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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Food and Culture Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:56 am

Daoist Diet, Bigu, abstention from grains, abstention from cereals, Three Worms and grains, abstaining from grains, energized fasting

Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu or “abstention from grains” †

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Punk Cuisine Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:54 pm

The Raw and the Rotten (an anarcho-leftist persp.):

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Wed May 23, 2012 7:28 pm

Oh, Lyssa.. what perception of taste for reality you have.

Would you mind preparing interesting cuisine from this dumpster of a society, with adept hands?

Maybe even nurse my reoccurant wounds, incurred in the provision of better fare than foodstuffs from dumpsters?

Hah! Carry on, sugartits. There will be a hayabusa waiting, I assure..
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:45 am

Fortune favours the Brave.

The trick is in the salt - for the food as well for wounds.

Salting is an art of knowing how much pressure to exert.

The effect incites all other elements to come together on their own.

Its all about the right kind of touch.





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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:02 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Vegetarianism Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Is anyone else here vegetarian or partially? I was vegetarian for most of my life...then I recently became pescetarian because of hypoglycemia issues, plus, I've got type "O" (Hunter) blood so maybe I'm meant to eat meat.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:18 pm

I am pure veg.; no egg, mushrooms, onion, garlic.

What made you choose vegetarianism?

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:12 pm

Lyssa wrote:
I am pure veg.; no egg, mushrooms, onion, garlic.

What made you choose vegetarianism?

I find that becoming vegetarian, or even partially, take a lot of willpower in this day and age of fast food and junk.  

I chose vegetarianism for ethical reasons.  I love animals.  But of course, I now must choose between dying of hypoglycemia, or increasing my intake of protein (non-soy).  

I was a vegetarian for more than twenty years.  If it weren't for my condition, I'd be vegan as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:30 pm

Eat meat. I found that people who are vegetarian or especially vegan for a long period of time get sickly. Vegans develop dark circles under their eyes, get paler, and wrinkle early.

Meat has CoQ10 and is an excellent source of vitamins.
Just don't eat the processed, Mcdonalds quality stuff. Buy from local farms that don't drug their cows.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:23 am

Vegan or meat, poor iron-intake and poor sleep will leave you with dark-circles. B12 and lucid dreaming with dates under a palm tree...

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Judaism and the Abominable Pig Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:29 am

Quote :
"Food is central to our sense of identity. The way any given human group eats helps it assert its diversity, hierarchy and organization, and at the same time, both its oneness and the otherness of whoever eats differently. Food is also central to individual identity, in that any given human individual is constructed, biologically, psychologically and socially by the food he/she choses [sic] to incorporate." [Claude Fischler, Food, Self and Identity]

"The “abominable pig” offers a unique datum with regard to Jewish food regulations and practice in antiquity. Perhaps no other culinary item has received more attention from antiquity through modernity. In particular, modern anthropologists have fixated on this split-hoofed nonruminant in an attempt to understand the origin of biblical food prohibitions.

Modern scholars, however, are not the first to attempt a logical expla- nation for this food taboo. For example, Philo offers (in typical fashion) an allegorical interpretation of the underlying principles behind this biblical proscription in general:

[Moses] adds a general method for proving and testing the ten kinds [of pure domesticated quadrupeds], based on two signs, the parted hoof and the chewing of the cud. Any kind which lacks both or one of these is unclean [Leviticus 11:3; Deuteronomy 14:6–8]. Now both these two are symbols to teacher and learner of the method best suited for acquiring knowledge, the method by which the better is distinguished from the worse, and thus confusion is avoided. For just as a cud-chewing animal after biting through the food keeps it at rest in the gullet, again after a bit draws it up and masticates it and then passes it on to the belly, so the pupil after receiving from the teacher through his ears the principles and lore of wisdom prolongs the process of learning, as he cannot at once apprehend and grasp them securely, till by using memory to call up each thing that he has heard by constant exercises which act as the cement of conceptions, he stamps a firm impression of them on his soul. But the firm apprehension of conceptions is clearly useless unless we discriminate and distinguish them so that we can choose what we should choose and avoid the contrary, and this distinguishing is symbolized by the parted hoof. For the way of life is twofold, one branch leading to vice, the other to virtue and we must turn away from the one and never forsake the other.

According to Philo, the pig (and other similar animals) lacks the physio- logical apparatus to ruminate – literally and figuratively. For him, there- fore, Mosaic law ensures that “rational” man eats only animals whose own eating process is itself a symbol of “proper” reasoning. Philo is not alone in this interpretation, as the Letter of Aristeas offers a sim- ilar interpretation about the connection between the rumination that occurs in an animal’s cud and the rumination that occurs in the mind of the person who ingests that animal. As Martin S. Jaffee notes, “The point, one supposes, is that you are what you eat.

Consumption of hoof- parting cud-chewers encourages the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, just as it will enhance the memory, the central faculty in the mastery of wisdom." The biblical food taboos are therefore understood to serve as reminder to Jews not only about how to eat, but also about how to think.

Judean/Jewish and Gentile sources equate the ingestion of, or abstention from, pork as indicative of one’s identity.
One finds the connection between ingesting pork and ingesting oth- erness at least as far back as Third Isaiah (circa late sixth to mid-fifth century b.c.e.). Describing the actions of those Israelites who act like the “Other,” Isaiah 65:4 reports that they “eat the flesh of swine, with broth of unclean things in their bowls.”53 Further, the consumption of pig (Isaiah 66:17), as well as the manipulation of its blood (Isaiah 66:3), are associated with idolatrous cultic practices. To act like the “Other” is to eat like the “Other”; and to eat like the “Other” is to eat pork.54 In short, pork is the ultimate metonym for the “culinary Other” in Israelite/Jewish literature long before the Tannaitic period.

Several texts from the Second Temple period equate the ingestion of pork with the submission to foreign domination. For example, as recorded in 2 Maccabees 6:18–7:42, when presented by Antiochus IV with the option of either eating pork or being tortured and killed, both the scribe Eleazar and a family of eight (seven brothers and a mother) choose death.

Philo reports that, during a pogrom in Alexandria in 38 c.e., mobs captured Jewish women and forced them to eat pork.59 Those who ingest the pig meat – thus symbolically submitting to Flaccus (and, by extension, to Rome, as Flaccus is the Roman prefect of Egypt) via an act of ingesting the metonymic food of the “Other” – are let go; those who follow the example of their ancestors in 2 and 4 Maccabees are tortured.
Regardless of the veracity of these accounts, the underlying assumption is that compelling Jews to ingest pork directly equates with compelling Jews to ingest Otherness. Even though these various Jewish authors might embellish (or invent) historical facts, the very fact that they con- sider the forced consumption of pork to be a practice that affects Jewish identity highlights that the principle of “you are what you (do and do not) eat” is in operation in these texts.

This observation, coupled with those made earlier in regard to forced ingestion of pork, explains why Antiochus IV reportedly offers on the Temple altar, and mandates that Jews offer on their own altars, swine as a sacrifice.66 According to Peter Scha ̈fer (here commenting on the passage from Diodorus):
The most radical way to annihilate these nomima [i.e., perceived Jew- ish misanthropy and xenophobic laws] would be to do exactly what the Jews most abhor: to sacrifice sows and to eat their flesh. The sacrifice of a pig in the Temple and the eating of pork are seen here as the most extreme perversion of the Jewish religion in order to exterminate once and for all their misanthro ̄pia. The prohibition against eating pork is the embodiment of misanthro ̄pia; once the Jews eat pork, they have given up their misoxena nomima [xenophobic laws] and will become like any other nation.
Through an act of ingestion of this metonymic food, a Jew loses his or her distinct identity.68 Antiochus IV seemingly anticipates modern social anthropology in his laws and actions – at least, rhetorically – manipulating food practices in an attempt to effect change in the identity of Jews in antiquity.

For the first time, the biblical injunction against cooking a kid in its mother’s milk is understood as referring not only to
cooking all meat and milk together, but also to separating the two items at the table itself. The potential social repercussions of this
tannaitic innovation are often missed. David Kraemer corrects this common error by clearly articulating the ramifications of the
Tannaim’s novel interpretation:
On a purely pragmatic level, if the milk-meat prohibition is an innova- tion, promulgated by the rabbis and accepted only by those who followed them, then this enactment will effectively have separated rabbinic from non- rabbinic Jews on significant occasions [when meat is most likely to have been eaten]. Presumably, non-rabbinic Jews continued to eat like pre-rabbinic Jews. That is, if they respected Jewish custom at all (and the evidence sug- gests that many did), they will have avoided the animals proscribed by the Torah. But thy [sic] needed have no concern for the mixing of meat and dairy. The small rabbinized population, by contrast, will have distinguished themselves from the general Jewish population by creating separation between meat and dairy. The new rabbinic prohibition, in other words, separated keepers of what was then a more esoteric law.

