Truth and the Documentary Format

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

In the last chapter Jane references Chris Marker’s film Sans Soleil.  If you haven’t seen it it’s worth checking out.  It’s classified loosely as a documentary or travelogue and the film wanders mostly between Japan and Guinea-Bisseau, but also reaches Iceland, San Francisco and Paris.  The unnamed female narrator reads the letters sent to her from a fictional cameraman that corresponds to what is supposedly his footage.  He speaks about human memory, collective history, time and a range of drifting topics.  The text of the film is available online, and it reads surprisingly well by itself, and there’s even a reference to Sei Shonagon and her lists.  Here’s a link to the film, although I’m not sure if it plays the entire film… But I think it’s interesting that Jane mentions Marker’s film.  She continues to grapple with the notion of truth and how to represent truth, and Sans Soleil ruminates on similar topics.  Yet, it’s a curiously a film heavily laced with fictional elements that presents itself as in a documentary format.  Today in class we mentioned how Ozeki supplies a bibliography under the guise of Jane.  In both instances, I find the combination of fact and fiction (driven by a persona) particularly compelling

Meat is Magnificent

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Out of all the books we’ve read so far, My Year of Meats is my favorite*.  However, I find the meat scare tactics, well, distasteful.  Sure, I find the DES upsetting and disgusting.  I’ve read Fast Food Nation and I’ve heard of Food, Inc. I tried the vegetarian thing for a while (three years), but it ultimately didn’t work for me.  So maybe I’m in denial here when I say this, but I still don’t think the Solution is to stop eating meat.  Yeah, I know there are about a million vegetarian counter arguments to the consumption of meat other than scary hormones.  And, honestly, all I’ve thought up is that meat tastes good, meat fills me up way longer than any vegetarian source of protein, and is ultimately much more satisfying.  Anti-meat arguments might be more refined, but at the end of the day I love ripping into a plate of ribs.  Vegetarians might have the reasons, but Carnivores have the rewards.  Meat tastes good.  But the real issue to me is extremes.  Meat in excess is unhealthy, but so is an absence of meat.  Moderation is key.  Besides, meat isn’t the only food source with some terrifying $h*t in it.  In the last couple years we’ve had outbreaks of salmonella in peanut butter, spinach, eggs, and some equally nasty hormones present in dairy products.  Even veggie burgers aren’t safe.  So meat isn’t the only questionable food source. If people are going to stop eating meat as a health precaution, then hell, why bother eating anything at all?

Cool Meat Links:

*Only counting what I’ve read right now

Cooking with 7-Up!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

So pure, so good, so wholesome.

This is a “cooking with 7-Up” cookbook from James Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food, which is a site that pokes fun at old cookbooks. And while the idea of cooking with 7-Up is presented as being ridiculous, it is interesting to see that this was something that cooking companies thought people wanted to do. I love that the soda is constantly presented as being pure and wholesome. I’m sure that if John Weyno had seen this, he would have preferred it over Coke.

(Mmmm, 7-Up cake with 7-Up icing!)