Frequently Asked Questions XII (Politics Edition)

Links to FAQ XI

Rumors
Is it true that an employee once pointed a loaded gun at a guy’s nut-sack?
Yes, but she was off hours and he wasn’t a customer.

Is that little girl the owner’s daughter or someone he hired from an orphanage?
She’s not his daughter.

How did Roxanne G. end up in jail?
Who told you she’s in jail?

Who is Phreaky Phil Brenchley?
He’s a dickhead.

Politics
Why did Trump win the White Trash vote?  
He didn’t.  White Trash *who know* they’re White Trash voted for Trump.  White Trash *who don’t know* they’re White Trash voted for Clinton.

How will the election affect the juice bar?
No significant impact.  Business will continue as always.

Why is that?
We don’t let external events affect us.  We instead adapt to new conditions.  That’s more effective than trying to control what we can’t control.

You’re not worried that produce prices and labor cost will go up when all illegal immigrants are deported?
Not going to happen. And if it does, we’ll adapt, as always.

So you’re ready for recently passed Initiative 1433, which raises state minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020?
Yep, we’ll adapt.

Will you increase prices?
Probably not until 2018.  We’ll first become more efficient.  For 2017, we’ll better enforce the $1 surcharge for not following ordering guidelines.  Will also add an “Asshole Charge,” $1. Again, no significant changes.

Do presidential elections matter?
Not as much as some think.  Tufts University political scientist and former legal council to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Michael Glennon on presidential power:

The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy.

For Glennon, this explains why, six years into Obama’s presidency, the:

Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated.

When Obama tried to implement his foreign policy:

Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.

Under Obama, there have been US interventions in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and more. The only difference between Obama and Bush administrations has been that the former prefers interventions while the latter prefers invasions.

So you don’t think Trump can “drain the swamp”?
Don’t think he can or will. Last president who tried was assassinated. But it’ll be fun to see what Trump advisor Steve Bannon can do about the problem. Trump is just an “imperfect vessel.”

Is America in decline?
No.  It just feels like it is to some people, which has and will always be the case.  As David Brooks has noted, the new American elite — think Silicon Valley executives and immigrant research directors — are far more productive and prescient than the Old Money elite.  They’ll continue to produce jobs for nearly every segment of society, regardless of skill.  The US will continue to be unusually stable for a nation of its size and diversity.

Food
What food item is overrated?
Orange juice. OJ lobby has convinced Americans that orange juice is the best, most convenient and cost-effective source of vitamin C.  It’s not, it’s full of sugar.  A couple bites of bell pepper gets you as much as vitamin C as does a calorie dense cup of orange juice.  Click here for alternatives to OJ

What’s underrated? 
Popcorn.  So much fiber, so few calories!  Eat this if you want to feel full and lose weight.

 

Why We Don’t Carry Wheatgrass (and Other Snake Oils)

Discussion about why we don’t name any ingredient a “super” anything and really offensive material about Oprah and White people 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
S
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
S
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 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 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 — no, ignore — 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 study 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 NEITHER victims NOR 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) can declare 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, our total depravity. 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:

004_Snake_Oil_Ad

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 ask 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 go 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 affect 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.

SnakeOilGirl2

Why She Got Knocked Up

Posted from our sister blog — privilegedpoor.com — to remind everyone that we have a (neglected) clothing store, a project that’s related to the Juice Bar mission.  We’re working on updating inventory.  Check it out when you stop by the Juice Bar: Hours 7am-2pm; 6pm-9pm.

To better understand the clothing store — its purpose and mission — read offensive material below.

I.

In controversial 2012 New York Times op-ed How to Live Without Irony,  Princeton professor Christy Wampole calls Gen-Y hipsters fucktards for being irresponsible poseurs:

Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the mustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone). He harvests awkwardness and self-consciousness. Before he makes any choice, he has proceeded through several stages of self-scrutiny. The hipster is a scholar of social forms, a student of cool. He studies relentlessly, foraging for what has yet to be found by the mainstream. He is a walking citation; his clothes refer to much more than themselves. He tries to negotiate the age-old problem of individuality, not with concepts, but with material things.

Is Wampole’s critique part of the tired cycle of one generation gratuitously belittling the next generation’s habits, attitudes, and sensibilities, or is there substance to Walpole’s observations? Let’s explore both possibilities and see where this takes us.

Wampole anticipates being called a hypocrite who is making a big deal about nothing.  So she confesses:

 I, too, exhibit ironic tendencies. For example, I find it difficult to give sincere gifts. Instead, I often give what in the past would have been accepted only at a White Elephant gift exchange: a kitschy painting from a thrift store, a coffee mug with flashy images of “Texas, the Lone Star State,” plastic Mexican wrestler figures. Good for a chuckle in the moment, but worth little in the long term. Something about the responsibility of choosing a personal, meaningful gift for a friend feels too intimate, too momentous. I somehow cannot bear the thought of a friend disliking a gift I’d chosen with sincerity. The simple act of noticing my self-defensive behavior has made me think deeply about how potentially toxic ironic posturing could be.

She tells us that she’s not perfect, that she too is guilty of insincerity — which in this context is ironically itself ironic posturing and self-defensive behavior — and uses an example that’s disingenuous at best. If “finding it difficult to give sincere gifts” is the best she can come up with, then I guarantee you she’s either hiding a dead body or there’s a lot of self-deception and repression going on here. People give insincere gifts to friends and family because deep down they don’t like and give a shit about them, yet are are obligated to pretend to like them.  There’s nothing ironic about shitty gifts, the giver is giving and communicating exactly what she intends to give and communicate. It’s the social context — spending the holidays with people you can’t stand — that’s drenched in irony, that allows the shitty gift to appear ironic so no one gets hurt.  It’s the denial of one’s true intentions that’s toxic. 

This is a fashion blog, so here’s another way to look at it.  If you were surprised that that “nice White girl” from that nice conservative family with sterling reputation got knocked up by a cholo who wasn’t her boyfriend at the time of the tryst, and then tried to hide the pregnancy from everyone until she couldn’t, there’s something wrong with you too. “But she dresses so modestly, and seemed like the nicest girl in the world.” As if promiscuity and taste in men and impulse control have anything to do with hemlines and push-up bras and ridiculous middle-class manners.  “But I taught her Christian values and how to behave and to avoid the wrong crowd, I taught her to wait, at least until he’s accepted as a boyfriend,” mulls confused Mom. Sorry Mom, but protecting your daughter from the latest slut-wear trends doesn’t protect her from developing an addiction to flattery that got her knocked up by a trashy sweet talker you can’t stand. And remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from its tree, one of those apples will eventually be eaten by the person who planted that tree.

II.

Who below is most ironic?

a) Forty year old tow truck driver drinking Mountain Dew and smoking cigarettes while listening to Bach and Mozart.

b) Trust fund kid majoring in Russian Lit. at Oberlin College, dressed like a hobo, listening to Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (obscure band specializing in ironic remakes of pop songs)

c) Thirty year old county prosecutor dressed in Brooks Brother’s suit, listening to Outkast (hardcore gangster rap) on his way to work

d) Modestly and mainstream dressed (with frilly accents and excessive patterns) 27 year old office manager who listens to Aaliyah and Norah Jones, attends church every Sunday.

a. That’s an amusing sight and sound.  He’s worth a look.

b. That’s a tired look. Usual old money rich kid dealing with feelings of guilt, pride, and ennui by trying on different personas. Which is why editorials on why it’s a tired look are themselves tired.

c. Mildly interesting.  Nah, nothing to look at, who gives a shit.

d. Looks and sounds boring. And that’s precisely why it’s my pick.  There’s a lot more to this look than it seems. This is the person we should be worried and talking about. This person, not the hipster, is the archetype of our collective madness.

III.