The pilgrimage festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is originally a biblically ordained commemoration of the final agricultural harvest, which is later associated with the wandering of the post-Exodus Israelites through the desert. Commanded to “dwell in booths seven days,” numerous Second Temple-period sources attest to the fact that various Judeans/Jews adhere to this principle. The celebration of Sukkot is also noted by non-Jewish witnesses. In the same passage in which he discusses the Sabbath (cited
below), Plutarch notes that:
. . . the time and character of the greatest, most sacred holiday of the Jews clearly befit Dionysus. When they celebrate their so-called Fast, at the height of the vintage, they set out tables of all sorts of fruit under tents and huts plaited for the most part of vines and ivy. They call the first of the days of the feast Tabernacles. A few days later they celebrate another festival, this time identified with Bacchus not through obscure hints but plainly called by his name, a festival that is a sort of “Procession of Branches” or “Thyrsus Procession,” in which they enter the temple each carrying a thyrsus. What they do after entering we do not know, but it is probable that the rite is a Bacchic revelry, for in fact they use little trumpets to invoke their god as do the Argives at their Dionysia..." [J.Rosenblum, Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:49 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Vegan or meat, poor iron-intake and poor sleep will leave you with dark-circles. B12 and lucid dreaming with dates under a palm tree...

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Quote :
"Pica (pron.: /ˈpaɪkə/ py-kə) is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand.

For these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. There are different variations of pica, as it can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency, or chemical imbalance. It can lead to intoxication in children which can result in an impairment in both physical and mental development. In addition, it can also lead to surgical emergencies due to an intestinal obstruction as well as more subtle symptoms such as nutritional deficiencies and parasitosis. Pica has been linked to mental disorders and they often have psychotic comorbidity. Stressors such as maternal deprivation, family issues, parental neglect, pregnancy, poverty, and a disorganized family structure are strongly linked to pica.

Pica is more commonly seen in women and children, where it affects people of all ages in these subgroups. Particularly it is seen in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities such as autism. Children eating painted plaster containing lead may suffer brain damage from lead poisoning. There is a similar risk from eating dirt near roads that existed prior to the phaseout of tetraethyllead in petrol (in some countries) or prior to the cessation of the use of contaminated oil (either used or containing toxic PCBs or dioxin) to settle dust. In addition to poisoning, there is also a much greater risk of gastro-intestinal obstruction or tearing in the stomach. Another risk of dirt-eating is the ingestion of animal feces and accompanying parasites. Pica can also be found in other animals and is most commonly found in dogs.

The scant research that has been done on the causes of pica suggests that the disorder is a specific appetite caused by mineral deficiency in many cases, such as iron deficiency, which sometimes is a result of celiac disease or hookworm infection.[10] Often the substance eaten by someone with pica contains the mineral in which that individual is deficient. More recently, cases of pica have been tied to the obsessive–compulsive spectrum, and there is a move to consider OCD in the etiology of pica.[12] However, pica is currently recognized as a mental disorder by the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Sensory, physiological, cultural and psychosocial perspectives have also been used by some to explain the causation of pica.
It has been proposed that mental-health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia, can sometimes cause pica.
However, pica can also be a cultural practice not associated with a deficiency or disorder. Ingestion of kaolin (white dirt) among African-American women in the US state of Georgia shows the practice there to be a DSM-IV "culture-bound syndrome" and "not selectively associated with other psychopathology".[14] Similar kaolin ingestion is also widespread in parts of Africa.[15] Such practices may stem from health benefits such as the ability of clay to absorb plant toxins and protect against toxic alkaloids and tannic acids."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:48 pm

The Hyperboreans were supposedly vegetarian.
It set them apart from mere mortals.

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:21 am

I've always enjoyed eating pork because of this christian/jewish and muslim bullshit.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:13 pm

Jester wrote:
I've always enjoyed eating pork because of this christian/jewish and muslim bullshit.

Food is subtle psycho-energy; if you eat out of spite, you become no different...


Eating Dogs and Cats in China

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:41 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:20 pm

Guest wrote:
Is anyone else here vegetarian or partially?  I was vegetarian for most of my life...then I recently became pescetarian because of hypoglycemia issues, plus, I've got type "O" (Hunter) blood so maybe I'm meant to eat meat.

Don't have a problem with eggs, I just don't like 'em. Meat grosses me out for whatever reasons.
Austere, half-starved diet of grains (multigrain bread, Muesli), dairy (particularly butter, ghee, cheese, yoghurt; no unprocessed, liquid milk) and fruit. Some Swiss chocolate or chocolate hazelnut spread, almond milk and lacto-fermented veggies every now and then.
I hate spending time on food preparation and cooking and so rarely do I use a stove or oven. I'm lazy in that case. Maybe lack of energy?

A multivitamin is a necessity in my regard for inciting energy for mental and physical faculties.

I rarely pass on an offering of free food.

Also, coffee and cigarettes occasionally.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:28 pm

I've met a few vegetarian females who will eat meat when prepared and offered in a traditional/cultural manner.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:33 pm

Hrodebert wrote:
I've met a few vegetarian females who will eat meat when prepared and offered in a traditional/cultural manner.

I'm not the sort; I'm a fanatic.


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:05 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Hrodebert wrote:
I've met a few vegetarian females who will eat meat when prepared and offered in a traditional/cultural manner.

I'm not the sort; I'm a fanatic.


Be aware and beware: fanaticism is the incontrovertible vector into Illusion, or Maya.
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:44 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:12 pm

Nutritional habits of the modern correspond to his intellectual habits.
Some have called it McDonalization.
It is the uniformity of product, with low nutritional value, heavy amounts of preservatives, and fat, and an ease and cheapness to make it accessible to the average imbecile, out there, who is clueless, is incompetent, or is totally immersed in his public life to have time for anything beyond image and money making.

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Mcdonalization goes beyond business and restaurant franchises, it is about all parts of modern living.
We find Mcdonalization in thinking, on art, in philosophy.


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Overstimulation, information overload, can cause the brain to shut-down, or to focus upon one task neglecting all others.
The individual is immersed in his/her own world, and does not seem to be aware of anything else.
Subjectivism is such an immersion in one’s own world because the mind in incapable of processing all the data, and all the stimulants.
Specialization is an institutional form of this.
The individual’s job is so demanding that (s)he has no time and no interest to explore any other field of knowledge, particularly when this field may cause him stress, discomfort, distress.
Usually stress caused by insight makes the selection process easier.
The individual can immerse himself in his work, or upon a task, and only indulge in predictable, easy, comfortable pastimes, lacking the energy and the psychology to go outside of their premises.
The individual may be knowledgeable in a particular field of interest, or a field of knowledge demanded by his socioeconomic role, and be ignorant about any other, or be unable to see a bigger picture.
This, too, is Mcdolandization.

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:18 pm

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According to Ritzer, the four main dimensions of McDonaldization are:

Efficiency - The optimum method of completing a task. The rational determination of the best mode of production. Individuality is not allowed.
Calculability - Assessment of outcomes based on quantifiable rather than subjective criteria. In other words, quantity over quality. They sell the Big Mac, not the Good Mac.
Predictability - The production process is organized to guarantee uniformity of product and standardized outcomes. All shopping malls begin to look the same and all highway exits have the same assortment of businesses.
Control - The substitution of more predictable non-human labor for human labor, either through automation or the deskilling of the work force.
There are other dimensions of McDonaldization that Ritzer didn't include with the main four, but are worthy enough for prime attention. They are:

Irrationality - A side effect of over-rationalized systems. Ritzer himself hints that this is the fifth dimension of McDonaldization. An example of this could be workers on an assembly line that are hired and trained to perform a single highly rationalized task. Although this may be a very efficient method of operating a business, an irrationality that is spawned can be worker burnout.
Deskilling - A work force with the minimum abilities possible to complete simple focused tasks. This means that they can be quickly and cheaply trained and are easily replaceable.
Consumer Workers - One of the sneakiest things about McDonaldization is how consumers get tricked into becoming unpaid employees. They do the work that was traditionally performed by the company. The prime example of this is diners who bus their own tables at the fast food restaurant. They dutifully carry their trash to friendly receptacles marked "thank you." (The extreme rationalization of this is the drive-thru; consumers take their trash with them!) Other examples are many and include: ATM's, salad bars, automated telephone menus, and pumping gas.

