Why We Don’t Carry Wheatgrass and Other BS (Why We’re Dumbasses)

Discussion about why we don’t name any ingredient a “super” anything and why we’re dumbasses farther down.  First, let’s get this wheatgrass debate settled.

We don’t carry wheatgrass, despite demand for it.  Here’s why:

From random uncredentialed guy writing on Skeptico blog: Wheatgrass is for Cows
Summary: Wheatgrass is for cows, not humans, as humans are unable to digest it as cows do.

But why should we trust some random guy on random blogsite?

From Webmd: Wheatgrass Claims
ummary: Review of independent peer reviewed studies of wheatgrass show that there’s little or no evidence of its purported health benefits to those who drink it.

But that’s just another website, the article isn’t peer reviewed,  and we don’t know if author left out studies in his review.  So let’s go with a renown Naturopath who is also an MD.

From Dr. Andrew Weil, MD (from Harvard),  undergrad in Botany (from Harvard); founder of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Currently Clinical Professor of Medicine, a Professor of Public Health, and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology at University of Arizona School of Medicine: Wheatgrass Does Not Deliver
Summary: Wheatgrass is bullshit.  Key quotes:

On benefits of chlorophyll: chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives plants their color, has no nutritional role in the human body, a fact that hasn’t stopped promoters from making extravagant claims for it. Secondly, there’s no evidence to suggest that wheatgrass or chlorophyll are substitutes for 2.2 pounds of vegetables. If you search the medical literature for “wheatgrass,” you find very few entries and none at all suggesting that it has any health benefits for humans.

On cost-effectiveness of wheatgrass versus fruit and veggies: Wheatgrass may provide some vitamins and minerals but not nearly as many as you would get from some common foods that taste much better. For example, according to one calculation, you would get 860 mg of protein from seven 3.5 gm wheatgrass tablets while a half cup of cooked broccoli would give you 2,300 mg. Wheatgrass tablets would give you 1,668 IU of beta carotene, compared to 20,253 IU in a single raw carrot. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Nutritionally speaking, wheatgrass simply doesn’t deliver on the promoters’ promises. I certainly wouldn’t recommend substituting it for any of the fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Spend your money on good, organically produced food, not on wheatgrass or other sprouts or grasses marketed as “super-foods.”

From American Cancer Society, which has provided funding to 47 Nobel Lauretes: Review of Wheatgrass
ummary: No evidence AND beware of supplements general, as actual amount of ingredient consumer wants varies. Person who made wheatgrass a health fad was a quack and batshit crazy.

The wheatgrass diet was developed by Boston resident Ann Wigmore, who immigrated to the United States from Lithuania. Wigmore believed strongly in the healing power of nature. Wigmore’s notion that fresh wheatgrass had value came from her interpretation of the Bible and observations that dogs and cats eat grass when they feel ill. Wigmore claimed that the wheatgrass diet could cure disease.

In 1982, the Massachusetts Attorney General sued Wigmore for claiming that her program could reduce or eliminate the need for insulin in diabetics. She later retracted her claims. In 1988, the Massachusetts Attorney General sued Wigmore again, this time for claiming that an “energy enzyme soup” she invented could cure AIDS. Wigmore was ordered to stop representing herself as a physician or person licensed to treat disease. Although Wigmore died in 1993, her Creative Health Institute is still active. Wheatgrass is readily available, and her diet is still in use.

So what is it about human nature that allows so many people — the highly intelligent included, even Steve Jobs gets duped — to buy snake-oils like wheatgrass, to believe in bullshit?

Human Nature
If there’s anything to be learned from Cultural Anthropology (and there’s not much), it’s that as social structure evolves — feudalism to capitalism, for instance — social codes and archetypes from one era reappear in another in a different form. Example: Aunt Jemima, year 1900.  She’s loved by white people because she takes good care of them.  Mammy, the house nigger archetype, as Black historians put it. Oprah Winfrey, year 2000.  Same shit, different form.  Look at her audience — mostly middle-class white women. Oprah is their Mammy, telling them which books to read, which diets to follow, which causes to get worked up about. Only difference is that Oprah makes coin because she lives in a more advanced (or different) stage of capitalism than did those who represented Aunt J in minstrel shows a century ago.

Not saying those who don’t like rap (code) necessarily hate Black people.  Not saying those with Free Tibet stickers (code) dislike Chinese people or Asians in general.  Just saying it’s human nature to classify and differentiate, to codify and regulate identities. Telling people it’s socially unacceptable to call a Chinaman (archetype) a Chinaman (code) doesn’t mean people will stop thinking of or treat the Chinaman as a Chinaman, or a Wetback a Wetback, a Dago Wop a Dago Wop.  They’ll just find a more socially acceptable way to express difference.

The codes and archetypes evolve to reflect the aims and needs of the political economy. Slavery (code) in the US didn’t end because enough people *finally* recognized such bondage as immoral. You really think white abolitionists (archetype) gave a shit about “Negroes” anymore than they cared about the “free” Irish immigrants who lived a mile away from them in conditions, according to a University of Chicago economist, even worse than those of Southern slaves? Slavery ended because enough people figured out that it doesn’t work well with industrial capitalism. Slavery became immoral because it was becoming inefficient — less productive than wage labor — and not because the temptation to exploit other people in such a way had waned. Just because material life has gotten better and society more civil doesn’t mean human nature has changed. People are still scared and vain and will seek short-cuts to the Kingdom of Heaven by trying to create Heaven on Earth.  People will forever do some fucked up shit to each other, with most justifying, rationalizing as good and just what they’ve done, from carpet bombing a village to interrogation by torture to massacre. Instead of burning the witch at the stake, now we just post compromising photos of that bitch on Instagram.

History and Human Nature
Why is it we can laugh at or be horrified by instances of human depravity and degeneracy throughout history, yet not recognize our own sins and follies? We can laugh at Ponce DeLeon for being a dumbass for searching for the Fountain of Youth (AND believe in this story which likely isn’t true), yet we fall for wheatgrass, spirulina, weight-loss pills, cock enlargement pumps, reverse-aging creams, those metal bracelets that do whatever it is they’re supposed to do, and ionized water?

