The Red Sea is the best place to scuba dive, the Adaman Sea is pretty good, too. When the weather works with you, Bali has some beautiful waters to swim in. Then there’s my initialisation to crystal, turquoise waters. I will never forget the first time I swam in the Indian Ocean off the shores of Mauritius. But you know what, dear worst-reader? Nomatter where I swim, nomatter where the seafood comes from, the best water in the world is the Chesapeake Bay. Grey and green obviously can’t compare to the crystal waters of exotic places. But that doesn’t matter. The best seafood in the world comes from Chesapeake. The best place to sail and fish is the Chesapeake. Heck, even the duck taste special after you shoot them out of the sky above the Chesapeake. Indeed. She and her water’s are always on my expat mind–especially when I’m cheating on her swimming in other waters. Having grown up with/in the fight to save the Chesapeake from the greed-mongers who exploit her, the recent news that #Americants new comb-over-n-chief is gonna rip funding–that was never enough anyway–is yet another tear in my bleeding heart. When will the psychotic, drug induced populace wake from its insane high and finally start doing the difficult right instead the easy wrong? This visit to my beloved #americant is proving more than ever that hope is gone.
I know you’re not supposed to talk politics while consuming beverages at your local redneck pub. This is doubly so when beveragizing during happy-hour. Yet. Being the politically accute person I am, there are times when I can’t help myself and I do that which I shouldn’t. (Does that contradict being acute?)
Scene: extremely windy late afternoon, the sun is shinning, the hour of happy at local pub just started. I walked from my parents ageing beach house down wind–the whole time conscious of how many beers I would consume to make the same trip upwind. Put another way, even sober, if my long coat got caught in the downwind I’d be blown off the sidewalk. Nomatter. The day was less weather hectic compared to previous days and the winter storm had passed us by to the north. The temperature was just below freezing.
When I reached the bar I entered through a door that looked as though it had been broken into recently. The rim of the door was reinforced with steel platting and heavy rivets. The bar was not yet steamy from bodies and drink but a few fellow rednecks occupied the seats that got the most sun through the large front window that was mostly covered in neon ad lights. I sat on the corner of the bar next to an older lady that had bouffant hair. She wore too many pieces of jewellery and when she reached for her tall, pink drink the rings on her fingers clanked and clicked. I ordered my first draft and thanked the easy-on-the-eyes bartendress.
By the time I got my drink a group of four entered and sat at the shadowy end of the bar. The bartendress obviously knew the group. While she filled their drinks and also added drinks to the few people next to the bouffant lady, a commercial flashed on one of the many TVs hanging from the wall behind the bar. It was an add for the army. When the commercial was over the bouffant lady yelled: make America great again. The people next to her said here here here. Astonished at what I just witnessed I turned to the bouffant lady and asked:
“Mam, I’m curious. Were you not offended by Trump’s vulgarities during the campaign?”
“Hell no,” she said. “I know for a fact that men have said worse things about me. And besides. That damn Bill Clinton raped five women…”
And so. Dear worst-reader. That is how it begins. That is how one opens a can of worst-worms in the redneck happy-hour bar that is (my beloved) #Americant.
Which brings me to the following question: Why do shredded Brussel sprouts (pic above) remind me of how an entire country can sink so deeply into a cesspool of the obscene where intellect is the enemy, where rational thought a rarity, where life itself cannot find a way out of the psychotic. Oh my.