Wampole says it’s wrong to appropriate styles one doesn’t understand. Which means she lives with a copy of her dissertation up her ass. Are we not allowed to listen to Bach if we don’t understand the purpose of counterpoint? Is it wrong for a woman to watch football to make herself more attractive to guys? Or for a guy to take ballet lessons for the babes? Attend opera to appear cultured and sophisticated, and not for the appreciation of opera?

Once read about a guy who took ballet lessons for the babes.  Ended up liking it so much he became more interested in ballet than the babes (which brought him more babes). Sincere appreciation often begins with exposure and disingenuous interest.

IV

People don’t repress horrible memories.  In fact, people are far more likely to make-up horrible memories (to elicit sympathy, to play victim).  People only repress that which threatens their identity. And rage against those who threaten their identity.

V

Ironic mode of living isn’t new. It’s 1950 and Gloria Vanderbilt is slumming it with James Dean bad boy types and eventually goes on to popularize working class blue jeans for people of all social backgrounds. The tension created by ironic gestures — in this case, a blue blood trying out working class life — drives change in fashion.  What’s new for Wampole is the scale of ironic living and the availability of ironic modes.  Wampole on Internet’s impact on lifestyle options:

Life in the Internet age has undoubtedly helped a certain ironic sensibility to flourish. An ethos can be disseminated quickly and widely through this medium.

Not sure what she means by “a certain ironic sensibility” (do certain sensibilities thrive better in Internet age?).  Let’s set that aside for now and compare pre-Internet to Internet. In 1980, the small-town White girl could only imitate the lives she reads about in Glamour and Cosmopolitan (ha, you really think she read Pride and Prejudice?), the shows she watches on three (only!) TV channels (lives too far from films). Her options were limited to whatever a few Jews were telling actors and models who were pretending to be White Anglo-Saxon Pricks to act and wear.  In her world, homosexuality doesn’t exist, the French are romantic, NYC is scary, and the Japanese are boring.

Take same girl, have her experience 2015. Now every girl has to have a gay friend to be cool, the French are rude, NYC is exciting, and the Japanese are the funniest people on earth. That’s what happens when you have access to youtube, 100s of tv channels, streaming movies from around the world, and a far more diverse cast of American writers and actors.

And so?  All I get out of this comparison is that both have access to quick fixes and one person has more options to choose from when developing her identity and sensibilities. Wampole, in contrast, argues that the Internet age has somehow made Gen-Y hipsters morally, intellectually, and aesthetically deficient and that we should all strive to “live without irony.” Here’s an example Wampole provides of how hipsters have lost the ability to be patient:

Furthermore, the nostalgia cycles have become so short that we even try to inject the present moment with sentimentality, for example, by using certain digital filters to “pre-wash” photos with an aura of historicity. Nostalgia needs time. One cannot accelerate meaningful remembrance.

If this is her example, if using technology to play make-believe is a show of poor character, then she’s a Luddite and certi-fucking-fiably an Ivory Tower princess who makes a living complaining about stupid shit.  She’s calling someone who is creating an effect impatient. Next she’ll ask us to stop taking photos and do family portraits 18th century style, strike a pose until the artist is done some 6 hours later.  And toss all recorded music.  That’ll teach the philistines to delay gratification.

Wampole again on the difference between pre-Internet and Internet:

While we have gained some skill sets (multitasking, technological savvy), other skills have suffered: the art of conversation, the art of looking at people, the art of being seen, the art of being present. Our conduct is no longer governed by subtlety, finesse, grace and attention, all qualities more esteemed in earlier decades. Inwardness and narcissism now hold sway.

As if people’s conduct has ever been “governed by subtlety, finesse, grace, and attention.” And “inwardness and narcissism” have ALWAYS held “sway,” it’s our total depravity: you can read about that in Plato, Homer, Confucius, Sun-Tzu, Kierkegaard, the Bible, the story of Echo and Narcissus, pick any Classic from any culture and you’ll learn that people are born as fucktards and to live authentically is to struggle with one’s narcissism — our Original Sin — that basic human condition.

VI

You can tell a lot about a person by what they’re embarrassed to like.

VII

Ironic living isn’t the problem.  It’s not even the “ethos of our age.” Repression is.

When Wampole writes about hipsters, she’s primarily writing about upper-middle class kids and young adults.  The ones who don’t have to shop second hand and know they’re not supposed to watch Jersey Shore or listen to Justin Bieber but do so anyway with a smirk.  She feels qualified to write about them because, as she tells it, she grew up as one of them and now teaches them at Princeton.

Hipsters explore and negotiate the contours and boundaries of identity. Which is what non-hipsters in their age group are doing too.  As defensive and irresponsible as hipsters may appear, at least they recognize the shallowness of their experiments, the vulgarity of their desires, and the dissonant features of their lives. Let them be, they’re young, they’ll sort it out when they have real responsibilities.  And when they do sort it out, all their attempts at cool may produce something of value, something classic, and they’ll live out their lives either as the privileged poor (no money), or as bourgeois bohemians (have money).  I’m more worried about those who live ironically without realizing they’re doing so.  They’re the ones living a dangerous lie, they’re the ones who project on their bookshelves and closets and social media so they can repress repress repress: from their anger and fear and confusion to the miserable truths about their lives they prefer to not confront and fix.

VIII

Middle-class White woman, that “girl next door” we talked about above, had everyone fooled.  Her parents were fooled, her friends were fooled, but her ovaries weren’t.  When a cholo sweet talked her into spreading her legs, her body was saying: “this is the one,” even as her mind told her that mom and dad are going to be pissed, and friends are going to be shocked.

Why would she sleep with a cholo? She’s not slumming, only upper class women have the power to do that.

Because her public persona and look is a facade. Scan her bookshelf and you see middlebrow literature (New York Times best sellers that she thinks of as respectable literature but are in fact ridiculous and overwrought tales of redemption); artsy Hollywood films and mainstream foreign ones. Boring and middlebrow, right?  Look more closely. Her online subscription to New York Times shows she only reads articles on Restaurants and Travel. The Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography has never been touched. There are a few sappy romances in her movie collection. Now go into her room.  There you find dogeared murder mysteries and trashy romance novels and travel books. Her clothes may be from middle-class stalwarts like Banana Republic, but she picks items that are frilly or have excessive patterns. As much as she wants to be upper-middle class, as hard as she tries to maintain her middle-class identity, her baseline desires, habits, and worldview are thoroughly lower-middle class.  She doesn’t study for the CPA on dreary wet days, she doesn’t even curl up with a book, she binge watches TV while eating an entire tray of brownies. She works for rewards and praise, not for a sense of achievement and virtue.  She’s addicted to compliments. She’s afraid of being seen at McDonald’s. She’s easily hurt. She wears large hoop earrings.  She lives ironically without realizing it.

She tried dating into the upper-middle class. They didn’t like her, they weren’t impressed with her job or her bullshit college degree or her contrived taste.  The cholo, on the other hand, was impressed with all her books and her college degree and liked that she had a few extra pounds and thought she dressed pretty. He was sincere when he told her how smart she is, how pretty she is. Her ovaries responded accordingly.  This was the best thing to happen to her.  She’s finally free from living a lie and can be herself to her parents and friends.

The difference between a hipster and mainstream-knocked-up-by-cholo-girl-next-door isn’t in their desires, but in their approach to desire. The hipster doesn’t hide his desire to listen to Justin Bieber or his preference for ranch dressing or his urge for a McRib.  He wrly announces his baser desires, which is why he eventually outgrows them. The mainstream girl repressed her desires, or at least hid them from the public, which made them grow stronger and more infantile.

Everyone thought her life was over when she announced she was knocked up by a cholo (who by definition, doesn’t live ironically). Actually, her life was finally beginning. If she’d married that software engineer she and her parents hoped she’d marry, she’d be in therapy.  Ironically, it’s the cholo, despite not being able to provide her the life she and her parents once expected, who saved her. He showed her how free and happy she could be by living sincerely and authentically, as has he.

