Cup Day Spew

THE FIRST TUESDAY IN November, Melbourne Cup Day, is marked not by the excessive consumption of food and drink, but rather, by its regurgitation. The race that stops a nation also stops it in mid-sentence (‘um, hang on a minute’), bends it at about forty-five degrees at the waist, puts its hands on its knees, then floor-pancakes its lunch across the footpath, or bus floor, or office carpet. There, doesn’t that feel better out than in?


Chicken Roll

THE SPECTACLE IS NOT a sandwich, but a social relation mediated by sandwiches, or so Guy Debord didn’t say. A long week of ridiculous thinkpieces and social media wank, begun by shameless controversialist and charlatan Bernard Salt, just reinforces the prime role of foodstuff-as-ideology.


UBI et orbi


Says God to Adam, after he and Eve have eaten the fruit,

in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground… [Genesis 3:17—19]

The story of the casting-out or ‘Fall’, in which humans are given their divine punishment for knowledge, is one of our most familiar creation stories, in which God sets the terms of human existence unilaterally. Like a boss making a workplace agreement with themself, the story of the Fall is the original greenfields enterprise bargaining agreement. It’s a powerful morality tale which has informed our attitudes and assumptions about work for a very, very long time.



VOTING IS FULL OF ironies. It’s a social activity of selection and choice between alternatives, a functional process so totemic that it’s often confused for democracy itself. When we vote we express a value anonymously in such a way that no one person’s vote is any more worthy than anyone else’s. But it’s not the same as power.


Cooking without eating

NOT ALL COOKING IS for eating. In fact some of the most satisfying and useful recipes don’t involve food at all. Mixing two-stroke oil and petrol, let’s say, or concrete, sand and water, these are two favourites of people who like putting together or deconstructing the built environment. If you want an article for The Australian, mix fear, uncertainty, and doubt; for the Sydney Morning Herald, property prices, Sydney Grammar’s first XV, and a beach; for the Daily Telegraph, hard working mums, Muslims, the welfare system, and any given arterial roadway in western Sydney. Much, much, easier than cooking. It’s a source of national shame that our apprentice chefs and bricklayers’ labourers are paid less for their routine mixing than the trowel-wielding wordsmiths of our newspapers. But to the recipes! Here are two old favourites I’ve put together recently.


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