scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wanderings Through the Art of Manufacture

Ferret
In terms of refinement, is there a difference between McDonalds and the five star restaurants of the world?

Easy E
What do you mean?

Ferret
I mean, if you think about the absolute amount of capital and investment that a society has placed upon both kinds of food, you probably have about the same kind of quality. Think about it: the amount of research, in chemical engineering, human behavior and psychology, logistics, that goes into the production of a double cheeseburger. It’s staggering. Fast food is, in some ways, the epitome of technological progress, as far as food is concerned.

Easy E
It tastes like there are drugs in it, that’s for sure.

Ferret
That’s because there are drugs in it. But do you see what I’m saying?

Easy E
I don’t know. I think it’s a different type of refinement. Parallel systems maybe. You can manufacture things in two different ways to produce different outcomes. The resources it takes to produce a $80 steak are pretty hard to develop too. The ingredients have to be imported, and the knowledge it takes to cook it has to be imparted, etc.

Ferret
Yeah, but don’t you think that all of that knowledge has remained essentially the same since long ago, before the pre-scientific age? Before it was just a question of what was available. That might have changed a lot. You certainly have more flavors now, but the techniques haven’t changed, have they?

Easy E
I don’t know about that. You didn’t have gas fired stoves before, did you? All you had was an open spit or hot coals or something… Mmm, hot coals.

Ferret
I guess not, maybe you have more tastes to choose from, but there it seems like you are just benefiting from the technology at hand.

Easy E
How is McDonald’s any different?

Ferret
You’ve got me. I guess the only thing I could say is that McDonald’s uses the technology to try and create a common standard. The standard hamburger. The standard french fry. McDonald’s will try to incorporate technology to produce that standard as efficiently as possible. Fine dining tries to constantly reinvent the steak, or the hamburger for that matter. Technology is employed to try to individuate instead of standardize.

Easy E
Individuated steaks?

Ferret
Individuated steaks.

Easy E
For individuated people.

Ferret
Indeed.

Easy E
So basically, what you are saying is that you’ve got two competing tastes working in the world. There’s the taste that tries to employ technology for standardization, or those that use it for individuation.

Ferret
Yeah, and both appear to be pretty good, and both will kill you. McDonald’s hamburgers and slow roasted baby back ribs?

Easy E
I wonder if food tasted different a long time ago.

Ferret
I think it did. I just don’t know if it was better. Fine dining was probably different, just as fast food, or street food or whatever it was back then.

Easy E
These McDonald’s double cheeseburgers are so damn good.

Ferret
Mmmmph… so good.

[cf. Heidegger’s Question Concerning Technology I’m thinking especially of this issue of a “standing ready,” or the “framing of Being.” Heidegger is especially concerned with this problem. I agree with him to a degree, but I think that it’s okay to “frame Being” in some sense. Maybe he would too. It requires more research. Besides, he’d be crazy not to love some McDonald’s double-cheeseburgers from time to time.]

* * *

Drugella
[perking up, suddenly carried away by the sound of the words ‘cocaine’ uttered in jest, her blond hair flailing in a light winter breeze, sucking down on a glass bowl of marijuana]
Oh my god. I need to have some cocaine. That would be so good right now, or maybe some acid! Did you hear that James has acid? Oh my god, that would be so good right now. Oh, I just love drugs so much. You know sometimes weed isn’t enough to try and change the situation. Sometimes you have take something like that. Does anyone have any cocaine?

Bu-Ran-Don
[in Chinese]
奴孩子,怎么样?
What do you think of the girl?

Ferret
[responding in Chinese]
这个奴孩子吗?
This girl?

Bu-Ran-Don
对。
Yeah.

Ferret
疯子。
Crazy.

Bu-Ran-Don
我知道。
I know.

Drugella
[She perks up more, and her eyes widen, ravished by the thought of ingesting the objects of her desire, overcoming her interminable ennui]
And there’s times when I’m so bored, but then you can always find ways to make it more interesting when you do some drugs. If we had some acid right now then we could fight all of this and run away with the night. It’s like floating on a cushion or something. I just miss it all so much. You know? You don’t have any drugs, do you?