Frequently Asked Questions Part XI

Links to FAQ X

General

Who is Gary Johnson?
Libertarian candidate for president, polling it at around 10 percent. Check him out if you want another option. Link

Wouldn’t supporting him be a wasted vote?  
If his support reaches 15 percent, he’ll be invited to the National Debates.  He’ll win the election if he wins the debates.

Why hasn’t there been a second Alive Juice Bar Hate Mail Contest?
We want to host a second one but craigslist no longer allows for html links on their ad pages. Those links are crucial to the marketing success of the contest.  Link to first contest

What’s the point of the Hate Mail Contest? 
Marketing tool to attract relevant customers.

How many submissions did you get? 
A dozen or so.  Customers voted for finalists.  Employees selected winner.

Food

What’s in the Redneck Meal?
Today it’s redneck pulled pork w/brown rice and beans, kale, onion, and sweet peppers.

That doesn’t sound very rednecky, does it?
So what do Black people eat then?

Do you put monkey jizz in your drinks?
No, that’s a rumor started by pedophile Phil.  In any case, we don’t know where to get any.

Are you really going to serve crickets?
Yes, we’ll start with cricket cookies.  Next culinary frontier will be insects as protein.  Much more environmentally friendly than beef.

I hear there’s going to be a kid’s menu.  What’s up with that?
We’re working with an 11 year old on it.  She wants a G version of the menu so we obliged. It’s a way to make Alive Juice Bar more family friendly without sacrificing its edginess.

Any items on Kid’s menu not found on Adult version?
Maybe, we’ll see.  For now, we’re working on drink names that are meaningful to pre-teens.

Is it true Alive Juice Bar robust salads, chips, brownies, and chicken meals are sold at Wired Chicks Espresso?  
Yes, they’re located on Bothell-Everett Highway, next to Lake Forest Park Town Center.  Look for the Chevron station.

Customers

J Crispy says that he tried to pay off his tab but you wouldn’t let him.  What’s up with that?
He did, a year after we named a drink after him.  But owner already paid off his tab.  Meaning, we purchased the rights to use his name.

Wait, J Crispy is a real person?
Yes.  Check him out here: J Crispy

Does he really still come in?
Yes.  We give him good service too.  He’s a good kid, we like him.  He’s grown up a lot.

So why is a drink still named after him? 
Because customers enjoy saying “J Crispy Dickhead.”  It’s the best way to get customers to try a cactus smoothie.

Other
Is the porn novel about woman trying to get guy to tattoo her name on his penis and then dumping him done yet?  

No. Didn’t like first draft — too pretentious, too serious, tried too hard to be deep — so started over.  It’s more lighthearted and silly now.  New voice.  In middle stages.

Can I read it?
Yes, and comments welcome.

Where’s the link?
Ask in person.

Who is Roxanne G?
She used to handle customer relations.  Now she’s undercover. Great gal, tell her that if you see her.

How to Get Kids To Eat Their Veggies and To Love Their Parents

Let’s back up so we can get to the source of the problem.  How do you get someone to fall in love with you?  Pick:

a) Be really really nice to that person.
b) Hire a witch, cast a love spell.
c) Get that person to do things for you.

Option A doesn’t work, it gets you either ignored or used because nice is cheap, it’s ineffective, it’s too easy to pull off, there’s too much of it around.

Option B comes with a lot of side-effects and it can get weird when the spell hits the wrong target so better not.

Option C works, not because “relationship experts” say so, but because it’s the option that requires the most work.  Life isn’t supposed to be easy.

Why Kids Don’t Love Their Parents
People assume their kids love them because they think it’s a law of nature for kids to love their parents.  Not so, according to the Story of Oedipus, that motherfucker murdered his dad and then fucked his mom.  This story endures in public consciousness because it reminds us of the uncomfortable truths we’d prefer to not think about, or to only consider academically. Deep down, and in spite of incessant bromides about self-love as the solution, we know we’re no longer in the Garden of Eden and we’re unsure of what to do about it.

What makes the Story of Oedipus so unsettling and compelling is that while every character in the story knew what was supposed to go down, nobody knew what was happening.  That’s the most terrifying kind of horror. If it had just been a story about some kid throwing a shit fit for getting grounded and killing dad and raping mom in the process, we’d treat it as a sad and tragic spectacle and assume the kid became a sociopath because he was molested by his football coach and his mom was a drunk who called him a “stupid, useless, cunt” one too many times.

Instead, it’s a story about funked up shit happening to good people who try their best as parents.  Oedipus was born to good parents who had to make a difficult decision — abort their only child to save the kingdom and themselves. So they left him for dead in the middle of nowhere.  Oedipus, luckily (or unluckily), was found and saved by someone and then adopted by good parents — king and queen from another kingdom. And he tried to be a good son — when a prophet told him that he’d kill his dad and fuck his mom, he exiled himself, not realizing that he would soon unknowingly encounter his birth dad.

Only encounter with birth dad, they squabble and Oedipus beats the shit out of him, killing him. First prophesy fulfilled and nobody realizes it. Which invites us to ask unsettling questions about ourselves: would I love my parents/children if they weren’t my parents/children? Would I hate them and want to kill them, as Oedipus did? Would my kid love me if she didn’t need me to survive?

How many of us are Oedipus?  How many of us don’t want to kill dad and rape mom, but do so anyway, without realizing it?

How to Teach Kids to Love Their Parents

The Story of Oedipus reminds us that we live in a cruel and lonely world and nothing should be taken for granted. We can’t assume there’s an unbreakable and spiritual love-bond between a parent and a child.  And whatever bond there is is sociological and ephemeral, love requires a lot of work and perseverance.  Check out the confessions section of Scary Mommy if you don’t believe me.

If love is an action and not a feeling, then like most actions, it has to be taught and practiced, it doesn’t just happen. Teaching a kid to love a parent requires the same effort as making friends or getting someone to fall in love with you, it’s the same dynamic.  To make friends, you have to figure out a way to get that person to do something for you so they become emotionally invested in you. Benjamin Franklin, from his autobiography, on how to make friends:

He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.[

Make the person do something for you. Make them invest in you.  Below is an example of how Franklin turned an enemy into a friend:

Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.

Take something away from someone if you want to make an enemy.  Give something away for free too often if you want to be used and disrepected. Have someone give you something if you want a friend.  Same dynamic when seeking romantic love,  according to random “romantic relationship expert”:

In fact, when people see you doing stuff for them for free, unsolicited, or uncompensated, their thought is never, “Wow, what a great guy! I should repay him in spades!” but rather, “Oh, that’s nice – it’s nice having nice people around like this who give me stuff. Thanks, nice person!”

Yeah yeah, I know your friend paid you back with food and drink when you helped her move.  That’s why you’re friends. You wouldn’t be friends anymore if she hadn’t reciprocated, right? Because it’d be disrespectful to not reciprocate.  Yet there are parents who keep giving and giving and giving to their kids while getting little or nothing in return; or the nice guy who keeps paying for dates and buying gifts but can’t get a commitment or even a make out session from his crush. Parents will then blame technology and culture for producing entitled, disrespectful and narcissistic kids; the nice guy will blame women for preferring assholes.  Both of which are lame excuses that prevents them from blaming the source of the problem: themselves.

Nice people are liked, but not respected, we learn from history and classical literature and political philosophy.  “Now that’s fucked up,” some of you are thinking, “I won’t play that game.” Fine, but don’t play martyr when disrespected because it’s a lot easier to play Santa than to empower someone to become who she wants to be.  Kobe Bryant, one of the most disliked AND respected NBA players of all-time on what he wished he had done with his money when he made his first millions early in his career:

You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good; it made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world…While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding material things to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and growth.

