Intro to upcoming book “Juice Nazi Seeks Head of Secret Police: A Guide to Running a Juice Bar”

Book Description

Wonder what it’s like to start a neighborhood juice bar?  Curious about how the Juice Nazi runs his notorious juice bar?  Can you correctly answer the infamous Alive Juice Bar application test questions?  Will you find the questions funny or mind blowingly offensive?  Read this to find out how to run a juice bar and if the Juice Nazi thinks you’re batshit crazy.  


They say the Chinese government is run like a business.  The President is the CEO and the Premier is the COO.  The Politburo are the board of directors and Communist party members are shareholders.  Provincial leaders are district managers and so forth and so on, all the way down to the student interns.  Chinese citizens are the customers.  

Restaurants — businesses in general — are run like the Chinese government.  Juice bars, even more so because unlike most restaurants, my job at my juice bar isn’t solely to entertain customers, but also to guide them about matters of health and diet.  I don’t just cook nutritious drinks and meals that taste good to the customer, I’m expected to nurse sick customers back to health, to prescribe remedies to heal an injury, and to absolve those who’ve committed dietary debauchery.  Which means my job isn’t to give customers what they ask for, my job is to build trust.  That means I treat customers differently from what you’d get at a typical restaurant.  I expect customers who are transparent about what they want and need.  

I might poll customers about their preferences (focus groups) but I don’t let them decide what and how I serve because most of them, like American voters (myself included), don’t know what the fuck is going on on my end business-wise and on their end health and diet-wise.  Want wheatgrass?  Go to Jamba Juice, I’m not serving bullshit shots.  Want an acai bowl?  Go get one at Costco, that shit is a waste of time and resources.  The customer isn’t always right, the customer is usually wrong, ok?  My job is to cut through the bullshit to give my customers not what they want, but what they need to be healthy.   

An employee who makes an excuse gets chewed out.  No, not later when the customers are gone, immediately because otherwise, they’ll forget what happened.  Managers run the store as they want as long as we’re getting good results, and if the results aren’t good, they’re fired.  There’s no states rights or voting.  There’s surveillance.  Employee input and checks and balances, sure, we have those in place, just like how it is in China.  But no more than that because businesses need to be nimble to survive, we don’t have time for long debates and hesitation.  

It’s not my intention to conflate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the Nazi party, the two parties are nothing alike unless you believe Western — especially American and British — media’s representations of the CCP and China (I don’t).  Rather, the “Juice Nazi” moniker that customers gave me references Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, who is based on a real person.  In any case, I haven’t done anything extraordinary to earn this praise — I’m not at the same level as great chefs like Marco Pierre White, Jiro Ono, and Charlie Trotter, or great athletes like Tom Brady and Michael Jordan.  I’m nowhere as demanding, strict, and disciplined as any of them, which is why I’m nowhere as successful as they are.  

My purpose here is to show readers how to run a juice bar without boring those who aren’t planning to do so.  You can read this book as a behind the scenes reveal of a notorious juice bar, similar to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.  

This book is divided into five parts and thirty eight chapters.  Part I, Mindset, shows you my mindset and the reasons for it when I work.  Part II, Hiring, is mostly a collection of my most controversial application questions and shows how far we go to find the right employee.   

Part III, Employees, has musings about human nature — which you have to understand to run a juice bar and most businesses — considers how employees should be compensated, and reflects on why the labor market is what it is.  Part IV, Customers, explains why I treat customers as I do.  Part V, Nuts and Bolts, shows how Alive Juice Bar is run, from its use of music attract and repel customers to its batshit crazy way of luring new customers.  

This book can be read in whatever order you want.  Feedback and questions are welcomed, send it to  Enjoy!  



How it began

Part I — Mindset

Chapter one — Sixty rules I learned about owning a business
Chapter two — Mindset of a bad cook
Chapter three — Your hobby is not your passion
Chapter four — So you want to be a porn star?
Chapter five — Ten worst reasons to open a juice bar
Chapter six — Devil in the Kitchen: Review of Marco Pierre White’s memoir
Chapter seven — Ideas are worthless
Chapter eight — To whom I’d sell Alive Juice Bar
Chapter nine — How the cult of self-esteem produces fuck ups

Part II — Hiring  

Chapter ten — Reader reactions to Juice Nazi application
Chapter eleven — Juice Nazi seeks head of secret police
Chapter twelve — Alive Juice Bar seeking angry people
Chapter thirteen — Alive Juice Bar seeking very very very nice people
Chapter fourteen — Seeking Darth(ette) Vadar to join the Dark Side.
Chapter fifteen — So you want to manage a controversial juice bar
Chapter sixteen — Example of management material
Chapter seventeen — Answer key to

Part III — Employees

Chapter eighteen — On human nature
Chapter nineteen — How to spot bullshit
Chapter twenty — Training employees guidelines
Chapter twenty one — Passage of Seattle $15 minimum wage: notes and predictions
Chapter twenty two — $15/minimum wage: bring it on, motherfuckers
Chapter twenty three — What’s a fair wage?
Chapter twenty four — What’s a living wage?
Chapter twenty five — Who deserves a living wage?
Chapter twenty six — Jobs for all is the dumbfuckingest idea ever
Chapter twenty seven — How schools train students to not be responsible.  