Ferret
I don’t think that anybody has any.

Drugella
I know, but think about a world where you didn’t have drugs to create all of these times for you. How could I make things go on? Would there be anything to do? I mean, wow. I’m so bored right now in this superbigawesome house. But could there be a party in my head or something, you know?

Bu-Ran-Don
[in Chinese, again]
你喜欢她吗?
Do you like her?

Ferret
[also in Chinese, again]
不喜欢,我给她时候。
No, not really, but I’d show her a time.

Bu-Ran-Don
真的吗?
Really?

Ferret
真的。我不喜欢她。
No, she’s not hot.

Ferret
[unable to find the words, switching back to English]
Manufactured, you know what I mean? Unbelievable. Controlled by them. Boring.

Drugella
What were you talking about?

Bu-Ran-Don
Manufactured goods.

* * *

Crassus Clay
I can’t stand it man. All this bullshit. Girls here are acting all like they are stuck up, like they are some how above it man. They know I want to fuck them, and that they want to do it too. When I’m open about it, they all get pissed up. Stuck up girls, man. That’s why I like California. You just tell ’em, hey, I like your tits, and they think it’s funny, man, like they know what it’s about.

Ferret
I think you are missing the point, Crassus.

Crassus Clay
No, I don’t think I am. I can’t stand all this hypocrisy. I hate all the lying and shit that girls are into here. Why not just tell the truth?

Ferret
Because ultimately women don’t want the truth. They want lies. Everybody wants lies. The truth is what you harbor in your soul and you let out when you know that it can be handled. You can’t shove the truth in everybody’s face because the truth is ugly. It’s the ugliest goddamned thing in the world, and people don’t want ugliness, believe it or not. Especially as far as girls are concerned.

Crassus Clay
I guess man.

Ferret
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s bullshit that people as a society construct elaborate lies or euphemisms around all kinds of things, but growing up is realizing that these lies are all important. We manufacture these things to make us feel better about all the things that are uncomfortable, or potentially hurtful, or make us feel out of control. Besides there are worse lies than the ones that come with women that I think should be changed. It was a slap in my face when I discovered that first hand. Sometimes the best way to tell somebody you care about them is to lie to them, or to put it diplomatically, to be diplomatic.

Crassus Clay
I’ve got to get back to California.

Ferret
It’ll catch up with you there, man. It catches you everywhere you go.

Crassus Clay
Not yet.

Ferret
Maybe.

* * *

Ferret
But I don’t know about kids man.

Easy E
Nor do I, those things are crazy.

Ferret
I mean, there’s no way I’m ready man. You produce this thing that wants to take everything from you, suck the soul out of your life. No more partying to three. No more long weekends of peace. You’ve got dependents, responsibilities. Yet, you love the shit out of ’em.

Easy E
I think it’s all about manufacturing an indestructible self, building up your defenses so they can try to tear ’em down, but can’t.

Ferret
It’s true, you’ve got to have ramparts.

Easy E
Turrets.

Ferret
Double barreled artillery canons locked, loaded and ready for destruction. Oh, and boiling oil.

Easy E
You’ve got to be defended. You’ve got to be secure in yourself.

Ferret
Those little fuckers aren’t taking any prisoners. That’s why having kids before you are ready is so bad. It doesn’t only have the potential to destroy them, but it destroys yourself. Unless you have re-enforcements, grandparents, shit like that.

Easy E
Yeah, but that’s like calling on your sworn enemy at the time of your greatest need. Like you finally vanquished them, but now you got to call them back and beg for forgiveness. That sucks, it’s like turning over the keys to the castle.

Ferret
You need your own castle.

Easy E
Undoubtedly, with burning oil.

Ferret
Man, families are crazy. Whoever made them should be shot.

Easy E
That’s like shooting yourself in the face, or your grandfather’s.

Ferret
Are we going to hell?

Easy E
Maybe, but you bet your ass I’m going to love the hell out of my kids, fortified, of course.

Ferret
Of course.

posted by ferret at 1:10 am  

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