Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adamantine Chains And Penal Fire

Michael Pollan, the author of In Defense of Food and other textbooks of dietary virtue, is the oracle a confused nation looks to when it wants to know what to have for dinner. His Olympian pronouncements, instructing us to "Eat food," but "Not too much," are much dissected. I can't say whether Pollan intends those gnomic rules of thumb to be taken seriously, or if they are merely written to please the masses. If I had to guess, I'd say that Pollan's actual rules include appearing thin by wearing a shirt many sizes too large.

In a moment of democratic zeal, Mr. Pollan seems to have invited the masses to contribute their own aphorisms. What vaguely worded, self-serving rules do you pretend to follow when deciding what to eat? The responses, predictably, fall into two camps. A few individuals who know that tall poppies get their heads cut off, wisely quote the party line. "Eat your colors," they nod. Since Michael Pollan is clearly looking for agreement rather than honestly new ideas (Nobody asks a crowd for new ideas. Come on.), this exercise starts to feel pleasantly catechistic.

On the other hand, much more of the commenting body considers itself holier even than Michael Pollan, proudly describing their unwillingness to eat cooked vegetables or milk, in a challenge to the epicurean Pollan. Perhaps they figure that Pollan is naturally appreciative of fussy people, and hope to impress him that way, or maybe they just get worked up about their opinions and feel the need to off-gas. No matter. By now it should be clear that any pretense to being holier than Michael Pollan is a wicked illusion, for it is he who created food virtue. Lucifer in his pride rebelled against God, and likewise the vegans who scold Pollan would rather reign in Hell.


Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

You're just feeling snarky about MP because there are no wild boar there in Brooklyn for you to go out and shoot for a natural dinner.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't tell whether or not he has a moustache.

9:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home