Part IV — Customers

Chapter twenty eight — How to talk to customers
Chapter twenty nine — Obedience versus responsibility
Chapter thirty — What is means to be responsible
Chapter thirty one — Never say “no” to a customer
Chapter thirty two — How not to run a start-up business

Part V — Nuts and Bolts

Chapter thirty three — How to run a juice bar
Chapter thirty four — How to break rules and get away with it
Chapter thirty five — Use of music
Chapter thirty six — Guidelines
Chapter thirty seven — Etiquette
Chapter thirty eight — Are you batshit crazy?  

The Soup Nazi Kitchen business plan

Plans to open a bistro — Pot Roast — are on hold. We’ll instead open The Soup Nazi Kitchen. To the left, motherfuckers, to the left! Listen to this as you read:


Covid-19 has fucked everything up and getting back to normal is going to take awhile. This isn’t just about social restrictions, the economy is going to be fucked for awhile. Everett, where we were planning to open a sit down restaurant with patio seating, is a company town that’s dependent on Boeing jobs. Boeing, which was reeling before Covid-19 happened, is hyper fucked. I’m predicting an economic depression in Everett until it’s able to replace permanently lost Boeing jobs. It’s going to be hard to find customers willing to pay $30-$50 per person — a mid priced meal — for dinner.

While social restrictions will be relaxed, enough will remain in place for a long enough time to make owning a dine in restaurant unfeasible. Seating at half capacity, for instance, isn’t going to work financially for most restaurant owners. And I’m not sure if servers wearing masks is going to work for patrons. (Unless it’s a bandit themed restaurant? Hospital themed? Taliban themed, servers wear burkas and miniskirts?).


Quick service take-out restaurant, The Soup Nazi Kitchen, instead of a sit-down bistro. Whatever social distancing measures that are in place will be enforced with the zeal of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi (based on a real person, Albert Yeganeh)!

A meal of a 16 oz soup and an accompaniment can be had here for as little as $9, tax included, making it a well priced and hearty option in an economically distressed community. The 90s and Seinfeld themed nostalgia will hopefully lend comfort and inspire laughter.


What makes our soups distinctive is that we add garlic-onion-ginger juice to each broth. Broth is made in house using either a variety of bones or an assortment of seasonal vegetables. All prices include tax:

Soups, 16 oz ($6) or 32 oz ($10) options:

  • Beef stew (add $1)
  • Chicken or the egg? soup
  • Bacon and sausage chili
  • Salmon stew (add $1)
  • Vegan chili
  • Chinese dumpling soup
  • Tomato soup (vegan)
  • Coconut carrot soup (vegan)
  • Special weird shit of the week (eg head and tail soup [oxtail soup with beef cheeks]; pig trotters soup; lamb stew; cauliflower New England clam chowder; kimchi tofu shrimp soup; hot and sour egg drop soup)

Accompaniments ($3)

  • Curry brown rice and beans (16 oz)
  • Yam/kale/beet/apple chips
  • Half of a grilled cheese sandwich (add $1 for bacon)
  • Black bean brownie
  • Hummus
  • Chickpea salad
  • Kale salad
  • Pork and veggie dumplings
  • Raw carrot cake
  • Garlic cinnamon bread
  • Pineapple penises

Drinks ($7, add $1 to add alcohol)

Made and picked up at Alive Juice Bar

  • Fresh hacked coconut juice (add $1)
  • Kale smoothie
  • Green margarita
  • Summer berries
  • Tropical Bugs Bunny
  • Tropical Breakfast
  • Tropical Northwest
  • Old English malt liquor, 40 oz ($8)
  • Saint Ides malt liquor, 40 oz ($8)


Description and Intro to “How to Cook Like a Racist” (upcoming cookbook)

Book Description

Want to know if you’ve been cooking like a racist?  Need tips on how to cook for an emotional eater?  Want to know how to serve dinner on a naked woman’s body?  Want to learn some of Alive Juice Bar’s recipes, including the one for its signature brown rice and beans and its black bean brownies?  Curious about how making kale chips is similar to giving a hand job?  Then this is the cookbook for you!  How to Cook Like a Racist doesn’t just feed you recipes, it explains what’s going on behind them, like how and why the infamous Juice Nazi came up with them so that you too can come up with your own.  You’ll also learn  how to consider the meaning of the food you cook and eat in the context of post-colonial identity politics.


In the summer of 2016, Bon Appetit released a video of a White chef explaining a way to eat pho. Enough controversy ensued that Bon Appetit took down the video and apologized for its broadcast.

The controversy centered on the chef’s Whiteness and the politics of cultural appropriation. That is, the activists who demanded that this chef be boiled alive in his own broth insisted that it’s not ethical for a White chef to cook and talk about food from a non-White culture, in this case Vietnamese. Doing so, they argued, is an imperialist and Orientalist act, it’s stealing from and exoticizing another culture. It’s the same as a White person donning yellowface.

So the motive for the title of this cookbook isn’t to rouse or satirize or provoke, it’s to address a controversy that affects a lot of people. Don’t expect any jokes that include dunce hats, nooses, tape, and sombrero hats. The aim here is to think about what it means to cook and eat under the specter of post-colonial identity politics.

