Thursday, July 07, 2005

At the chess tables a few hours ago, Dennis says "Well, it looks like it's bad guys 3, good guys 1." From where I stand, it's a total fucking shutout. Unless in your book the good guys are the ones who make money whichever way the bodies or markets fall. But it's not a game, and there's no numerical system that can keep score.

If it's true what Chirac says that you can't trust people who eat poorly, neither can you trust those who eat well. We don't suffer immediate consequences from stupidity. I like French food, but I'll be the first to admit that their marvelous gastronomical culture is built around the principle of making putrefaction not only palatable but delicious. Cirrhotic goose liver? Calves' brains? Such skills in the kitchen probably arose from times of famine when there was nothing to be had but offal. Every great perfume has a note of something horrible in it: death or shit, musk or civet extract or unspecifiable rot. It makes the flowers last. Similarly, as Sontag points out, every great beauty has some inexcusable feature, something exaggerated or grotesque or plain ugly. Perfection's ugly. Witness Angelina Jolie.

But of course it shouldn't escape our attention that the culinary insults begin to fly just before the leaders of the fed world decide just how badly Africa will starve, just how sick we'll let Africa get, and whether global warming can be headed off without reducing consumption.

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