Visit ILP for a fast-food intellectual meal of pleasure, easy and cheap endorphin rush, with little nutritional value.

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:49 pm



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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Wed May 20, 2015 11:02 am

Food and Community in the Illiad.

Dean Hammer wrote:
"The inability to release himself from the sorrow of loss is suggested by Achilles’ unwillingness to eat and drink. While mourning, Achilles recalls how Patroklos used to prepare fine meals for them (19.315–18). But now, sighs Achilles, “my heart goes starved / for meat and drink, though they are here beside me, by reason / of longing [pothêi] for you” (19.319–21). Thetis asks Achilles, “My child, how long will you go on eating your heart out in sorrow / and lamentation, and remember neither your food nor going / to bed” (24.128–30)? Food and drink will not pass Achilles’ “dear (philon) throat” now that Patroklos has fallen (19.210, trans. modified). As Benveniste notes, philos, in modifying “throat,” suggests the intimacy of association between Achilles and Patroklos. Food and drink will not pass his philon throat because “the sorrow of Achilles is that of a phílos, and the feeling of having lost his hetaîros [companion] makes him put aside all desire for food.”

Food and drink are not just necessary for human survival, but are aspects of associa- tions of philotês, whether the friendship of intimacy, community, or toward guests. The loss of a philos who is so dear renders Achilles unwilling to participate in these activities of community. The image of digestion appears, as well, in the use of pessô to describe the confinement to one’s sorrows. Pessô, which is asso- ciated with swallowing or digesting, also means “brood,” suggesting a sorrow that does not go away but remains within the person (as though indigestible). Niobe is unable to eat or drink, but instead forever “broods” (pessei) about her sorrows (24.617). And Priam neither tastes food nor sleeps because he “broods” (pessei) over his suffering (24.639).

Oaths, guest friendships, ties of reciprocity, and the distribution of material rewards all rest on promises that are essential to the maintenance of a community space. In fact, the Achaian community is jeopardized by its broken promise to Achilles when it retrieves the gifts that had been given. This broken promise prompts Achilles not only to refuse to fight, but to withdraw to a realm in which he will not be bound to others through promises or obligations. Achilles will be bound only by his promise to himself: that he will bring unendurable suffering and loss to the Achaian community.

Even in his reentrance into battle, Achilles promises only to Patroklos. He ignores Agamemnon’s offer of his oath that he did not sleep with Briseis. And he rejects Hektor’s offer of an agreement (harmoniê) that whoever wins should return the corpse to the community. Achilles’ answer is telling, as he responds that he cannot make agreements (sunêmasunê) with someone whose deeds he will not forget (22.261). Caught in a reactive cycle of vengeance, Achilles is unable to make any such promise. “As there are no trustworthy oaths [horkia pista] between men and lions, / nor wolves and lambs have spirit that can be brought to agreement [homophrona] / but forever these hold feelings of hate for each other, / so there can be no love between you and me, nor shall there be / oaths [horkia] between us” (22.262–66). There is something distinctively human about this ability to promise, as it rests upon a like-mindedness (homophrôn) that only humans share.

Now, though, Achilles binds himself to Priam. When Achilles addresses Priam as “good friend” (phile) (24.650), he fulfills Priam’s wish “for love [philon] and pity [eleeinon]” (24.309). This language not only signals the end of the feud, but is restorative by establishing a relationship in which they have become bound together through a promise.66 Achilles asks Priam to tell him how many days will be needed for the burial of Hektor so “I myself shall stay still and hold back the people” (24.658). Priam responds, saying this “is what you could do and give / me pleas- ure” (kecharismena) (24.661). As Richardson notes, in other situations charizesthai means “to oblige someone.”67 Achilles seems to recognize his assumption of an obligation when he answers that this “shall be done as you ask it. / I will hold off our attack for as much time as you bid me” (24.669–70). Coming from Achilles, who has “destroyed pity” (24.44), such a promise that he will be this self in the future and honor the agreement would be met rightly with some hesitancy. And Achilles seems to recognize this as he grasps Priam’s wrist “so that his heart might have no fear” (24.672). This act, following on his words, allows Priam and Achilles to move from eternal mourning to an anticipation of a future. Though Achilles will die in battle, he cares for himself now for the first time. Whereas before he remembered “neither . . . food nor going / to bed” (24.129–30), indifferent to his own future, Achilles now eats with Priam (24.601) and sleeps with Briseis (24.676). In contrast to Foucault’s claim that “the care of the self is ethically prior” to a “care for others,” Achilles discovers that the care of the self, as a matter of self-esteem, is inextricably bound up with others.

Achilles’ promise is unlike earlier promises in the Iliad because it does not rest on even the possibility of getting something in return. Achilles knows he will die, and Priam knows his city will fall. Yet, this promise is significant because it allows the Iliad to close on the poignant image of a Trojan community space. In contrast to the scene in Achilles’ shield in which the city’s people await an ambush, now, in Priam’s words, “Achilleus / promised [epetelle] me, as he sent me on my way from the black ships, / that none should do us injury until the twelfth dawn comes” (24.780–81).

In promising to another, Achilles binds the Achaians to the Trojans. The promise is restorative of the public life of human community, as the Trojan people (laos) “all were gathered to one place and assembled together” (êgerthen homêgerees t’ egenonto) to mourn and remember Hektor, to build a grave with stones “laid close together” (puknoisin), and then gather for a feast in Priam’s house (24.789–90, 798, 802). The space itself is indeterminate since the fall of Troy is near. But the activity of human dwelling is preserved, as the Iliad ends with a moment of care that is set against the frailty of a world of coming and going." [The Illiad as Politics]

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Thu May 21, 2015 2:44 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:38 pm

Nietzsche, Friedrich wrote:
Stupidity in the kitchen; woman as cook; the spine-chilling thoughtlessness in the feeding of the family and the head of the house!
Women do not understand what food means: and yet want to cook! If woman were a thoughtful creature, then the fact that she has been the cook for thousands of years would surely have led her to discover the greatest physiological facts, and at the same time make the art of medicine her own!
Bad cooking and the complete absence of reason in the kitchen have caused the longest delays and the worst damage to the development of humanity: even today, things are hardly any better.
A speech for young ladies. - Beyond Good and Evil [234]

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:08 pm

It seems to me food feels more heavy when eaten after prayers; mindfulness makes it more loaded than consuming food unconsciously, tending to eat more.


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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:11 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Quote :
"Food is central to our sense of identity. The way any given human group eats helps it assert its diversity, hierarchy and organization, and at the same time, both its oneness and the otherness of whoever eats differently. Food is also central to individual identity, in that any given human individual is constructed, biologically, psychologically and socially by the food he/she choses [sic] to incorporate." [Claude Fischler, Food, Self and Identity]

"The “abominable pig” offers a unique datum with regard to Jewish food regulations and practice in antiquity. Perhaps no other culinary item has received more attention from antiquity through modernity. In particular, modern anthropologists have fixated on this split-hoofed nonruminant in an attempt to understand the origin of biblical food prohibitions.

Modern scholars, however, are not the first to attempt a logical expla- nation for this food taboo. For example, Philo offers (in typical fashion) an allegorical interpretation of the underlying principles behind this biblical proscription in general:

[Moses] adds a general method for proving and testing the ten kinds [of pure domesticated quadrupeds], based on two signs, the parted hoof and the chewing of the cud. Any kind which lacks both or one of these is unclean [Leviticus 11:3; Deuteronomy 14:6–8]. Now both these two are symbols to teacher and learner of the method best suited for acquiring knowledge, the method by which the better is distinguished from the worse, and thus confusion is avoided. For just as a cud-chewing animal after biting through the food keeps it at rest in the gullet, again after a bit draws it up and masticates it and then passes it on to the belly, so the pupil after receiving from the teacher through his ears the principles and lore of wisdom prolongs the process of learning, as he cannot at once apprehend and grasp them securely, till by using memory to call up each thing that he has heard by constant exercises which act as the cement of conceptions, he stamps a firm impression of them on his soul. But the firm apprehension of conceptions is clearly useless unless we discriminate and distinguish them so that we can choose what we should choose and avoid the contrary, and this distinguishing is symbolized by the parted hoof. For the way of life is twofold, one branch leading to vice, the other to virtue and we must turn away from the one and never forsake the other.

According to Philo, the pig (and other similar animals) lacks the physio- logical apparatus to ruminate – literally and figuratively. For him, there- fore, Mosaic law ensures that “rational” man eats only animals whose own eating process is itself a symbol of “proper” reasoning. Philo is not alone in this interpretation, as the Letter of Aristeas offers a sim- ilar interpretation about the connection between the rumination that occurs in an animal’s cud and the rumination that occurs in the mind of the person who ingests that animal. As Martin S. Jaffee notes, “The point, one supposes, is that you are what you eat.