No reason to be shocked. This flight, technically, I guess, has a “price” of “20.00 €”. And why shouldn’t it? Talk about a bargain. But then again, I did fly once across the Atlantic about thirty years ago–and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the airline–that costs somewhere around a hundred dollars. Back then that was THE BOMB. It was the coolest flight ever, too. Everybody bought their own brown paper bag full of lunch and other munchies because there was neither service or stewardesses available. There were only these nice ladies dressed in purple that would provide water because there was some kind of regulation requiring the airline to at least hydrate passengers. Since the the entire fuselage was filled with economy class seats there was nothing but the boring sound of an a nine hour flight and the crunching of plastic bags, chips & doritos, and a few cracks of beer cans during the entire crossing. I think, if you paid (lots) extra, you could get those weird tube headphones and watch a movie from a drop-down cathode ray tube. And there is one other thing I can’t remember about the past (where my expatriation began). How much “Taxes and carrier imposed fees” did we have to pay for flights back then? Nomatter. I suppose if anything does matter anymore it’s where all the money goes that we have to pay to consume to survive. And by-the-bye, the “OPC” charge is for the use of a credit card. But I digress. Rant on. -t
“College educated elites carried out the neoliberal assault on the working poor and now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity embodied in politicians like The Clintons and Barrack Obama succeeded for decades. These elites, many from east coast ivy league schools, spoke the language of value, civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class, while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended. There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower class whites, rightfully enraged because of what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies imposed on them by college educated elites. The democrats foolishly anointed Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomised the double-dealing of the college educated class, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women who hold up the bible, of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working poor to corporate power. And unless there is a resurgence of left-wing populism, which can only occur outside the democratic party, to defy the neoliberal order, we will cement into place an American fascism.” -Chris Hedges
As mentioned in a previous worst-post, as a b’day gift I was forced to attend a cooking seminar last weekend. I say ‘forced’ without the intention of holding a grudge against my better-half’s gift choice. It’s just that I’m already a damn fine cook so my initial reaction to such a gift must be a bit apprehensive. The combination of being a skeptic, a cynic and a self-aggrandising cook means that I have to suck-it-up like a buttercup when my wife gives me a b’day present. Then there’s the issue that if you’re gonna attend a steak cooking “seminar” hosted by a company that specialises in selling premium meat, which includes a four course meal, well, how much was this gonna cost? With that in mind, dear worst-reader, I rarely go out to eat anymore because I’m not only stingy but:
Based on service and food quality, money paid to a restaurant is stupid money and I hate stupid money.
Since being able to afford fine dinning in this life, I can count on one hand how many restaurants have impressed me in the past ten years.
(Seriously. One of the best places I’ve ever eaten was on Phi-Phi Island, Thailand. It was literally a shack where three lady-boys cooked and served the best fusion asian food I’ve ever eaten and it all only costs a few bucks. But I digress.)
I told my better half that she’s not really giving me a gift but instead lining the pockets of guy who thinks he knows beef. And then I said, “Schnooki, the problem is the guy giving the seminar is German.” There was a long pause. Trust me, dear worst-reader, when I say Germans don’t know beef. It’s über true. Of course, it’s not that they don’t eat beef. They do. It’s that, until recently, they have been clueless about even the simplest form of bovine consumption. If you don’t believe me then the next time your in the old country and get tired of driving your rental car a gazillion miles per hour on the Autobahn, go into any grocery store. There you’ll find that Germans still offer two cuts of beef. One is called the Rumpsteak and the other is called Huftsteak. Unless you’re trained to tell the difference, there is no difference in these two cuts of meat. These “steaks” are then usually cooked in a pan with some kind of grease and then served with potatoes and, if you’re lucky, garlic butter. It’s no wonder that Germans have a certain reputation in the world–that doesn’t include culinary prowess. Luckily, even at my bitter-old-age, I’m open to moments of entertainment that potentially could include subpar cooking. What the hell.
In order to protect the innocent I’m gonna refer to the company behind our recent steak cooking seminar as White Man Steak & Co.’s Evening of Red & Juicy or WSCERJ. The seminar itself takes place in the fancy foyer of an old, converted textile warehouse. This foyer can be changed into a kitchen by moving modular ovens, grills, stove-tops, etc. Because of the size of the foyer, though, the number of participants is limited to about twenty people. The seminar is already fully booked through most of 2017. So it was nice to find out that my better-half actually started planning my b’day present almost a half year in advance. This place is definitely fancy-fancy.
A small company, WSCERJ has about thirty or so employees that handle all the typical corporate krapp and a small staff of culinary experts that include two chefs, a sous chef, two butchers and a “food designer”. According to the owner, though, they were short staffed for this particular evening. That meant that the owner and his young daughter were our servers for the four course meal that integrated with the seminar. Later we learned that two of the people attending were also from a German industry magazine and were there to do a review. Needless to say, the owner was at the top of this game.
After a short tour of the facility that included offices, backrooms full of supplies and industrial refrigerators full of hanging beef, pork and chicken (see pic above), the owner of the company continued with a long-winded monologue about the greatness of product that only he is able to offer the German meat market. The key to his success, he claims, is the fact that he personally knows all his meat suppliers. Of the seven cuts of meat that were being featured and were also strewn out in front of us, four came from Germany and three from God-knows-where Nebraska. The absurdity of a sales-pitch combined with the frivolity of overpriced ingredients that were about to be cooked up in front of us was only matched by bullsh*t galore. Luckily the BS was quickly accompanied by food and plenty of drink.
The four courses meal was:
Beef Short Rib
A typical creamy dessert not worth mentioning.
