Underthecurrent


long weekend notes
February 15, 2010, 2:24 am
Filed under: gastronomy, overtly political, popconsumption

Pulpy forgettable crime novels. I’m reading more again, I think because I stopped trying to consistently read Good Books. Sometimes a good book, i.e. of the kind with literary merit, finds its way in to the mix. Other times I find myself acknowledging Sophie Kinsella writes well.

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Abderrahmane Sissako movies, specifically Bamako. Concept: the IMF on trial in Mali. Likeable for being an unfortunately rarely heard voice. I’m always shocked at how, despite globalization, crossover is unidirectional. I realized this when I started looking for certain genres of popular music online – you can hear it from every bus in that part of the world but never on itunes. Yet, in reverse, people there can sing you Sean Paul to Celine Dion, you can hear Canadian indie rock in the bars and on cell phones. There’s a mass amount of academic work about politics in Africa as written by Africans and it rarely gets presented outside. A surprising amount of it is completely contrary to what is presented at home.

Bizarrely, many advocates in North America and Europe may visit Africa but choose to ignore the academe there in favor of heading to impoverished areas and developing their own theories by interacting with “common people.” The problem with this is that we can’t ever get away from ourselves, our own cause and effect analysis, our own cultural understanding of interactions and hierarchy and organization. In some ways it’s equivalent to going to a small town coffee shop in rural Canada to learn about the machinery of Canadian politics, or a West Coast mining town, or an East Coast fishing village.

Also, from the liner notes, it’s interesting that most of the movie was unscripted, which leads to the dialogue being unusually fresh.

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French toast with organic cherry sauce. A good stick of French bread is a four day project. Day 1: sandwich. Day 2: still fairly fresh, dipped in soup. Day 3: fried as french toast or a monte cristo. Day 4: soaked and cooked as bread pudding c. raisins.

French toast made with slightly stale bread is much better than with fresh bread because it doesn’t seem to get soggy and weak while soaking up more of the custard mix.

I found this organic almond pudding custard that can be made dairy free which I’m looking forward to incorporating into the cherry French toast next weekend.

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Dirty Secret. I love McNuggets. I eat them on a biweekly basis. Biweekly is a funny, inefficient word – do I eat them twice a week or every two weeks? I know they’re full of death and not really what they seem but they, along with convenience store chicken, are my secret shame.

Today I went to test out the new dipping sauces. The smore pie, for the record, is strangely appealing. Anyways, there’s a mango sauce and a schezuan sauce. The former actually tastes like UK style curry powder and mango sweet and sour sauce. The latter is thick and peanut flavored and not really spicy.

The interesting part is that these are new “olympic” flavors but they don’t represent countries which would normally take part in the winter games – I guess pickled herring is not as marketable. Interestingly, they do well to reflect Vancouver’s pan-asian population and food. I won’t eat them again, mind you, preferring the vinegar sweetness of the classic sauce to anything else, by far.

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Olympics: unseen. I’m fairly neutral about the corporatization of sports as a political issue but I will say: right now I can’t watch the Olympics because (1) they’ve sold them to a single network in each country and are policing youtube with unreal consistency to keep any clips away from the public, (2) CTV, the licensed network in Canada, requires I use some kind of Internet Explorer adaptation to watch said videos. I don’t use Explorer because it’s vastly inferior to Firefox and it appears I’ve deleted the whole program in a fit of cleaning up my computer.

My TV isn’t hooked up to any kind of television because (a) I’m lazy, and (b) I’m sort of a Luddite.

What I will say, games sponsors, is that I’m a lazy luddite who likes figure skating and would be watching it Right Now [your logos and advertisements here] if not for all these strange hurdles.

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