Kitsch Kitchen, 70
Not only can it slice and dice, it can poach and puree, stew and spew, peel and heal, fry and die, noodle your poodle, churn and sperm. Yes folks you've seen it all, the first and only only kitchen device to toss both salads. So look further as seen on TV, Crate & Barrel, William & Sonoma, Sur La Table, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Duanne Read, and the Dollar Tree. Not suitable for children, may cause cancer, however can also render both forms of tea bagging.
It is only when you loose one of your most important kitchen devices that you realize how much useless crap you have in the kitchen. No I'm not talking about you Vitamin Mixer, or your Black & Decker mixer, not even your La Spaziale or illy expresso machine. Forget the plates and silverware, heck even the copper coated pots and pans. You'll have no need for your cast iron skillet and Boche stove. Everything relies on your refrigerator, that fine line of cold and frozen, to moldy and rose. You can forget about it once your fridge is 86d, get used to as scary cooler and take out. On up side think of it as an opportunity to clean out your fridge, on down side why did I have to go to the market the day of.
Which brings me to my larger point of kitchen krap (crap). I've have the privilege of knowing and dining with several remarkable chefs. The only thing I ever see them use is a sharp ass knife, maybe a hand towel or two, a cast iron skilled, and a decent baking tray. It's not about the gadgets and gizmos, it's about the food. My stomach doesn't give a shit if you used a digital thermometer or a Sous-vide, so long as it taste good. Man has been cooking ever since Eve ate that apple. However mankind has purposefully and continually invented accoutrements to aid in the etiquette of eating, such as a proper table setting or a formal tea service. stuff such as the celery vase or escargot tongs.
Yet Adam and Eve weren't thinking about garlic peelers, banana slicers, avocado protectors, or orange juice suckers. There were no George Foreman Grills, Chop Magic, Bacon Bowls, EZ Yolk, or Magic Bullets. It naturally progressed from a raw vegan diet, into the paleo diet, with the microwave processed fast food craze toward the end, to end up right back at the paleo diet. Where today you have Fruitarianism where people only eat the fruit once it falls from the tree as to harm the tree; otherwise on the opposite end of the spectrum you have a camping deep fryers that allow you to fry that catfish after killing it. My only thought now is what does it all mean man? Without a fridge my juicer, hibachi grill, salad spinner, pineapple slicer, Jello mold, pizza tile, potato peeler, can opener, cheese grater, strainer, meat masher, muffin tins, Le Creuset dutch oven and turbotière are practically pointless.
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100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.