Why People Prefer Bad Service

For the same reason the drunk sailor mistakes the tranny for a woman. For the same reason people like bad writing:  some mistake pompous service for good service just as they mistake pompous writing (aka purple prose) for good writing.  Here’s an example of bad service that people think as good service, from social critic Mark Randall (from Not That You Asked):

“Good evening, sir…And how are you this evening?…May I get you something from the bar? …I’d be happy to, sir….And would you care for anything else right now?…I’ll be back with your drink in just a moment.”

Randall describes such service as:

…superfluous little phrases…but as they pile up they begin to irritate with their pretentiousness.  One realizes that they do not add to the service or quicken it.  They do not even make it more pleasant since one is forced (out of politeness) to parry each one of these pointless and limpid thrusts.

Another social critic, Paul Fussell calls that shit “pretentious greasy-swarmy rhetoric of the servitors.” It’s like bad porn, watching a guy eat pussy as if he’s eating a hot dog.  There’s the ridiculous use of “Sir” to suggest to the customer that at that moment, he is a feudal lord and his serfs are at his command, ready to do anything — anything — he wants them to do.  Then there are the stupid questions or questions phrased stupidly.  And finally, the unnecessary comments.  That’s why Randall is pissed:

One wants to say, ‘well of course you’ll be back with my drink in a moment!  SHUT UP ABOUT IT!’

Randall, on the purpose of pretentious service:

One sees…that this style is designed, not to promote service, but to call attention to what we are supposed to regard as the edifyingly refined manner of the server.  It is the establishment’s self-congratulatory way of reminding you that you are in a fancy place….What we have here is neither good manners nor good service; it is politeness grandstanding, a kind of obsequious bullying.  

This “bullying” is similar to what people do when they want others to think that they have a lot of money. They pull the same shit, except instead of meaningless words they use meaningless bling, clothes, and cars to communicate what they may or may not have.  Some have money, many are frauds. Many of those who practice “politeness grandstanding” are similar frauds, using unnecessary or stupid words and phrases to create the impression of sophistication and class when in fact they’re simply putting on airs.

What is Good Service? 

Good service is similar to good writing. Less is more, elegance in simplicity, and stay focused on the job. Good writing is effective communication — clear, concise, and precise — never self-indulgent by showing off vocabulary or writing dramatic prose (aka purple prose) because it’s always focused on the topic.  Good service is about giving what customer wants with precision and alacrity without violating your integrity (don’t act like serf ready to suck dick unless that’s what you want or are paid to do). Good service doesn’t rely on flattery, and it’s not garrulous, intrusive, or unnecessarily formal.  It’s observant, helpful, and insightful. Good service is convivial and conviviality is a Redneck virtue. Randall on Redneck conviviality:

…an American friendly style, one that is outgoing and engaging.  It is, I believe, an authentic national characteristic.  The new “luxury” style though is a hybrid bastard, one that tries to combine American friendliness with European formality.

When you combine Redneck conviviality with middle-class putting on airs, you get embarrassing results.  The self-indulgent garrulous and formal exchanges waste time, increasing costs.  Randall again:

What one gets is a style that’s too friendly to be formal, and too formal to be friendly. It consists entirely of a dozen or so phrases, premeditated, flatulent, pseudo high-class, none of which improve upon “good morning…”thank you,” and “you’re welcome.”

American middle-class politeness may not be rude, but it may be bad manners and certainly is bad taste. Curmudgeon Paul Fussell on why middle-class Americans talk like this:

The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts. They like them also because they assist their social yearnings towards pomposity. This is possible because most euphemisms permit the speaker to multiply syllables, and the middle class confuses sheer numerousness with weight and value.

And good manners.

Examples of Bad Writing

There are several Bad Writing contests, one which invites writers to submit their own worst first sentence for a novel.  Here’s one that won in 2008:

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city, their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist breath through manhole covers stamped “Forged by DeLaney Bros.

Overwrought and pretentious.  An example of author preening and of self-indulgent writing.  Yet some are impressed with this passage simply because of its use of metaphors, however inane and vacant they may be.

There’s a lot of bad writing in academia too, especially in disciplines that have inferiority complex. UC Berkeley Comp Lit professor Judith Butler won an award for bad academic writing in 1998.  The winning sentence (don’t try to read all of it, it’ll ruin your day):

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

Translation: “Stop looking down on me, Math/Physics/Engineering profs who unfairly make twice as much as I do.  Comparative Lit. major is just as difficult and important and my writing is tougher to understand than multivariable calculus, so fuck you.”  Yet many think the author is intelligent and erudite simply because the passage is impenetrable.