Consumption of hoof- parting cud-chewers encourages the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, just as it will enhance the memory, the central faculty in the mastery of wisdom." The biblical food taboos are therefore understood to serve as reminder to Jews not only about how to eat, but also about how to think.

Judean/Jewish and Gentile sources equate the ingestion of, or abstention from, pork as indicative of one’s identity.
One finds the connection between ingesting pork and ingesting oth- erness at least as far back as Third Isaiah (circa late sixth to mid-fifth century b.c.e.). Describing the actions of those Israelites who act like the “Other,” Isaiah 65:4 reports that they “eat the flesh of swine, with broth of unclean things in their bowls.”53 Further, the consumption of pig (Isaiah 66:17), as well as the manipulation of its blood (Isaiah 66:3), are associated with idolatrous cultic practices. To act like the “Other” is to eat like the “Other”; and to eat like the “Other” is to eat pork.54 In short, pork is the ultimate metonym for the “culinary Other” in Israelite/Jewish literature long before the Tannaitic period.

Several texts from the Second Temple period equate the ingestion of pork with the submission to foreign domination. For example, as recorded in 2 Maccabees 6:18–7:42, when presented by Antiochus IV with the option of either eating pork or being tortured and killed, both the scribe Eleazar and a family of eight (seven brothers and a mother) choose death.

Philo reports that, during a pogrom in Alexandria in 38 c.e., mobs captured Jewish women and forced them to eat pork.59 Those who ingest the pig meat – thus symbolically submitting to Flaccus (and, by extension, to Rome, as Flaccus is the Roman prefect of Egypt) via an act of ingesting the metonymic food of the “Other” – are let go; those who follow the example of their ancestors in 2 and 4 Maccabees are tortured.
Regardless of the veracity of these accounts, the underlying assumption is that compelling Jews to ingest pork directly equates with compelling Jews to ingest Otherness. Even though these various Jewish authors might embellish (or invent) historical facts, the very fact that they con- sider the forced consumption of pork to be a practice that affects Jewish identity highlights that the principle of “you are what you (do and do not) eat” is in operation in these texts.

This observation, coupled with those made earlier in regard to forced ingestion of pork, explains why Antiochus IV reportedly offers on the Temple altar, and mandates that Jews offer on their own altars, swine as a sacrifice.66 According to Peter Scha ̈fer (here commenting on the passage from Diodorus):
The most radical way to annihilate these nomima [i.e., perceived Jew- ish misanthropy and xenophobic laws] would be to do exactly what the Jews most abhor: to sacrifice sows and to eat their flesh. The sacrifice of a pig in the Temple and the eating of pork are seen here as the most extreme perversion of the Jewish religion in order to exterminate once and for all their misanthro ̄pia. The prohibition against eating pork is the embodiment of misanthro ̄pia; once the Jews eat pork, they have given up their misoxena nomima [xenophobic laws] and will become like any other nation.
Through an act of ingestion of this metonymic food, a Jew loses his or her distinct identity.68 Antiochus IV seemingly anticipates modern social anthropology in his laws and actions – at least, rhetorically – manipulating food practices in an attempt to effect change in the identity of Jews in antiquity.

For the first time, the biblical injunction against cooking a kid in its mother’s milk is understood as referring not only to
cooking all meat and milk together, but also to separating the two items at the table itself. The potential social repercussions of this
tannaitic innovation are often missed. David Kraemer corrects this common error by clearly articulating the ramifications of the
Tannaim’s novel interpretation:
On a purely pragmatic level, if the milk-meat prohibition is an innova- tion, promulgated by the rabbis and accepted only by those who followed them, then this enactment will effectively have separated rabbinic from non- rabbinic Jews on significant occasions [when meat is most likely to have been eaten]. Presumably, non-rabbinic Jews continued to eat like pre-rabbinic Jews. That is, if they respected Jewish custom at all (and the evidence sug- gests that many did), they will have avoided the animals proscribed by the Torah. But thy [sic] needed have no concern for the mixing of meat and dairy. The small rabbinized population, by contrast, will have distinguished themselves from the general Jewish population by creating separation between meat and dairy. The new rabbinic prohibition, in other words, separated keepers of what was then a more esoteric law.

The pilgrimage festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is originally a biblically ordained commemoration of the final agricultural harvest, which is later associated with the wandering of the post-Exodus Israelites through the desert. Commanded to “dwell in booths seven days,” numerous Second Temple-period sources attest to the fact that various Judeans/Jews adhere to this principle. The celebration of Sukkot is also noted by non-Jewish witnesses. In the same passage in which he discusses the Sabbath (cited
below), Plutarch notes that:
. . . the time and character of the greatest, most sacred holiday of the Jews clearly befit Dionysus. When they celebrate their so-called Fast, at the height of the vintage, they set out tables of all sorts of fruit under tents and huts plaited for the most part of vines and ivy. They call the first of the days of the feast Tabernacles. A few days later they celebrate another festival, this time identified with Bacchus not through obscure hints but plainly called by his name, a festival that is a sort of “Procession of Branches” or “Thyrsus Procession,” in which they enter the temple each carrying a thyrsus. What they do after entering we do not know, but it is probable that the rite is a Bacchic revelry, for in fact they use little trumpets to invoke their god as do the Argives at their Dionysia..." [J.Rosenblum, Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism]

Marvin Harris; Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches:

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:36 am

Vegetarianism.

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"[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is a collection of papers by European classicists and folklorists, mostly French, edited by the eminent scholars Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant. Three key insights inform everything in the book:

1. In the ancient world, essentially all the meat available for consumption in human settlements was the fruit of sacrificial rites.

2. Cookery and sacrifice were therefore aspects of the same procedure. Sacrifice was the way animals were slaughtered and butchered in preparation for cooking; cooking the meat was part of the sacrificial rite.

3. Participation in the communal feast on the fruits of the sacrifice was the rite of social assimilation. To share the common meal was to declare loyalty to the cult, and to the settlement that it informed. To refuse participation – as with, e.g., vegetarian cults like that of the Pythagoreans – was to refuse membership in the community."

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"Other foods were used in certain sacrificial rituals, but they were not as prevalent, nor used in other meals after being employed in temple ritual. In fact some foods might well be understood as conceptually opposed to sacrificial food. Despite the use of cereals in some ritual, bread was arguably the prosaic opposite of sacrificial meat: common rather than prized, bloodless not bloody, vegetable not animal, if not raw then at least often cold. This tension is expressed in the Promethean myth wherein wheat and meat are exchanged (Hesiod, Works and Days, 45-105, Theogony, 535-616)."

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According to Hesiod and the Greek account of the four ages, Prometheus' breach of trust with the Gods and his trickery with substitution of the sacrificial portion, switching the fat for mankind and bare bones and smoke for the gods, set the wheel of the ages rolling from golden to silver,, from feasting on par with the gods to agricultural labour from then on.

Sacrificial killing and consumption of meat was a social contract keeping up communal cohesion. But the early Pythagorean sect and vegetarianism was a rebellion away from socializing and closing the gap back to the source - a divine contract. It was an attempt to close the gap between man and gods. The refusal of partaking in meat, was to live like the gods living on smoke, to be light as light - a belief in higher state of order. Vegetarianism was a sign of independence/indifference away from social needs and civilizational bonds. The Hyperboreans supposedly were vegetarians.
The early Pythagoreans were one of the oldest anarchists in this sense, against the lower order institution set in by the actions of Prometheus.

In parallel, other schools, oriental influences, and teachings of the Eleusian mysteries of death and rebirth, the idea of sin and pollution and the "Erinyes" or the furies of retribution, gained influence.
Xt. as always ready at hand to invert all that's available, created the extreme ascetic notion of the Eucharist and thriving on "bread and water" as opposed to "meat and wine" as a statement against paganism and greek society per se. Christ was the symbol of "end to all sacrifice" - represented by bread, as opposed to greek culture founded on sacrifice represented by meat.
Although the asceticism of the Pythagoreans and the Xts. got intertwined, they were not of the same origins initially.