This cookbook is divided into five parts. Part one, Who are the racists?, questions prevailing assumptions about who racists are and are not. The eponymous first chapter reviews the controversies surrounding the Bon Appetit video mentioned above and the publication of the White authored Thug Kitchen vegan cookbooks, which has been accused of writing and cooking in blackface by using the black vernacular to narrate its recipes. (It’s not clear to me if swearing and acting like a “thug” while cooking is distinctly a Black activity, or if it’s simply a human activity after a few drinks).  This chapter also includes a scorecard to help you determine if you’re able to cook like a racist.  Chapter two, Harvard Hates Asians, takes a look at the 2018 discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University to reveal what Malcolm X saw in the motives of White liberals and asks who the most perilous racists are.  Part one ends with chapter three, which features Alive Juice Bar’s rice and beans recipe.  People of all races are free to appropriate it and all other recipes in this cookbook, you have the Juice Nazi’s blessing.

Part two, How to Cook for Emotional Eaters, is trying to get at the source of the obesity epidemic and considers how we can help emotional eaters eat and live better.  Chapter four asks Why Emotional Eating Happens and takes a hard look at American society and culture as the source of emotional dysfunction.  Chapter five, How to Stop Emotional Eating, offers solutions that turn the morals and manners, the sense and sensibilities of middle class America upside down.  More life hacks in chapter six, Why People Get Fat, this time on how to prepare oneself mentally for the tumult that triggers emotional dysfunction and eating.  Chapter seven uses porn star Ron Jeremy and anal sex to help explain why you shouldn’t think that carrot juice contains too much sugar.  It ends with a recipe for many people’s favorite comfort food — brownies! — except ours is made with black beans instead of flour and packed with nutrition instead of empty calories.  Tastes just as good too.

Part three, How to Cook for Hedonists, is a story about how fucking hard it is to own a juice bar because while everyone says they want to be healthy, most want to be hedonistic even more so.  Chapter nine, Doesn’t Everyone Want to be Healthy? brings home that point (the answer is no, no, no, even if everyone says yes).  Chapter ten, Food Isn’t the Enemy, It’s the Solution, warns against grouping food into healthy versus unhealthy categories and explains why doing so doesn’t make sense and can be dangerous (yes, you can overdose on kale).  Chapter 11 reviews Anthony Bourdain’s book, Medium Raw, because it’s about how great chefs stand firm with their vision and refuse to give into the customer’s basest desires.  You’ll know where the Juice Nazi gets his inspiration.  Chapter twelve, How to Prepare for a Potluck explains why potlucks are typically gross hedonistic revels instead of balanced feasts.  Chapter 13, How to Make Kids Eat Veggies and to Love Their Parents elucidates why getting kids to eat their veggies is as difficult as it is to teach them to love their parents.  Chapter 14 teaches you the Alive Juice Bar way to make smoothies.

In Part four, you learn How to Cook Like a MisogynistNyotaimori Dinner is the subject of chapter 15 and you’ll be taught how to prepare a woman’s body to be used as a serving dish at a dinner party.  The Politics of Eating Meat headlines chapter 16, and if you’re wondering what eating meat has to do with misogyny, I have no idea but “Meat is Misogyny” would make a great banner at a MeToo march and an even better book title.  How to Pick Out a Steak is the subject of Chapter 17 because most people do it wrong.  How to Cook a Steak is the title of Chapter 18 because most people cook it wrong.  Chapter 19 explains how to make oxtail soup.  Yum.

Part V, The Politics of Eating and Cooking, goes beyond identity politics to consider the merits and downsides of popular culinary trends such as the localvore movement and the modernist approach to cooking and eating.  It begins in chapter 20 with a review of Anthony Bourdain’s graphic novel, Get Jiro!, that summarizes how intolerant and myopic are these culinary trends.  Chapter 21, Punk Versus Classical Fine Dining, is a critique of a restaurant review that was used as an opportunity to bemoan the “punk” trend in dining.  Chapter 23 is a review of a documentary about legendary sushi chef Jiro Ono (memorialized in Get Jiro!) to show what it takes to achieve culinary mastery.  The next two chapters are recipes that reflect Alive Juice Bar’s philosophy of cooking — waste nothing.

Part VI  are More Recipes, including one that involves a hand job.  Enjoy!

Comments, including hate mail, are welcome.  Send them to  Write in subject line, “Dear Racist.”

Part I – Who are the Racists?

Chapter 1 – How to Cook Like a Racist
Chapter 2 – Harvard Hates Asians
Chapter 3 – Rice and Beans

Part II – How to Cook for Emotional Eaters

Chapter 4 – Why Emotional Eating Happens
Chapter 5 – How to Stop Emotional Eating
Chapter 6 – Why People Get Fat
Chapter 7 – Glycemic Load versus Glycemic Index
Chapter 8 – Black Bean Brownies

Part III – How to Cook for Hedonists
Chapter 9 –   Doesn’t Everyone Want to be Healthy?
Chapter 10 – Food Isn’t the Enemy, It’s the Solution
Chapter 11 – Review of Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw
Chapter 12 – How to Prepare for a Potluck
Chapter 13 – How to Make Kids Eat Veggies and to Love Their Parents
Chapter 14 – How to Make a Smoothie

Part IV – How to Cook Like a Misogynist
Chapter 15 – Nyotaimori Dinner
Chapter 16 – The politics of eating meat
Chapter 17 – How to pick out a steak
Chapter 18 – How to cook a steak
Chapter 19 – Oxtail Soup Recipe

Part V – The Politics of Eating and Cooking
Chapter 20 – Review of Anthony Bourdain’s Get Jiro!
Chapter 21 – Punk versus classical fine dining
Chapter 22 – Review of Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Chapter 23 – Signature Salad Dressing Recipe
Chapter 24 – Avocado Salad

Part VI – More Recipes
Chapter 25 – Yam chip recipe
Chapter 26 – Kale chip recipe
Chapter 27 – Hainan chicken recipe
Chapter 28 – Gluten free quiche recipe
Chapter 29 – Raw carrot cake recipe

Introduction to “I’m Just Not That Kind of Girl: a sadistic basic bitch story” (upcoming book, April 10th release)

Available in paperback and Kindle.