Bad service uses similar gimmicks, intimidation tactics really.  When the person serving you sounds like a muppet or talks like a pompous academic, don’t show approval.  Approval is why there’s so much bad service.  And encouraging people to be frauds is bad for them and society. That’s how batshit crazy starts and there’s a lot of batshit crazy in middle-class America, the most medicated demographic in the world.

Randall on why Americans enjoy bad service:

The American corporation, no doubt with the aid of market research, has taken something that ought to have been…pleasurable and simple and made it self-serving, burdensome, and complicated.  No wonder we’re not very polite even when even the experts can’t get it right, when politeness becomes this insipid and interminable fugue of gratuitous endearments and self-flattering concern.

Put simply, bad service is narcissism disguised as good service.

Which do you prefer, rude service or bad service?  They’re not the same.

Examples Good Service and Good Customers

(At random sit-down restaurant, first time customer arrives)

Server: Good evening.  Something to drink?
Customer: Jack Daniels straight.
Server: One Jack Daniels straight.
Customer: Yes.
Server: Anything else?
Customer: Maybe, I’ll look over the menu.

Note: This is how normal people communicate.  The conciseness means fewer communication errors.

(At Alive Juice Bar, regular customer enters)

Server: Hey Susan!
Customer: Hey! Summer Berries.
Server: One Summer Berries.
Customer: Yep!
Server:  Summer Berries, ready! Haven’t seen you in awhile, how have you been?
Customer: yada yada yada yada and how have you been?

Note: Good service begins with acknowledgment, followed by giving what customer wants.  Personal talk is last because that’s not primary reason customer is at store.  Unless customer is trying to hook up with server.

Examples of Bad Service and Bad Customers

(At random sit-down restaurant)

Server: Hello and good evening, sir. My name is Rodney and I’ll be your server this evening.  How are you this evening, sir?
Customer: I’m doing rather well, thank you.  And how are you this lovely evening?
Server: I’m doing great, thanks for asking.   Can I start you with something to drink?
Customer: Yes, I’d like a Jack Daniels, straight, please and if you don’t mind.
Server: Oh no, I don’t mind at all.  I’ll be right back with that for you.
Customer: Thank you very much.
Server: Oh you’re welcome

Note: Polite small talk is poor sign that someone is a decent person.  According to one study, serial killers excel at polite small talk.  That’s why they’re able to get away with killing so many people.

(Alive Juice Bar)

Server: Hi, how are you?
Customer: I’m great, thank you!  How are you?
Server: I’m doing well.  Wow, you look great in that skirt.  Where did you get it, if you don’t mind me asking?
Customer: Awww, thanks!  I got it at Biji’s.
Server: Thanks!  What can I get for you this evening?
Customer: Can I please have a Summer Berries when you get a chance?
Server: Excellent choice maam, I’ll get that started for you.

Note: Flattery is douchebag and obsequious way to get a bigger tip, like a guy trying to fuck a woman.  Save it for after the transaction is completed so it doesn’t come off as flattery. That is, manipulation. Server should instead focus on doing a good job.   

Examples of What Happens When You Refuse to Play Along

(At random sit-down restaurant)

Server (voice an octave higher than usual, bubbly and sweet) : Hello sir, welcome to Claim Jumper.  My name is Ruby and I’ll be your server this evening.  How are you this evening?
Customer: Jack Daniels, straight.
Server: (confused pause). Excellent choice, sir, I’ll get that out for you, just give me a sec.
Server: Here you go, your Jack Daniels.  Have you had a chance to read over the menu?
Customer: Fish and chips.
Server: Fish and chips, excellent choice, sir.  Would you like anything else with that?
Customer: I’d like a side-order of suck my dick.
Server: Excuse me?
Customer: I said I’d like a side-order of suck my dick.  Because you sound like you want to suck my dick while I eat my fish and chips.
Server: (pauses and looks shocked) uh, pardon me, I’ll be back.
Manager: Hello and good evening sir.  How are you this evening?
Customer: Hungry and horny.
Manager: Now, if I may ask, what did you order?
Customer: Fish and chips and a side order of suck my dick.
Manager: (pauses and looks shocked) Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave and never come back, if you don’t mind.