Medical doctors and scientists would probably blame low scientific literacy as the source of the problem.  Sure sure, most Americans don’t understand the scientific method or how clinical trials work or the difference between correlation and causation or how problematic observational studies are and what can be concluded from a mice study or what “double blind peer review” means.  But I don’t think a person needs to be familiar with any of the above to detect bullshit. We have built-in bullshit detectors.  We just don’t use them.

So why don’t we use our bullshit detectors? What makes it so tempting to hear only what we want to hear, to see only what we want to see in ourselves and others?  When do we become susceptible to believing fantastic promises that appeal to our vanities?

Part of it is how history is often taught, how we understand it.  “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Thanks for the reminder, George, but forgetting the past isn’t the reason why history repeats itself. History repeats itself especially when it’s NOT forgotten. Guy sentenced to life in jail for vehicular homicide didn’t forget his past three DUIs, he was just being human, a dumbass creature of habit.  And I’m not claiming “progress” hasn’t been made, I’ll take my toilet over whatever Jesus used. I’m saying that thinking of the trajectory of history as “moral progress”  — qualified by “if we study history” — makes us blind to ourselves, our Original Sin. Unable to see ourselves in Pol Pot, Hitler, Henry V, Catherine the Great, Stalin, Caligula, Judas Iscariot, we become arrogant, vain, self-righteous and self-satisfied.  “I would never have owned slaves,” the American Apparel clad college girl tells herself as she reads Howard Zinn’s People’s History. “I would’ve released them, then teach them how to read, to start a glorious revolution.” Twenty years later she’s living in a nearly Black-less neighborhood, and the closest she’s ever come to helping anyone Black has been her purchase of tunes from Aaliyah and a Richard Sherman jersey. How’s that for ironic living?

Superfood as Colonial Narrative
Is there an Anthropologist in the house?  We’re going to need one soon.

(Artistic license taken) “Acai berries for super duper healthy living AND to empower the peasants, save them from greedy capitalists!”  In May 2009, Bloomberg reported that the expanding popularity of açaí in the United States was “depriving Brazilian jungle dwellers of a protein-rich nutrient they’ve relied on for generations.” From Reality Check: “False claims include reversal of diabetes and other chronic illnesses, as well as expanding size of the penis and increasing men’s sexual virility.” Oops, we fucked up.

“Quinoa for super duper healthy living AND to empower the peasants, save them from greedy capitalists!”  From UK Guardian: “Ethical consumers should be aware poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain, due to western demand raising prices.” Oops, we fucked up.

(From Runa website, word for word) Runa is a social enterprise supporting indigenous farmers and reforestation in the Amazon. Runa brews beverages from guayusa, a super-leaf from the Amazon …”  We should know how this “social enterprise” (social fucking enterprise! these fuckers aren’t even subtle about it anymore) is going to end.  But we get duped by the same message over and over again: Fountain of Youth! Bigger Penis! Save the Peasants from Greedy Capitalists! We fall for the same pick up line because it makes us feel good, and because deep down, we don’t give a shit about those jungle dwelling brown motherfuckers, which is why we can conveniently forget about what happened to them last time we tried to help them. We just like to believe we care about them, and that their big big smiles are for real when they take photos with us. It’s as if colonialism never ended. Instead of guns, now the imperialists use superfoods to fuck things up in their own fucked up way.  The colonial narrative, that trifecta of: glory and riches, more pussy, and White burden, continues on in American grocery stores and on dining tables.

Here’s where an Anthropologist may be of help. Instead of studying impact of superfood agriculture on environment and culture, instead of studying the Other, let’s fund a study of White people.  By White people, I don’t mean genotype or White individuals.  I mean White people as trope, as inheritors of a colonial legacy. As consumers of *all races* unwilling to recognize the colonial past in their post-colonial present. Let’s get to the source of the problem.

History and Human Nature Part II: Self Interest vs. Vanity

Most schools and media teach history as the story about good people as victims of bad people and that we have moral obligation to help the victims of present and past and punish the bad. Put simply, propaganda. The Aliens watching us from Alpha Centauri don’t see good versus evil, they only see people doing fucked up shit to each other, just as we see animals in the wild do fucked up shit to each other but don’t assign moral value to their actions.  That’s precisely the kind of story Thucydides wrote about in History of the Peloponnesian Wars. It’s a seminal historical text because it’s the first to be so cold, detached, impartial; because it isn’t a story about good and evil, it’s about *human nature* and how we can best protect ourselves from other people. It’s a story about how there are NO victims OR volunteers.  There are only competing self-interests that sometimes come in conflict with another.

Santayana’s “remember the past so you don’t make the same mistakes,” is an alluring way to read history because it appeals to our vanity. “Those bad bad people are them, and I’m me, who would never do that, I’m better than that” we’re led to think.  Really?  The only reason why the 19 year old girl who worships Ayn Rand (a Fuck You conservative) AND declares herself a Communist (combo = psychobitch, guaranteed) without a hint of irony is because she doesn’t have the power to round people up and work them to death at a labor camp. And she’s too chickenshit to do anything more than tell her Facebook friends that that bitch is not her mom. Send her back in time — give her power, make her Catherine the Great — then we’ll see who she really is. There will be blood everywhere.

If Santayana’s version of history takes down the proverbial mirror we need to recognize ourselves in our readings of the past, reading history as the codification of identity and the study of human nature nails it back up for us to see who we really are.  With history as the study of human nature on repeat, every cheat, murderer, dumbass, fool, coward, and psychopath we read about becomes a story about our present condition, a reflection of who we are. It helps us recognize our own follies, our venality and arrogance. It may help us to smell present-day bullshit like this:

Ignored Since the 1950s – Is Spirulina Now a ‘Miracle’ High-Protein Super Food?

Imagine a plant that can nourish your body by providing most of the protein you need to live, help prevent the annoying sniffling and sneezing of allergies, reinforce your immune system, help you control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and help protect you from cancer. Does such a “super food” exist?