Roxanne G. is trying to get her boyfriend — Dummy Boy — to tattoo her name on his penis. He doesn’t want to do that. So Roxanne uses her womanly wiles to train Dummy Boy to do what he doesn’t want to do — go to a bookstore and hot yoga, eat sushi and dim sum, attend a symphony and bookreading…until he finally agrees to get the tattoo. She dumps him after he gets it, leaving him distraught and suicidal.  Read this misandristic story to find out if Dummy Boy survives to show his penis to another woman.

The original purpose of this satirical soft-core foodie porn novelette was to tell lewd jokes to make people laugh.  That’s it. No themes intended, just vulgar fun with a foodie bent that involves fictional Yelp reviews from an imagined basic bitch perspective.  Now that this book is done and I’ve read it a few times, themes emerge: the hypocrisy and cruelty of people; people as frauds; the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves; and the truths about ourselves we inadvertently reveal.  What other themes have I missed?    

I use the Yelp review format because I originally wrote most of this story on Yelp (and taken down by Yelp thrice).  Since Yelp doesn’t allow for fictional characters writing semi-fictional reviews on its site (and, okay okay, some of the reviews are mind-blowingly offensive to some people), I’m publishing it as a book, e and paperback.        

Why Yelp format?  Why not? I’ve seen “Elite” Yelp reviewers use Yelp pretty much as a diary.  “Last night my boyfriend and I went to Metro Grill and we had this and that and we liked this, didn’t like that…”  So what’s the value of using this format? I don’t know. I’ll let better literary critics assess the literary merits of this format, I’m just a pornographer.

Who is Roxanne G.?  She’s an experiment, she’s my alter ego. I created her to train myself to observe and feel from a different perspective.  Roxanne G. should have a voice dissimilar to mine — the voice you’re reading now — and I apologize if I fall out of character often enough to make your experience jarring.  Let me know what I can fix and I’ll see what I can do.  

Roxanne G. isn’t based on any specific person.  She’s just a Valley Girl, a basic Basic Bitch I imagined.  My imagination probably is informed by personal experience, but I don’t want to get into that right now.  I want the reader to focus on Roxanne G.’s story as her own story, to not get sidetracked by gender politics, at least not until after reading it. You decide how accurate the representations of, say, romantic relationships, BFF relationships between women, women and men in general…are in this book.  Send what you think to  All sorts of comments welcome, including hate mail.  You must greet me with “Dear Misogynist” in the subject line. 

Like any weekly TV sitcom, each Yelp review can be read independently of the others.  But you won’t be able to follow the story arc if you do that for the first read, and you won’t get a feel for the build-up of tension.  Any way you read it, I hope you enjoy it!             


Intro to “How to Eat Like an Asshole” (book available on kindle and in paperback)


I work at a juice bar. Juice bars are unlike conventional restaurants because their purpose isn’t solely to entertain the customer, but also to guide them about health and diet matters. I don’t just cook nutritious drinks and meals that taste good to the customer (taste comes first, taste always comes first), I’m expected to nurse sick customers back to health, to prescribe remedies to heal an injury, and to absolve those who’ve committed dietary debauchery. That’s a lot of conflicting roles and needs to balance — I have to be stern and funny, candid and soothing, and my food has to be salubrious yet pleasurable.

My (sometimes clumsy) attempts at balance to make sense of the absurdities of American life is the driving theme throughout the 17 essays in this book. In the eponymous opening chapter, I show how what’s commonly considered as Anglo-American good table manners is actually bullying masquerading as good breeding that makes eating a tortuous rather than pleasurable experience. Chapter 2, Redneck Food is Healthier Than Stupid Middle Class Food, takes aim at stereotypes about Rednecks and redneck cuisine and posits that it’s actually the diet and sensibilities of the American middle-class that’s fucked up. We segue into chapter 3, Stop Buying This Shit, for more detailed examples of stupid, expensive shit people buy in their attempts to live healthier lives.

In chapter 4, Why We Don’t Carry Wheatgrass, the essay in this book I’m most proud of, we move on to supplements of dubious value. This chapter begins with a take-down of Wheatgrass as a tonic and then asks what our attraction to snake-oils reveals about human nature. Chapter 5, How to Eat With Instincts, is about how and why we’ve learned to stop eating with instincts and how we can get them back. In chapter 6, How to Order the Nasty Shit, you learn how to order the Chinese food Chinese people eat. We pivot, in chapter 7, Why We Eat What We Eat, to a history of American cuisine to  understand how and why certain ingredients became nasty to most Americans.

My juice bar is known for “bad service.” We address this reputation in chapter 8, Why People Prefer Bad Service, which turns middle-class American notions of “good service” on its head to reveal an American middle-class culture rife with politeness grandstanding and obsequious bullying. The topsy-turvy questioning of “good manners” continues in chapter 9, Why Being Nice Will Kill You. Here I note the correlation between nice personalities (personality type C) and diets high in sugar and processed food.  Chapter 10 introduces The Alive Juice Bar Diet that’s not quite a diet. See, balancing!