Note the number of vacant phrases — eg. “if you don’t mind,” “if I may ask” used by customer service.  And why does the customer need to know the server’s name if he’s not planning on meeting her again?  If he does want to meet her again, he’ll ask for her name.  

(At Alive Juice Bar)

Server: Hey!
Customer (on her way to past juice bar to dance studio): Hi, how are you?
Server: Do you care?
Customer (stops): Yes, as a matter of fact, I do!
Server: Then why were you walking away from me instead of sitting down to talk to me?
Customer (pauses): Ooook.  I’ll be right back to talk to you.  I just have to drop this off in the dance studio.
Server: Ok.

RudeWaiterFong

Chinaman in the middle is Edsel Fong.  Known as the rudest waiter in America.  But at least he didn’t give bad service.

 

 

The Alive Juice Bar Diet

Here’s how people are fucking things up in their own fucked up way: having *dessert for breakfast.*

Examples:

*Muffin and coffee
*Sugary cereal w/milk and orange juice
* Donut and coffee
* Pancakes or waffles w/syrup, orange juice, coffee, and bacon

All of the above are desserts.  And that’s what most Americans are having for breakfast.  When you have dessert for breakfast, you become emotionally unstable.  When you’re emotionally unstable, you crave comfort  — from sugar to heroin to alcohol — anything to alleviate the pain and anxiety.  Some person once said:

Rob Faigin and others have postulated that having obscene amounts of sugar and carbohydrate over long periods of time can max out our serotonin machinery, leaving us unhappy, carb-craving, and depressed.

Another person said something similar to above:

Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, relaying signals from one area of the brain to another. Researchers believe that an imbalance in serotonin levels can cause depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic anxiety disorder and anger management issues.

And scientists at Bartles and James University fed one group of lab mice salads and another group of lab mice muffins and found that

…the mice who ate salad for a month were able to run on wheel 74 percent longer than the muffin group.  These mice also produced 84 percent more offspring.  They also smiled 58 percent more often, and were 77 percent less likely to strangle another.

Point is, having dessert for breakfast will make you batshit crazy.  So don’t do it.  Yet people will continue to do it — especially if getting up sucks — because it’s like heroin.  It’s a psychological pain killer.

They eat veggies. That’s why they’re happy.

Breakfast That Won’t Make You Batshit Crazy

Someone once wrote:

…a new study from scientists in England and Australia finds that simply eating more fruit and vegetables can dramatically improve your level of happiness. The researchers claim the effect is so powerful that people who went from eating zero servings of fruit and vegetables a day to eight servings per day experienced an increase in happiness and satisfaction “equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment.”

So why not have salad and a protein (like an egg) for breakfast?  Here’s a protein shake recipe:

*avocado (as thickener)
* random veggies (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, whatever)
* almond or soy milk (any liquid as long as it’s not fruit juice)
* random fruit (if you prefer sweeter version)
* protein powder
* adjust ratios based on taste and texture preferences

That’s a nutritionally complete breakfast.  It has enough fat (from avocado), protein, and a lot of fiber.  And the nutrients to keep you happy and healthy instead of crashing after a couple of hours.  If you don’t like protein powder, pair the salad with an egg or chicken soup — whatever, as long as you’re getting protein.  It’s important to pair the salad with a protein.

She doesn’t eat veggies. And she had a donut for breakfast. That’s why her cat took a shit in her shoes.

The Alive Juice Bar Diet: Start and End With Salad

Meal 1: Salad + Protein.

Meal 2: Whatever you want.

Meal 3: Whatever you want.

Meal 4: Salad (can be merged with Meal 3)

Whatever you want for the Second Meal because I’m betting that you’ll be able to self-regulate if you start your day with a salad.  You won’t be an emotional mess when you eat that second meal so you’ll exercise better judgment and control.  You’ll also feel full faster because you’re not nutritionally depleted and therefore eat less.

Or think of Second Meal as a reward for starting your morning right.

Try it.  If you don’t feel better after a month, we’ll give you a $100 gift card.

They’re eating veggies.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions XIV

Business
Are you selling the juice bar and dance studio?
Yes, to an employee. She’ll take over in 3 years and she’ll do a better job of running it.

What are you going to do instead? 
Open and run Redneck Bistro.

Where’s that going to be?
Same neighborhood (SnoKing).  Having trouble finding a landlord in this neighborhood who is ok with name.

Why don’t you open it in Ballard or Capitol Hill instead?  They’d be ok with the name.
I’m emotionally invested in SnoKing neighborhood.  We’ll figure it out.   

