i blog with words at theblogosfear and its tumblr counterpart & do other things at catafalques.

Part of the function of a sauce is to make food, in one sense, less foodlike: to replace nutritional value with aesthetic appeal, to remove food from the state of nature and smother it in art. Like the invention of cooking, it is a human act of self-differentiation from nature, a repudiation of savagery, a further step in the civilizing process. Manners are similar-the sauces of gesture. Table manners are our acts of complicity in the cook’s attempt to civilize us, signs of our renunciation of the savage within us. Just as the most soigné techniques of preparation characterize the most courtly cuisines, so etiquette grows ever more elaborate as we ascend to the top table. Since cooking turned eating into a socially constructive act, food has become surrounded with rites of politesse. Etiquette is always in evolution because part of the purpose of manners is to keep outsiders excluded and the code has to change whenever interlopers crack it. Different cultures honor different practices and a lot of modern humor has been inspired by the spectacle of diners trapped by contradictions between cultures: the unwary Asian, for instance, is a robust belcher who delicately refrains from blowing his nose; the Western guest who refuses the dish of honor at an Arab banquet; the ignoramus in Japan who tastes pickles before finishing his soup. A much told anecdote in Madrid society is of the dinner party at the Chinese embassy, where King Simeon of Bulgaria accepted three helpings of rice: in traditional Chinese etiquette, a guest is supposed to flatter his host by affecting satisfaction with the fancy dishes which precede the rice. When Jeffrey Steingarten was in Japan he delayed too long before raising the lid of his soup bowl; the moist heat of the soup sealed the lid and he was compelled to forsake the delicate program enjoined by etiquette—transferring lid to table and bowl from hand to hand according to the approved ritual. Instead, he had to wrench the lid, spill the soup, wreck the artistry of the dinner table and revert to the defensive role of dumb barbarian. By Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food, Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Reblogged from saladinahmed  1,398 notes

BEFORE BATGIRL, WEIRDER THAN WONDER WOMAN: LOST SUPERHEROINES OF THE PRE-CODE ERA

saladinahmed:

As I discussed in an earlier post, pre-Comics Code comic books are full of fascinating women superheroes who’ve been more or less forgotten in the decades since WWII. Born in the era of Rosie the Riveter, when there was a national campaign to get women into workplaces, these costumed heroines were brassy, hard-assed, snarky, and sometimes just plain weird. They displayed remarkable grit and independence, and were portrayed as better crime-fighters than the inept, sexist cops that got in their way.

Even removed from their intriguing, important place in sociocultural history, these stories are compelling bits of pure comics nerdery - eg, the fact that 1941’s Spider Queen was almost certainly the unacknowledged inspiration for Spider-Man. These characters deserve to be better known. Happily, the astonishing www.digitalcomicmuseum.org hosts full-issue scans of scores of public domain pre-Code comics. Which means you can read these comics right now, for free!

Here are a few of my favorite lost superheroines from the 1940s. Click on a character’s name to access an archive of their adventures!

FANTOMAH - Arguably the first woman superhero, and to this day one of the strangest. Fantomah is a near-omniscient (blonde) jungle spirit with incredible magical/psionic powers. She is always threatening her enemies with “a jungle death!” and she turns into a green skull with beautiful hair when she’s angry.

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LADY SATAN - Sometime Nazi-killer, sometime occult detective, Lady Satan roams the land in her stylish automobile, using gun, garrote, and fire magic to take out Reich agents and child-snatching werewolves.

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MOTHER HUBBARD - Looking like a cartoon witch, speaking only in rhyme, Mother Hubbard uses her bizarre occult powers to battle everything from fifth column saboteurs to Disney-esque dwarves that steal kids’ eyeballs.

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THE WOMAN IN RED - A gun-toting jujitsu expert, the Woman in Red is a sort of costumed private detective. She’s the bane of both criminals (especially those who prey on women) and inept male cops. But to the women she saves she’s quite…tender.

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THE SPIDER QUEEN - A chemistry lab assistant becomes a wise-cracking costumed herowho uses wrist-strapped web shooters to swing around the city and tie up bad guys. But this is 1941, and our hero is a woman.

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THE VEILED AVENGER - Although she’s the frilliest-looking of 40s superheroines, the Veiled Avenger might be the hardest. She uses her crop to make criminals shoot each other…and themselves. And in her civilian life as a District Attorney’s secretary, she scolds dumb cops who endanger witnesses.

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Sadly, these heroines all disappeared by the 1950s. As the national project of getting women out of the workplace took hold, bold self-sufficient superheroines became scarce on the ground. Despite some great work by amazing artists over the years, comics still doesn’t have enough of them.

[And now, a plug: I’m working on a longer piece on these heroines, and on some other stuff you might find interesting. You can learn more about all that here.]

Reblogged from alimentarys  837 notes

asylum-art:

Skeletal Creatures Carved From Everyday Objects - Maskull Lasserre

Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre extracts the most delicate anatomical forms of animals and humans from common everyday objects like  picture frame, hanger or a bed corner.

Born 1978 in Calgary, Alberta, he has lived in South Africa and Ottawa and now lives in Montreal. Lasserre’s drawings and sculptures explore the unexpected potential of the everyday through allegories of value, expectation, and utility. Elements of nostalgia, accident, humor, and the macabre are incorporated into works that induce strangeness in the familiar, and provoke uncertainty in the expected.


Reblogged from funeralfarm  40 notes
greenburialcouncil:

“On Friday, a family took charge of their mother’s funeral. They were gathered around for her final breath, and soon thereafter shrouded her body prior to it being moved to the hospital’s morgue. They filled out the death certificate and burial/transport permit and obtained signatures of the necessary officials. They transported her remains on a body board in their station wagon, delivering it to a grave that was hand-dug by her grandson and friends. Family and friends gathered, smudged with sage, said personal remembrances and sacred things, and lowered her body slowly themselves, adding a feather (she loved birds), photos, and flower petals. They covered the grave, planted a winged elm at her head, and placed a picturesque tree burl at her foot. The grave was further marked by a brass surveyor’s disk with her name and dates. Family and friends retired to the Lodge for a meal together, and for further remembrances. The only thing remarkable about all of this is that such a loving, participatory, and natural ending should be remarkable at all.”
-from Green Burial Council certified Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery

greenburialcouncil:

On Friday, a family took charge of their mother’s funeral. They were gathered around for her final breath, and soon thereafter shrouded her body prior to it being moved to the hospital’s morgue. They filled out the death certificate and burial/transport permit and obtained signatures of the necessary officials. They transported her remains on a body board in their station wagon, delivering it to a grave that was hand-dug by her grandson and friends. Family and friends gathered, smudged with sage, said personal remembrances and sacred things, and lowered her body slowly themselves, adding a feather (she loved birds), photos, and flower petals. They covered the grave, planted a winged elm at her head, and placed a picturesque tree burl at her foot. The grave was further marked by a brass surveyor’s disk with her name and dates. Family and friends retired to the Lodge for a meal together, and for further remembrances. The only thing remarkable about all of this is that such a loving, participatory, and natural ending should be remarkable at all.”

-from Green Burial Council certified Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery

i will actually never find a place to live that doesn’t make me want to scream. i’m renting a dumpster or moving into the sewers because every single listing and 99% of apartments i’ve viewed are literal poop trash anyway. like, i’m pretty sure they built the places i’ve seen out of old coffee grounds and moldy bread and paste them together with shit.

apartment hunting is so stressful.

Reblogged from alimentarys  373 notes

f-l-e-u-r-d-e-l-y-s:

fleshy intestine tents byandrea hasler  recognize nuclear consequences ‘matriarch’