“While you were feeling satisfied with yourself,” because Kobe’s been there, he’s done that. He knows a handout is the quintessential narcissistic douche bag act that’s neither effective nor an act of love precisely because it’s the easy thing to do to gain short-term pleasure at the expense of another person’s dignity and long-term happiness.  Kobe on how he wished he had treated people when he earned his first millions:

When your [NBA] dream comes true…you need to figure out a way to invest in the future of your family and friends. “I said INVEST. I did not say GIVE.

Invest means not giving girlfriend the weekend getaway she wants until she passes a section of the CPA exam she’s been studying for; no blowjobs until husband sets personal sales record for the month; no squeeky toy for dog until she learns a new obstacle course; no catnip until the cat catches that mouse.  This is how people and animals learn to perform at high levels. And that’s why it’s so hard to do so, why it’s easier to give than to invest: investing requires self-denial, patience, respect, and the ability to enter another’s spirit. Giving merely fulfills immediate needs, it’s like giving heroin to someone who is in pain, or candy to a kid so he stops crying.  Kobe on the effectiveness of investing rather than giving:

As time goes on, you will see them grow independently and have their own ambitions and their own lives, and your relationship with all of them will be much better as a result.

So how do we *teach* a kid to love his parents?  To begin with, teach the kid to become *emotionally invested* in the parents.  And it starts early, by drilling habits. Meaning, parents don’t tie a kid’s shoes, kid ties parents’s shoes and shines them.  Parents don’t spend money to entertain kid, kid entertains parents by memorizing and reciting parents’s favorite poems and performing their favorite songs. Parents don’t pay for kid’s pedicure and massage session just because, kid massages her parents feet every day after school to earn that right once a quarter. Parents don’t cook and clean for kid, kid cooks and clean for parent and if the food sucks, send it back, have kid redo it because that’s how it is in the real world.  Parents don’t take kid out to dinner to celebrate first job; kid takes parents out to dinner when he gets his first paycheck to thank them for the opportunity to have a job and for driving him to and from. Parents don’t pay for kid’s grand tour after college graduation, kid saves and saves and saves to send parents on all-expense paid vacation to thank them. Parents don’t buy their kids their first house,  kid buys parent a vacation home before buying their first. That’s how to teach a kid to not send parent to a decrepit rat-infested nursing home when parent turns geriatric.  That’s how to teach a kid that love is an act, not a narcissistic and impressionistic feeling.

“But they won’t do any of the above,” some parents are thinking. Then reject them, just as you should reject an abusive spouse or a friend who stabs you in the back.  Because when a kid takes and takes and takes and never gives only asks for more, that’s abuse, they’re learning how to be abusive and they’re going to be abusers as adults. Why put up with it? Why feed it?  Only people who suffer from Battered Spouse Syndrome put up with that kind of shit.

helovesame

She knows, because she forgave him after she caught him fucking her sister.

batteredwifesyndromecycle

She gives all her money to her daughter. Her daughter routinely calls her a “cunt” and tells her to “shut the fuck up” when asked to do the dishes.

How to Get Kid Who Doesn’t Want to Eat Veggies to Eat Them

Answer is the same as how to get a kid to love parents.  Back to the question asked in the beginning:

How do you get someone to fall in love with you?  (Or, how do you get your kid to love you)? Correct answer in bold:

a) Be really really nice to that person.
b) Hire a witch, cast a love spell.
c) Get that person to do things for you

Which is easier said than done.  It takes a lot of work to get a kid to be emotionally invested in parents’s well being by teaching and training her to take care of her parents the moment she can walk on her own. If she doesn’t get in the habit of doing things for her parents early in her life, she won’t do it when parents are late in their lives. Amy Chua (aka Tiger Cunt to some) knows that so she trains her daughters — even at ages 20 and 23 — to be her bitches.  Here’s a contract she wrote and had them sign when she sensed her daughters were going to take advantage of her generosity:

WHEREAS Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are the owners of Apt. [XXX] at [XXX], and their children are not;

WHEREAS Children owe their parents everything, even in the West, where many have conflicted feelings about this;

NOW THEREFORE

In exchange for Amy and Jed allowing them to stay in their NYC apartment from June 1, 2016 to August 1, 2016, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld and Louisa Chua-Rubenfeld agree to the following irrevocable duties and conditions:

1. To occupy only the junior bedroom.

2. To greet Jed Rubenfeld & Amy Chua with spontaneous joy and gratitude whenever they visit.

3. To make their (joint) bed every day, and not to fight about who does it.

4. To never, ever use the phrase, “Relax—it’s not a big deal.”

5. To always leave all internal doors in the apartment wide open whenever Jed, Amy or any company whatsoever (including relatives) are in the apartment, with an immaculately made bed in full view and no clothing or other junk on the floor of the bedroom in sight.

6. Whenever any guests visit, to come out of the bedroom immediately in a respectable state, greet the guests with enthusiasm, and sit and converse with the guests in the living room for at least 15 minutes.

7. To always be kind to our trusty Samoyeds Coco and Pushkin, who Sophia and Louisa hereby agree have greater rights to the apartment than Sophia and Louisa do, and to walk them to the dog park at least once a day when they visit, within 30 minutes of being asked to do so by Amy.

8. To fill the refrigerator with fresh OJ from Fairway for Jed on days when he is in town.

9. To keep the pillows in the living room in the right place and PLUMPED and to clean the glass table with Windex whenever it is used.

ADDITIONALLY, Sophia and Louisa agree that the above duties and conditions will not be excused even in the event of illness, hangovers, migraines, work crises or mental breakdowns (whether their own or their friends’).

Sophia and Louisa agree that if they violate any one of these conditions, Amy and Jed will have the right to get the Superintendent or a doorman to restrain them from entering the apartment; and to change the locks.

All of which are reasonable requests since they’re getting free rent in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. Tiger Cunt on above contract:

The fact is, we’re never off the hook as parents. Even when your kids are in their 20s, it’s still a constant balancing act. Are we asking too much of them or too little? Are we being strong and holding them to a high standard, or just being too critical? Are we teaching them by example how to live a happy, meaningful, giving life?

More importantly, she’s teaching them how to reciprocate and to not take advantage of other people’s kindness.  She’s teaching them how to be gracious. She’s teaching them how to love. She doesn’t hope for reciprocity and respect, she demands it.

From UK Guardian:

Food researchers at Ohio State University and Cornell University in New York found that children are five times more likely to eat salad when they have grown it themselves.

Children who are *emotionally invested* in the food in front of them are more likely to eat it. They don’t necessarily have to grow it — they can prep or serve it, for instance — they just have to be involved in the work of making a meal happen to become emotionally invested.

kidgrow

Her smile isn’t fake, she wasn’t forced to smile.  She grows and eats her veggies.

Japan_Lunch_161358640906

Third graders in Japan serving food to classmates. Even though they’re not smiling, they’re still happy.  Or maybe they’re not happy about having to drink milk because they’re lactose intolerant, as are most Asians.  Either way, they’re going to eat their veggies.  Unless the Washington Post reporter is lying.  If he is, he’s a dickhead.

How to Get Kids Involved in Making Their Own Meals

But some kids don’t want to be involved in making their own meals. Which brings us back to the source of the problem: kids who’ve never been trained to love their parents (don’t misread that, read it carefully). That’s where it begins.  A lot of people think that pain-in-the-ass kids are the way they are because their parents haven’t loved them enough, haven’t done enough for them.  No, look around, look especially at the middle-class pain-in-the-ass kids, they’re the way they are not because they grew up poor or their parents have neglected them, but because they’ve never had to do anything for their parents.  They never had to earn their parents’s love.  They never learned to love.

A child who doesn’t know how to love another isn’t going to be able to learn how to love eating veggies.  Such a child is accustomed to receiving love (pleasure) from his parents without having to work for it.  So why would he want to work at improving his palate when he’s been trained to receive pleasure immediately and often, without pain and effort? Getting such a child to eat vegetables is the least of our worries. There’s going to be meth addiction.