General
Why is the blog so focused on narcissism?
Influence from The Last Psychiatrist (who probably isn’t a psychiatrist), who says that narcissism is the fundamental human condition. Originally, the blog was about Original Sin, and that sin could be anything depending on the individual.  Now I think narcissism *is* our Original Sin and that other sins (eg. envy, sloth, greed) are its expressions.

Are millennials more narcissistic than other generations?
No.  Even though some (poorly designed) studies suggest they are.

You really don’t think millennials are more narcissistic?
They’re about as narcissistic as their parents. Cultures evolve slowly and don’t change much.

Are there cultures that aren’t narcissistic?
No, it’s our Original Sin.  But the Amish come the closest.

amish

They’re less narcissistic than you because you wear buttons. And also because you receive more compliments in one day than they do in a lifetime.  

How do we become less narcissistic?
According to The Last Psychiatrist, the moment you stop thinking of yourself as a narcissist — the moment you deny your Original Sin — is when you become one. You’ll stop noticing your narcissistic habits, such as virtue signalling and fishing for compliments. Never let your guard down.

What’s an example of a subtle narcissistic act?
When someone says: “It is with unbearable grief and deep sadness that I announce the unexpected death of our dear friend…”  that person is bringing inappropriate attention to himself.  Attention should be on the person who died.

Education
Are American schools really that bad?
No.  The quality is uneven, the top 100 American schools can compete against the best in the world, while 80 percent of high schools and colleges (Pareto Principle) shouldn’t exist because they produce no or negative value.

What do you mean by negative value?
They make students dumber.

How do they make students dumber?
Good schools teach grit.  Shit schools are obsessed with the emotional health of students.  Which ironically makes students emotionally frail and stupid.

Do you think schools in China are much tougher than those in the US?
The top schools in the US are *at least* as tough as the top schools in China.   The average school in China, however, is much tougher than the average school in US.

How do you know?
People point to China’s college entrance exam — gaokao, a 3 day exam — as example of how far ahead of us they are.  But they’re comparing it to the SAT, a 3 hour exam that tests basic skills.  That’s not a fair comparison.  American students who get into schools like Harvard and CalTech typically ace 8-12 AP exams and then ace a slew of SAT Achievement tests in addition to acing the SAT.  Top American students take MORE, not fewer exams than their Chinese counterparts.  And American tests are more difficult.

So you don’t think we should emulate Asian schools?
No need to emulate them, our schools need to emulate top American schools.

chinesestudents

Chinese students have it easy, they only have to take 3 days worth of entrance exams.  American students aiming for top college take 2 weeks worth of standardized tests spread over 3 years.

Why doesn’t average school emulate top American schools?
Middle-class America is the too fucktarded and delusional and soft to emulate the best Americans.  American middle-class was made by Redneck work ethic and values.  Then they decided to abandon and demonize those values as a way to get ahead.  Now the middle-class finds itself slipping and is scared about its future, even while high-paying Redneck jobs go unfilled because middle-class no longer want them.

dirty-jobs-with-mike-rowe

This redneck is smiling because he makes $200,000 a year doing shit that the minimum wage college grad who majored in Social Justice won’t do.

Will American middle class disappear?
No.  They’ll self-correct.  While American parenting is soft, American society is tough on its people and its businesses operate as do stereotypical East Asian families.  American society will crush you if you don’t work hard and long.  People eventually figure it out.

 

Caption: How the best American companies are run: Steve Jobs makes Tiger Mom look like a kitten.

 

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…as many as you would get from some common foods that taste…better. For example…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 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

How to Make Black Bean Brownies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Our black bean brownies taste better and are healthier than conventional brownies. They’re not healthier because they’re vegan and gluten-free, they’re healthier because using black beans instead of flour makes it more nutritionally fulfilling.  You’ll feel satisfied with one serving instead of binge eating an entire tray.  Oh

We developed this recipe in house. We worked on it until we got the soft texture that makes brownies so comforting to bite into.  See how we make it in video below.

Note: The version we sell at Alive Juice Bar doesn’t contain sugar.  It’s still plenty sweet and tastes a bit more dark chocolaty.   Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to ask us questions.

 

 

In the next episode, Maria will show you How to Slurp Soup Like a Chinaman.  We also offer cooking lessons.

