Saturday, May 8, 2010

"The Spaghetti Project"

On the lighter side of the news. I just cooked the best spaghetti dinner of my life. I did it while I was asleep too. Thank the gawds for crock pot slow cookers. Oh Mama where have these miracles of cooking been all my life!

Every male person should be issued one of these at age 18, and told, "...Go Forth, and Cook!"

No fuss, no muss!!

All ya has to do is stuff anything handy into the cooker. Slam on the lid, and walk away. Over a period of 2 to 3 hours depending it evenly cooks whatever the hell ya shoves into this gift to the single guy.

At last I can actually enjoy the crap I cook. No more scrapping carbonized matter out of semi-melted pots.

Jesus love me after all!!

Sorry I don't have any snaps of my Prize Dinner,..I ate it all. I licked the damned pot too.

The above Spaghetti image is a stunt double. Next time I'll try to have more self control. Anyway the item below is what my new pot looks like,..mostly.

Only cost $17. bucks on sale at Macy's. If you live in the Emerald City this, and other priced to go Depression Special items are in the basement "crap for the home" dept.

Wow that was good,...burp!

Next time I think I'll stuff a chicken into my enchanted pot, and see what happens.

Stay Tuned.


Zaek said...

I've gotta get me one of them things! Besides, I love Macy's. Just being there gives me the illusion of not being broke.

Citizen X 2012 said...

I hear ya Comrade!

I love shopping. While doing this the consumerist illusion takes over, and all my troubles are gone.

It's a lot like crack I suppose.

After one hit or binge of buying completely useless junk ya gotta do it again!

As for being "broke" no problem!

The shop will be all too happy to bamboozel you into signing up for a store card.

Btw look out for the 26% interest that'll slam you in the face six months in!

Still shopping 'is' fun.

Though lately it's mostly window shopping. Just like my folks did in the last Depression.

Keep an eye out for them sales Comrade, and when it comes to them damned cards don't sign nuthin'!!!

Bodmin said...

Toss that pot, Sid, it's a crock.
As Alfred X. says above, you better off learning how to cook chapatis over a cow dung fire on the floor in the middle of your hut somewhere, you useless urbanite-parasite!

Sion said...

Dear Bodmin,

I see from your remark "'re better off learning how to cook chapatis over a cow dung fire on the floor in the middle of your hut..." that you obviously have an intimate experience of India.

Over here in Inja we have been hearing a lot in recent years about how the 'shining' nation of Inja is soon to become a SuperPower, which within 15 years will trail behind China but push the US down into third place.

This is all somehow mysteriously connected with the unflagging Indian birthrate and the salaries of IT professionals in Bangalore.

Meanwhile, we can't get clean drinking water and we need stilts to step over the corpses and rubbish that fill the streets...

But the assumption is always: the whole third world's going to look like the USA in a few years, except for the USA, which will look less like itself than it does today.

I am not convinced. Meanwhile, maybe we should look around for an alternative vision. Or maybe we should just look at a way of educating people to cope with change. Coping with change is the enormous hurdle. People generally don't want to think about it - but kids are willing to think about it if you can prise them away from their computer screens and get their attention. I foresee a whole new school curriculum (in which cooking chapatis over a cow dung fire on the floor in the middle of your hut is a small part). This could be fun. This is maybe what scouting was for!

Uncle 2012 said...

Actually my pals, and I have considered hacking a hole in my living room floor, and roasting a pig.

Granted this may cause trouble with the folks downstairs. Especially when porky burns through their ceiling, and lands on their water bed.

As for when America becomes Mad Max Land everybody around my neighborhood is toast.

Except for the kids who'll love being post industrial barbarians.

Oh to be young, and heartless!

Will Decker said...

A "Crock Pot" ... hummm that sounds pretty good to me. I will be moving soon to another city and will probably have to change my food methods. Right now I go to a great free food kitchen. I mean free and good lunch with a take home dinner. That will be a thing of the past for me in a few months or a year. That "Crock Pot" idea sounds good dear Sidney. I bet it comes with a cook book or there are probably plenty online. Might as well learn some things I did not when I was 18.

As for India, Louis Malle made a great and long documentary about the place back in 1968. In fact he missed the Student Revolution in France because there he was out in the Villages of India with no media access. The Documentary is in It is in This Criterion Collection.