Love isn’t the solution, it should be the end result.  By making love the solution, it becomes the problem. Children don’t need more love, they need to learn how to love. Only when they learn to love will they be ready to experience how good a succulent bite of sausage can be when preceded with a crisp bite of lightly sauteed zucchini; and appreciate the effort put into loving them from those who love them the most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why We Eat What We Eat

Thorstein Veblen publishes Theory of the Leisure Class: an Economic Study of Institutions in 1899. He’s trying to figure out what makes people act like douchebags by studying their consumption habits. Like why Sara buys clothes at this store; Marty drives that car; Vivian drinks obscure coffee. Pre-test:

1. Who owns a Corvette?
a) Vascular Surgeon
b) The commercial plumber
c) The tenured college professor

2. Who owns most amount of clothes?
a) White trash girl living in trailer park
b) Old money girl attending exclusive boarding school
c) Middle-class girl living in middle-class cul-de-sac

3. What does middle-class woman eat on her birthday?
a) Surf and turf
b) Sushi and tempura
c) Raw oysters and beef tongue

4. What is upper-class woman eating Friday evening?
a) Cocktail shrimp and beef tenderloin steak
b) Acai bowl with quinoa, kale chips on side
c) Grilled beef tongue and fried shrimp heads

5. Who is most likely to have read a violent pornographic novel (eg. Georges Bataille, Pauline Reage, Marquis de Sade)
a) Upper-class woman, undergrad from Wellesley and PhD in Comparative Literature
b) Middle-class home economics teacher
c) White trash woman with boyfriend who beats the shit out of her.

Answers:
1. b
2. c
3. a
4. c
5. a

Surprised? Oblique explanations in main text.

Why People Act Like Poseurs and Douchebags

For our purposes here, the only thing we need to take from Theory of Leisure Class is that imitation is the driving force of American capitalist consumerism. In Feudalism, social mobility is limited by birth and the serf works for subsistence, not social mobility. Capitalism, promising unprecedented (upward and downward) social mobility, makes imitation possible, accessible, and encouraged by the logic of economic growth.  “Keeping up,” as Americans put it.  The capitalist “Leisure Class” signifies not only Old and New Money, but anyone with discretionary income, or at least anyone with a credit card.

Whom do people imitate?  Those they *perceive* as just above them.  What do people imitate? The *imagined* sensibilities and habits of those they *perceive* as just above them. Pay attention to the choice of words: “perceive” and “imagined” because people from all social classes tend to have trouble at not only figuring out what those outside their social circles are thinking and doing, but also a person’s social status. That’s why the not-quite-middle-class teen thinks the woman with a deep tan and a tit job is high society. The Old Money woman thinks the young tow truck driver is being ironic when he’s not. The woman who reads The New Yorker has no idea who Jimmie Johnson is. The guy with collection of Jimmie Johnson autographs can’t imagine an Ivy League college professor who listens to Outkast and has tickets to Venus in Furs and The Vagina Monologues, both of which the Time and Oprah magazine reading home economics teacher with tickets to The Nutcracker Suite finds dirty and offensive.  Which is why all this imitation looks more like self-parody than “faking it till you make it.”

History of American Cuisine: Colonial Era

Pick:

6. What’s most likely on the menu at a two year old casual fine dining restaurant in New York City that just won its first Micheline star?
a) Lobster alfredo with chantrelle mushrooms
b) Bone marrow with jerk spiced duck hearts
c) Wagyu tenderloin served with roasted rosemary potatoes

7. Who sucked the most dick by age 18?
a) Working middle-class Tina who attended Catholic school
b) Upper-middle class Siobhan who attended exclusive boarding school
c) Working middle-class Anthony who attended public school

8. Which family is most likely to own Emily Post books on etiquette and send children to etiquette school?
a) Conservative middle-class family, mom is homemaker, dad is bank manager.
b) Old Money family, mom is art curator, dad is opera singer.
c) New Money Google millionaires, Mom and Dad are executives

9. Who sucked the most dick by age 28?
a) Working middle-class Tina who attended Catholic school
b) Upper-middle class Siobhan who attended exclusive boarding school
c) Old Money Sarah who attended public school

10. What vehicle does single Korean man who runs with his parents an established Teriyaki store drive?
a) Toyota Camry
b) Ford Mustang
c) Porsche Cayenne

Answers:
6. b
7. a
8. a
9. b
10. c

Seventeenth century, White Europeans from varied backgrounds started moving to The New World. The English soon became dominant, assimilating the Dutch and the Swedes after kicking their asses, but they couldn’t reach a deal with the French (Acadians in Nova Scotia) so the English told them to fuck off, relocating some of them to Louisiana where they begin Cajun culture. Point is, American cuisine began as variant of British cuisine, and in contrast to the French, who adopted Native American hunting and cooking methods and incorporated indigeneous ingredients into their diet, the Americans used Old World Methods to prepare New World ingredients and tried to grow Old World ingredients in New World climate, with mixed results.  Where reliable trade with British Empire was established, Old World ingredients were imported, making American (New England especially) cuisine intentionally British.

There were lots of regional variations that cut across socio-economic lines — American cuisine has never been monolithic —  with, for instance, upland Southern Rednecks eating possums and squirrels with cabbage and potatoes, and African and Caribbean ingredients and cooking methods influencing the pork based lowland Southern diet.  Pennsylvania Germans brought sausages, sauerkraut, and beer from the Old World. But colonial British mercantilist policies that limited American trade to within the Empire ensured that British traditions would dominate until the Brits began taxing alcohol starting with the Molasses Act of 1733 and the Sugar Act of 1760, and then luxury goods with the Quartering Act of 1763 and tea with the Tea Act of 1773.

The Brits soon learned that when you fuck with people’s alcohol and caffeine supply, there’s going to be a revolution. Americans began boycotting British goods and finally went native out of frustration with British laws. Whiskey had been looked down on by American high society types, who preferred Old World British goods and habits. Now Northern whiskey, made of rye (non-native European ingredient), was becoming fashionable, and Southern whiskey was considered patriotic due to its use of corn, an indigenous ingredient. Rum was out, as it was seen as a symbol of British power.

Another significant change was the shift from tea to coffee.  John Adams wrote to his wife in 1773: “Tea must be universally renounced and I must be weaned, and the sooner the better.” When word got out that a group of housewives in Massachusetts united to serve — as a fuck you to the Brits — only coffee, many were inspired to do the same.

It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a person by what he or she eats.  We can probably tell a lot about a nation by what its people eat.  Shifts in eating habits aren’t accidents and they’re an index of what’s to come politically. You can smell a revolution that’s waiting to happen.

Independence – Immigration Act of 1924

Independence achieved, Americans stopped shitting on French cuisine, which they had disdained during the seemingly never ending conflict between the British and the French. Before the War, cookbook writer Hannah Glasse, wrote in Art of Cookery: “the blind folly of this age that would rather be imposed on by a French booby, than give encouragement to a good English cook!” On French recipes: “an odd jumble of trash.” Those insults disappeared in the first *American* post-war edition of her cookbook, probably because the French had helped with American war effort. The French-American alliance also led to French chefs migrating to the States during the French Revolution, which would’ve been unthinkable during British rule.

Free from the constraints of British mercantilism, American cooks gained wider access to foreign goods.  As an expanding industrializing nation requiring more White people (1790 Act limited citizenship to White people) to populate conquered lands and to work in expanding factories, the US began to accept more and a wider range of White immigrants — now including many from Eastern and Southern Europe — who further diversified American culinary habits. By 1924, Americans are eating all kinds of peasant-redneck-soul food — pig’s ears, raw oysters, raw beef, possums, ram testicles, squirrels, chicken gizzards, cow brains, pig’s feet, and blood pudding.