For instance, in the Greek account, the movement is from meat to wheat; vegetarianism as a specialization and refinement of the culture of sacrifice, a break away from the hunter-gatherer social institution.  
In the Xt. account, the movement is from wheat to meat; "indulgence" in meat was "indulgence" in human culture as opposed to nature and ascetic toiling:

Quote :
"Theophrastus' account of the emergence of sacrifice confirms both sets of associations--of meat and wine with sacrifice, and of grain and water as their polar opposites--in a historicized fashion: as the cereal offerings of an idyllic past had made way, first for more domesticated vegetable foods (fruit and bread) and then for meat, so water libations had gradually been transformed into the pouring of honey, then oil, and finally wine (fr. 12, in Porphyry, De Abst. 2. 20). Just as a domesticated animal, the product of human culture as well as of its own kind, was the necessary food element of sacrifice, the drink appropriate to festivity and worship was also a divine gift mediated through the processes made possible by human culture. It seems that it was not enough for an offering to be 'natural'; it had also (or rather) to be 'cultured'."

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Not all vegetarian refusal to eat meat is a 'moral' 'abstinence' based on 'sin' of killing.

Some are simply Spartan, "less is more", esp. at a time when nature and science have managed to maximize the yield of earth to the plenty, one doesn't really need to engage in mindless and unncessary violence to satisfy their belly,, atleast the ones who are not dominated by their tongues and grave appetite.

To this it is argued, they are poor in experience of life's bounty,,, and I say, one doesnt really need to f--- a black-dick to experience the bounties of life. Restraint is not passive slavish shame, but active will of the master like the tautness of a tense bow protracted for subtler and finer joys falling beyond the graspability of the subhuman band-width strecthed between pain and pleasure.

To each her own.

Detienne elaborates how the sacrificial cult (whether of the Greek or Xt. kind) involving responsibility of alloting choicest portions and ranks gradually evolved into complex priestly-structures in charge of sanctionings.

The natural decadence of every and Any higher form is no excuse not to objectively appraise nuances. The Priestly type is not Bad per se, but a certain kind of priestly type and the method(s) and intent of lies it thrived on.
N. pointed out in the AC, it is not man, but Nature that separates and ranks men by their degree of spirituality.
Philosophers as artist-legislators and visionary-commanders of the future are a specialization differentiating, branching and breaking out from the Priestly type.

Hierarchies are natural expressions of nature, beyond good or evil.

Plus; meat could be justified given the lifestyle of hunters and gatherers and the stamina it required; modern lifestyles are not demanding comparatively. We do not have a high-metabolic lifestyle to compensate with meat intake to burn it off, unless one hits the gym artificially.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:58 pm

The Modern wants to believe his personal preference of chicken, rather than fish, is a total breach with a common ancestry, and evidence that he is free to determine his ow destiny... because he can train himself to like fish.
Why he craves fish or chicken he does not explore, for it may lead him back to a genetic disposition that can predict his behaviour, belonging to a species with particular biological requirements, in particular frequencies – he confuses the culinary arts, of combining ingredients into novel exotic dishes, specific to culture and upbringing, with the underlying reason why those ingredients have to be included.
He confuses the current combinations for the root cause, and he does so purposefully wanting to believe his tastes, compared to those of another, are arbitrary, due to chance.
Modern Nihilists prefer to stay on the superficial image, the surfaces of gastronomic art, and cultural presentation, confusing it for appearances.
He thinks that because there are so many cuisines, coming out of so many cultures, and because everyone has their own tastes, this means there is no way to determine a commonality, to find a pattern.
He prefers to believe that his tastes were shaped by the circumstances he found himself in, not realizing that his biology determined those, and his particular focus on certain dishes were the consequence of culture and upbringing.

The body craves certain things, and gastronomy, or the art of preparing, mixing, and of presentation is a matter of habituation.
Within every cuisine and cultural rituals there are common themes, and the same ingredients the human species needs to survive... not arbitrary at all.
The modern confuses image, presentation, for appearance.
   

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:07 pm

Consider history and legacy:

The germans have saurkraut, fermented cabbage. The french have slugs, snails, and toads. Some people eat meat from horses or dogs. Where do these "cravings" come from?

In the Medieval era, starvation was more common. During years of bad crops, food would be short. Or a city under siege from a foreign army. The peasants and commoners were left eating whatever they could scrounge and find. It is then no wonder how little cultural intricacies and associations with such (eating fermented cabbage), would develop over time. To the "strange cravings" of today. Cravings not associated with a single life or lifetime, but with repeated lifetimes, repeated interactions of specific peoples and populations, for centuries.


Harken to today,

Winter is associated with the time of scarcity, starvation, and the "low point" of the year. During this time of the year, is it a wonder that people have "cravings" for the cultural delicacy. "Frog soup" for the frenchmen. And Summer is associated with the time of plenty, bounty, fresh harvest of crops. The time for desserts, feasting, and gorging.

The diet, the instinct, the stomach all remember what the mind readily and apparently does not.


"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." --Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:33 pm

Appetite and Taste

Two types of need, the second founded on the first:

1- Need as a product of lack. The organism’s ordering is contradicted by other patterns, other (inter)activities, requiring it to heal the damage done by this (inter)activity, this attrition of existing.
2- Need to purge accumulated energies, due to #1. These are libidinal energies, directed towards growth, or procreativity, or, in higher life forms, directed towards creativity.

Appetites are determined by degree of need, and taste is determined by the particular relationship of organs and their specific needs: which elements, patterns, each organ requires and has to replenish to keep functioning efficiently.
Most needs are common, but each organ has specific needs of its own.
Which organ dominates and to what degree, and the particular requirements of that organ, in relation to the others, is what establishes taste, keeping in mind the two different types of need.

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:44 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:25 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Food and Culture Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:17 pm

Lettuce.

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"Lactuca serriola, also called prickly lettuce, milk thistle (not to be confused with Silybum marianum, also called milk thistle) compass plant, and scarole, is an annual or biennial plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family. It has a slightly fetid odor and is commonly considered a weed of orchards, roadsides and field crops. It is the closest wild relative of cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.).

Lactuca serriola is known as the compass plant because in the Sun the upper leaves twist round to hold their margins upright.

Lactuca serriola can be eaten as a salad, although it has something of a bitter taste. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. However, its presence in some ancient deposits has been linked more to its soporific properties which might suggest ritual use. The Ancient Greeks also believed its pungent juice to be a remedy against eye ulcers and Pythagoreans called the lettuce eunuch because it caused urination and relaxed sexual desire. The Navajo used the plant as a ceremonial emetic.

In mythology, Aphrodite is said to have laid Adonis in a lettuce bed, leading to the vegetable's association with food for the dead." [Fragiska, M (2005), Wild and Cultivated Vegetables, Herbs and Spices in Greek Antiquity]

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The author challenges Sir James Frazer's thesis that the vegetation god Adonis-- whose premature death was mourned by women and whose resurrection marked a joyous occasion--represented the annual cycle of growth and decay in agriculture. Using the analytic tools of structuralism, Detienne shows instead that the festivals of Adonis depict a seductive but impotent and fruitless deity--whose physical ineptitude led to his death in a boar hunt, after which his body was found in a lettuce patch. Contrasting the festivals of Adonis with the solemn ones dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of grain, he reveals the former as a parody and negation of the institution of marriage.

Detienne considers the short-lived gardens that Athenian women planted in mockery for Adonis's festival, and explores the function of such vegetal matter as spices, mint, myrrh, cereal, and wet plants in religious practice and in a wide selection of myths. His inquiry exposes, among many things, attitudes toward sexual activities ranging from "perverse" acts to marital relations."

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"In H24H Prof. Nagy talks about how Adonis is not associated with fertility at all:

So, what are the mythological consequences of going to seed? A prime example is a myth that links the thridax or ‘lettuce’ with the hero Adonis, a beautiful mortal boy who became the lover of the goddess Aphrodite herself. References made by ancient authors to this myth have been collected by an author dated to the early third century CE, Athenaeus of Naucratis (2.69b-d), and from these references we can see a central event of the myth: Aphrodite hid Adonis inside a head of lettuce. Since Aphrodite is the goddess of reproduction as well as sex, this action of hers is most counterproductive, since lettuce must be kept from going to seed if it is going to be good little lettuce. Accordingly, the hiding of Adonis inside a head of lettuce results in sterility for Adonis. And the hero Adonis is in fact associated with sterility. The boy may be a great lover, most appreciated by the goddess of sexuality herself, Aphrodite, but he is still sterile. And there is an ancient traditional proverb that stems from this myth:

"more barren [a-karpos] than the Gardens of Adonis"

The rituals surrounding the Gardens of Adonis, as Marcel Detienne has shown, are a negative dramatization of fertility. The so-called Gardens of Adonis (kēpoi Adōnidos) are potted herbs that are planted in the most unseasonal of times, the Dog Days of summer: the plants grow with excessive speed and vigor, only to be scorched to death by the sun’s excessive heat, and this death is then followed by stylized mourning and lamentations for Adonis, protégé of Aphrodite. In opposition to the normal cycle of seasonal agriculture, which lasts for eight months, the abnormal cycle of the unseasonal Gardens of Adonis lasts but eight days (as we see from Plato Phaedrus 276b). Like his suddenly and violently growing plants, Adonis himself dies prohēbēs, ‘before reaching maturity [hēbē]’

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"Vernant and Marcel Detienne – has shown how the ancient Greeks used patterns of opposition and mediation to structure their world. Myths describing extremes – whether that’s cannibalism, the rule of women, or promiscuity – are intended to emphasise the need to stick to the middle path. Humanity is situated between the gods and the beasts. Detienne memorably explored how the young god Adonis, gored to death in a bed of lettuce, was not a model of correct sexual behaviour, but an example of how not to do it. In Euripides’ Hippolytos, the central character rejects marriage for a life of virginity: bad idea, which ends in his death. The model for civilized human life comprised monogamy (not promiscuity, not virginity), agriculture, and a cooked rather than a raw diet, and anyone who whose way of life lay outside this was classified as a barbarian or rebel."