Chapter 11 asks Why People Hate McDonald’s and I guarantee you it’s not what you think, this will surprise the fuck out of you. Chapter 12, Soy, Men, and Titties, tackles rumors that about soy messing with people’s estrogen levels, making men grow titties. Chapter 13 is about How to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies and to Love Their Parents because most of them are doing neither.

The final four chapters are about why people are fucked in the head. We begin with Do You Have Feelings about Feelings, in chapter 14 to figure out why Americans are some of the most emotionally repressed and broken people in the history of the world. Chapter 15, How the Cult of Self-Esteem Produces Fuck Ups, looks at the consequences of the self-esteem movement and how self-esteem is wrongly confused with self-confidence and the correlation between the two is actually inverted. Chapter 16, What the Story of Echo and Narcissus Tells Us About Self-Love, is a moralistic re-reading of a tragedy.  Chapter 17, Why People Don’t Change, is about why it’s so hard to get people to change their diets and other habits.

Though the essays are intentionally ordered and grouped, they can be read independently of each other. Enjoy and comments are appreciated and can be sent to

More books coming soon, including “How to Cook Like a Racist,” where we offer cooking tips and lessons in the context of American racial politics.



What the Story of Echo and Narcissus Tells Us About Self-Love


I. What’s worse, a hottie you can’t have who knows he’s a hottie?  Or a hottie you can’t have who has no idea she’s a hottie?  The former rejects you because he thinks he’s too good for you.  The latter because she thinks you’re too good for her.

II. Did Narcissus know he’s a hottie?  All versions of the story I’ve read think he does, but I’m not so sure. Maybe he was just weirded out by all the attention he’d been receiving and wanted it to stop?

III. It’s easy and comforting to feel superior to the hottie who knows she’s a hottie.  “Arrogant, superficial bitch, not worth the trouble,” Larry the lackey tells himself before he runs home to jerk off to rape porn. No such option with the awkward hottie who has no idea he’s gorgeous. Hating him is like hating a puppy you can’t have.

IV. Find it improbable that Narcissus had never seen a reflection of himself until Nemesis, goddess of divine retribution, led him to do so so he’d fall in love with himself. Dude had to have been sipping water from streams and ponds all his life and nothing ever happened, never went on a selfie binge.  It’s more likely that Nemesis replaced his naivety (and nonchalance?) with vanity so when he got a drink at the pond, as he always does, he fell in love with himself and his selfie.

V.   Nemesis doesn’t get much action in the story.  Yet she’s more important than Echo, who is just a foil, and without Nemesis, there’s no Narcissus.  Nemesis doesn’t just punish evil deeds, but also corrects undeserved good fortune, like making sure lazy Larry loses all 10 million of his lotto winnings within five, excruciating years. Born gorgeous?  Don’t think you’re off the hook, and many fashion models would agree.

VI. My interpretation and re-telling of the story: Narcissus is a heart-breaker, not because he’s vain, but because he’s so not.  Nemesis says this needs to stop, people — of dubious virtue — are wasting away because of him. She could turn him ugly, as gods and goddesses sometimes do as punishment, but that’s not retributive if Narcissus doesn’t care if he’s ugly (my theory).  Better to curse him with self-love instead, have him ogle his selfie until he dies. This way he learns what it’s like for others to love him, to suffer as they have.

VII. The point is that Narcissus wasn’t a narcissist until cursed by Nemesis. Narcissus recognizes the reflection as a selfie and his love of it as a disease.  From Ovid’s Metaphorphoses, Book III: 437-473:

 I am he. I sense it and I am not deceived by my own image. I am burning with love for myself. I move and bear the flames. What shall I do? Surely not court and be courted? Why court then? What I want I have. My riches make me poor. O I wish I could leave my own body! Strange prayer for a lover, I desire what I love to be distant from me. Now sadness takes away my strength, not much time is left for me to live, and I am cut off in the prime of youth. Nor is dying painful to me, laying down my sadness in death. I wish that him I love might live on, but now we shall die united, two in one spirit.

Narcissism, or vanity, kills Narcissus. And he knows it.

VIII. Takeaway: OUR nemesis — “the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall” — then, are those who tell us to love ourselves.  And the moment we engage in self-love is when we begin to die as Narcissus had.

IX. “But self-love has nothing to do with narcissism,” many object.  What’s self-love, then, according to promoters of self-love? Here’s one definition I found online:

Self love is the belief you hold that you are a valuable and worthy person.

Valuable and worthy of what and to whom? According to every great religion and every great philosopher (yes, even Rousseau), everyone is a piece of shit, everyone deserves a life of pain and suffering and anyone who thinks otherwise is going batshit crazy.  But let’s play along and maintain the distinction between self-love and narcissism.  How do you think narcissism begins?  It begins with entitlement and that begins with thinking highly of oneself (“valuable” and “worthy,” regardless of actions and results). Inches down this slope is selfishness, where one thinks one deserves better treatment than do others precisely because one is more “valuable” and “worthy,” than are others. So it’s looking like all signs point to “self-love” and its concomitant theories about “self-esteem” as the breeding ground of narcissism. That explains why Larry the loser can’t figure out, while he’s jerking off, why he doesn’t bang the same hot babes as Sam the surgeon does. Or why mediocre Mina can’t figure out why the man of her dreams doesn’t propose to her and treat her like the beautiful and brilliant princess she thinks she is.  Would this explain why everyone has the same complaints — narcissistic profiles — about online dating?

