Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dear Food Nazis...

…you suck.

No, wait…I take that back. You have gone beyond merely sucking; you swallow.

I arrived at this formulation yesterday evening, when Tess and I had the most unfortunate cup of coffee you might imagine.

Yes, you read that right: coffee.

See, Tess and I took one of those Dinner Cruises around New York Harbor. It was one of those things we have both wanted to do recently, and Monday night seemed a good time to do it. We looked up several options on the internet, chose the one that suited us best, and then booked the event.

As an aside, I must heartily recommend Spirit Cruises of New York City. It’s a bit pricey ($12 for a vodka and tonic!), but the service was better-than-average, and the food was to die for. But, back to the original purpose of this screed…

See, our cruise was not boarding until 6:30 p.m., and we had arrived early. In fact, way too early: at 5:30 p.m., because we had expected traffic entering Manhattan to be far worse than it actually was. So, having an hour to kill, we decided it might be a good idea to sit in the first café we came across at Chelsea Piers and have a bit of refreshment and a chat while we were waiting.

I won’t name the establishment (because why should they get free publicity?), but unbeknownst to me the place only served organic fare. Normally, I would have walked right the fuck out, because organic food I figure is some sort of communist plot to make us all weak and sickly so that when the advancing Red Hordes reach Manhattan, no one will have the strength to resist them. However, Tess does have trouble walking sometimes, and we only wanted a cup of coffee, so why not?

I mean, how bad could a cup of coffee be?

The first indication that this was about to be one of the biggest mistakes I have made since…oh, the day before… I ordered a decaf coffee for myself, and a decaf tea for Tess, and thought nothing of it.

Unfortunately, this place serves but one sort of coffee on any given day, and yesterday’s choice was Birch Coffee, which so far as I can figure, is made by soaking the sole of a World War II combat boot in nuclear- hot water until it resembles something that one only usually sees backing up out of a clogged toilet. It then sits on excessive heat for the rest of the day, probably until it’s either all sold, someone comes in looking for something to make them projectile vomit, or solidifies to the extent where it can be used as an artillery projectile.

Things were not so hunky-dory on the tea front, either. Apparently, they only serve Birch Tea on Mondays, too, but they do make the effort to at least try to cover the disgusting taste with something fruity or spicy. In this case, your choice was either Peach or something they called a “Zinger”. Since “zinger” sounds like something your gay lover gives you when you least expect it (this is, after all, The Meatpacking District), I opted in favor of peach, believing it to be something I could at least identify.

Your choice of accompaniment to your beverage is, likewise, limited. You have a choice of soy milk (which is not milk at all), and “organic” milk which comes in two varieties: wallpaper paste, and wallpaper paste lite. Your choice of sweeteners are organic cane sugar, or organic cane sugar. Apparently honey or sugar beet must be tabu in such a place.

And then the real tragedy unfolds before you: the cashier rings you up, and you discover that a cup of fake-decaf coffee, and a cup of fake-decaf tea with something pretending to be a natural peach flavor, cost you $5.50.

This is two-and-a-half times the cost of a cup of regular coffee or tea that can be purchased from any street vendor within a 25-mile radius. Considering that neither beverage tasted anything remotely like coffee or tea or peaches, one wonders just why this organic bonanza costs about as much as a band-aid under ObamaCare. There’s nothing special about it, and quite frankly, I rather doubt it has much in the way of a health benefit, except all that vomiting probably results in a trimmer waistline..

Come to think of it, I did notice that I did have that on-the-verge-of-diarrhea feeling all night after this cup of fake Joe.

I guess the “benefit” of organic is all in one’s mind, because it certainly is never in one’s tastebuds. I have had organic food before, although I must admit to not having had organic coffee, that I can remember, and always thought it tastes like wet cardboard, no matter what it is.

Scratch that: more like wet cardboard passed through the digestive tract of a gastro-intestinally-challenged crocodile.

By contrast, the food aboard the yacht was impeccable, and delicious. Roast pork, sinfully-rare Roast beef, Tilapia in butter sauce, Chicken Cordon Bleu, vegetables in butter sauce as far as the eye could see, roasted or garlic-mashed potatoes, a pasta salad you’d kill for the recipe to, crispy-fresh salad greens, warm bread, butter everywhere. It’s served buffet-style, so you can eat as much as you want, too. It’s a cardiologist’s nightmare.

In recent years here in New Yorkistan, our Reichsfuhrer…errrm…Mayor, Michael Bloomdouche…errrm…Bloomberg, has made it almost a personal crusade to get New Yorkers to eat healthier diets. Restaurants are legally required to post calorie and fat content of their food (although it’s telling that the restaurants our Little Dictator probably eats in have been noticeably exempted from the rule); there has been a War on Sugar which is waged by the City Health Department with all the vigor and seriousness once reserved for the War on Drugs; your local McDonald’s or movie theatre have been branded the next-best-thing to Auschwitz by the New York City Food Gestapo.

What we New Yorkers refer to as “Street Meat”, the hamburgers, “dirty-water” Hot Dogs, tacos, sausage-and-peppers sandwiches and the like, have been branded the greatest threat to human survival since the Hydrogen bomb. Everyday, from subway advertisements, television PSA’s, mayoral speeches, truckloads of petty regulations churned out by the City Council, we’re all being told – on a daily basis – that the food we eat is deadly, and that our self-selected betters (the Upper East side twits that Bloomdouche and every City Council member sucks up to for money) want nothing but to save us from ourselves, to make us all healthier and more productive, to save scarce medical resources that get ‘wasted” on people who smoke, drink, or eat fatty and sugar-laden foods.