After watching all the many hours of it I felt like I had finally seen the India I had missed going in and out of India for years having iron castings made for me in Howrah. A current India friend I have hollers at me that India is not like that now. Sure!

Scion: Bill Clinton talked on the new PBS Series Need To Know this Friday night about something his ancient history professor at George Town talked about way back when. The history professors told his students that the reason Western Civilization has survived so long is something he called "Future Preference". Clinton said on the program, "We need to get back in the tomorrow business and if we do we are going to be just fine."

The "Tomorrow Business" is going to have to be guided by Deming's Method "System of Profound Knowledge" or we will continue to do what Deming called "Tampering" which always leads us further and further away from what we aim to do. He demonstrated this in his Funnel Experiment.

Remember: Copernicus cast humanity out from its central position in the universe when he only wanted to offer up a more useful theory to explain the motion of the planets. Deming only wanted to help solve some business problems.

His method is really a simple one of "Plan - Do - Study - Act" and do it over and over and over and over. If that could be done in our legislatures all over the world even right wing Nazi nuts would come around to humane solutions that would work for the good of us all. We can continue our "Forward Preference" -- I think. Maybe not huh? Might be a crock. Might not.

Will Decker said...

Guess I need to start with spelling your name right. My Bad

Bodmin said...

Two marginal comments on Sion's remarks, which certainly should be taken far more seriously than our host's characterisation of them as a 'rant'.
He implies (as Zaek also does) that the so-called developed world is going to have to do some belt-tightening in general, that the pain is somehow going to be shared equally. Which of course is already not the case. The gap between the super-rich and the poor in the West has been widening for several decades now, after a higher degree of convergence in the post-World War II years, as the super-rich get much richer and the middle-class slide down toward poverty. The pain and discomfort of the collapse of our unsustainable development is not going to be shared by the bankers and military contractors and CEOs in general, at least not if they can help it.
A more important question is the assumption that this pain and discomfort may have a silver lining: this image of, hey, without microwaves and crockpots Mom will start really cooking again, without computers and games the family will sit around the kitchen table playing Monopoly and Parcheesi like we all did in the 1950s (we did, didn't we?), listening to our parents tell us about how great it was during the Great Depression: hey, we didn't have anything, but we had each other! Love and hugs from Mom and Dad! Sion, I think you know better. There is a clear correlation between poverty and stress and alcoholism, violence in the family, and child neglect and abuse (real abuse). Of course that is not universal. Chuck the plasma tv and games and some families will rediscover one another. But I'm afraid the evidence is that that is not going to be the majority experience. Were those interpersonal relations really better three generations ago (that takes us back to the Depression)?

I would affirm the idea that the coming collapse should be seen as an opportunity to readjust thinking away from materialism and to more (cough) 'spiritual' values, but I'd identify one of those values as being one you don't mention, namely social/ economic justice. The global redistribution of money also requires a redistribution of money within the developed world. Whether the values which spark that are humanist/political or religious (check out the prophet Amos in the Old Testament some time: now there's a real rant!) doesn't much matter, as long as it happens.

No, I'm afraid my closest acquaintance with India (and its cuisine) has been with South London and the Midlands and north of England, although that is a rather extensive acquaintance, as every Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi who has been able to afford a seat on a plane seems to be there, being quite insensible to the merits of living in rural India as a way of positioning oneself for the coming economic apocalypse, much preferring to be an urbanite/parasite.

As for Deming and his Tomorrow Business being recommended by Bill Clinton, well, that convinces me - that one should stay as far from it as possible. Never accept a recommendation from somebody too stupid to inhale when he has a joint in his mouth.

Sion said...

Dear Bodmin,

I am sorry if I gave the impression of anticipating a cosy readjustment and a vision of a standard nuclear family indulging in home baking and the occasional game of Scrabble. I think the changes are going to be violent and I expect a lot of people will suffer severely one way or another. However, the fact that it is going to be painful for the so-called 'developed' nations should not let us lose sight of the bigger picture.

Nor did I wish to imply that the unequal distribution of money is only an international (or North/South) phenomenon. If one looks at what is predicted to happen in respect of the incomes of retired people in the UK over the next couple of decades one must conclude that the choice is between a radical redistribution of wealth or mass poverty.

Nor do I wish to encourage the belief that life in the Depression was comfortable and that unemployment mysteriously fosters improved family relations.