Beyond the fact that tartar shouldn’t be made from a bull’s rump, the first course was ruined by too much sauce and too much salad accompaniment. The only thing that saved it was the canned caviar that topped it off. In fact, I ate all the fish eggs but left most of the tartar and rest behind. I also kept it to myself that I could make better tartar by buying some half decent hamburger meat at the grocery store and throwing a raw egg yolk on it accompanied by some white pepper. It’s just wrong, nomatter who the bull is, to use rump for tartar. The second course was sous vide pork belly that was briefly grilled just before serving which made the upper layer of fat nice and crispy. Not a bad dish but, to me, it isn’t the right thing to follow tartar. The beef short rib was ok, but that’s about it. Forget the dessert. Seriously. Forget it.
Which brings me to the reason for this post. Or have I succeeded in fooling you that I’m trying to write a review? Nomatter. It was between the 2nd and 3rd course of the meal that the real seminar took place. As I said, there were seven different cuts of meat on the counter when we arrived. The rump was cut into large pieces by the two chefs and then given to those who volunteered to turn it into tartar with knives and cutting boards. What a mistake, eh! The tartar sucked. Two other “aged” steaks were then cooked and served as appetiser finger food in a glass of beef broth and butter. It was awful. A third cut of meat was not actually beef but instead two pork steaks. The owner went into an extended diatribe about how pork is the new steak–as long as you buy it from him and his supplier. The owner then added that he wanted to offer capon chicken (see pic) in the mix but none of his birds were ready yet. The remaining four cuts of meat, all of which were from Rex and his über ranch in God-knows-where Nebraska, were the crème de la crème of the evening. There were two lean cuts of Bison, one thick Wagyu t-bone and one thick Kobe. All of these meats were cooked in pans on a stove using fat and butter and then sliced up and given to the seminar participants for taste testing. The pork was awful and should accompany the dessert in the bin. I didn’t get any of the Wagyu t-bone, but I assume it was good. The Bison was fantastic–and it is the only meat I plan on ordering from this company. And, just before the sous chef started cooking the Kobe, I asked if he would cut me a thin, sashimi style slice so that I could try it raw. He did and I consumed it and it was good.
But here’s the thing.
While explaining the ins and outs of the best beef in the world coming from a supplier in God-knows-where Nebraska (probably) named Rex, that he obviously enjoys visiting and fraternising with, the owner of WSCERJ seems to have gotten naively mixed up with some American style white-supremacy BS a’la Faux Newz. How do I know this? Well, for starters, the American Indians that died because of the greed European mentality that was conquering North America (at the time) didn’t die from starvation.
That’s right, dear worst-reader. During a seminar about how to consume beef, most of which comes from my beloved (and missed) grand united mistakes of #americant, a full grown family man who is running a vibrant and flourishing business in Germany, actually believes–because of what he has been told–that American Indians died from starvation and not from genocide. It was at this point I raised my hand, put down my drink, and interrupted the host of his seminar. I gayly told him and the audience that I was more than happy to eventually purchase some of his product but he should refrain from making comments about things he heard from some white guy in God-knows-where Nebraska. There was a brief silence in the room. Then the owner of WSCERJ commented about the movie Dances With Wolves and I marched off to the bathroom to gather myself.
Upon returning to the foyer and the seminar, I was met at the entry by the sous chef. He was a young bull of a man from what used to be the former East Germany. I joked with him during the evening that he should be a linebacker and play American football. He smiled and obviously approved of my flattery. But before I could re-enter the seminar we had the following discourse:
Sous-chef: Tell me, do you like Donald Trump?
Moi: He’s ok. A bit over-rated both in the good and the bad. But ok.
Sous-chef: I think he’s much better than Hillary. You know Germany has a female president…
Moi: Chancellor, you mean.
Sous-chef: Yes. Whatever. You see how she let in so many migrants? Not good. That’s why I like Trump. He’s right, you know.
Moi: Ah, yeah, sure. As long as he doesn’t go on some crazy war path like George W. Bush, he might be alright.
Sous-chef: Exactly. Trump good. (He drags his knuckles returning to his place in the foyer-kitchen.)
And so. Dear worst-reader. There you have it. The world is amassing and mobilising knuckle draggers from all over and in all corners. I’m faced with them in the heart of prosperous middle Germania and God-knows-where… else.
