On supermarket peaches

I don’t mean to be snarky about this, but supermarkets are experts at presenting perfect fruit for sale that has neither flavor nor juice, which is essentially inedible. So they have perfected the sale of the perfect peach or pear, but since it was picked green, it has no discernable flavor or character. In other words, the pear, peach, or tomato looks perfectly ripe, has no real flaws or damage, but it also has no flavor, other than a sort of woody fibery sensation you get from chewing this fruit. You should spit it out, but you are torn because you did waste your hard-earned money buying it. I mean, who wouldn’t buy a perfect peach? Thing is, however, that because the modern road from orchard to market is so hazardous, the producers pick the fruit green, let it mature in route, and then sell their perfect creations at a nice high price. The consumer gets the short end of the stick because they don’t sample the pretty fruit before they buy it–I mean, who cuts into a peach in the middle of the produce section? I have bought an entire box of strawberries that not only don’t taste like strawberries, they have no discernable taste at all. The peaches are the worst because they look awesome, but they taste like oak. I just ate a pear that was really only the ghost of a pear. I know as a kid we used to buy entire crates of peaches and pears in the summer, and they were juicy and wonderful. You would think that with modern technology, great refrigeration, and fast trucks that this would be possible. At least, you might think that. Nostalgia is a terrible thing. And so is bad fruit.

On supermarket peaches

I don’t mean to be snarky about this, but supermarkets are experts at presenting perfect fruit for sale that has neither flavor nor juice, which is essentially inedible. So they have perfected the sale of the perfect peach or pear, but since it was picked green, it has no discernable flavor or character. In other words, the pear, peach, or tomato looks perfectly ripe, has no real flaws or damage, but it also has no flavor, other than a sort of woody fibery sensation you get from chewing this fruit. You should spit it out, but you are torn because you did waste your hard-earned money buying it. I mean, who wouldn’t buy a perfect peach? Thing is, however, that because the modern road from orchard to market is so hazardous, the producers pick the fruit green, let it mature in route, and then sell their perfect creations at a nice high price. The consumer gets the short end of the stick because they don’t sample the pretty fruit before they buy it–I mean, who cuts into a peach in the middle of the produce section? I have bought an entire box of strawberries that not only don’t taste like strawberries, they have no discernable taste at all. The peaches are the worst because they look awesome, but they taste like oak. I just ate a pear that was really only the ghost of a pear. I know as a kid we used to buy entire crates of peaches and pears in the summer, and they were juicy and wonderful. You would think that with modern technology, great refrigeration, and fast trucks that this would be possible. At least, you might think that. Nostalgia is a terrible thing. And so is bad fruit.

On ice cream

Speaking of foods that no one needs, this must be the most delicious example of one. Creamy, sweet, cold, ice cream is pretty much universally liked by everyone who has ever eaten any. Even bad ice cream is still pretty good. I suppose fish-flavored ice cream might be a little creepy and weird, but I’ll bet it’s been tried–anchovy, anyone? My personal favorite, besides chocolate, is anything with lots of butter and pecans in it. Most people, especially when they need to punish themselves, can eat an entire vat of ice cream, regardless of what the consequences might be–obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lactose intolerance, and death, of course. Common sense just seems to go straight out the window when ice cream comes into picture, including metaphors that make sense. Ice cream is food exaggeration taken to the nth degree. Filled with copious amounts of pure animal fat and dangerous amounts of sugar, this frozen concoction is a slippery slope toward decadence and corruption. Only Dorian Gray could ever eat all the ice cream he ever wanted and, at the same time, ignore the consequences. We kid ourselves and lie to ourselves, willing to justify more ice cream with any excuse no matter how lame and stupid our reasons might be. You know, you think it’s worth it, those few minutes of pleasure while you eat that huge cone of yoghurt and lemon ice cream, but later you feel guilty and hateful because you know you did a bad thing to your body. This is, of course, the great paradox of eating ice cream, that you love the ephemeral moment as the ice cream passes over your tongue, but you despise yourself for ingesting another 800 calories that you never needed in the first place.