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"There was the seductive hunter, the youthful Adonis who only hunted animals which fled before him - hares, stags or does. He was associated in Greek art with the panther an animal which was domesticated in ancient Cyrene and used as a hunting Yet Detienne does not stop here. He discovers that the panther was thought to be unique by the ancient Greeks in that it emitted a fragrant, perfume-like smell which helped it to seduce its prey. This animal was the perfect emblem for Adonis himself. Born from Myrrh (a spice plant) and beloved of both Aphrodite and Persephone, he represented too highly-tuned a sexuality to be suitable for marriage.

At the opposite extreme was the figure of Atalanta. In childhood she excelled in running and hunting to the point of throwing her very femininity into doubt. She refused to take a husband and in fact devised a contest to all suitors.

She would give each one a start of a paces and while the man was naked she pursued him armed with a sword. She thus inverted the usual marriage contest which pitted man against man for the hand of the bride. Atalanta turned the contest into a hunt where the suitor was the quarry.

Adonis and Atalanta stood to either side of the sociable compromise of marriage and Detienne isolates this question of marriage as the central speculation of these myths. Adonis met his end gored to death by the tusks of a wild boar. His body was found in a lettuce patch, a plant symbolically opposite to the hot, perfumed ethereal world of spices. The lettuce was associated with moisture, impotence and decomposition. The blood of Adonis was transformed into the anemone or wind rose, an odourless plant with an exceptionally short blooming season.

Atalanta in turn was finally outdistanced by a suitor known as The Black Hunter. Part of the reason for her defeat, according to several versions, was that Aphrodite offered her a gift of apples after the chase had begun. Forced to gather up the fruits as they rolled off the path Atalanta was outrun. Apples of course were bound up with the idea of in Ancient Greek thought (in fact this association of apples, quinces and pomegranates with each other and with marriage has persisted into the folklore of modern Greece, where pomegranates are still thrown at weddings).

In any case, the moment the contest is over, Atalanta and her de facto husband are seized by desire and copulate wildly in the sacred space of a temple. For this they are punished by being turned into lions, predators pap excellence, which were believed to have no sex life. As Detienne concludes, it is 'as if with one sweep of the hands the Greek imagination were exorclslng spectres subverting the dominant model of male-female relations'."

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"Normally, the confined women of Athens would have gained access to so many of the herms in the city only with great difficulty.But in this case, an importantwomen's festival-the Adonia-gave them significantly greater freedom of movement. For anywher from one to eight days in late summer, women traveled from house to house where, in temporary roof top "gardens, "they joked, sang, danced, and mourned the death of Adonis before taking to the streets with their small effigies of the dead body. The women brought potted "gardens"of lettuce and other spices to their rooftops where the festivities took place. The wailing was audible throughout the city and into the night. The rooftop chants were followed by a procession through the city where the effigies of Adonis were borne and, finally, "buried"at sea. The gardens were allowed to wither and discarded as part of or after the festival.

Adonis-beautiful, boyish, downy-faced, and reticent-stood in opposition to rapacious, conquering, masculine gods and heroes like Zeus and Theseus, both of whom functioned as foundation figures for Athenian political identity. In the myth of Adonis, the goddess Aphrodite pursues and beds a reluctant male mortal who later dies. Structurally,the myth lies in opposition to the much more common myth of the abduction and rape of females on the part of male gods and heroes, as Marcel Detienne points out. Detienne further interprets the Adonia as a countercultural ritual that parodied and symbolically overturned more formal marriageand agricul- turalrites, such as the Thesmophoria. The Adonia reenacts a story of female license, female power, and female participationin male self-definition.

Adonis was, says Keuls, the model for all subsequent romantic heroes, from Romeo to Rudolph Valentino to Leonardo Di Caprio. According to one form of the myth, the youthful and downy-faced Adonis was fatallywounded during a hunt by a boar whose tusk pierced his groin and mutilated his genitals. He either hid or was hidden by Aphrodite in a bed of lettuce, and/or his corpse was laid out on such a bed. The supposed dissipating effects of lettuce on male potency and its rapid withering in the shallow pots each suggest in different ways the untimely castration and death of Adonis, itself represented by the small statues. Aphrodite mourns his loss, and during the Adonia, the women of Athens did also. In doing so, they celebrated sexual relations and forms of license, potency, and independence distinctly different from the aggressivephallicism of official Athenian ideology and public policy (Keuls 57-62).

Concerning that summer of 415, Plutarch recalls the unfortunate occurrence of the Adonia during Assembly proceedings:

"[J]ust when the fleet was poised and ready to set sail,a number of unfortunate things happened, including the festival of Adonis,which fell at thattime.All over the city the women were preparing statuettes of the god for burial in a waywhich loosely resembled the treatment of human corpses, and were beating their breasts,just as theywouldat a funeral,  and chanting dirges." (Alcibiades18 )

In Lysistrata, Aristophanes refers to this same festival,when a male characterre calls sitting at the Assembly with "that accursed Adonis ritual on the roofs" in progress. While Demostratos argued in favor of the Sicilian campaign (arguing, in fact, to formally close the debate), "his wife danced and wailed 'Alas Adonis . . . beat your breast for Adonis,"' interrupting the proceedings and irritating its voting members (388 ). It is unlikely that Aristophanesmade this juxtaposition accidental:Demostratos calls for public debate on the matter to be closed just as his wife breaks into the proceedings from a nearby roof, preventing him from being heard and, in effect, prolonging the discussion. Mourning the victim of deadly violence in a ritual that overturned the ideology of masculine potency, could the women of Athens not have been thinking as well of the masculine ethos of potency that dominated the assem- bly and that sent sons, brothers, and husbands off to fight in foreign wars?

Both Plutarch and Aristophanes reveal the masculine distaste for the "unfortunate" and "accursed" festival and its bad timing.The Adoniawasrunbythewomen of Athens and had no established date for its observance (Winkler 193; Reed 319). It was in this and other ways unlike official state festivals, and existed "on the periph- ery of the official cults and public ceremonies" (Detienne 65). The Adonia was a private affair controlled by the women who celebrated it, including citizen wives, concubines (hetairai, like Aspasia) and prostitutes, slave and free. Some of these women, Demostratos' wife among them, could have timed their celebration of this festival to coincide with and disrupt the Sicilian debate and expedition and, perhaps, to gain the freedom to take more forceful action against it.

The Adonia, then, was one of a very few opportunities for women to socialize, celebrate, and gather under their own control. Keuls calls this festival "the only form of self-expression developed by Athenian women, in response to an emotional need of their own, and not dictated by the voice of male authority"(23-24). While other rituals, such as the official festivals of Demeter (the Thesmophoria), included the wives of Athenian citizens (but not prostitutes) as participants, even sometimes excluding men, they were state-run festivals, controlled by priests and financed by wealthy men to further the interests of, for example, Athenian agriculture and mar- riage. The Adonia was not secret, but it was women-run, included all women, not only wives, and perhaps expressed a bawdy and carnivalesqueinversion of official, masculinist ideology.

If women could use the Adonia to express and clarify their own political interests, then the supine and "castrated"Adonis (the very figure whose miniature effigy they bore) may have taken on rhetorical force as a figuration of masculinity, sexual relations, and political ambitions inverse to the erect phallicism of the public herms.

To the degree that the herms' physiognomy connected aggressive sexual conquest with military conquest, then Adonis may have become a figure of more peaceful and egalitarian relations in the polis as well as in the oikos.Aristophanes (in Lysistrata, and relies on women to ad- Thesmophoriazusae, Ecclesiazusae) heavily protagonists advance his arguments for peace and social reform, even if Adonis does not appear in his In the Ecclesiazusaeo,r the after as men to plays. Assemblywomen, women, dressing pass their own agenda through the Assembly, initiate communitarian reforms that redistribute wealth and privilege equally among all (590-614).

