a background” ends up, dangerously, filling the space of our urge for political awareness. The store did the math for us, as well as all the thinking, so we can “shop with confidence” and just relax.
The whole process does something rather particular: It creates the illusion of an “independent” understanding within the larger implications of corporate intervention in defining a food’s background. In establishing a perimeter of commercial values based on social responsibility, Whole Foods depoliticizes us. Worse, for those already sinking into the hybrid life of a world without politics, it offers a parachute, a sort of immunity: “I shop here so, by extension, I know a thing or two about social awareness.”
Whole Foods unavoidably widens the gap between people who have everything and people who have nothing: How can super expensive foods that look like an invention of Edward Weston’s camera - that the majority of the world cannot afford, or would laugh about - be synonymous with social responsibility? This is truly a modern enigma.
The recent situation with quinoa, the “hot” and “trendy” new grain that we are suddenly unable to live without - and without which we are suddenly missing essential nutrients to keep us alive - is case in point. Paola Flores, filing for the AP from La Paz, Bolivia, reports that “[t]he scramble to grow more (quinoa) is prompting Bolivian farmers to abandon traditional land management practices, endangering the fragile ecosystem of the arid highlands, agronomists say.” A quinoa emergency, then, at the bulk bins. A separate exposé published in the Guardian goes even further: “[T]here is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.” Whether we blame vegans or hipsters or the organic food movement or a lack of appropriate trade regulations, the troubling truth about quinoa represents that repetitive drama between the West and rest in which our voracious consumption depletes yet another land and another people.
Whole Foods widens the gaps, and it does so in the most subtle and displacing manner, giving us an environment (the actually sanitized, spotless physical space) that is the embodiment of an elite (yet perceived as “open,” especially through the chain’s less pricey “360” product line) that finds itself at home within a soulless, sterilized experiences. The notion of gentrification has been surpassed, attaining the space of a perennial state of mind. This is where even an apple turns into an object/jewelry of desire, not of need, or at least of normality. In that sense, Whole Foods is simply the last piece in the long, familiar chain of shifting perceptions in neo-capitalistic societies that exploded after the Second World War, in which the creation and multiplication of desires is central to the self-preservation of the system.”
omg what if JVJ had left before fantine had died to go get cosette and he bargained her away from the thenardiers and just before he left he saw eponine and figured he didn’t want any kids to stay with the thenardiers so he asked to bargain for eponine and then he saw azelma and he got her and then he saw gavroche and he was just like “SHIT” and he took them all and then he got back to Fantine and she was like “oh yay you got cosette WHO ARE ALL THESE OTHER KIDS?!” and he was like “they’re so cute it was like a buy one get three sale” and then him and fantine raised all four of them and no one died this is the best story ever.
I was all set to have a genuinely awful day but today my math professor decided the class revolved around me (because my last name means ‘sun’ and i sit in the center of the room teehee) and I knocked out a draft of the paper I was afraid I wouldn’t finish and maroonpantaloons came to my house and swung on my swing and my copy of Arcadia came in the mail and tomorrow is Shakespeare’s birthday.
So I think I’ll be okay.
dania’s a sweetheart i’m js c:
1. i have a knack for accents
2. i have good/flexible taste in music
3. i try to be kind as much as possible
4. i have a laugh that makes other people laugh (in a good way)
5. i’m willing to give new things a go
(title taken from the poem of the same name by Suheir Hammad)
I’m crawling out of my little fandom hole because three episodes in, I’m becoming increasingly irritated at how Oberyn Martell and the Dornish on a whole are being portrayed in Game of Thrones.
Apparently, when not attending weddings, Oberyn and Ellaria can be found exclusively in a brothel inciting an orgy of some sort. Even when they do attend outside events, they are drawn to the scantily clad contortionist or to propositioning fellow guests by suggestively eating food. Yes, Dorne is more sexually permissive than other areas of Westeros. Paramours are common, noble-born women have sex before and outside of marriage, and bastards are not scorned and hidden away. For the writers of Game of Thrones, this means one thing: more sex scenes.
Instead of highlighting how racist the Westerosi attitudes towards Dorne are, the show buys into them, reducing the Dornish so far to a few men in turbans and over sexed characters with quick tempers. So far, Oberyn Martell has spent his time having sex, issuing threats and hotheadedly killing stray Lannister soldiers. Gone is any subtlety he had in the book, where he patiently bided his time with his brother to seek justice for his sister, Elia. Instead show!Oberyn is the orientalist archetype of a highly sexed, overly passionate non-white male, unable to keep either his libido or temper in check.
Coming on top of Essos and how the characters there are PoC who are either cruel, barbaric, avaricious slave owners or slaves who need to be saved by the white saviour character (and this is without mentioning the cringe worthy end of season 3 where Daenery’s crowd surfs a purely brown crowd), this portrayal of Oberyn Martell and Dorne is particularly galling.
For David Benioff and Dan Weiss it seems Oberyn Martell and Dorne is very much their erotic and their exotic.
I JUST REALLY LOVE MUSICALS OK LIKE THEY ARE SO AMAZING AND POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT AND IM NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT RENT AND LES MIS AND SPRING AWAKENING IM ALSO TALKING ABOUT THE MUSIC MAN AND CAROUSEL AND PIPPIN AND NEWSIES LIKE MUSICALS BRING A STORY TO LIFE AND SHARE EMOTION AND TEACH LESSONS AND YEAH MUSICALS ARE THE COOLEST!!!!