My original 'rant' was about the way money currently operates in our society - both in our national economies and in the global economy. I likened the role of money to the role of blood in the body. Right now we are in a state of terminal disease.

The preferred way of dealing with the present crisis is for national governments to terrify their populations by asking them to consider how awful it might become if...if...and if... - ie if something changes radically and things don't get back to the way they were.

For two weeks they have been holding aloft the spine-chilling spectre of Greece defaulting on its international debts. This would be the end of the world as we know it, we are warned.

And after Greece would come Portugal, Spain, Ireland - maybe (God forbid!) even the United Kingdom (this 'sceptred isle' etc etc).

Does anyone pause to ask what all this jibber actually means? Where is this mountain of debt? To whom is it owed? Who will be ruined if a nation defaults - if every nation defaults?

The international banking system will collapse, we are told.

Yes, but it has collapsed already - and has been bailed out by national governments - which is another way of saying 'by you and me': national governments have, without actually consulting us, taken out a mortgage on every one of their citizens. The mortgage obliges us to toil for an indefinite period in order to pay - well, to pay what? - to whom?
Who really would suffer tomorrow if the governments of the world declared themselves bankrupt and launched a new currency to start afresh?

Economies have collapsed before - and they have rebuilt themselves. They have started over unburdened by mountains of debt. The process is painful - but the alternative (which is to preserve the yawning gulf between rich and poor nationally and globally) is worse still. The calls to prop up the present system at all costs is actually a call to preserve the wealth and privileges of the wealthiest and most privileged.

Paul-Francis said...

Or to put it in blunter terms:

The recent 'rescue' of the banking system was a grand confidence trick. The outcome was that governments (on your behalf and mine) agreed to let banks download the 'toxic assets' that had accumulated because of their greed and incompetence - mostly because of their greed. These toxic assets were negative values. They were unsellable. They were poisonous, untouchable. That is why our governments agreed that they should buy them on our behalf and that we should pay the bill.

Another way to approach the question is to ask: Who owns 'wealth'? It is the owners of wealth to whom 'we' are indebted. 90% of measurable wealth is owned by a few very rich people who assure us the world would come to an end if their wealth evaporated - which it would, if governments defaulted on national debts...

Miss Thing said...

“Dionysus the drunk boy on a panther--rank adolescent sweat--Pan goatman slogs through the solid earth up to his waist as if it were the sea, his skin crusted with moss & lichen--Eros multiplies himself into a dozen pastoral naked Iowa farm boys with muddy feet & pond-scum on their thighs.”

-“Paganism”, The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchy

Will Decker said...

I suspect Clinton lied about that joint thing don't you? And, we all know just being in the same room with joint smokers helps you feel better.

The only time I have seen Clinton up close was when he was out campaigning for his wife. I was immediately taken over by remembering when my dad took me to see a Medicine Show. I was setting on my father's shoulders, in the crowd -- that small. That man up there on the stage was exactly Bill Clinton: Selling Magic - Mesmerizing us. He is larger than life up close. Something to be respected/valued: I think.

When he was campaigning for his first term as President I spoke out against him and still do sometimes. My political mentor was for him, making him tolerate an out spoken younger man. How wrong I was then, sometimes now, huh?

Zaek said...

Bodmin's right to say that the pain won't be equally shared within the industrialized world, and especially not in the USA. I expect we'll see serious malnutrition among the poorest here within the next five or ten years.

In avoidance whereof I really have to get that crock pot. It's a good cheap way to cook, and from what Sidney says it sounds perfect for my skill level.

Zachary said...

Your comments on Bill Clinton are the most confused mutterings I have ever read. (That's not to say that I find your Deming worship much better!) You go off on strange and tortuous random walks of the mind which most closely resemble schizophrenic states.
You must be a politician, or maybe a preacher man like George Rekers who also has all these university credentials to back him up, but none from George Town (sic).

Uncle 2012 said...

Alright you're all invited to my place for a crock pot chicken dinner.

The only flames will be on the stove.

Brilliant thread comrades.

Will Decker said...

Non-Office Holding Politician.

About Clinton, I like him very much but sometimes I get very angry with him. As for Deming, I liked him very much but sometimes I get completely bored by his followers and supporter. But, every-once-in-a-while brilliant ones come along. And I think underlying everything he said he loved little girls and was most of all trying to make the world better for them.