The architects of that austerity have so much faith in their grand ideas to starve the poor into submission and quietly allow the disabled to die behind the scenes, that they have slunk away into the shadows with their gold plated pensions and £25,000 sheds for company. David Cameron, merrily fisted his Big Society up the arsehole of community and did a bunk in the morning without so much as a polite cup of tea. George Osborne, who declared a ‘war on welfare’ on Five Live in 2013, now editing a national newspaper, criticising an administration he was very much a part of, as though it were all a jolly jape. Iain Duncan Smith, a man who sniggered in a meeting in Parliament as a poverty-stricken single mum spoke about being famished with hunger, while I sat behind him shaking with rage at his insolence. Austerity is more than a war; it is an assault against the unarmed, against the most vulnerable children in our nation, a massacre of basic rights and dignity. And this war, live every other, is orchestrated by rich old men in suits, pushing their little pieces around the map, toying with lives and discarding them at will, puffing their chests out over their subsidised champagne. It’s been a while since I’ve been quite this angry, but my god, I’m livid.
Jack Monroe on the War on (the) Poor.
Monroe is the the creator of Cooking on a Bootstrap, a website that provides tasty recipes aimed at people living at-or-below the poverty line. Monore started her blog when she herself was living on benefits as an extremely poor single mother.
As is probably inevitable, Monroe sometimes gets used as an example of a “good poor”, i.e. a mother who’s still able to “cook well” for her child even on a very tight budgets, as opposed to the “bad poors” who rely on ready made and convenience meals. It probably goes without saying that most of the people who do this are both, a) affluent, and b) politically affiliated with organisations known to favor “austerity” and other brutal economic policies that disproportionately impact those who have the least.
Monroe’s response to the latest such incident, of which the above is a quote? Well worth a read…
The annual glut of diet books are pretty formulaic. Take an established star, preferably one who has recently lost weight, and get them to create a diet plan based on their “journey”. Dishes are cut from a standard list of “stuff considered healthy these days”, so be prepared for endless incarnations of avocado, a recipe for Mexican scrambled eggs, and a dizzying array of spiralised vegetables. Most present a complex set of rules and restrictions, with recipes so aspirational and unrealistic for everyday living that most people will fail. It moves from something that happens to you, to something you can buy with enough effort. Modern diet books are the wet dream of neoliberalism, with a side serving of courgetti.
Anthony Warner hates your Mexican scrambled eggs.
Shout out to the Internet for reminding me that a) fairy bread is awesome, and b) I haven’t had any in way too long.
It’s a delicious teanami! 🍵
On the lost Roman herb, silphium, which could apparently do, like, everything, from birth control to making meat tender.
One of my favorite parts of this article is the fact that one of the names for dried silphium sap was “laser”, meaning you could wander around in ancient Rome and totally run into “laser dealers”.
Hey, so y’all remember how Steve Jobs went through that thing where he’d only drink, like juice smoothies, and that poor nutrition due to his refusal to eat Regular Food probably exacerbated the cancer leading to his death? Well, he’s hardly the only Silicon Valley exec to do that sort of thing. Hell, it’s practically a trend.
Here’s a fun exercise: Open that article and see how many times the “biohacking” of the mostly-adult-male SV elite is referred to as “anorexia” (or even “orthorexia“). See? I’m sure none of you are surprised. Apparently disordered eating is only disordered when it’s done by teenage girls. For adult men, it’s “productivity”…
So just why are Kinder Surprise eggs illegal in the United States? Well, tl;dr, but you can blame the pharmaceuticals manufacturer the S.E. Massengill Company for that one, after they basically intentionally poisoned people in the 1930s, prompting a change in food and drug safety laws, the wording of which still, to this day, prohibits American children from enjoying the tasty tasty treat that is the Kinder Surprise.