I use year 1924 as a bookend because it marks the end of liberal immigration policies and the beginning of the modern kitchen.  Growing concern about the “Whiteness” of some European immigrants — Italians, Slavs, and Eastern European Jews — the Immigration Act of 1924 limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the US. It was a way to ensure that the US remain a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant (WASP) nation, not overrun by Irish and Italian Catholics, Jews, Slavs, and other undesirable not-quite-White European “races.”  And by severing the flow of people and cultural habits from undesirable parts of Europe to ethnic US neighborhoods, the not-quite-White people of the US would finally lose their immigrant heritage and assimilate to become fully White and American.

And it was around 1924 that modern refrigeration was becoming common in middle-class America, which led to the rise to mass produced industrialized foods such as frozen meals.  Refrigeration in rail cars meant farms no longer had to be located near population centers and more land could be farmed, resulting in lower prices of prestige items such as beef.

The Federal government and academia were also getting involved in what Americans ate.  Nutritionists and home economics professors introduced a scientific approach to nutrition and eating. They began telling Americans which meals and cooking methods are safe and proper.

Modern American Cuisine

Why did some American ethnic and regional foods become popular nationally, while others remained marginalized or disappeared?

Test break!

11. Who sucked the most dick by age 45?
a) Working middle-class Tina who attended Catholic school
b) Upper-middle class Siobhan who attended exclusive boarding school
c) Old Money Sarah who attended public school

12. It’s 1973, in some middle to upper middle class suburb. What do the Johnson’s have in their kitchen?
a) A dead body, cut up, probably neighbor’s daughter
b) White Wonder bread, margarine, and Tang.
c) Pickled beets, sauerkraut, and offals.

13. Where has Old Money Sarah never eaten?
a) McDonald’s
b) Harold’s Chicken Shack
c) Red Lobster

14. Who lost a toe while on vacation?
a) Upper middle-class Ginger
b) Lower-middle class Tiffany
c) Upper-class Wes

15. Who spends the most on nails and tan?
a) Old Money Sarah
b) Upper middle-class Jimmy
c) Lower-middle class Tiffany

Answers:
11. a
12. b
13. c
14. c
15. c

By 1965, the year immigration was liberalized, the US had finally developed a national cuisine and palate. Coca Cola, orange juice, hamburgers, fortune cookies, peanut butter, apple pie, fried chicken, hot dog, steak, pizza, french fries, spaghetti…these are some regional foods that went national (a few, like Coca Cola, went international).  Why not mutton, smoked salmon, collard greens, pig trotters, fried gizzards, baklava, gyros, Philly Cheesesteaks, and knishes?

Some food became less had because eating them was a sign of low status.  Offals (organs) and possum, for instance.  Perhaps fried chicken made the cut because it was special occasion food for the poor, and fried gizzards didn’t because that’s what the poor ate everyday.  Those who grew up poor traded liver, horse meat, and beef intestines for ground beef when they finally could.

Some food became more popular because they represented modernity and science. The middle-class household in 1970 drank space-age Tang to be modern, used margarine instead of butter to be health conscious, and ate canned soup to be family-on-the-move efficient. Now Tang is one step above kool-aid, margarine is for out-of-touch geriatrics relying on out-of-date info, and canned soup is for the lazy.

Other food and preparation methods became rare because of warnings from government agencies.  “You shouldn’t consume raw seafood or meat of any kind,” warns the FDA. So most stopped doing so, even as steak tartare was served throughout Europe, as it had for centuries, and sashimi throughout Japan, as it had for centuries.  You’re supposed to drink cow milk and eat cereal and bread and cheese…everyday “we’re told by USDA food pyramid. So we did, even though 70 percent of the people in the world are lactose intolerant.  “Cook poultry at 350 degrees,” taught the home economics teacher.  We did and learned to make overcooked and dry meat palatable by adding to it extra extra gravy.  “White meat is healthier than dark meat,” announced the nutritionist.  So we became one of the few nations in the world to prefer white over dark, even though dark is more flavorful and moister.  (And then we make white meat better tasting by frying it or drenching it in gravy, making it even more calorie dense than its dark counterpart). Americans were being taught to distrust their immigrant heritage, to become more modern (American) and less ethnic (backward). American cuisine was narrowing palates and limiting the range of cooking methods. American cuisine was becoming a disaster.

Thesis: government meddling and the loss of immigrant heritage fucked up American cuisine.

Postmodern American Cuisine

If Modernity is about living as one imagines one would in the future, Postmodernity is about living as one imagines someone had in the past.

—————————————————————————–

The Japanese, not Julia Child, saved American cuisine.

It’s the 1980s and the Japanese are on a roll. Americans are starting to think the Japanese are going to take over the world.  They show up in Manhattan to buy all sorts of vanity properties, their cars run better than American ones, and they make Americans feel lazy, and stupid. One could smell the power shift when business between Japanese and Americans was conducted not at Peter Lugar steakhouse, but in a basement level izakaya.

The growing popularity of Japanese cuisine in the US during the 80s and 90s gave Americans an opportunity to reconsider everything they’d been taught about proper cooking and proper meals.  Sure sure, there were American servicemen who loved Japanese cuisine before the preppy douchebags got to try it, but these were working class types everyone ignored, not the preppies middle-class kids emulated during the materialistic Eighties. The preppies made Japanese food cool and eating it became a sign of sophistication and high social status.

Soon Americans are watching Iron Chef Japan. Eating raw fish. Now they’re trying eel and loving it. A few even develop a taste for natto and live sea urchin.  Everything Americans were told not to do they were doing when they were eating Japanese food. For some, it was exhilarating.  Trying “weird” food became a legitimate hobby, and a new brand of foodie emerged.

By the start of the 21st century, Japanese cuisine had gone mainstream and Japanese cooking shows like Iron Chef inspired American versions of them, transforming chefs into rock stars, Ivy League graduates into line cooks working to become chefs, and cooking into a hobby instead of a chore. Sushi was no longer for Wall Street pricks and Californian champagne socialists, you were not middle-class if you didn’t eat and like sushi (even though sushi is a small portion of Japanese cuisine, and not had very often in Japan). Soon we had Japanese food for the masses: conveyer belt sushi, all you can eat sushi, even Chinese people serving (disgusting) sushi.  And as Japanese food ceased to be the new in thing, White Americans, now accustomed to trying “weird shit,” became interested in rediscovering their European roots because being White wasn’t cool anymore.  More restaurants started serving dishes that would’ve been unthinkable in the mainstream 70s, from raw oysters to bone marrow, duck hearts to steak tartare; using cooking methods, such as sous vide, that freaked out health inspectors. Underground dinner parties served beef tongue and shrimp head. Eating such dishes became a sign of sophistication and American cuisine was becoming not just an archetype of postmodern nostalgia, but also vibrant and challenging. For the first time in a long time, American palates and culinary repertoire were expanding and a new generation of American chefs wanted to show the world that there’s more to American food than McDonald’s.

Why We Eat What We Eat

Some think that the standard middle-class American cuisine is based primarily on proper nutrition (as determined by government agencies) and ethical behavior (as determined by soft science academics).  It is not.  If it were, we’d be eating crickets instead of beef for protein and we wouldn’t let ourselves get suckered by the latest health fad that confers an ingredient undeserved powers and fucks up another nation’s ecology.  Some of us would like to believe our cuisine is *proper* because it justifies our personal preferences (built on habit) and confirms our sense of self as belonging to a righteous nation. Those unhappy with status quo want to make American cuisine *proper* — nutritious and ethical (eg. localvore movement) — so we can feel like we belong to a righteous nation.

If American cuisine is, as argued earlier, built on political intrigue, social maneuvering, and economic brinksmanship, then there’s a good chance that its present is an expression of our competing political beliefs and anxiety about our socio-economic future.  Reading the food we eat as such makes it possible for us to see ourselves as tools when we drink orange juice every morning for its Vitamin C content, douchebags when we order kobe burgers for the prized fat that’s cooked off, cranks when we promote acai berries as ethical superfood, and human when we binge on McDonald’s fries.