X. Self-love is the normalization of narcissism.  That’s why it’s so dangerous, it’s like having a disease without realizing it.



Frequently Asked Questions #23

Future Plans

I hear you’re closing?
Yes, lease is up October 31st 2020.  We may stay until Thanksgiving.

Why won’t you renew?
Anchor 24 Hour Fitness is moving (they’re 25 percent of our business). We’re also paying 9k in rent per month for juice bar and dance studio.

Where is 24 Hour Fitness moving to and are you moving with them?
New mixed use development where Mountlake Terrace light rail stop will be.  Not moving with them because a)there’s no street parking, only underground parking; b)we won’t operate in what’ll be a construction site until the completion of new development and light rail in 2024.

Are you opening elsewhere?
We’re negotiating for a space in downtown Everett.  It’d be a restaurant (Pot Roast) and a juice bar that becomes part of restaurant during evening (eg. add rum to smoothie).

That’s so far!  Weren’t you trying to move a block away, adjacent to Juicy Power Yoga?
Yes, but we didn’t get the spot. Someone else was able to move in sooner than we could.

Why downtown Everett?
Landlords are mom and pop and I’m getting good vibes from that neighborhood — lots of art galleries and interesting businesses opening up. And rent is more reasonable.

I hear you may be moving to Arlington?
Got an offer to open a restaurant on a farm. We first need to see how much a commercial septic tank costs.

What’s going to happen to the dance studio?
One of the instructors is working on opening a new dance studio.  May not be in the neighborhood though, but close enough.

Why don’t you sell the juice bar to someone so the neighborhood will still have one?
When you go shopping for the juice bar, do you know how many avocados to buy and how ripe they should be?  Guess wrong, and you lose money. Guess wrong enough times, and you lose the business. Juice bars that use fresh ingredients are notoriously difficult to run because of spoilage. That’s why Jamba Juice mostly uses syrups, sherbets, and juice from concentrate.


Is it true that owner writes school papers for employees? 
Who started that rumor?

Did owner tell customer to do something unspeakable with a cucumber?
Define “unspeakable.”

Is it true that there’s black wood fungus in the hot and sour soup?

You ate this if you tried the hot and sour soup.

Did owner chase, with a sword, five people out of the store?

Did Roxanne G. murder Dummy Boy?
No, it was suicide and she had nothing to do with it.


Where do you get your turmeric?
JD’s Market on 200th and 44th in Lynnwood.

Where do you get your coconuts?
Ranch 99, Edmonds

Where else do you shop?
Winco (Edmonds) and Grocery Outlet (Lynnwood); Costco; Country Farms produce stand (Edmonds).

Is Coronovirus affecting ginger prices?
Possibly.  The price recently doubled, looking into it.

How to Eat Like an Asshole (warning: photo of genitalia inside)

British etiquette expert William Hanson teaches people to eat like assholes.

This asshole eats with a chopstick up his ass.

Here’s an excerpt of him teaching etiquette on British TV show Let’s Do Lunch With Gino and Mel, Gino (who is Italian) as Hanson’s foil:

Asshole: No…this is how we eat peas.
Gino: First of all, the spoon is much easier because it goes in the spoon easily and you can shovel it in your mouth.
Asshole: No, we use a fork.  Like this.  Then we push the peas, with the back of our knife, onto the fork like this and eat it like this.  The tines of the fork should always be facing down. (Fork turned down).
Gino: So by the time you finish the peas, my steak will be cold, my mashed potatoes will be freezing cold, if we do it one by one the way you do it.

Gino has a point, Anglo dining etiquette is inefficient, it makes eating a lot more difficult than necessary. What’s the point of etiquette then?  From Wiki:

Etiquette is the set of conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code that delineates the expected and accepted social behaviors that accord with the conventions and norms observed by a society, a social class, or a social group.

So the point of Anglo dining etiquette is to teach people to look down on those who prefer to not make dining out a tortuous experience. In other words, it teaches people to act like assholes, bullies really.  But it doesn’t have to be like that, here’s my counterpoint definition of etiquette:

Good etiquette: rules of conduct to maximize ease and efficiency and to keep costs down while benefiting the greater good.

Bad etiquette: rules of conduct that allows one to covertly spotlight one’s narcissistic needs (eg. recognition as world’s nicest and classiest person) at the expense of the greater good.

Which is the purpose of etiquette in most non-Anglo cultures, it’s a way to lubricate social interactions instead of complicating them.  How complicated?  Check this shit out.

How to Eat Soup Like an Asshole


Summary of steps:

  1. Position your body two hand widths away from the table
  2. Use correct spoon, the one with the largest bowl
  3. Spoon soup at and toward twelve o’clock side of bowl using the outer edge of spoon.  (Am I losing you)?
  4. Gently scrape off soup that’s on the bottom of the spoon along the twelve o’clock edge of the bowl.
  5. Bring edge of spoon that faces you to mouth without spilling or hunching over.
  6. Sip soup without making noise
  7. Repeat process, inserting a chopstick up the ass each time.

Got it?  Didn’t think so.  And that’s a good thing, only fucktards think it’s ok to serve and eat soup this way. To begin with, what’s with the shallow bowl and the plate it’s on?  Sure, it looks kinda pretty, but so does Paris Hilton’s pussy, doesn’t mean you should serve sushi on it.

