Is Cauliflower Racist?

Culinary partisans can relax; there’s nothing offensive about eating ‘non-native’ foods.

In the latest Bizarro-World controversy, political partisans have taken to the internet to fight over – cauliflower? Yes, really. This bland and ubiquitous vegetable has become the latest front in the Culture Wars, with freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) even claiming ‘people of color’ have a hard time gardening because cauliflower is a colonialist vegetable.

Many people love cauliflower because it’s high in fiber and vitamins and low in calories. I dislike it for the same reason I dislike vanilla ice cream and plain waffles–I need flavor in my life! But because AOC has become clickbait, I haven’t been able to determine where anti-cauliflower sentiments come from. Is it actually something argued by fringe identitarians, or did AOC just make it up to grab headlines?

In the dumbest video she’s posted since pretending to not know what a garbage disposal is, she said:

“But when you really think about it — when someone says that it’s ‘too hard’ to do a green space that grows Yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something — what you’re doing is you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism. That is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements because they come with the colonial lens on them.”

Essentially, she’s arguing that South and Central Americans living in the Bronx have been brainwashed into growing European foods, rather than something native to hot, dry regions like Yucca. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why it’s easier to grow cauliflower in New York than a desert plant like Yucca. Yucca thrives in a completely different climate.

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Flickr is down for maintenance – 5/23/19

Apologies to my readers. You may have noticed my latest post shows a link to a Flickr page rather than an image. I’m trying to save space on my website by hosting images on Flickr, the drawback being that when Flickr goes down, you can’t see these pictures. Flickr is currently migrating away from Yahoo, which will be great in the long term but not in the short term. Hopefully it’ll be back up soon and all my images will display as normal.

Child in Silence

Child in Silence
Headstone for Eunice Denison (unk-1809) in Cherry Hill Cemetery at Main Street and Christian Hill Road, north of the White River and east of Bethel, Windsor County, Vermont. This well-preserved black slate marker has me wondering if it’s a duplicate or has been cleaned recently. At 210 years and counting, this is one of the oldest headstones I’ve seen in Vermont.

The inscription (from Matthew 18:4) reads:

Whosoever shalt humble
himself as a little child
the same is greatest in
the kingdom of heaven.

Fort Dummer in Brattleboro, Vermont

A roadside marker is all that remains of this colonial-era fort that played a role in an obscure New England war.

Click to expand photos

The Battle of Fort Dummer was fought on October 11, 1724 between Abenaki Indians and Massachusetts colonial militia and their Mohawk allies during Dummer’s War. Both the fort and the war were named after Lieutenant Governor William Dummer, acting governor of Massachusetts at that time. Though the attackers managed to kill a few of the fort’s defenders, the fort held and remained a local stronghold.

The Abenaki were members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, an alliance of Algonquin-speaking Indians including the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot. After war broke out in 1722, Lieutenant Governor William Dummer ordered the creation of several forts on the frontier along the Connecticut River. Fort Dummer, a 180-foot wooden stockade, was built in 1724. It was the first permanent English Settlement in what would become Vermont.

Lieutenant Timothy Dwight took command of 12 cannon, 43 English soldiers, and 12 Mohawk warriors at the outpost. Shortly after completion, a group of approximately 70 Abenaki warriors attacked. The band was affiliated with Chief Grey Lock, who was waging his own fight against the British sometimes called “Grey Lock’s War”. They killed or wounded five of the defenders, but could not penetrate the thick wooden walls.

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Chelsea Royal Diner in West Brattleboro, Vermont

Chelsea Royal Diner, at 487 Marlboro Road in West Brattleboro, Vermont, is a 1939 Worcester Diner (#736) moved here from downtown West Brattleboro. The 1958 sign was discovered in a New Hampshire barn and restored in 1999. The staff takes pride in its locally sourced food and homemade “Royal Madness” Ice Cream.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

Diner Resources

The Front Runner

The birth of the modern political scandal is recounted in this stylistic and overlong drama.

Written by Matt Bai and Jay Carson, and directed by Jason Reitman, The Front Runner (2018) dramatizes the news media’s role in U.S. Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 Democratic presidential primary campaign implosion. Filmed like a docudrama, the 113 minute period piece alternates between Hart’s campaign and the journalists covering it, to the detriment of both perspectives.

As the film opens, Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) is riding high off an energetic but ultimately unsuccessful primary campaign for president. Flash forward four years, Hart prepares to make another run for it with his veteran campaign manager, Bill Dixon (J.K. Simmons), and a cornucopia of campaign staff, including body man Billy Shore (Mark O’Brien) and a fictional scheduler named Irene Kelly (Molly Ephraim). Hart tries to maintain a cozy relationship with the press, including with inexperienced Washington Post reporter AJ Parker (Mamoudou Athie).

Things get complicated when Hart attends a party on a yacht called the Monkey Business and reporters at the Miami Herald begin receiving strange phone calls about Hart cheating on his longtime wife, Lee (Vera Farmiga). Frustrated, Hart challenges AJ to “follow him around.” Miami Herald reporters Tom Fiedler (Steve Zissis) and Pete Murphy (Bill Burr) take this as an invitation and begin surveilling Hart’s apartment, where they see Donna Rice (Sara Paxton) leaving at night. Can Hart extinguish this media firestorm before it’s too late?

With a cast of literally dozens of minor characters competing for screen time, your effort to keep track of them all will be as ambitious as the filmmakers’ efforts to tell this story from every imaginable angle.

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