Perhaps in the end — weary of reading all those conflicting articles about what’s healthiest and what’s more ethical and what’s better for the economy and environment — eating well has less to do with what we eat than how we explore what’s possible to eat. If only God can determine the righteousness of a nation and its citizens, the best we can do is build a spirited cuisine that challenges and expands, rather than accepts and limits, our palates and imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Being Nice Will Kill You

From a 2008 Journal of Immunotoxicology article:

“Risk of developing certain diseases correlates with human personality.”

Specifically, the authors are matching health with coping styles, active versus passive.

———————————————————————————————–

Summary of four personality types, A-D, plus how each type thinks about food:

Type A: The Angry Motherfucker

  • Driven
  • Fast Paced
  • Assertive and Demanding
  • Sloppy diet, eats whatever is convenient.
  • Food as fuel.

Type B: The Stoner

  • Laid back
  • Prone to procrastination
  • Relaxed
  • Expansive diet, eats whatever tastes good.
  • Food as pleasure

Type C: The Nice One

  • Passive
  • Sensitive
  • Polite
  • Cycle of dieting and overeating
  • Food as addiction (emotional eater)

Type D: The Worrier

  • Distressed
  • Anxious
  • Fearful
  • Frequently tries strict, fad, and crash diets.
  • Food as poison (obsessed about dangers of eating this or that).

Type As are susceptible to coronary disease and heart attacks. Type Bs will die from falling off the roof while drunk and stoned at a party. Type Cs are most likely to contract autoimmune diseases. Type D, being as stressed out as Type As and as depressed as Type Cs, are fucked.

From Psyche Central, on Type C personality:

In recent years, a cluster of personality characteristics has come to be identified as the Type C personality, someone who is at heightened risk for a slew of afflictions, from colds to asthma to cancer. In contrast with the Type A person (who angers easily and has difficulty keeping feelings under wraps) and the Type B person (who has a healthier balance of emotional expressiveness), the Type C person is a suppressor, a stoic, a denier of feelings. He or she has a calm, outwardly rational, and unemotional demeanor, but also a tendency to conform to the wishes of others, a lack of assertiveness, and an inclination toward feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.

Examples: she hates football but pretends to like it to attract more men.  He doesn’t want to work the holidays but always agrees to do so with an insincere smile. She hates her haircut but won’t tell the hairdresser he fucked up because she doesn’t want to risk hurting his feelings. He doesn’t like his food but won’t complain about it until he gets home and unleashes his anger anonymously on yelp. She won’t call her husband the lazy piece of shit he is because she’s conflict adverse.  There’s a lot of quiet stewing going on here.

The above cited description of Type C can be more nuanced.  It’s not that Type C denies feelings (and thoughts), they deny specific feelings and thoughts, which in the American socio-cultural context typically means anger and hate, murder and mutilation.

Canadian physician Gabor Mate…began to notice a pattern: individuals who were unable to express anger, who didn’t seem to recognize the primacy of their own needs, and who were constantly doing for others, appeared to be the ones most susceptible to a slew of ailments, from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus to multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These conditions are all autoimmune disorders. Mate claims that, when an individual engages in a long-term practice of ignoring or suppressing legitimate feelings–when he or she is just plain too nice–the immune system can become compromised and confused, learning to attack the self rather than defend it.

Again, we need more nuance, as above description makes it seem as if nice people are martyrs.  They’re not, some of them are raging narcissists who write purple prose, Albert Camus reminds us in The Fall (aka Confessions of a Nice Guy).  That tension, that dissonance between the inner narcissist and the outer martyr means there’s going to be a lot of ice cream and chocolate to medicate depression. Which is why some personality type researchers have noticed that Type C personality “is [more likely to be] a consumer of a diet high in sugar, high in saturated/trans-fats, and high in processed and refined foods.” They’re emotional eaters because they’re emotionally corrupt. More of Mate’s observations:

Emotional expression, in Mate’s view is absolutely essential because feelings serve to alert the individual to what is dangerous or unwholesome–or, conversely, to what is helpful and nourishing–so that the person can either take protective action against the thread or move toward the beneficial stimulus. If someone never gets angry, this reflects an unhealthy inability or unwillingness to defend personal integrity. Such “boundary confusion” can ultimately become a matter of life and death. If someone just cannot say no, Mate argues, his or her body will end up saying it in the form of illness or disease.

Put simply, nice people are fuck ups.

Like this.

Part II on why we train people to be nice coming soon.  In the meantime, try this: embrace your anger before it embraces you.

Application Questions vs. 9.0

Alive Juice Bar (and Dance Studio) is located in a suburban strip-mall just off of I5 exit 177 in the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood in the Puget Sound. Customers range from CEOs to Meth Addicts, from Stepford Wives to Redneck Intellectuals, from Basic Bitches to Punk Rock Soccer Moms, Whigger Drug Dealers to Mormon Gangsters. That’s a wide range of palates to work with and to satisfy.  Alive Juice Bar is a bullshit and repression free-zone.

We want:

Manager/Sous-Chef: Have court-vision and listening range to see and hear what’s going on in entire kitchen. Put simply, know when someone is fucking up and fix the problem.  Pay depends on your negotiation and sales skills. Aims to work to become Head Chef who makes and manages menu.

Assistant: Develop the skills to become Manager/Sous-Chef so you can someday be self-sufficient and maybe, if you want, become CEO of a business like Microsoft or start a company that’ll take down a business like Microsoft.

To apply, answer questions below.   Respond by boldfacing your answer.  Like this:

Which answer do you pick?
a) This one
b) That one
c) Another one

Self-esteem assessment

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

 

Why are you so lazy?
a) I’m not lazy.
b) I don’t have enough responsibilities.
c) I don’t care about the needs and wants of others.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m lazy and obedient, so I don’t ask enough questions.
b) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point.
c) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!

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. I took the most challenging courses and tasks and wouldn’t accept anything less than an “A” at school and at work.
c) I’m naturally smart, it’s God given.

How often do you screw up?
a) Rarely, and when I do, it’s someone else’s fault.
b) Never. Hire me and you’ll see my awesomeness.
c) All the time, I’m such a fuck up.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I daydream a lot.
b) I’m not lazy.
c) I make excuses and blame others when something goes wrong.

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.  This is some fucked up shit, I’m out, motherfucker.

Why are you so emotionally fragile?
a) My parents coddle and make excuses for me
b) I didn’t have enough traumatic experiences during childhood.
c) I’m not fragile, I’m strong and brave!  Smart and hard-working too!!!

 

Communication Skills Assessment

Pick best sentence:
a) Would you mind bringing me some beets when you get a chance?
b)  Get beets now.
c) Hey fucktard, get your ass over there, get some beets and bring it over here.

Salesperson calls, asks “Hi, how are you doing today?” How do you respond?
a) What do you want?
b) I’m fine. How are you today?
c) I feel like shit.  I want to beat the shit out of someone.

Pick best sentence for love-text:
a) Your scintillatingly luminous presence inspires and captivates my yearning heart to take an unsolicited leap of impossible faith into the great unknown of the comfort of your arms.
b) My darling, my heart aches for your presence and to finally be in your arms
c) Let’s cuddle.

Pick best sentence for first sentence of novel:
a) Dreary black skies loomed as the violent waves crashed onto glittering rocks that have never met such punishment.
b) It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets.
c) Fucking hurricane knocking down trees.

Technician finally calls you back.  He asks: Hi, how are you doing today?” How do you respond?
a) I’m fine, how are you today?
b) How do I fix this problem?
c) This problem is driving me crazy.  Because of your fucked up system, I can’t get my kids to school on-time, my cat took a dump on my pillow, and my husband is a lazy piece of shit who wants a divorce.

Your partner tells you you’re lazy.  How do you respond?
a) Takes on to know one, asshole.
b) Why am I lazy?
c) You never see all the things I do for you.

