Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jurassic Park Dining Hall

I was going to blog about something different, but yesterday’s explosive outburst of mine at a bumfeed inspired me to write about something different. Over the years I’ve been going to increasingly fewer of the bumfeeds, for two reasons:

The main reason is because of the specter of scarcity haunting our food pantries, which ten to fifteen years ago were veritable cornocopiae. It’s been making itself pretty comfortable, too! This is no anomaly: even big-money outfits like Trinity Cathedral are starting to skimp on portions and substitute garbage filler (e.g. white rice and bread) for their formerly nutritional offerings. My diet is a pretty big deal to me, even though — perhaps because of? — for most of my life it’s been mediocre to awful. What’s the point in eating when you’re only taking in simple carbs, occasionally accompanied with morsels of meats-of-evil proteins submerged in a lipid sea of arterial dismay? I could just go back to living off malt liquor, and do without the wait, putting up with idiots, and being sober for the ordeal. You’d be surprised how much 2000 kCal costs in junk food (less than five dollars at the Dollar Tree, ten at a convenience store), compared to the same amount derived from whole foods (I can’t see how this can even cost less than fifteen dollars on a good day!).

Which makes me sound like an ingrate, right? I am, but that’s because I recognize the self-interest motivating acts of altruism and therefore don’t feel compelled to reward them with asinine pedestal-raising. It’s nice that people feed the poor, but it would be even nicer if they didn’t in effect further diminish them by serving them processed foods high in simple carbs, bad fats, and sodium. Here’s a typical bumfeed: Bar-S hot dogs with pasta salad and white rice topped with canned veggies for sides, cakes and cookies for dessert, and if you’re lucky some Tang or Crystal Light to wash it down. Again, I’m led to wonder ... are we being kept alive merely so that an Untouchables caste is maintained as an impetus for disdainfully or sympathetically prejudicial hidden social engineering agendas (Political prisoners of the Brave New World — hoorah!)?

Whether that be the case or not, I wish them luck; because the second reason I’ve been avoiding the meals lines is the people who stand in them. I don’t even know how many times I’ve either explicitly stated or strongly implied that most of us Morlocks who lurk in the subterranean stratum of living beside freeways and in projects are boors, ghouls, and thugs, but we are. And that means people doing things like flipping out on you and picking a fight with you because you had the gall to get upset over the jerk violating your personal space, burglarizing your personal conversation with a friend, and in so doing laying down a Great Wall of Smack. Bad manners, to put it kindly; sometimes they pass from atrocious to pathologically ignoble. This is why I blew up yesterday; I don’t feel comfortable around people as it is, I’m not about to when the people make a mission out of their lives to step on as many others’ toes as they can. I don’t care that it’s often unintentional; living more intentionally effectively eliminates the need to have to constantly fall back on that sorry excuse.

More galling than having had to put up with troglodytes just for some empty filler that probably would have shaved five minutes shaved off my life if I’d stuck around for further indignity, is the fact that everyone branded me as the bad guy. Sure, I could have been calm and silken-tongued, but I’ve seen time and again how the diplomatic approach is viewed as a sign of weakness to be exploited. (Legions of social workers’ attempts to civilize the lumpenprolatariat are spat upon and ridiculed by the beneficiaries of their idealism; sure, I’ll enroll in your stupid positive reframing workshop if it’ll get me some bus tickets, some grub, and maybe even housing.) Which has led me to another ugly conclusion: that most bumfeeds, most charity period, serves not only to enable and institutionalize but to encourage bad behaviors.

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