Yes. It’s called spirulina.


Which isn’t much different from bullshit from the past, like this:



The ingredients may change, but human nature remains.

The Vanity of Vanities
According to Socrates, there are two types of people: dumbasses who know they’re dumbasses, and dumbasses who don’t.  The former asks more questions and make fewer assumptions because of their insecure knowledge. The latter ask few questions and rely on belief, bullshit, and bromides to sustain their vain sense of self. The former goes with what sounds right.  The latter with what sounds good.

Vanity is self-interest turned on its side, that desire for a sense of progress and self-esteem rather than actual improvement. Pay up and pop the pill to feel like effort and progress has been made, even though it’d cost less and be more effective to consistently eat diverse and balanced meals and to exercise daily.  Vanity and its dampening effect on our bullshit detectors, not poor science literacy, is what feeds the pseudoscience and anti-science industries. Michael Schulson, on the importance of keeping our vanity in check when thinking about the politics of science (from  Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience):

It’s that whenever we talk about science and society, it helps to keep two rather humbling premises in mind: very few of us are anywhere near rational. And pretty much all of us are hypocrites.

And dumbasses.







Job Application vs 7.0

Job duties: play house and feed people.  It’s like Jersey Shore meets Portlandia.

How to apply: take Batshit Crazy Detector Test below.

Note: most of you will flunk the test. That’s ok, we’re willing to reprogram you.

Directions: boldface answers.  Like this:

What do you do to employee who goes over on a drink?
a) Stick six jalapenos up his ass
b) Make her listen to R Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” 12 hours straight
c) Lock him in the freezer for an hour.

Cover letter is optional. Attach resume.  Don’t hesitate to use Internet for research.

Let’s begin.  

Part I

Choose one:
a) Love, Respect, Goose
b) Fear, Respect, Love
c) Love, Respect, Love

Earthquake during math class! Big enough to topple bookshelves. Nobody is hurt, everyone is okay, just jittery. What do you, as teacher, do?
a) Stop class, act jittery and anxious because that’s how you feel.
b) Have students clean up mess and continue class as if nothing happened. Assign double amount of homework and quizzes for rest of the week.
c) Stop class, bring in school psychologist to discuss how everyone is handling the event and “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

What’s Plato’s Allegory of the Cave about?
a) The meaning of life
b) How to be happy
c) Why we’re all dumbasses

How many hours a week does the CEO of Walmart work?

How many hours a week does the CEO of Yahoo work?

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 100

According to Socrates, miserable people are:
a) Dumbasses who don’t realize they’re dumbasses
b) The poor, exploited and overworked by the rich.
c) The rich, as they lack compassion to help those in need.

Why are you so smart?
a) I’m not smart, only stupid people think they’re smart.
b) I’ve always worked hard and set the highest standards for myself
c) Genetics, it’s God given.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!
b) I’m lazy so I rarely ask questions and make too many assumptions
c) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point of this and that.

Why do you work so hard?
a) I have a lot of responsibilities
b) I’m ambitious, I want to do something special
c) I don’t work hard, I’m lazy

Why are you so lazy?
a) I get stressed out easily.
b) I’m self-centered and self-absorbed, so I don’t like making sacrifices for others. It’s too much work.
c) I’m not lazy, and this is getting weird.

Why are you so mean?
a) I’m impatient, I get annoyed at people easily.
b) I’m not mean, I’m nice, I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings.  Mean people suck.
c) If I’m not mean, I’ll get stepped on.  They’ll crush me.

Why are you so nice?
a) I want to get ahead in life.
b) I’m not, I’m just faking it to get along.
c) So others will return the favor instead of calling me on my fuck ups.

Part II

Which would you prefer to watch?
a) Nutcracker Suite
b) Guy sucking his own dick.
c) Rabbit trying to have sex with a cat.

Whom would you hire?
a) Person who thinks CEO of Walmart works 30 hours a week.
b) Person who thinks CEO of Walmart works 100 hours a week.
c) Person who thinks CEO of Walmart works 60 hours a week.

Why are dumbasses so stupid?
a) They didn’t get to attend good schools
b) They have low self-esteem
c) They think they’re smart, which ironically makes them stupid.

Who is likely the laziest?
a) Person whose friends work 20 hours a week
b) Person whose friends work 40 hours a week
c) Person whose friends work 80 hours a week.

Who is most likely to *feel* lazy?
a)  Person who works 40 hours a week, friends work 60 hours a week
b)  Person who works 40 hours a week, friends work 20 hours a week.
c)  Person who works 50 hours a week, friends work 50 hours a week.

Who is most likely to *feel* hardworking?
a) Person who works 60 hours a week, friends work 30 hours a week
b) Person who works 70 hours a week, friends work 100 hours a week
c) Person who works 30 hours a week, friends are unemployed.

Who is most likely to feel like a dumbass?
a) Ivy league student
b) Community college student
c) UW student majoring in Human Rights Studies

Who is most likely to act like a dumbass?
a) Person who thinks she’s brilliant
b) Person who thinks he’s a dumbass
c) Person who wrote this shit.  This is fucked up, I’m out, motherfucker.

Who is most likely to think of him/herself as brilliant?
a) Graduate student working on PhD in Physics
b) The undergrad poetry major
c) The third ranked student at a middling high school.

Who is overpaid?
a) Microsoft Engineer making $150,000 a year, full benefits, 3 weeks paid vacation,matching 401k.
b) McDonald’s Cook making $10/hour, no benefits, no paid vacation.
c) Police Officer making $75,000 a year, full benefits, 4 weeks paid vacation, lifetime pension after retirement (20 years service).

Who is most likely to be a dumbass?
a) Person who thinks he’s brilliant.
b) Person who went to ghetto schools
c) Person who got scammed by Cutco and Amway

Resume summaries. Pick:
a) Horny and hungry 16 year old boy seeking job so he can get laid.
b) Smart and energetic honors student seeks job where she can use her awesome communication and social skills to provide stellar customer service.
c) Recent college graduate with degree in Peace and Equality Studies seeking job where she can make the world a better place.