Seven Years Old

Thanks to those who’ve supported us, you’ve had a positive role in not just the growth of the business, but also in a lot of people’s lives.  You’ve helped us bring in a demographic we’ve worked hard to attract — Thugs and Rednecks — that other juice bars ignore. You’ve worked with us to make the Alive Juice Bar experience more about conviviality than pomposity.  You’ve also helped us keep prices down so people of all economic backgrounds can afford the experience.

We’ve been in our new space for two years and are just about done with its build-out and interior design.  It’s designed to encourage conviviality and playfulness and to be an escape from ridiculous suburban middle-class manners that make people delusional. We’ll keep improving on it — adding details — and your feedback is encouraged.

At Alive Juice Bar, we demand you be rude.

We’ll continue to explore the links between culture, mental health, and diet.  Diet isn’t just a reflection of a person’s character, it’s an index of a culture’s health.  That’s why the obesity epidemic coincides with declining mental health in the US, which also began in the 1980s.

We started a quarterly cooking show and expect more episodes.  They’re meant to be silly and educational.  Let us know if there’s something you want us to show you how to make.

We also started a monthly Art Show that includes live music and art from local artists.  That should continue through the end of the year.  Stop by to enjoy their work.  The long hallway in the back has become an art gallery.

Miranda likes hanging out at Alive Juice Bar because here she can say “motherfucker” without getting kicked out.

Future Plans
We’ll likely turn the clothing store — which now features products from local designers and artisans — into an office, employee lounge, and juice bar storage because the juice bar needs more space.  Clothing store will either close or be moved to another location.  Contact us if you want to take over the clothing store and build its online presence.

We’re training an employee to take over the juice bar in three years. Current owner will move on to other projects.

One project we’re working on is Redneck Bistro, which will redefine what it means to be a Redneck and what is Redneck cuisine. Currently seeking a space for it — 1000 to 1500 sf — let us know if you know of such a space. Warehouse, instead of commercial retail, is preferred.

Alright motherfuckers, let’s do it, let’s do it!  Agape.

Check out our dance studio. Ask about classes or about renting it out for rehearsals or to teach your class.

We now sell turmeric, $10/lb.

Notes on How to Write a Resume

We have our own free resume writing workshop for our employees (and customers).  Let us know if you want to attend.  Notes from workshop below.

Four Rules:

    1. Don’t be a fraud.  Never write what you think someone wants to hear.  Besides, you’re not good at figuring out what other people really want to hear. So be honest about your intentions.  Be authentic. But it’s hard to be authentic when we’re trained and encouraged to be frauds and fucktards.  To cut the bullshit, allow yourself to list only one goal (aka “Objective”), the most important one to you, on the resume. So turn this:
      .

      Objective: Hardworker seeking a position that will allow me to utilize my knowledge and great communication skills to help customers make better lifestyle choices so they live more productive lives.  

      Which sounds fucktarded, to this:

      Goal: To make enough money so I can move away from my parents.

      Not saying wanting to “help customers make better lifestyle choices so they live more productive lives” is a lie.  It’s not, *everyone* wants to do that. But it’s bullshit because in most cases, that’s not the primary motivator. Everyone wants to help other people as long as it’s convenient to do so.  Few will help people when it’s painful to do so.

      Writing this way will also help you stay focused and block out the noise of people telling you who you should be to fit in.
      .

    2. Don’t assess yourself (eg. I’m hardworking, I’m smart).  List your achievements instead.  It’s up to the reader to decide if you’re hardworking or smart. When you assess yourself, you’re showing your standards.  If you think you’re smart because you graduated from Sonoma State University, there’s someone who graduated from Princeton who thinks you have low standards.  So avoid using phrases such as:
      .
      * Hardworking and cheerful
      * Dedicated and smart
      * Great communication skills
      .
      Another way to put it: be humble.  Show, don’t tell. Let your actions do the talking.
      .
    3. Less is more, elegance in simplicity.  This principle applies to everything, from fashion to cooking to architecture to writing.  Use as few words as possible and opt for word with fewest syllables.  Examples:
      .
      “Goal” instead of “Objective”
      “Use” instead of “Utilize”
      .
    4. Avoid euphemisms.  Euphemisms are a waste of time and energy, be direct and honest.  English professor Paul Fussell, on fraudulent, pompous language:

The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts.  They like them also because they assist their social yearnings towards pomposity.  This is possible because most euphemisms permit the speaker to multiply syllables, and the middle class confuses sheer numerousness with weight and value.