There’s now a war on soft drinks of over 16 ounces in New York City. I guess that Coca-Cola bottling plant that employs thousands in Queens is about to close once it gets the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign hung over it by the Bloomberg regime. Let’s see how well that goes over.

But it’s all bullshit.

The real problem is people like Bloomberg and his rich cronies, and the sycophants who make their livings off of them, these people who believe that everyone on Planet Earth should emulate them because, well, they’re special. Or at least they’d like to think they are. Mostly because they’re the “Beautiful People”, their kind of beauty being defined by how wealthy they are, how much influence they can wield, or how many politicians they can buy, because every last one in New York State is bought and sold at least four times over.

Which brings us back to my $5 coffee and tea. There’s a reason why no one in his right mind buys this stuff: it’s tasteless garbage. And because no one in his right mind buys it, it stands to reason the only ones who do are absolutely batshit insane. Which is why the price is so high, I reckon: there can’t be that many crazy people, so you have to charge them more to indulge their food fetishes or you’ll never turn a profit.

What Mayor Mind-Everyone-Else’s-Business and his elitist snob friends forget is that the rest of us – they refer to us as the Bridge and Tunnel set despite the fact that we’re most often the NATIVE New Yorkers and they're transplanted Manhattanites from places that wouldn’t put up with their stupidity for five seconds – are the ones who really run this city. We pick up the trash, we police the streets, we crew the offices and the restaurants, deliver the newspapers, clean the sewers, and run the hospitals. Without us, these effete boobs would starve to death, excepting those who actually would take to grazing in the Sheep Meadow as an organic delight.

And if we would like to get a Banana Split from the Mr. Softee truck, or down a Big Gulp, or ask for a 55-gallon-drum-like quantity of real butter substitute on our movie popcorn, we’re entitled to it. This IS still America, despite the best efforts of Obama and Bloomberg to turn us into Lichtenstein, you know. We’re also entitled to not have people who we would otherwise kill and sell for hides poke their pointy noses into our personal space. On the Subway doing that can get you killed. Something the limousine set doesn’t know since they try mightily not to mix with the hoi polloi.

The War on Tasty Food in New York, despite all the propaganda from the Other Side, has nothing to do with bringing down the cost of health care, or ensuring that we all live happy and healthy lives. It’s oikophobia. The Upper Crust fears the Common Man, in fact, he despises him, and so the thing to do is to shame the Common Man, make him feel inadequate, to introduce him to a more genteel set of manners and customs, much like the Old Victorians tried to smooth out the rougher edges of the Cockneys by hoping the "apes" would mimic their own gentler manner and speech.

In other words, Mayor Bloomdick and his friend’s crusade against fat, sugar, and flavor is really just the newest manifestation of the White Man’s Burden, where it was taken as axiomatic that the “savages” (normal people) of the distant lands of Empire (The Outer Boroughs) could be made “European” if only they could be Christianized and taught to mimic their betters, usually at gun point.

The changes which have occurred in New York City under Emperor Bloomberg have not been like those under his predecessor, the sort one would quantify as “Quality of Life” changes. They have been of the sort one would expect when a self-appointed elite decides to remake society according to their own whims and dreams.  It began with restrictions on Cigarettes, continued to open war on Dunkin’ Donuts and Hebrew Nationals, progressed to keeping traffic out of certain sections of Manhattan on weekends, and now it has come full circle, and the Fat and Sugar Police are out to ensure you can’t enjoy the food you eat without a fucking lecture or perhaps an arrest.

It’s not about Freedom, nor is it about anyone’s health: it’s about keeping Manhattan as the private preserve of the fortunate few, and their hanger’s-on, and keeping it free of people they cannot stand: the Middle Class, the Working Class, the common slob who would…eww..eat pizza without beluga and imported, organic goat’s cheese on it. Because if it truly was about health, the City would stop handing out free needles to heroin addicts while it’s trying to combat diabetes and heart disease by criminalizing my Marlboros and Burritos.

If this bunch of Elite Ass-suckers were forced to live by their own rules, say restricting limos during certain hours, or perhaps forcing Le Bernadin to reveal the caloric and fat content of their recipes, or putting a 50% tax on Chateau Lefite to cut down on the number of drunken butler beaters or nanny rapists, it would be a whole different story.

I did not believe the whole 99-vs-1-Percenters rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street hippies, but then again, I was just given a vivid indication that it might, indeed, be justified. Only in this case, the One Percenters in New York just happen to (mostly) support  the OWS doofuses, and so that must explain just why they have, so far, escaped their wrath. They've paid their protection money in the form of contributions, fawning media support, and fake camaraderie.

Here’s a suggestion: if you kids out there really want to change society, and stick it to The Man, then I suggest that you gather up all the pushcarts in New York and make a beeline for Gramercy Park, where you can drive the REAL One Percenters insane with the smell of boiling hotdogs, real coffee, and Cubanos until they all jump from their penthouses to the streets below.

Then maybe I can buy a cup of real coffee and not feel like I got raped for it.


Stupid America said...

Looks like you and I are on the same train. Finally, a blogger with common sense. I'm sick of this nanny society that we live in. I'll be checking your blog regularly. I enjoy your style. Keep it up friend.

Matthew said...

Thanks very much!

Mr Chap said...

You are too much, Bro. If there were a corner strong enough to hold you, I'd tell you go to go stand there. lol!