On ice cream

Speaking of foods that no one needs, this must be the most delicious example of one. Creamy, sweet, cold, ice cream is pretty much universally liked by everyone who has ever eaten any. Even bad ice cream is still pretty good. I suppose fish-flavored ice cream might be a little creepy and weird, but I’ll bet it’s been tried–anchovy, anyone? My personal favorite, besides chocolate, is anything with lots of butter and pecans in it. Most people, especially when they need to punish themselves, can eat an entire vat of ice cream, regardless of what the consequences might be–obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lactose intolerance, and death, of course. Common sense just seems to go straight out the window when ice cream comes into picture, including metaphors that make sense. Ice cream is food exaggeration taken to the nth degree. Filled with copious amounts of pure animal fat and dangerous amounts of sugar, this frozen concoction is a slippery slope toward decadence and corruption. Only Dorian Gray could ever eat all the ice cream he ever wanted and, at the same time, ignore the consequences. We kid ourselves and lie to ourselves, willing to justify more ice cream with any excuse no matter how lame and stupid our reasons might be. You know, you think it’s worth it, those few minutes of pleasure while you eat that huge cone of yoghurt and lemon ice cream, but later you feel guilty and hateful because you know you did a bad thing to your body. This is, of course, the great paradox of eating ice cream, that you love the ephemeral moment as the ice cream passes over your tongue, but you despise yourself for ingesting another 800 calories that you never needed in the first place.

On watermelon seeds

I know why the seeds are there–so we have more watermelon next summer. What is not entirely either clear or purposeful is why genetic biologists want to create a watermelon with seeds that are not seeds. Certainly, seeds make the watermelon more difficult to eat, but they also make the watermelon more interesting to eat because they are the legal thing that one might spit with impunity and not get yelled at by anyone, especially your mom. I find those black tear-drop shaped seeds to be aesthetically pleasing as they dot the ruby-red flesh of a summer watermelon. Watermelon is a metaphor for summer–sweet, juicy, the perfect desert to accompany the sunny heat of August. As a child, I remember eating watermelon in the park with all my fellow summer recreation dropouts and spitting the seeds everywhere. To deprive twelve-year-olds of the pleasure of spitting by inventing a watermelon without seeds is diabolic and heartbreaking, depressing one might say. I mean, creating a genetically useless fruit is the ultimate insult because it eliminates part of the pleasure of eating watermelon. Why is progress measured simply by making things easier when this does not necessarily mean better?

On watermelon seeds

I know why the seeds are there–so we have more watermelon next summer. What is not entirely either clear or purposeful is why genetic biologists want to create a watermelon with seeds that are not seeds. Certainly, seeds make the watermelon more difficult to eat, but they also make the watermelon more interesting to eat because they are the legal thing that one might spit with impunity and not get yelled at by anyone, especially your mom. I find those black tear-drop shaped seeds to be aesthetically pleasing as they dot the ruby-red flesh of a summer watermelon. Watermelon is a metaphor for summer–sweet, juicy, the perfect desert to accompany the sunny heat of August. As a child, I remember eating watermelon in the park with all my fellow summer recreation dropouts and spitting the seeds everywhere. To deprive twelve-year-olds of the pleasure of spitting by inventing a watermelon without seeds is diabolic and heartbreaking, depressing one might say. I mean, creating a genetically useless fruit is the ultimate insult because it eliminates part of the pleasure of eating watermelon. Why is progress measured simply by making things easier when this does not necessarily mean better?

On repeating myself

I’ve been writing this blog for more than seven years, and it has more than 1,300 entries on different topics. I’m afraid that I might be in danger of repeating myself. I mean, I would love to write more about sugar (and it’s dangers) or cookies or whatever, but I’d be repeating myself. Yet, since human beings are great at not listening, you have to repeat everything fifty times before they hear you. Seriously, take a group of forty people anywhere, and someone will ask where we’re going, when are we meeting to leave, where do we meet, what’s the significance of this place, and so on, even though you have already explained everything ten times, with written instructions, with color glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back explaining what the picture is about. I find myself repeating things endlessly. It probably only gets really bad when I start talking to myself, which probably wouldn’t be that bad unless I start answering myself. Some folks, good folks, kind-hearted folks, are just no good at listening. If you asked them about who was buried in Grant’s Tomb, they’d have to think about it–for at least a minute. So I repeat myself: we’re going to Toledo today, the bus will leave the stadium at 9 a.m., so arrive well before that or you might get left. So what’s so important about Toledo? Twenty centuries of art, architecture, history, multiple civilizations, I don’t know, I wasn’t listening.