As my beloved #americant waddles in the ease and comfort of blissful ignorance and the gayety of dysfunction, I’ve spent most of this day continuing my research as an expatriate in finding methodologies of distraction and systems of self medication. For example, tonight I’m due with my better half to visit a place that is gonna teach me about cooking steak. When I questioned Fräulein Betterhalf if she was trying to tell me something, aka trying to say that she didn’t like the way I cooked her steaks, she replied: no, silly, this is your birthday present. Oh, I thought, unhappily. Nomatter. While walking Beckett the Killer Pug this afternoon I came across the concept of The Overton Window while watching barges fight for position in the over crowded Rhine River. How I got to that deserves a few worst-words. A few days ago I was thinking about the idear of Eugenics. This coincided with a conversation I got caught up in with knuckle draggers aka neo-nazis a few days prior to that. When one of the neo-nazis found out I was American he turned to me and asked if I ever slept with an American black girl. Why American, I asked him. Because I think I could go for one of them, he replied. How so, du Arsch, one of his comrades said. Because they’re all mostly white anyways. It’s only a matter of time before we get the black out of them. Have you seen that Beyonce Weib! Nomatter. Beyond the reality of how some neo-nazis make fun of me, one thought entered my mind after that encounter. Of all human races only the white race still contains the gene of the extinct Neanderthal. Hence the knuckle dragging syndrome we all must live with in this day of corporatism, cronyism and government run amok. This could be the reason, I fashioned, that the western world is so batsh*t right now. White people are simply incapable of getting rid of the nasty gene that nature deemed unsuitable. Yet somehow it’s hung on. Nomatter. Ultimately, river barges, stupid white people and dog walking got me thinking whether or not Eugenics and the Overton Window have something in common. Guess what? They do. Both of these idears fit perfectly into the batsh*t that is the reason why humanity is so fcuked. That is, they both are social science constructs that are born out of political agendas. As humanity had to face the reality of enlightenment, i.e. people acquiring the ability to think for themselves, those who had, for whatever reason, i.e. monarchies, cronies, pawns, etc., reached positions in society that put them above others, had also to come to terms with humanity not wanting to drag its knuckles anymore. Perhaps some of this was clarified in the 18th, 19th and 20th century with the owners of the world being forced to move their politics to the left of the political spectrum and thereby allowing people to live their own lives. As hard as it is for me to take the bullsh*t of Eugenics seriously, it pains me even more to think that there are those out there who still do. In fact, Richard Dawkins is kinda pushing for it to return to the public domain because, he seems to think, the Nazis aren’t around anymore to misuse it. My problem is, idears like Eugenics and the Overton Window are nothing more than ways & means whereby those in the Above are able to control those in the Below. In other words, science and method are used as weapons of oppression and control. Nothing new there, eh! A world of Haves and Have-Mores, it seems, can only resort to repeating history because, well, knuckle draggers seem to like the neanderthal gene that the powers-that-be can wield at will. How else can one explain Faux Newz, the republican party, etc.? Nomatter. The Overton Window is supposed to be a way to understand the viability of political idears. Yet, when I look at the pic above I can’t help but see a pattern. It is a pattern of self-doom. And I can’t think of a more deserving species. We are starting to look like roadkill just under the bus. Or maybe not.
Finally, dear worst-reader, I’ve found something out there on the interwebnets that I can relate to–especially regarding the batsh*ttery of the cult of Edward Snowden. As I’ve worst-written here, I’m not a big fan of Snowden. In short, I question whether or not this so-called whistle blower is all he’s cracked up to be. Also, my biggest gripe about Snowden is, regarding his hack of information, he has really only showed us the how and not the what regarding our masters of empire. With that in mind, I’d rather there be an Edward Snowden than there not be one.
Luckily there is a real writer out there that addresses the Snowden cult along the lines of what I’m unable to articulate. Hopefully the link below will work for a while but if it doesn’t–on account of all the greed mongering going on with how “news” should be on the interwebnets (or not)–let me sum it up.
Malcolm Gladwell writes about how Danielle Ellsberg and Hollywood great John Cusack visit Edward Snowden in a fancy Moscow hotel. Gladwell writes all his brilliant intellectualisations (I mean, he’s really good at that) and then concludes that whistler-blower version 2.0 (Snowden) probably should NOT be in the same hotel room as whistle blower 1.0 (Ellsberg). Really? The real kicker that Gladwell writes is at the end of his report:
The fact that Edward Snowden is unaware of the movie Dr. Strangelove says a great deal about what type of person he is. That’s not to say that he’s less of a person. But Stanley Kubrik’s masterpiece that literally picks apart the American mentality of military, huuuuuuuge government (no matter what faux newz tries to sell you) and anti-intellectualism, is a work of art that should be taught in public schools. Indeed. The world would probably be a better place for it.
Here’s a link to the original article. See it while you still can: