It made me sad to see my blog so empty for the month of May while I had my hands full with some big work projects. I went into my draft box today and released a few half-baked posts that had been sitting there: on that NPR vanilla piece, Elizabeth Gaskell, and enjoyment. Still not fully formed, but it’s a relief to get closer to Draft Box Zero: blogging, for me, has always been a means of siphoning off stray ideas, and I was experiencing a real feeling of pressure with the a buildup of unpublished posts. Silly but true.
Speaking of my own writing: psyched about the new issue of Graze.
Sociological Images has a post about the sexualization of veganism in vegan cookbooks, particularly diet cookbooks. There isn’t so much an argument as a series of interlocking ideas which are really difficult to unpack in a post-length space, but I think it does a nice job of showing where certain assumptions about plant-eating, women, and body control overlap in our cultural imagination. In other words, of course there are multiple books about sexy vegan dieting, it’s the logical outcome of the way we regularly characterize certain aspects of women’s bodies and food choices.
I don’t really Tumbl, which is too bad, because Games and Food is one of several Tumblrs that seem to be made expressly for me. The beauty of Tumblr seems to be the ability to catalog all these images without too much editorializing, which is a temptation too strong for me to resist. I’ve been thinking about food and gaming since I encountered Tokyo Jungle earlier this month, wondering whether I could cobble together a post about the fact that it’s the only game I’ve seen besides The Sims where eating is a vital and necessary component of the game. Like Sims, like real humans, the animals in Tokyo Jungle are getting hungry the whole time you’re trying to do other things like find a mate and claim your territory. Playing as a little animal survivor, you have to constantly attack and eat other animals, whether they are tiny and cute or large and liable to step on you. It is exhausting and terrifying, and rather made me miss the pointless but beautifully drawn baked goods in Skyrim. It would take dozens of boiled creme treats to make an impact on your wellbeing in Skyrim; they really only exist as decor, part of the still life you encounter in nonplayable-character houses. There are a number of different treats and stews in Skyrim and you can even cook some yourself, but it’s more effective to admire them from afar and live off of health potions while you hunt dragons (for souls, not food).
Cooking comics are apparently a thing. And why not? Reading scenes of eating is already an experience with shades of synaesthesia–or maybe ekphrasis is a better term, since descriptions of food tend to leap out at the reader and solicit appetite or disgust. Text descriptions already summon visceral memories of smells, tastes, and textures–why not use two-dimensional art to summon the same senses?