From cover letter. Pick:
a) I’m a really hard and smart worker who is deeply committed to high quality customer service.
b) I’m searching for a position that will give me an opportunity to improve my technical and social skills.
c) I’m a single mother desperately seeking a job, any job, to support my three kids.

What do you do when employee sneezes into salad?
a) Shove 10 jalapenos up his ass
b) Lock him in the freezer until he finishes eating that salad.
c) Say “bless you,” then ask him if he’s sick.

From cover letter, pick:
a)  I’m not sure if I’m good at anything.  So I understand if you’re not interested in hiring me.
b)  I’d be humbled to learn from you, if you find me worthy of your deep and vast wisdom.
c)  I’ll suck your dick if you give me this job.

What do you do when someone parks illegally in front of store and spends two hours in the gym?
a) Write parking tickets, one on front windshield, one on sunroof, one on back windshield.  Watch and laugh as he gets out of car two times to remove tickets.
b) Call security to do something about the situation.
c) Remind him that he’s parked illegally.

Part III

Person A from age 5 to 25, attended school 6 hours a day until age 18 (after which he worked full-time instead of going to college), studied 4 hours a day, spent 6 hours of leisure time learning to build and building, with like-minded friends, random things: a tree house, a bridge, a dog walking robot, a better blow-up doll, a smaller stereo system. A also spent an hour per day daydreaming of building something that will improve world’s standard of living. At age 25, he is working as an electrical engineering making $150,000 as a product developer for a green tech company. He gets 3 weeks vacation, full benefits paid. He works 60-80 hours per week, and is expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails during his vacations. He pays Federal Government 30 percent of his earnings.

Person B, from age 5-25, attended school 6 hours a day, studied 1 hour a day, spent 6 hours a day passively watching TV shows and films like Jersey Shore and Twilight and jerking off to porn, 3 hours a day daydreaming about being wealthy and pampered and adored by everyone. At age 25, he graduates with a degree in Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Unable to find a job in his field of study, he takes a job as a cashier at McDonald’s, making $10 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $20,000 for the year. He doesn’t have to pay income tax.
Let’s assume one of them is “underpaid.” Which one and why?

Open Ended Question

Mary hires Peter and Paul to dig two ditches, assigning one to each. Peter finishes in one hour because he used his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper. Paul, using a shovel, finishes his in 8 hours. How much should Mary pay Peter. How much to Paul? Whom should she hire if she wants a third ditch?

Part IV

Why are you so stupid?
a)I don’t know what I don’t know.
b) For the last time, I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!
c) You’re the dumbass for asking this dumbass question, like, 3 times.  This is some fucked up shit,.Suck it, fuckface.

How many hours did Peter spend developing his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper?
a) 2, genius comes naturally to him
b) 200, he got a lucky break
c) 2000, innovation is hard work

What was Tupac Shakur most likely doing during a typical evening?
a) Reading Machiavelli’s The Prince
b) Drinking his 40 and smacking his hoes
c) Getting his dick licked by two of his dancers and snorting cocaine.

Why are you so lazy?
a) There’s no point in working hard. Life is unfair, it won’t get me anywhere.
b) Most of my friends are lazy. It’s contagious.
c) I’ve never been exposed to those who work hard and long, like 100 hours a week.

The person who wrote this application:
a) Is an angry motherfucker.
b) Is batshit crazy. This is some fucked up shit.
c) Is trying to be funny.  Ha ha.  Ha.  Right?

How to Make a Smoothie

Written primarily for employees, but may be useful to others. For non-employees reading this, skip to Ideal Smoothie section.

Definition of Smoothie (ours)
A blender blended drink.

Comment: Meaning, a smoothie doesn’t necessarily have to contain ice (and be served cold) and can contain any ingredient that can be blended.  That includes bacon (bacon ice cream!), chicken liver, halibut, and gold. We’re using this definition because there are instances when a customer doesn’t want, for instance, ice.  And we’ve added bacon to a smoothie. The possibilities are endless.  Be prepared to work outside of the standard, and to let the customer know when they’ve ordered a drink that’s not standard.

The Standard Alive Juice Bar Smoothie
A Vitamix blended drink consisting of ice, ingredients, and liquid.  The purpose of the ice is to make the drink taste better and last longer (prevent spoilage); ingredients for nutrition; liquid for nutrition and to make blending of ice and ingredients possible.

Comment: It won’t occur to some customers that liquid is necessary component of a smoothie.  Be prepared to explain why liquid is necessary.

Ideal Smoothie
Think about what you want from a smoothie.  Should it look pleasing to the eye?  What range of colors are acceptable?  What range of temperatures are acceptable?  How thick should it be?  How smoothie the texture?   Once you’ve imagined your ideal smoothie(s), reverse engineer.  Marco Pierre White explains this process:

Cook’s brain.  It’s that ability to visualize the food on the plate, as a picture in the mind, and then work backwards.  There’s no reason why domestic cooks can’ do the same thing.  Cooking is easy: you’ve just got to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Apply the cook’s brain and visualize that fried egg on the plate.  Do you want it to be burned around the edges? Do you want to see craters on the egg white? Should the yolk look as if you’d need a hammer to break into it? The answer to all these questions should be no. Yet the majority of people still crack an egg and drop it into searingly hot oil and continue to cook it on high heat.  You need to insert earplugs to reduce the horrific volume of the sizzle.  And the result, once served up in a pool of oil, is an inedible destruction of that greatest ingredient — the egg. Maybe that’s how you like it, in which case carry on serving your disgusting food.

If you want a disgusting smoothie, randomly cobble together ingredients.

The Wrong Way
And that’s now many make their smoothies.  “Gotta have some kale and spinach,” she reminds herself. “I’ve been craving strawberries, so I’ll add some of those. Cranberries to help with urinary tract infection.  Yum, blueberries and raspberries. Yogurt and orange juice.” Then wonders why smoothie tastes too tart, is unappealing in color, and is too runny in texture.