So “Secretary” instead of “Project Coordinator.”  “Dishwasher” instead of “Team Member,” “Stripper” instead of “Dancer.” “Shopkeeper” instead of “CEO.” Don’t be a fraud, frauds are unattractive except to other frauds, and they’re all batshit crazy.

Example resume and cover letter:

Boy Wants Job to Get Laid

Frequently Asked Questions XIII

Food and Service
We love your ordering system, especially not having to wait in line. So why don’t some people like it?  
Some people are so used to bad service that they freak out when they get good service.

When are you going to serve cricket cookies?
Cricket brownies instead, on sale now for limited time.

Why limited time? 
Too expensive.

Then why serve it at all?
To encourage customers to explore what’s possible to eat.

“BE RUDE, it’s more efficient” campaign.
What’s the point of the new campaign? 
It’s a critique of ridiculous American middle-class manners that are fucking things up.

What’s wrong with American middle-class people? 
This isn’t about middle-class people.  There are middle-class people who don’t practice middle-class culture. It’s middle-class culture that’s practiced by anyone, regardless of socio-economic class, that’s fucked up.

What’s fucked up about American middle-class culture?
This culture produces people who are fake, pompous, delusional, inefficient, hypersensitive, passive-aggressive, and batshit crazy.  Professor of English Paul Fussell puts it best:

The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts.  They like them also because they assist their social yearnings toward pomposity.  This is possible because most euphemisms permit the speaker to multiply syllables and the middle class confuses sheer numerousness with weight and value.

American middle-class culture is like the pilot whose plane is sinking complaining about how the plane *ought to be* instead of describing *how it is* and fixing the problem.  It’s trying to create Disneyland in our everyday lives.

Can you give an example of how American middle-class culture is fucked up?
Light turns green.  Car in front doesn’t move.  Nobody honks to tell car in front to move because everyone thinks it’s rude to do so.  That results in environmental damage (car stays on road longer), lost productivity, and worse traffic.  Watch this PEMCO commercial:

Now that’s fucked up.  This polite bullshit needs to go, shit needs to get done.  Oh, and these people won’t slurp noodles because they think it’s rude.  That’s really fucked up.

Is this a Seattle thing?
Nah, it’s an American issue, as Paul Fussell has noted.  Seattle is the politest major city in the US, so the problem is a lot worse here than say, NYC, which is culturally more continental European than Anglo.

What do you suggest we do to stop being so polite and passive-aggressive?

*Use fewer euphemisms (be precise and accurate)
*Rely less on sarcasm (veiled hostility isn’t funny)
*Use fewer adverbs (they’re pretentious and distracting)
*Be less sentimental (don’t create drama)
* Use the word “motherfucker” at least once a day (will make your piss smell good)
* Never, ever use the phrase “pardon me.” (just say “sorry,” sheesh)
* Slurp your ramen (it’ll taste better)
* Lick your plate (have fun!)

What should I do when someone asks me “How are you?”
Tell the truth, don’t follow middle-class script.  Then you’ll see if person was sincere when asking the question or just acting like a middle-class zombie.

General
Is the porn novel finished?
Yes!

Can I read it?
Yes! Ask us and we’ll show you where to find it.

Is there another novel coming?
Yeah, we’re working on: “I Drank Vodka While Pregnant: Confessions of a Nice Girl.” And “Daddy Dearest,” a story about a guy who falls in love with his girlfriend’s father so he marries her to be with him and then murders her and her mom so he can have him all to himself.  Kinda like Nabokov’s Lolita.

And he thinks I’m batshit crazy?
Yep.

What’s up with the monthly Art Show?
Live music, funny drinks, live painting, tarot card readings, and artists showing their works.  Check Facebook for more info.

Diet
What diet should I follow to lose weight?
Salad for breakfast.  Drink it if you don’t have time, try the Supermodel: avocado, collards, kale, ginger, other greens and protein. That’ll help you regulate serotonin levels so you don’t get pissy later in the day.  Pissiness is what triggers emotional eating.

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 fuck ups, they’re the way they are not because they grew up poor or their parents have neglected them or they weren’t loved enough, 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.

Kale Chip Hand-job Technique and Recipe

First episode of our cooking videos, How to Make Kale Chips.  Arlene shows you the proper way to prepare the kale chips for baking.

More videos to come, including “How to Make Black Bean Brownies,” “How to Slurp Noodles Like a Chinaman,” and “How to Make Your Kid Eat the Nasty Shit.”