Just as the women of Athens may have exploited the Adonia to interrupt the Assembly, so the youthful beardlessness of Adonis, his near-castration, and his untimely death function physiognomically to signify opposition to the masculinist ag- gression of Athenianpolicy,representedby the erect andbeardedherms.9If someone were to knock a herm over and render it beardless (or symbolically so, by chiseling at the face) and castrated,they would, in effect, make of him an Adonis, whose own early death might argue for the abortion of a dangerous and unnecessary expedition.

In the Phaedrus,Plato calls upon the ephemeral and nonserious qualities of the Ado- nis ritual in order to draw a contrast between what is frivolous and ephemeral and what is serious and lasting. The women's potted gardens of Adonis (raised for the Adonia) root quickly but then wither away and are discarded, while the "sensible husbandman's"farm requires months of labor and produces tangible results. The former, argues Plato, like writing, is pursued for the sake of short-lived amusement (a women's festival) but produces no lasting results, while dialectic, like serious hus- bandry, produces new seeds "in other minds [. ..] capable of continuing the process for ever"(277A). According to this Platonic metaphor, anyone invested in notseeing military expeditions "continuing forever"might find it useful to symbolically con- nect the ephemeral and abortive (the gardens of lettuce, the potency of Adonis) to the ongoing Sicilian debate via the very symbol of both military might and public debate: the herms. And perhaps they could do so through writing.

Both writing and the Adonia, suggests Plato, were ephemeral and womanly, but even Plato would have to concur that war and speechifying remained for most citizens the lasting, serious work of men. If this is the case, then upon what might women write their own political sentiments, especially peaceful or egalitarian ones? If this sentiment that the Adonia activity was, like writing, neither serious nor lasting-was not unique to Plato, then those feminized "writers"who literally inscribed their sentiments on the bodies of the herms during a women's festival that was, though mournful, nevertheless playful and irreverent, may have used this very sentiment against its proponents.That is,the hermokopida might employ the very terms of opprobrium used againstthe Adonia - womanly, written, ephemeral, irreverent (not to mention nocturnal)-to declare their opposition to a manly, sanctioned, but deadly rhetorical and military action by "writing" on the serious face(beard) and phallus of herms, rendering them effeminate and Adonis-like. In doing so, they would re-inscribe the icon of Athens's serious and lasting war lust into a ludic, irreverent, and inevitably impermanent (since defaced statues would soon be repaired or replaced), though serious, bid to abort the mission and work for peace.

Even aside from the Adonia, women's activities provided a powerful locus for countercultural or oppositional rhetoric in the general sense that most forms of cultural capital, social prestige, and political power in Athens were held by men through masculine modes of performance:public speaking, poetry, athletic games, and battle. Women's activities were by definition restricted to private places and nocturnal times where they would be neither seen nor heard by unrelated men. Athenian men spent a great deal of time worrying about the actions and movements of their women, or at least they are reported to have done so, primarily to ensure patrimony and to uphold the name of the family or clan (Gould). In this sense, women's public activity and availabilitywas seen by males to be by definition dangerous, duplicitous, and an implicit threat to the social order, even as it was essential to that order. Any outdoor activities constituted a powerful locus of symbolic disorder (an understanding the women capitalized on in the Adonia) and thus the very existence of women constituted an argument for strict social control.

The place of women as oppositional was frequently portrayed in myth, not only through figures such as Helen and Clytemnestra-whose supposed infidelities contributed to the most famous of tragedies, the Trojanwar and the fall of the house of Atreus, respectively-but also through the figure of Pandora, through whom Hesiod crystallized ancient Greek animosity toward women and their skills at persuasion and deception. Pandora was given golden necklaces by Persuasion, the goddess,to aid her in her treacheries (Works and Days 60-83). According to most measures of cultural capital, social prestige, and political power, positive ideals including eloquence and martial power were defined in terms of masculine traits and practices, negative ideals defined by their opposition to all that was masculine.

If the women of Athens had wanted to express their sentiments in a way that mattered, what outlet did they possess? Speaking publicly, even in courts and in cases that involved them as primarylitigants, was normally not allowed and could be dangerous.The wifeofAlcibiades,Hipparete,"a well-behaved and affectionate wife," had attempted to speak in public when she appeared in court to sue her adulterous husband for divorce. But, continues Plutarch, "when she arrivedin court to see to this business as the law required, Alcibiades came up, grabbed hold of her, and took her back home with him," where she stayed "until her death, which happened a short while later" ("Alcibiades" 8 ). Thucydides nowhere attempts to dissuade us from the view that Alcibiades was the cause of his wife's untimely death.

Besides, Nicias and his followers had alreadypursued the path of peace in the Assembly, with disastrous results. Demostratos (whose wife may have interrupted these very proceedings) had in fact succeeded in closing the debate in favor of a large expedition. Different rhetoric would be needed. It would have to be public, to be seen and taken seriously by a majorityof leading citizens. It would have to be anony- mous andperhapscollaborative,since no single citizen, much less anywoman, could expose himself or herself to public support for a cause that even a famous general had unsuccessfully risked his reputation upon, a cause that had been closed off from further debate.

We cannot name the culprits any more that we can know the true Aspasia, but by asking different questions about means, media, access, and ends, we can yet learn a great deal about transgressive or invalid rhetorical practices in an- cient Greece. We would have to place fairlytight limits on our definition of rhetoric not to consider the herm-chopping an exemplary rhetorical event, and one that can radically challenge our understanding of ancient rhetorical artistry."

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"According to Lévi-Strauss, in religious thought, unlike in conceptual thought, meanings are derived from structural relationships, not from concepts themselves. Religious thought operates with particular things, animals, beings and deities that are too concrete to carry an abstract meaning; their meaning is defined by their position in a network of relationships of oppositions and similarities. Therefore, it becomes impossible for Detienne to simply accept Frazer’s essentialist interpretation of Adonis according to which Adonis is to be seen as the “spirit of vegetation”, comparable to other mythical figures of the same essence found in other cultural systems. Such a conclusion would assume that

(1) a mythical figure is a separate entity which possesses a particular essence and has a meaning on its own;

(2) that the essence corresponds to some reality of the natural world which is represented by analogous mythical figures in other cultures; and

(3) that the relationship between the mythical figure and the reality which it represents is a symbolical one, i.e. one of metaphor or analogy.

Detienne, on the other hand, is ready to set Adonis within a framework of botanical symbols, related myths and rituals, social relationships, even astronomical intervals; and thus reveal its position and meaning in the Ancient Greek society.

On the level of the botanical code, the myth of Myrrh and Adonis is a myth about spices: myrrh, being an aromatic tree, and Adonis, being born from the myrrh tree.4 Detienne refers to a great body of evidence concerning the use of spices in Greece and concludes that the basic function of spices is to “bring together beings normally separated from each other:

”In the myth, Myrrh seduces her father and Adonis seduces two goddesses – one from above, Aphrodite, and one from below, Persephone. Ethnographic evidence shows that, in Greece, spices were involved

(1) in religious rituals: they were burnt at festivals and sacrifices; and,

(2) in cosmetics: they were processed into cosmetic products (oils and perfumes) and were used to enhance erotic attraction and desire.

Therefore, it may be said that along the vertical axis, the power of spices is able to bring together and mediate between gods/goddesses6 and humans; and, along the horizontal axis, the power of spices to arouse erotic desire brings together different human beings who are normally separated from each other. The way in which this “bringing-together” takes place along both axes, is seduction, which can further be seen as an antithesis to marriage: Myrrha refuses to marry and thus accept her female virtue, for which she is punished by Aphrodite and condemned to desire to make love with her father. This moment of Myrrha’s rejection of marriage followed by her erotic desire for her own father is a crucial point, which reveals the sociological code of the story. At once, the whole structure of marital relationships and the ideology of the institution of marriage, are revealed: Myrrha refuses an institution that is bound to the divine domain of Aphrodite and thus violates the relationship between humans and gods; her sexual relationship with her father destroys the functional framework of relationships within a family – she becomes her father’s mistress and her mother’s rival. Therefore, the bringing-together by the means of spices and seduction is found in opposition to the institution of marriage. Furthermore, on the level of ritual, the Adonia is considered to be a festival of feminine licence and representation of disorder, which women are capable of creating. Here, we can already spot the importance of the second element of the opposition – marriage – to help us understand the meaning of Adonis.