Nyotaimori dinners are pretty to look at, ridiculous to serve.

And as Gino points out, how long is eating it this way going to take? What happens to the integrity of the soup if it takes someone 10 excrutiating minutes to finish it?  The good news is that there are a few American chefs who reject tormenting their customers that way by instead putting soup in a teacup from which they drink, no spoon involved.

It’s ok to stare at Paris Hilston’s STD ridden snatch that needs a shave. Bad idea to eat off of it.

How to Eat Miso Soup and Ramen Properly

Here’s how the Japanese eat miso soup: no spoon, chopsticks only. Some of you are like, WTF?  No, fuck you, you’re the weird one.

This is how miso soup is served in Japan.  NO SPOON! And never a stupid shallow bowl.

How to eat miso soup Japanese way:

  1. With one hand, bring bowl of soup to mouth.  Start drinking.
  2. Use chopsticks in other hand to pick out floating pieces of food.
  3. Repeat process

That’s it, it’s easy as fuck as long as you know how to use chopsticks.  But it feels unnatural to most Americans because they’ve been trained to think of drinking from a bowl as vulgar.  Well how the fuck so? Because some asshole said so?

Here’s a video on how to eat ramen, a dish Americans love but look awkward — like some fat guy trying ballet for the first time — while eating.



  1. You can use chopsticks only or use chopsticks to put food on big spoon and eat from spoon.  (I prefer the latter method to prevent hunching, which is bad for you).
  2. You can slurp if you want.  (He does).
  3. “Ramen is an open format, you can eat it any way you want to.”
  4. “But one thing I want to emphasize is that you shouldn’t take too much time to eat this because the noodles will expand…it shouldn’t take more than five minutes for you to finish.”

This chef eats with chopsticks instead of shoving them up his ass. The only hard rule involves the integrity of the food: finish within five minutes or you’re ruining the food that someone worked hard on for you to enjoy.  How you finish your ramen is up to you, and that includes drinking from the bowl.

Contrast this approach to food to the asshole way of dining. Which is more fun, which makes food taste better? Which turns eating into a cumbersome social competition?  Do you prefer to enjoy your food, or would you prefer to show off your fake good breeding while eating?

How to Eat Soup

Sometimes I fuck with customers.  Let’s say I’m making ham soup and purposely cut the ham too big to fit on the spoon.  Then I watch, do they struggle through using a spoon, or do they switch to a fork to eat the ham and drink the broth from the cup, which is the sensible act to do?

So how should we eat soup without looking like assholes?  Serve and eat it in any way you want, not how others want you to eat. Which is going to be tough if you care about what others think of you.  (In which case you have serious problems). At any rate, that’s all there is to it, once you block out etiquette, your instincts will tell you how something should be eaten.

How to Eat Chinese Style (chopstick hack)

Southern Chinese food is typically served with a bowl of rice and an assortment of dishes. This creates an awkward situation for many gweilos (foreign devils), especially if they want the cultural experience of using chopsticks.  Here’s what you’re supposed to do: use one hand to bring bowl of rice off the table, use chopsticks to grab whatever you want to put on rice.  Bring bowl close to mouth, use chopsticks to put whatever you want into mouth.  So the space between grabbing something with chopstick to bringing it to mouth is shortened, making it less likely that you’ll drop what you grabbed and become frustrated.  If you want to get really Chinese, bring bowl to mouth and use chopstick to shovel food in your mouth.  Make as much noise as you want. It’s actually very easy, very natural to eat that way, far easier than using a knife and fork. It’s jarring to watch Americans switch knife and fork from one hand to another for the sake of propriety. (Stop switching)! Video showing you how it’s done below.

Pet peeve: Chinese restaurants that serve food on plate and then give you chopsticks to eat with.  That’s a mismatch of cultural habits. In this case, a knife and fork and spoon make more sense.  Chopsticks work best when the food is served Chinese style, not on plates, which in Chinese dining is only used as the place to hold food and discarded bones.

This foreign devil knows how to eat Chinese food. You can eat this way too!

Why We Eat Like Assholes

Because we’re fake as fuck.  An asshole is someone who makes up bizarre and arbitrary rules of conduct solely to exclude those who won’t play along. Play anthropologist and look around: you can probably make sense of why Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Indians, Peruvians, Italians, Rednecks…eat as they do. And then you get to Anglo cultures and see some stuff that makes sense, and then a bunch of stuff that make no sense. Where assholes tell other assholes to do stupid shit, to act like piece of shits who make ugly shit, fucked up shit, crazy shit, worthless shit, and dodo shit that’s somehow perversely considered as elegant and charming by those who look like monkey shit. Where politeness is confused with civility, niceness with kindness, and eating with a chopstick up one’s ass with good breeding.

How White Anglo Saxon Pricks at Downton Abbey eat, with chopsticks up their asses.

Compare the above two “How to” videos again, pretend you’re an alien studying human behavior this time around.  Which culture do you find bizarre, the one with a bunch of precise rules that make it harder to eat, or the one that only has one hard rule — finish ramen within 5 minutes to ensure integrity of noodles — everything else is up to you?

Sane people don’t make life harder for themselves.  And did you know that the Japanese eat sushi with their hands?  Nom nom.