A good smoothie isn’t a collection of one’s preferred ingredients.  A good smoothie is balanced in texture and flavor, and appealing in color.  If it’s shit brown, you fucked up (unless customer insists on having it this way).  While some customers don’t mind shit brown drinks, they’re still carrying them in public view, unintentionally branding our products as looking like shit.  Which for some, is the same as tasting like shit.  Looks matter, it changes perception, alters experience.  A well plated dish will taste better than its sloppy plated version. Think about the importance of plating the next time you eat at a Japanese restaurant.

Some are more comfortable with nasty looking drinks because they associate nasty with healthy.  If they insist, fine (we usually try to get them to add beets to their drink so it turns purple).  Keep in mind we’re in the business of getting people to STOP thinking of healthy food as nasty food.  We’re in business to convince people that healthy food is the tastiest food.  And those who don’t agree have fucked up palates that need to be fixed.

Alive Juice Bar Way
There’s the wrong way, the right way, and then the Alive Juice Bar way.  We teach employees to look at an ingredient not as a “pineapple” or “mango” or “carrot juice,” as quantities to be added to a smoothie.  The essence of a *piece* of pineapple (each piece of unique) is its texture and flavor.  So there’s no point in asking how many pieces of this and that to add.  Some pieces contain more flavor than do others. And since we prep everything in-house, by hand, the size of each piece ranges.  So employees are trained to recognize and work with volume instead of quantity.

Flavor Project: imagine your ideal flavor.  In front of you are three pieces of pineapple.  One of the pieces is bright yellow.  Another piece is a muted yellow. Final piece is faintly yellow.  Which one do you pick? Think about the flavor of each piece.

The bright yellow is sweetest.  The faintly yellow is least sweet.  So when you make a smoothie with pineapples, you adjust VOLUME (not quantity) of pineapple based on its flavor (as represented by its color).  Estimate flavor (eg. sweetness, tartness) using color as clue.

Texture Project: Lineup of avocado, banana, and baked yam.  Take bite of each.  Order from most fibrous to least. Pick:

a) Avocado, banana, yam
b) Avocado, yam, banana
c) Banana, avocado, yam

If you picked B, you’re correct. The amount of fiber you put into a drink will determine its texture.  If you like it runny, put less fiber.  If you like it thick, add more fiber.  You should’ve noticed that the more fibrous the ingredient, the harder it is to swallow.  Use water to aid with swallowing.  Meaning, if you replace a banana with an avocado (assuming same serving size), you’ll have to adjust liquid to fiber ratio.  You’ll have to add a lot more liquid. If not enough liquid is added, the drink will be too think to drink.  Maintain the balance. And train your eyes to estimate fiber.

Color Project: Making a smoothie is similar (not same) to mixing colors in art class.  Assume one cup for each of the following ingredients: Kale + strawberries = x; Beets + Pineapple = y; Kale + Pineapple = z

Answers: x = brown; y = red; z = green

Imagine the range of ideal colors. If your drink is outside the range, you can bet the flavor is also off.  Redo.

In short, to build a good smoothie, focus on building the correct balance of FLAVOR, TEXTURE, and COLOR.

The Cooking Instinct
It’s not that hard to do once you unlearn everything taught in school and regain trust in your instinct, instinct that many of us have been taught to repress. If you can’t work without a recipe, then you’ve repressed your primal self and need help. Seriously.  More on this in forthcoming post: How to Cook Without Recipes.


How to Tell a Teacher to Fuck Off (Back to School Series)

Employees attending school are told that there are only two acceptable grades: As and Fs.  What each grade stands for:

F=Fuck You, as in: fuck you (to the teacher) for making me learn bullshit, for trying to turn me into a dumbass.

Getting an A requires a modicum of discipline and hard work (unless it’s a bullshit class, which is often the case).  An F requires courage and turning on the bullshit detector.  Neither are easy to attain. As for everything else in between:

B is for Bitch because at most schools, this is what one gets for merely showing up and turning in assignments on time, even if there’s no point to any of it.

C is for Crap because this is the grade one gets when one chronically turns in assignments late.

D is for Dumbass for rarely showing up, turning in just enough assignments to not get franked.

These grades either legitimize a system that produces dumbasses and fuck ups — we’ll pass you even though you didn’t learn anything because you kept your mouth shut about it — or they represent one’s lack of effort when faced with an opportunity to learn something meaningful. Neither are acceptable.

School Sucks

I declared war on local schools when I found out that an employee (good cook) who graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA (honors classes through junior year) could not provide the correct answer to 7 *4, and struggled with 16 + 6 (because some moron decided it’s ok to have students use calculators starting in 5th grade, and the Envision [creative students guaranteed!] math curriculum is confusing and bizarre). And it’s not just arithmetic, there are problems with reading comprehension and logic and pattern recognition. Much time is spent getting employees to unlearn the mindset, attitudes, and habits taught in high school (and sometimes reinforced at home).  Keep in mind that I’m not the only business owner with such experiences and views.  I’m just one of the few expressing it publicly in hopes that collectively, we can do something about this situation. The types and quality of local businesses depend on the quality of its labor pool and the sensibilities of consumers.

What Students Can Do

They can’t vote for school council members or the superintendent.  They have no say in hiring and firing.  No voice on PTA board.  But they can tell an incompetent teacher to fuck off.

Incompetent Teachers


  • AP Calc, all students, including A students (half the class) flunk the AP exam.  Teacher should be fired or demoted. Yet parents choose to ignore the discrepancy between the class grades and test results, instead telling their kids that the AP test is flawed — biased, racist, sexist, whatever — that they really are good at Math.  These A students head off to UW, and half of them can’t even place into regular Calculus.  Ones who take Calculus get a 2.5, which is at best a D at institutions that don’t allow grade inflation. Making it tempting for students and their parents to continue to choose the wrong reality.
  • English class, teacher asks students to write personal narratives (aka weekly journals). Teenagers are by definition narcissistic. Personal narratives feed teen narcissism.  “I-I-I-I-I.” It’s like feeding heroin to a heroin addict. The purpose of education is to make people grow up — beat narcissism out of them — and not to allow them to indulge in their fantasies and angst. The only people who should be writing personal narratives are those paid to do so (because they’re actually interesting), toddlers, and those who’ve completed their lives’ work and want to pass their wisdom to family. Teachers should be teaching students how to write evidence based essays with clarity and precision so they learn to stop talking out of their asses and feeling sorry for themselves.
  • Spanish class, teacher spends most of class talking about her problems and her cats. You know how this ends for students and tax payers.

