Freaky Junk Food Throwdown
Not much going on in the world of Nirvana Wok lately as far as donating hot food so here’s a peek at some of my latest deep thoughts.
Do They Know It’s Thanksgiving?
So proud of my offspring for saying that Thanksgiving is “racist.” Not what we were taught in school but there are other sources of information for kids now, like Greg Grandin’s Pulitzer Prize winning The End of the Myth. It’s all the rage with the young Marxist podcasters these days. Grandin lays out how our current Trumpian "racist nationalism” can be traced to a country built on the very profitable systems of genocide and slavery.
The Freak Brothers and Sister
Speaking of Marxist podcasts, I just signed up to donate $5 per month via Patreon to Seattle’s Mechanical Freak - where they did an extensive audio tour of The End of the Myth called Ending the Myth. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson indeed. Their podcast used to be called “Seattle Sucks” but they eventually realized everybody already knows that.
Smells Like Tacoma Spirit
Donated $25 to Dignity City, a new nonprofit organization created by my old pal Timothy Harris, founder of Seattle’s Real Change homeless newspaper. Dignity City is based in Tacoma - a place which is going to become alot more dignified once they shut down that last pulp and paper mill - the one that gives the town it’s distinctive aroma. By that time already inflated real estate prices will make housing even more unaffordable for people who are not rich - much like everything else in our society.
Junk Food Junket
Here are my musings about some of the junk food our family has consumed lately. We do eat fruit and vegetables and whole grains but we also eat tasty snacks that might not be that healthy. I remember interviewing Seattle restaurateur (and wage and tip thief) Tom Douglas years ago and asking him about farmed salmon and how harmful that is for the environment and he had a good response: (paraphrasing here) ‘people need to eat and not all food supply chains are perfect and not all the calories we consume are from pristine organic vegetables.’ Tom was sort of right about some things. I feel sort of bad that his food empire was devastated by the pandemic. Less bad that he took millions in PPP money after laying off most of his employees. He was a front man for the real estate cabal that gentrified Seattle’s Belltown and South Lake Union but the cabal has discarded him. Sad sad Tom Douglas.
Gorton’s Clam Strips
Gorton’s “wild caught” clams with “no MSG” came in a 5.75 ounce package - not enough to feed even one hungry kid. “Fried clams made from minced clams.” No MSG but the hydroxypropyl methylcellulose in the ingredients is a substance also used in eye drops. This is all breading and no clam.
Nabisco Premium Saltines
Nabisco Saltines are superior in taste to the private label supermarket brands. I was saddened to look at the the packaging recently to see that canola oil (bad) and palm oil (very bad) are on the ingredients list. I love unleavened bread products, like Saltines or Matzoh. This probably comes from my time serving in the Royal Navy in the 1860s, where our motto was “sodomy, rum, the lash and hardtack.”
My Favorite Sandwich is Now A Brewery
Rueben’s Brews incredible products include a nice pilsner which is 5% ABV. I have long been a fan of bottom fermented lagers and pilsners because all these high proof beers are bad for the liver when you get to my advanced age. I remember hosting a Seattle party in the early 90s where I got a keg of Pacific Maritime Jolly Roger and people got dangerously messed up on a beverage that was 9% alcohol.
Rueben’s six-packs come with a plastic top which is “recycled and recyclable PHDPE” but that doesn’t mean anything. Switch to paper packaging, bros!
Upchuck at Chuck’s
Early next year Chuck’s Hop Shop is going to open dangerously close to Nirvana Wok’s headquarters. Chuck’s is a chain of bars with a huge selection of craft beer and cider on tap and also hundreds of canned and bottled beers from around the world.
This is almost too good to be true for a beer fan like myself. My first taste of craft beer was from Anchor Steam - the very first craft brewery of the post-prohibition era. At about the same time I was a fan of Christian Moerlein. I lived in Albany, New York during the time when Bill Newman (no relation to Alan Newman of Vermont’s Magic Hat Brewing Company) started up the William S. Newman Brewing Company - arguably the first microbrewery east of the Rocky Mountains.
And then I moved to Seattle in time to experience a beer revolution that has grown exponentially. Our area now has over 100 breweries and one wonders how they all stay in business.
White Male Beer Privilege
The day Chuck’s Hop Shop opens I’m going to my first AA meeting - pandemic permitting. Not quitting beer anytime soon, but the impending opening of Chuck’s got me thinking - our entire culture, especially here in Seattle, is geared toward indulging white guys with money who still think they are teenagers. Want weed? There are hundreds of pot shops featuring thousands of products. Want beer? You can’t swing a cat in this town without running into the finest beer money can buy. Maybe listening to people who are trying to resist these temptations will readjust my brain.
Get Your Freak On
Speaking of how everything squeezed out by the corporate culture factory is essentially geared towards teen boys - the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers is now a profane, gross-out sex and drug laden TV show! The Freaks got no traction after the anti-drug Reagan era wiped out any chance of a Cheech and Chong or FFFB movie getting made and they have been tossed back and forth among would-be producers ever since. I hope Freak Brothers creator Gilbert Shelton got cut a sizable check. Of all the hippies who became capitalists he definitely deserves some cash in his old age.
What would the teenage me of the 1980s have thought if he knew his favorite underground comic characters would finally come to life decades later - streaming on his computer phone? With a hop shop and a pot shop only blocks away?
It’s cold this week. Gonna be making some hot food and delivering some socks.