How to Eat with Instincts

It’s 1973, British couple Maurice and Maralyn Bailey survive 117 days on a rubber life raft in the Pacific.  They survived by eating all sorts of sea creatures raw, including turtles. What they craved most during the ordeal were fish eyes and they couldn’t figure out why because, like typical Brits, they’re grossed out by what Chinese people eat. After their rescue, they learned that fish eyes contain water and vitamin C, both of which they were in dire need of to survive.

If you were lost at sea, you’d eat those eyes.

Point of the story is that we’re able to eat with our instincts and intuition — our bodies *can* tell us when and what to eat instead of eating when and what we’re told to eat.   And when you’re in survival mode, these instincts override all cultural habits, including aversion to really nasty Chinese food.  You’ll eat what you need to eat to survive.

How to Eat With Instincts and Intuition

Instincts we’re born with, while intuition is developed based on experiences. Not saying intuition is always correct — it’s often wrong — but it can be honed and enhanced with enough introspection.

Keep in mind that we’re taught, especially in school, to not trust our instincts and to not develop our intuition. We’re told, for instance, to not trust our own eyes because our experiences are anecdotal and therefore mean jack shit.  And that only so-called experts can interpret the world for us.

Below are steps to reverse what we’ve been taught.

Step 1: Activate your instincts.  Do sports — yoga and dance count — to activate instincts. The stress and sense of immediacy from playing sports with high intensity takes you closer to survival mode so that you become more aware of your body signals.  Listen for the dialogue between what your body wants and what your mind craves. The body in survival mode wants nutrition and instinctively knows where to find it, while the disturbed mind seeks immediate comfort (eg pint of ice cream). You get sick when your mind isn’t aligned with what your body wants.

Step 2: Question every habit and idea you think is normal and natural.  Do one a week.  Examples:

  • Is sitting in chair healthier than squatting?
  • Is Western democracy the best form of government for all nations?
  • Should I drink orange juice when I have the flu?
  • Does school make people smarter or dumber?
  • Are polite people good people?
  • How often and when should I eat?

Give yourself a week to investigate the debates, it’ll be a mind opening experience.  The more you question your assumptions — cultural biases taught in school and by mainstream media — the more your instincts and intuition will kick in and tell you who is full of shit. Insanity is when those who are lactose intolerant (70 percent of world population) keep drinking cow milk just because the government says you need to to be healthy. Listen to your body, listen to the sound of diarrhea, not to so-called experts with bullshit degrees.

Are government nutritionists paid off by dairy lobby, or are they just Anglo-centric nitwits?

Step 3: Watch stand-up comedy.  Stand-up comedians are the most intuitive social critics around.  They say what we feel and think intuitively but are afraid to express for fear of offending.  In Anglo-centric cultures, where politeness is lauded as a virtue, stand-up comedians are one of the few with the courage to tell the truth. Hearing the truth about who you and other people are will help you develop your intuition, which is your ability to recognize patterns to make sense of experiences.  For instance, I’ve learned from experience to never trust overly polite people — they are vile, incompetent, and socially inept — even though I was taught that politeness is a sign of good breeding. A recent by study by the Association for Computational Linguistics supports my intuition. Sure, you’ll be called a racist and sexist and whatever else they come up with for challenging what you’ve been taught, but you’ll be a lot closer to and better prepared for the truth.

Stand-up comedian Russell Peters tells racist jokes.  Pay attention to his observations, and not to what dumbfuck Ethnic Studies professors have to say.

Put simply, stand up comedians remind you of what the world is, which protects you from falling in love with your version of how the world ought to be. Stand up comedy trains you to trust your guts — which tells you the truth — and never your heart, which only tells you what you want to hear.

That’s why you should watch Ronny Chieng. He reminds you of how insignificant you are, which is a lot closer to the truth than the snowflake bullshit you learn in school.

Step 4: Do as kids do, they’re cuter versions of stand-up comedians.  We’re taught it’s uncivilized to live instinctively and rude to develop our intuition.  Watch pre-kindergarten kids in Anglo nations, they instinctively squat to sit, as do most adults in the non-Western world.  They also eat instinctively: instead of using a spoon, they’ll bring a bowl of soup to their mouths, as do most adults in the non-Western world. They communicate instinctively, they’re blunt and ask lots of questions, are never euphemistic and don’t care if they offend. They don’t practice bizarre manners and habits until their instincts are beaten out of them, often at school.

According to anthropologists, this is the healthy and instinctive way to sit and eat, and this is how it’s done through most of the world. Yet most American adults can’t do this because they’ve been programmed to sit in chairs that ruin their backs and hamstrings instead.

I single out Anglo-nations for promoting this kind of civility that’s neither natural nor found in most cultures. The point of doing so is to emphasize that cultures are as malleable as they are enduring and how we live *isn’t* necessarily normal or natural, even if it feels that way to us. My aim here, at best, is to suggest that we don’t have to live this way. We can instead strive to live as God intended us to live before the Fall.


Why We Don’t Carry Wheatgrass (don’t read if offended by racist material)


Discussion about why we don’t name any ingredient a “super” anything and really 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
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.

Nutritionally speaking, wheatgrass simply doesn’t deliver on the promoters’ promises. I certainly wouldn’t recommend substituting it for any of the fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Spend your money on good, organically produced food, not on wheatgrass or other sprouts or grasses marketed as “super-foods.”

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

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. 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, with disastrous consequences.  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 people 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!) 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 gold and 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  how superfood agriculture affects the 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:


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.