How to Tell a Teacher to Fuck Off


  • From Donnie Darko:  Donnie tells teacher to shove her lesson up her…
    Those of you who can’t watch it, here’s summary: teacher trains students to reduce every act to an expression of either “fear” or “love.”  Donnie calls bullshit, explaining that “there are other things that need to be taken into account here, like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can’t just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else.”  Teacher counters with threat of failing grade for the day.
  • Another from Donnie Darko: Donnie calls school sponsored teacher the “Anti-Christ.”
    Summary: speaker preaches gibberish. Invites students to talk about their problems.  One student talks about not knowing what to do with his life.  Another about her weight problems.  A third about getting bullied.  Speaker asks them to embrace “love” as the solution to their problems, rather than take concrete action to solve them.  Donnie takes stage and calls bullshit, telling girl to get off her ass, exercise more, and eat less; bullied boy to “take karate lessons to kick the kid…in the balls.”  Gets dragged off-stage for doing so.
  • From Plato: Athenian teachers treat their students as “passive cups to be filled.”  Socrates calls bullshit — introduces the Socratic method, where students find solution by asking questions, rather than taking in teacher proclamations — and shows everyone why these teachers are dumbasses.  Gets sentenced to death for doing so.

Bad examples:

  • From Breakfast Club: Five students from different cliques show up for Saturday detention.  Boredom and teen angst inspires rebellion. Narcissism wins!
  • From Dead Poet’s Society: Horny, preppy boys want public school pussy (except for the kid who commits suicide, he wants dick). Renegade teacher suggests to them that the best way to get pussy is to sneak off at night to write poetry.  Emboldened by late night jerk off sessions (writing poetry!), they soon want more pussy and request school administration to admit girls. Lame and juvenile. Find a better reason to tell teachers to fuck off.

Who Gets to Tell Teachers to Fuck Off?

Ha, not everyone. We’re not trying to start a Chinese style Cultural Revolution, where Red Book waving teenage sons and daughters denounced their parents, students sent teachers to labor camps and burned down schools, and apprentices beat their masters to death. The right to tell a teacher to fuck off has to be earned. Otherwise, students think it’s ok to act like those Breakfast Club douchebags.

Donnie Darko earned his right with his “intimidating test scores.”  If you’re going to tell a teacher to fuck off, be sure you have some evidence that you’re smarter than him. However problematic testing may be, it’s the great equalizer that makes incompetent teachers think twice about fucking with the kid with perfect scores.  Which brings us to Socrates.  He earned his right — no test scores to back him up — by realizing that he himself is a dumbass. That made it possible for him to prove that those who thought themselves wise were even bigger dumbasses (see Oracle of Delphi paradox). In other words, only stupid people think they’re smart.  This dictum has been repeated throughout classical literature and has been corroborated by scientific evidence (see Cornell study on why stupid people don’t realize they’re stupid). Those who think they’re smart will never able to spot or admit to their mistakes.  Those who think they’re dumbasses are constantly searching for evidence of their own stupidity.  Which, ironically, is how one learns to listen and ask questions, as Donnie Darko does.

Put simply, only a dumbass who knows he’s a dumbass can tell a teacher to fuck off.  Everyone else, shut the fuck up.

Why It’s Important to Tell Teachers to Fuck Off

Incompetent teachers send the following message to students:  All you have to do to succeed in life is to show up and turn in assignments on time. And make nice, don’t piss anyone off.

I’m not asking teachers to ensure students master Calculus, Physics, or a foreign language.  It’s the means, not the end, that matters. Most well paying jobs require an 8th grade education, at most. One doesn’t need to know the difference between a metaphor and a metonym or how to do a delta-epsilon proof or when King Henry fucked his fifth wife to do most jobs well.  One only needs grit and resilience.  Incompetent teachers do not teach grit and resilience. They teach students it’s ok to just show up to receive awards, instead of learning to struggle for achievement. Work is mostly struggle. Those who can handle struggle and frustration will achieve.  Those who can’t will give up, not only at work but also in life.

Most knowledge gained in school is either wrong or will soon be so.  But the *habits* and *attitudes* learned in high school WILL impact a lifetime, financially and emotionally. The best schools instill habits and attitudes that breed health and success.  The rest are like bad hospitals, cutting off wrong limbs, administering the wrong drugs, and satisfied with simply keeping the patient barely alive, instead of alive and thriving.








How to Break Rules and Get Away With It

(Real conversation with employee).

“Call him a Fuckface,” I demanded.

“I will not. This is wrong!”


I DON’T WANT TO!”  How about I call him monkey turd instead, please”?

“No, he deserves to be called a Fuckface. DO IT!”

After some more back and forth, she relented and called customer “Fuckface.”  Customer left a $5 tip on a $12 bill.

For those wondering what a Fuckface looks like:




We’ll get back to the Fuckface incident later.  There’s a point to it.

How to Turn Someone into a Fucked-Up Fuckface

Most schools and much of society teach people to follow rules, rarely how to break them, or to push and test their limits.  Those who don’t know how to break and test rules will either:

a) find it difficult to get ahead because they’ve turned into dumbasses.
b) look like dumbasses while breaking rules.
c) break the wrong rules too many times.
d) think of breaking rules as a guilty pleasure, turning something as mundane as eating chocolate into a subliminally kinky act.

