Idle Eye 121 : The Song of a Sceptic

A little while back, I wrote a short piece about food on another blog platform when I was attempting to find my voice. It was deliberately confrontational and probably a touch derivative, the main thrust being that food is, in essence, merely petrol to keep us all alive in order to do far greater things than the act of eating itself. This would have been apposite if written in the 1970s (or indeed earlier), when the greater irony may well have been appreciated by frequenters of those appalling trattorias, nascent curry houses and stick-in-the-mud bastions of public school cuisine. But it wasn’t.

Over the last twenty years or so, we have morphed into a nation of foodies. Suddenly, every man and his dog has developed a palate that subtle, it would leave Abigail and her guests floundering like jetsam at one of her soirées. We demand choice and quality as standard (despite having come through the worst recession since WW2) and, more than ever, we require affirmation that our opinions are justified. Why so?

Because our newly-found appreciation of all things gastronomic is nothing more than the emperor’s new clothes. We food snobs, like wine snobs, know deep down that our honed interest in the ephemeral is pretty low down on the pecking order of things that actually matter. Consequently, in much the same way that our current government operates, we surround ourselves with like-minded sycophants who will be the first to forgive us for thinking that it does. So when the bill payer clicks his/her fingers at a chain restaurant minion and they come running, no-one from either camp dares question the validity of the challenge. Money talks, deafeningly when there isn’t much around, and putting an opinionated Herbert to rights is probably not worth losing your job for.

But it is a wafer-thin confidence, to be annihilated absolutely in the not too distant future by global events, the seething aficionados of packaged goods, and common sense. I predict a time when all celebrity chefs are dragged by the hair from their culinary idylls, thrown into the stocks and pelted to death with every last leaf of kale, lollo rosso and organically-farmed, locally-sourced cucumber that inevitably ended its days in the recycling bin. When coffee houses, like televisions in the 1950s, only offer black and white as an option, and if anyone with a manicured moustache demands anything with more than one syllable, they too will be executed on-site in the manner of Charles I and their remains fed to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s pigs. And when the beasts of Smithfield, at the point of their bloody departure from this world to the restaurants of St John Street, are given the option to turn the tables, they do so on the sole condition that they feast exclusively on their perpetrators.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the future.

4 thoughts on “Idle Eye 121 : The Song of a Sceptic

  1. lol. brilliant post.

    we shop at lidls. their food is very good. (i think its italian week next week). i particularly like the meats and cheeses, and apparently alot of supermarkets are now trying to emulate these guys.

    we go there because 1. its cheap. 2. its easy to find everything. 3. there isnt too much choice. 4. its good quality.

    quality comes last for me because i eat any old shit. lol. im on the “diet recovery” anti-diet thing by Matt Stone and thats the first step on it. just eat anything that isnt nailed down.

    even my Dad, who is an organic gardener, eats anything. he doesnt buy vegetables, especially out of season, because he grows those himself. but he eats anything and years ago said that he didnt think it mattered much. (i of course learned this after many years of ruinous fad diets).

    • Glad you liked this one. I have a massive issue with food which I play down most of the time. I’m a vegetarian but can’t be doing with this whole farmers market bollocks neither. I look forward to the day when we are given a pill by Hal which will set us all up for the day, so we can get on and further the human race which doesn’t involve us all sitting around a table, bigging up the edible petrol we elevate to heights that has no value beyond the binary: IN – DO STUFF / NOT IN – DON’T DO STUFF. It’s that simple. And the rest is wank x

      • LOL. thats fucking brilliant. i had to read it about 3 times. who else says these things ? LOL.

        i was vegan and raw vegan and all the rest of it until my teeth cracked. now i am just eating whatever and its brilliant. no more looking down my nose at the delicious cakes offered by nice ladies all around the world. 🙂

        my Dad likes Hugh and Hugh even grew up opposite us (although i have never encountered Hugh in the flesh.) my Dad is easygoing about it. he doesnt worship at the feet of organic produce. personally i like quality meat but beyond that i dont worry about it now. he doesnt worry about it- he’s happy. he doesnt even own a computer or a phone so Hugh cant even get to him that way with his patronizing salt of the earth bollocks lol.

        but, they lap it up. its big business. i have some ideas myself in that area. lol. i like the idea of making jam and all of that but i cant be arsed and there is enough snobbery about it to fill several hundred farmers markets lol.

  2. Pingback: IE Audio 3 : The Song of a Sceptic | The Idle Eye

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