Sense of Reality Assessment

Person has substance abuse problem.
a) He needs to learn to love himself more, practice self-love by loving himself and surrounding himself with those who tell him he’s lovable.
b) He needs to work harder at solving his problems.
c) He needs more money to solve the underlying financial problems that are the cause of his addiction.

What happens when school district gives middle-class high school students their own laptops?
a) Playing field is leveled, they perform almost as well as those rich privileged kids at elite private school like Lakeside.
b) They watch porn and play games on laptop while in school, no change in academic performance.
c) They perform worse, laptops make people stupid.

Who is most likely to be batshit crazy?
a) White trash girl who knows she’s White trash.
b) Middle-class suburban girl who thinks she’s high society.
c) Rich kid slumming with the hobos and peasants.

Ten young women on a trip to a faraway land and stopped and robbed.  Five are picked to be raped.  What do you think the 5 NOT PICKED are thinking?
a) Whew, at least I wasn’t raped!
b) I feel terrible for those who were raped.
c) Am I ugly?

What affect does raising teacher wages have on teacher performance?
a) They don’t perform any better or worse, people are creatures of habit
b) They perform better, money is a great motivator
c)  They perform worse, money corrupts.

How many hours a week does the CEO of Walmart work?
a)100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does 50 Cent work?
a) 100
b) 70
c) 40

What was Eminem likely doing on random date, 2003?
a) Getting high and smacking his hoes
b) Working alone in recording studio, repeating same three lines over and over again because he demands perfection from himself.
c) Getting his dick licked by two of his dancers.

What does the CEO of Walmart do all day?
a)Figures out new ways to exploit hard workers like me.
b)Sets strategy and vision, negotiates partnerships, builds company culture, and manages supply chains to ensure consumers get what they want when they want it.
c)Recording himself banging his hot secretary.

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) Having a threesome and some cocaine.

What was 50 Cent doing on a random Saturday night, 2006?
a) Getting fucked up his ass by his trainer, who resembles Justin Bieber
b) Working out, writing songs and negotiating business contracts.
c) Sucking your mom’s big black dick, what the fuck does this have to do with this stupid job?

Random Questions

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 did Walmart founder Sam Walton drive?
a)Beat up pickup truck
b)BMW
c)Hummer

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?

Frequently Asked Questions Part X

Links to FAQ I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

General Shop Questions

 

Snowman

Why is there a snowman in the store?
Salvaged from another store that was closing, don’t know where else to put him.

Does it have a name? 
No

Did owner tell my son that the snowman will bite off his penis?  
Yes

Why the hell did he do that?  He has nightmares now…
To get him to stop doing whatever he was doing. Sorry about the nightmares.

Did it work?  
Yes

How do the ordering guidelines keep costs down?

Our guidelines prevent:

  • human walls that block traffic from forming.
  • people from forgetting their order
  • people who are ready to order from having to wait on those who aren’t ready

 

View More: http://raneyday.pass.us/alive-juice-bar

The guidelines also allow us to make multiple drinks at once, prepare for the next drink, and to continue prep work while customer reviews the menu. Most importantly, our system keeps employees sharp and “on-point.”

Put simply, it saves us and our customers significant time.

But doesn’t doing it this way stress out employees?
Stop projecting your incompetence and emotional fragility onto other people.  Other people are not you, other people can decide for themselves what’s stressful or not.  Finally, you’re pissing them off by not following the guidelines, which is why they’re ignoring you.

Do I have to shout out my order? 
Depends.  If all the blenders are on, yes.  If it’s quiet and someone is near you, normal voice is preferred.

Culture

Are millennials more spoiled and entitled and narcissistic than previous generations?
No, they’re not much different from their parents and grandparents and so forth.  People and cultures don’t change much, the habits and attitudes of one generation are often passed to the next.

You really think they’re not that different?
They’re not that different. It seems like they’re different because the environment has changed.

Subway1

Dance Studio

Is there a dance class schedule?
Link to schedule:  https://yuliyadance.wordpress.com/tentative-winter-dance-schedule-june/

How do I sign up for a class?
Meet instructor to discuss.

Gossip

Is it true when owner was in kindergarten he announced to his schoolmates that Santa doesn’t exist?
That’s a rumor.

Does J Crispy still come into the store? 
Yes.

How does he feel about having a drink named after him? 
Don’t know.

Is it true Alive Juice Bar has quotas on types of customers?
Yes.

Why do you discriminate against customers?
Most of our employees and customers don’t want to deal with people like Stepford Wives.  A few here and there we can tolerate.

step2

What’s wrong with them?
They never follow the ordering guidelines because they think it’s rude to not have a line, they want us to play music from like Amy Grant all fucking day, and everyone around them to smile like all the fucking time. They scare our customers and employees.  They’re annoying. Watch the movie for long answer to question:

How do you keep them out?
Bad service, play music that’ll offend them like this:

Where should they go for juice?
Bellevue.  They’ll enjoy Jujubeets.

Who is moving in next door? 
Cricket Wireless, a discount wireless phone company.

Six Years Old

I’ve been told that the second business like having a second child: the second one is tougher than the first one because you’re now watching over two who are often going in different directions.  We had twins, the clothing store that was planned, and a dance studio that wasn’t.

We *barely* made it to six years. It was close.

It’s taken us nearly a year to figure out how to use the new and much larger space effectively, to maximize efficiency and productivity.  Instead of storing inventory in the back storage (long walk), we now keep it in general public area, some of it as decor.

View More: http://raneyday.pass.us/alive-juice-bar

Apples in attractive buckets add color to decor.  And customers can purchase them as produce.

View More: http://raneyday.pass.us/alive-juice-bar

Customers like seeing the produce we use in our drinks.  Reminds them that we don’t use syrup.

This set-up has significantly reduced costly inventory mistakes and now we sell produce in addition to drinks and prepared foods.   Check out the deals on ginger and turmeric.

We’ve also worked with customers to improve efficiency of operations.  Our ordering guideline allows us to keep costs and wait times down while improving service to those who follow it.

Alive Juice Bar-0026.jpg

Those who don’t follow the guideline will either not be served or charged a dollar.

The guideline will help us adapt to the soon to be $15/hour minimum wage without raising prices.

We’ve also been building our prepared meals business.  Customers have been ordering customized nutritionally balanced and diverse meals to reduce their grocery expenses, to improve their diet, and to save time.

Alive Juice Bar-Juice Bar Final-0043.jpg

Chicken satay meal with 3 veggies, 5 oz of chicken, and brown rice.  Nutritionally balanced and diverse.

The dance studio, which has been losing money, we expect to be profitable by this summer, when summer camps begin.  We now only let those with established followings use the space instead of offering free rent to aspiring dance instructors to build their businesses.  It’s been difficult to find callow instructors patient and resilient enough to build their own business.  Most quit when they learn that their friends aren’t reliable and that it takes time to build a reputation and brand.

Alive Juice Bar-Juice Bar Final-0089.jpg

Bellydance w/Dahlia notes.

Clothing store is nearly ready to be opened full-time.  We’re still working on the three person changing room that’ll be used by the dance studio and clothing store.  We’ve been adding higher quality inventory to the clothing store.

Once the two new businesses are profitable, we’ll work on our next project, a bistro in SnoKing neighborhood that’ll be comparable to the best restaurants in Seattle.  We’re seeking an unusual space with high ceilings, perhaps a garage warehouse.

Selling the three businesses to fund the bistro is an option if we find the right buyer. I’m also keeping in mind that businesses owners have said that if you can handle three businesses, the fourth one and more are easy, just as with children.  The leadership skills, production systems, and work culture are developed enough for unlimited expansion.

Thanks to those who helped us get this far.  There’s still a lot of work to do.  Let’s do it!

Alive Juice Bar-Juice Bar Final-0065.jpg

Agape.