If you’re interested in why schools teach obedience to rules, check out former New York state Teacher of the Year and education activist John Taylor Gatto’s Underground History of American Education, and Against School.  For our purposes here, I’m more interested in the sort of people such an environment produces. Gatto on obedience expected from teachers and students:

Consider the strange possibility that we have been deliberately taught to be irresponsible and to dislike each other for some good purpose. I am not being sarcastic or even cynical. I spent 19 years as a student, and 30 more as a school teacher and in all that time I was seldom asked to be responsible, unless you mistake obedience and responsibility for the same thing, which they certainly are not. Whether student or teacher, I gave reflective obedience to strangers for 49 years. If that isn’t a recipe for irresponsibility then nothing is. In school your payoff comes from giving up your personal responsibility, just doing what you’re told by strangers even if that violates the core principles of your household. There isn’t any way to grow up in school, school won’t let you. As I watched it happen, it takes three years to break a kid, 3 years confined to an environment of emotional neediness, songs, smiles, bright colors, cooperative games, these work much better than angry words and punishment.

Gatto claims that children ARE naturally responsible, that at school their sense of responsibility is beaten out of them — “it takes three years to break a kid.”  Gatto on the type of students such schools produce:

“Constant supplication for attention creates a chemistry whose products are the characteristics of modern school children — whining, treachery, dishonesty, malice, cruelty and similar traits. Ceaseless competition for attention in the dramatic fishbowl of the classroom, I have never seen this dynamic examined in the public press — not in 50 years of reading the public press. Ceaseless competition for attention in the dramatic fishbowl of the classroom, reliably delivers cowardly children, toadies, school stoolies, little people sunk into chronic boredom, little people with no apparent purpose, just like caged rats, pressing a bar for sustenance, who develop eccentric mannerisms on a periodic reinforcement schedule.  Those of you who took rat psychology in college will know what I’m referring to — just like the experience of rat psychology, the bizarre behavior kids display is a function of the reinforcement schedule in the confinement of schooling to a large degree. I’m certain of that. Children like this need extensive management. “

In other words, most schools turn kids into fuck-ups and most of them will look like fuckfaces as adults, impatiently waiting for their next paycheck so they can purchase novelties and experiences — orgasm orgasm orgasm! — that will dull the pain of boredom of everyday life.  Again, boredom isn’t a natural state, it’s learned. Contrast this with Amish education, which *formally* ends in 8th grade. Gatto again:

Look at Johns Hopkins University, not one of my favorite universities, but they’ve been tracking the Amish for a long time. They’ve published several…mind blowing books about what has happened in Amish America. In this century, at the beginning of the century, there were 5000 of these people, now there are 150,000. So the group itself has retained its integrity and grown 30 times. Second, 100% of the Amish, or as close to that as humanly possible, has independent livelihoods, and its divided 50% in small entrepreneurial businesses and 50% in small farms. Now consider the drawbacks these people labor under – the government of Pennsylvania has been their sworn enemy through the century. And, they don’t use telephones, they don’t use computers, they don’t use cars, and they go to the 8th grade only because the Supreme Court cut a deal with them in the 1976. So with all these drawbacks you have a community that with all intents and purposes has no crime at all, that takes care of old and young because it mixes both of those groups together in the life of the community, is amazingly successful, amazingly wealthy, and amazingly unschooled!

The Amish are neither fuck-ups nor fuckfaces.  They don’t need to be micromanaged, they’re self-sufficient, self-reliant, and productive. The Amish community is capitalism as Adam Smith had hoped it’d be in practice, without the corruption, the oligarchic excesses, and the concentrations of capital and power.

How Amish Break Rules

Those who think that the Amish are slavish rule followers and brainwashed screwballs probably also think Dead Poet’s Society is a highbrow film about stifled creativity finally unleashed. “Rip it out, rip it out!” we’re exhorted by “the Captain.” Then meet up in a cave to write poetry that channels someone’s metaphoric cock into some naifs hands, hopefully leading to some action with some real, public school pussy. The narcissist watching Dead Poet’s of course projects, identifies with the “courageous rule breaking boys.”  But that’s a ploy, a trick to get the audience to think they’re in on some juicy highbrow acts of courage, acts of love, when all the boys are doing is what they have always been doing: jerking off.  Instead of using their hands, they use contrived, sentimental — narcissistic — poetry; instead of a blow up doll or a watermelon, they have that girl from the other side of the tracks. It’s the same shit, different form.  It’s a movie about how boys “break rules” by hiding their porno mags and jerk off sessions from scoundrel faculty, except the porn is dressed up as poetry and the jerk off sessions don’t include pizza to be eaten by the new kid, so enough people will find the film highbrow enough, inspirational enough to win bullshit awards that confirm some fucked up prejudices.  No wonder Robin Williams named Dead Poet’s his most embarrassing film.

Dead Poet’s isn’t unusual, similar formula is used over and over again to secure enough character identification to make a film profitable, perhaps memorable within public consciousness. Like Good Will Hunting, same shit, except they flip the script.  Instead of preppy boys, now we’re supposed to be down with the bros.  Or Twilight, where girl next door is sandwiched between high society vampires and low society beasts. Daddy doesn’t approve of either, and that’s precisely why it’s every middle-class white girl’s fantasy.

Point is, while we’re told by pop culture — music, film, books, Oprah!, even CNN — to break the rules, we’re trained to follow them, however inane they may be. Which results in some fucked up confused people. “I am Good Will Hunting,” fantasizes the kid with intellectual pretentions and no chance of going anywhere with his degrees in Anthropology, English Literature, and Women’s Studies. “I am Robin Williams,” imagines the teacher who jerks off to kiddie porn and asks students to write personal narratives. Fantasy and narcissism is what we’re left with when there’s no guidance, only glib exhortations.

Amish society doesn’t preach obedience. They are, after all, the ones with the courage to tell the government to fuck off.  They teach their members to think about how to handle temptations as sentient INDIVIDUALS, and not as preposterous film characters. That’s why Amish guidelines (not rules) are purposely UNWRITTEN and Amish governance is so decentralized that each church can make its own rules (based on guidelines). That’s why Amish teens are given the opportunity to explore the “outside” world — booze, smokes, jewelry, Oprah, make-up, whatever it is they could not have — and then asked to make a decision. Those who return are baptized, their convictions finally deep enough for the experience. They’re asked to break the rules to understand them. Godspeed to those few who leave.