On repeating myself

I’ve been writing this blog for more than seven years, and it has more than 1,300 entries on different topics. I’m afraid that I might be in danger of repeating myself. I mean, I would love to write more about sugar (and it’s dangers) or cookies or whatever, but I’d be repeating myself. Yet, since human beings are great at not listening, you have to repeat everything fifty times before they hear you. Seriously, take a group of forty people anywhere, and someone will ask where we’re going, when are we meeting to leave, where do we meet, what’s the significance of this place, and so on, even though you have already explained everything ten times, with written instructions, with color glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back explaining what the picture is about. I find myself repeating things endlessly. It probably only gets really bad when I start talking to myself, which probably wouldn’t be that bad unless I start answering myself. Some folks, good folks, kind-hearted folks, are just no good at listening. If you asked them about who was buried in Grant’s Tomb, they’d have to think about it–for at least a minute. So I repeat myself: we’re going to Toledo today, the bus will leave the stadium at 9 a.m., so arrive well before that or you might get left. So what’s so important about Toledo? Twenty centuries of art, architecture, history, multiple civilizations, I don’t know, I wasn’t listening.

On not making any sense

I think that at times our success-oriented society demands too much rationality and order from all of us. I mean, look, unless you are obsessive compulsive about being neat and orderly, society really frowns on you. I prefer to have a messy desk, a few stacks of books, a pile or two of papers, and a disorderly briefcase. Why? Why wouldn’t everyone prefer to keep things in perfect order all the time? Because the world of thought and imagination is anything but orderly. Too orderly means predictable, and predictable is boring. The human imagination, out of where all of our best creations have emerged, is any extremely unpredictable and messy place, but you have to feed it. If you keep an orderly imagination, it will wither and die from loneliness, feeling abandoned and unkept. Chaos, disorder, fragmentation, non-linearity, and strangeness all feed a healthy imagination which is constantly running away to join the circus. The imagination makes no sense whatsoever, but without it, creativity and the healthy mind are nowhere, boxed and shoved off into whatever closet they have been thrown. Whenever two objects come in contact that never had any business coming into contact, there lurks the opportunity of something new happening, which may be irreverent, irrational, and unintended, but that’s how new ideas come about. The success-oriented society of over-consumerism, abject capitalism, and blind success cannot survive an active imagination that wishes to shed itself of false parameters for success and spurious myths about materialism and money. The creative process, for as nutty and unreasonable that it has to be, is about liberating the spirit, giving flight to dreams, and allowing the individual to shed the heavy yoke of mainstream capitalism and consumerism in favor of spiritual freedom, whatever that might mean to any given individual. We don’t always have to make sense, stay in line, keep our mouths shut, or blindly accept what the powers that be feed us.

On not making any sense

I think that at times our success-oriented society demands too much rationality and order from all of us. I mean, look, unless you are obsessive compulsive about being neat and orderly, society really frowns on you. I prefer to have a messy desk, a few stacks of books, a pile or two of papers, and a disorderly briefcase. Why? Why wouldn’t everyone prefer to keep things in perfect order all the time? Because the world of thought and imagination is anything but orderly. Too orderly means predictable, and predictable is boring. The human imagination, out of where all of our best creations have emerged, is any extremely unpredictable and messy place, but you have to feed it. If you keep an orderly imagination, it will wither and die from loneliness, feeling abandoned and unkept. Chaos, disorder, fragmentation, non-linearity, and strangeness all feed a healthy imagination which is constantly running away to join the circus. The imagination makes no sense whatsoever, but without it, creativity and the healthy mind are nowhere, boxed and shoved off into whatever closet they have been thrown. Whenever two objects come in contact that never had any business coming into contact, there lurks the opportunity of something new happening, which may be irreverent, irrational, and unintended, but that’s how new ideas come about. The success-oriented society of over-consumerism, abject capitalism, and blind success cannot survive an active imagination that wishes to shed itself of false parameters for success and spurious myths about materialism and money. The creative process, for as nutty and unreasonable that it has to be, is about liberating the spirit, giving flight to dreams, and allowing the individual to shed the heavy yoke of mainstream capitalism and consumerism in favor of spiritual freedom, whatever that might mean to any given individual. We don’t always have to make sense, stay in line, keep our mouths shut, or blindly accept what the powers that be feed us.