However, it is not only seduction what the myth of Adonis and Myrrha is about. There is an important internal opposition within the character of Adonis, which again is well distinguishable within the botanical evidence. Two plants define the life history of Adonis: the myrrh tree and the lettuce. Adonis’ life ends in the field of lettuce where he is either killed by a boar, or hidden by Aphrodite. Lettuce is characteristic of being cold and wet; it is bound to die and decay, and is therefore connected with death. It was also regarded by Greeks to be capable of decreasing men’s sexual potency. The meaning of lettuce as derived from its position within the framework of the myth of Adonis, is threefold:

(1) The precocious lover dies in the field of lettuce, his death and impotence coinciding; here, the lettuce stands in opposition to myrrh; impotence to sexual desire; death to life.

(2) Adonis’ death in the lettuce field is an antithesis to the virtue of a man-warrior; he is attracted to the world of women, pleasure, and passion that stands in opposition to the world of men – the world of war and hunting.

(3) As becomes clear from the myth of Mintha explained below, lettuce is a member of the spices–cereals–lettuce triad within which it stands, together with spices, in opposition to cereals. This triad is analogous to Lévi-Strauss’s cooked–raw–rotten triad – cereals standing for the cooked therefore cultural spices standing for the raw; and lettuce standing for the rotten, the uncultural.

Interconnectedness between the botanical code and the sociological code can be clearly shown on the example of the myth of Mintha, or Mint. Mintha is a mistress of Hades and a rival of Persephone (therefore of Demeter, too) whose story has a tragic ending. Again, the botanical features ascribed to the plant of mint can help us understand her position within the context of stories about spices. Mint is said to have power to “incite men to pleasures of love”, its seductive powers lying mainly in the pleasant smell which “sweetens the breath”. However, it is also a plant that cools the body and has chthonic connotations. Moreover, it is used as a contraceptive and is thought to be capable of procuring abortions; the plant bears only atrophied fruits and so it may seem to be “sterile”. Just as in myth Mintha is turned either into a “sweet-smelling” plant or into an “insignificant grass”, so too, the botanical characteristics of mint are of double status: it has characteristics of spices, but also of “wet and cold” grasses; it stimulates desire, but also procures abortion, i.e. prevents possible fruits of the desire. Mints sterility and fruitlessness, referred to in myth as well as in botanical evidence, make her stand in opposition to Demeter, “the goddess of the fruitful earth and protectress of fruits – of the ‘dry fruits’ of the cereals as well as of some of the fruits of trees.” These differences within the status of mint correspond to the difference between myrrh and lettuce: mint is at once above the cereals (as a kind of spice) and below them (as an “insignificant grass”).

In the myth of Mintha, the role of Demeter and Persephone and the role of the institution of marriage as opposed to the relationship based on seduction, are clearly very important. Now, since the double status of mint has been found to correspond to the myrrh–lettuce dyad so precisely, Detienne can assume that correspondingly, Demeter stands in opposition to Adonis and Myrrha, as it does in the opposition to Mintha. It has already been suggested that seduction, as it takes place in the myth of Myrrha, is opposed to marriage. Detienne finds yet another evidence for the opposition between seduction and marriage, which should finally justify and make explicit that this opposition is parallel to the opposition between Adonis and Demeter.

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Not only is the seduction present in the ritual and myth of Adonis in opposition to the status of lawful wives of Demeter, it is also in opposition to their status of fertile mothers of legitimate children – this, indeed, is the core double opposition between the two festivals that

is found within the sociological code. As seen in the story of Myrrha, seduction is an ultimate threat to family relationships (relationships between parents, and between parents and children), which fall under Demeter’s instructions. The Thesmophoria provides instruction, or rather; the Thesmophoria is the instruction to ritually overcome the tension caused by apparent proximity of daughter and father simply by establishing closeness of mother and daughter during the festival, while excluding father from it.

After all that has been said, there is yet another level on which further deciphering the opposition between Adonis and Demeter is possible: the astronomical code. The festival of Adonis was celebrated during the hottest days of the year, called the dog-days.21 This is particularly important in regard to the peculiar kind of gardening, which took place during the Adonia – cultivation of Adonis’ gardens. Women sew cereals and vegetables into small broken clay pots, placed them in the heat of the sun, and watered them until the shoots appeared. Being deprived of water and left in the sun, the shoots soon became desiccated. Is this a reminder of the death of the god of vegetation? Detienne presents us with a few proverbs, which suggest that the gardens of Adonis were rather a synonym for something superficial, rootless, immature, sterile, etc. It does not seem that these would attest some kind of magical practice to promote growth of vegetation. “On the contrary”, says Detienne, “the negative character of all these epithets indicates that the gardening of Adonis stood for a negation of the true cultivation of plants and was an inverted form of the growing of cereals as represented, in a religious context, by the principal power responsible for cultivated plants, namely Demeter.” In Plato’s Phaedrus, this opposition is made even clearer: not only is there a difference between paideia – serious agriculture that “educates” the plants, and paidia gardening turned into a game and amusement; there is an important difference between the time periods in which cultivation of plants takes place – eight months in the case of the Thesmophoria, and eight days in the case of the Adonia. This short time that is given to plants to spring up is in opposition to serious farming of Demeter, just like there is an opposition between timing of the gardening (hottest days vs. the sowing season), and between the spaces that are given to the plants to grow in (small pots vs. Mother Earth). According to Detienne, what was happening during the Adonia was a “systematic violation of the rules for correct agriculture.”

The astronomical code reveals to us a framework of opposite astronomical conditions for opposite kinds of farming: farming of Adonis and that of Demeter. However, Detienne attempts to show that there is, again, a double opposition, parallel to the double opposition within the myrrh–cereals–lettuce triad. He is able to decipher it from the central role that a ladder plays in vase painting illustrating the Adonia. The ladder is not just an instrument, used to put the gardens of Adonis on rooftops. In the pictorial terminology of the vases, it is “the symbol of an exceptional linking of the Earth below and the Sun above.” Before we make clear what the double opposition between the Adonia and the Thesmophoria within the astronomical code is, we must first decipher the symbolical role of the ladder.

The dog-days are a period of time when there is an imbalance between the dry and the wet – the sun burning and desiccating everything and making humans, animals and plants suffer. At the same time, however, it creates favourable conditions for harvesting of myrrh and other spices. This can be seen from a group of vase paintings that depict a woman or an

Eros descending the rungs and placing an object into a bowl held by a young woman. Most probably, the objects placed into the bowl are grains of frankincense or loaves made of myrrh. That the paintings really depict some kind of harvesting of spices can be proved

(1) by the relationships between the principal figures in the scene, and,

(2) by the close relationship of Adonis and the spices.

Thus, the ladder is a symbol of “positive coming-together of the Earth Below and the sun Above,” which takes place in the second part of the festival. In the first part, women climb up the ladder and place their gardens in the heat of the sun. This first phase is negative and corresponds to death symbolized earlier by the lettuce; it is a negation of harvesting of cereals. The second, positive phase corresponds to life, and the “all-powerful nature of frankincense and myrrh.” The double opposition that Detienne was able to decipher thanks to the opposition found between the specific astronomical conditions responsible for two kinds of agriculture is thus the following:

(1) There is the opposition between the cultivation of Adonis’ gardens and harvesting of spices, which is parallel to that of myrrh and lettuce in the myth (or to the double status of Mintha).

(2) The second opposition is between the two forms of anti-cultivation – one negative and one positive – and the regular form of agriculture of Demeter.

As we have seen above, the gardens of Adonis are sterile and bear no fruits. The seeds planted in them are desiccated before reaching maturity and are in contrast to the useful and fruit-bearing plants of Demeter. Demeter represents cultivated plants and implies that the cultivation is provided by the means of marriage. Detienne shows how the ritual of marriage operates with symbols of both the “thorny” uncultivated life and the cultivated “life of the milled corn”, and how it mediates between them via symbolical objects of pan, pestle, and sieve, in order to provide a fluent passage from the uncultivated life into the cultivated life. Adonis and his sterile seeds stand in opposition to this cultivated life of “milled corn”; and again, the opposition is double: both his excessive premature sexual potency and his actual sterility bear no fruits.

There is one last opposition within both the astronomical and the sociological code – that between women and men. The heat of the sun during the dog-days does not devastate women, who are of “wet nature”, as it devastates men, who are of “dry nature”. During these days of imbalance, men lack sexual potency whereas women are full off excessive sexual desire. Since Adonis does not belong to the world of men, there is no internal contradiction for Detienne to say that the Adonia is a festival of women while the Thesmophoria is a festival of men."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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