The Rule Breakers

Anderson Cooper, despite his Yale degree and his blue blood lineage (Vanderbilt), had to forge his first press pass because nobody wanted to hire and sponsor him. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak figured out a way to get free long distance. Bill Gates rigged computer system to give himself free computer time and his preferred class schedule.  John F. Kennedy blew up toilets while in high school. They didn’t break the rules for guilty pleasure, or as narcissistic announcement of the self. There’s a greater goal, a higher purpose. Anderson wanted a chance and made one for himself. The Steves wanted to know if they can take on big corporations. Bill needed more computer time to figure out what he can do with them.  JFK, eh, he probably was being being a narcissistic douchebag, but experience must have been useful while he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis.

How to Call Someone a Fuckface and Get Away With It

Most of our applicants are either good or bad at faking obedience, or simply obedient.  (There’s a lot of repression going around).  Neither are acceptable in our work culture.  It’ll zap the life out of them, they’ll turn into the caged rats Gatto describes above, if they’re not already there. They need to be reprogrammed. They need to stop thinking of themselves as the main characters of some sappy action film.

To beat obedience out of new employees, we have them practice doing what they’ve been told to never do.  AND get rewarded for doing so (big tips). Totally Pavlovian. We offer Bad Service for $1.  “Includes a finger and customer choice of being called a Fuckface, Monkey Dick, or Gorilla Jizz.” Most can’t pull it off at first, or do so with hilarious results. That’s a good sign, as many of those who can do so see it as an opportunity to express narcissistic rage.

The point of this rite of passage ISN’T to create sassy bitchy employees. The point is to get employees to think about the wants and needs of the customer in a way they never have before (like, who would ever order Bad Service? Well, people do, so there, stop projecting); to become comfortable with being uncomfortable; to recognize that rules  are meant to maintain artificial order at the expense of individual responsibility and dignity; to test and break the rules so they can finally see the point of them and perhaps, one day, change them for the better.












“Boy Wants Job to Get Laid” Resume

Cody Johnson
2*** 196th pl sw
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155


Horny 16 year old boy seeking a job so he can get laid.

Usual ones — awesome communication skills, Microsoft Word and Power Point, Social Media, Internet research — listed by most of my friends and classmates. Meaning, none.

Work Experience:
None, unless you count:

* Mowing lawns, at rate of 1000 sf per 4 minutes.  Six years experience.
* Walking the dog and picking up his shit.  Every time. Four years experience.
* Babysitting little sister (9 years younger) once a week for past 3 years.  She’s still alive.
* Listening to Grandpa’s war stories once a month for past 12 years.  Feigning interest at the ones he’s told for the 30th time.
* Shoveling snow at rate of 3 inches on 500 sf per 9 minutes.  I like timing myself.
* Selling candy in school for  a year and a half. Stopped after I got caught.
* Selling marijuana in school for half a year. Stopped after my supplier got caught.
* Weeding lawns by hand, at rate of 3 pounds per 10 minutes.  Five years experience.

I attend Shorecrest High School.  School sucks. I’ve learned nothing there, except that most don’t do their reading; most teachers don’t know what they’re doing; nothing is what it seems; trust no one until their trust is earned.

Hobbies and Clubs:
* Number 4 ranked Illuminati Returns: Death Grip 4 player in the world.  Out of 12,000 plus players.
* Surfing Internet for good porn.
* Eating pizza
* Playing basketball on a shortened hoop.
* Audio-Visual club @Shorecrest high school.  I take care of expensive equipment.
* Thinking about girls
* Pranks
* Snowboarding on intermediate slopes

Samantha Fox
I’ve taken care of her lawn for past 3 years.
E-mail available once I determine you’re not dangerous

Kim Il Jong
I’ve taken care of his lawn for past 2 years.
E-mail available once I determine you’re not dangerous

Tucker Max
I sold him weed for half a year.
E-mail available once I determine you’re not dangerous



I want a job so I can improve my chances of getting laid.  I need money for a ride, new clothes, and a gym membership.  I also want a job so I spend less time playing video games.

Aside from a few video games, I’m not sure if I’m good at anything.  So I understand if you’re not interested in hiring me. It’d probably cost you a lot of money to train me.  If you want, I can work for free, or maybe in exchange for gift certificates I can give to my parents for driving me to and from work. You can hire me when you think I’m ready.

I’m open to just about anything.  Cooking and cleaning, scrubbing floors, picking up dog shit, bussing tables, it’s all good.  As long as I get closer to getting laid.





Redneck Wedding Reception Menu

Summary: ~100 guests, including some from Florida and Texas.  Casual dress.  Focus is on conviviality rather than formality.  Food and dancing in the woods.  Assuming 10 vegetarians. Palates range from the “scared-of-anything-unfamiliar to “anything-goes-as-long-as-it’s-dead.”

Communication Goals: Couple want to express themselves as laid back, outdoorsy, and quirky; as proud representatives of the Pacific Northwest.

Menu and Service: Menu reflects couple’s identity as Pacific Northwesterners.  Emphasis on Pacific Northwest ingredients, cuisine and hospitality.  Self-serve table for pre-reception.  Coursed family style for sit-down meal.

Pre-reception hors d’oeuvres

Dungeness crab bruschetta
Avocado bruschetta
Curry marinated “sponge” tofu on cucumber pattie
Laotian style vegetarian spring rolls
Pine-nut and goat-cheese stuffed mushrooms

Sit-Down Meal Menu (In course order)

Kale salad w/miso dressing, peaches
Grilled cedar smoked salmon
Asparagus and chantrelles
Flash grilled whiskey marinated, hickory smoked New York steak
Oregon shrimp salad w/garlic dressing, walnuts and apples
Grilled honey mustard baby back ribs
Cucumber, rice vinaigrette

Sweet potato pie
“Raw” carrot honey balls

Pineapple mint iced tea
Two kegs of beer, one dark, one light.

Notes: Fried oysters?  Need to discuss if first draft of Course Order makes sense.





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