Despite being told that I will feel increasingly worse over the next week or so I am feeling relatively chipper today. Still eating, drinking and talking. Kate thinks my voice is sexy.
Cooked the potato, tomato, mushroom and cheese dish last night with garlic and onion and it ‘tasted’ worse than without the alliums. I’ve been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to work out what’s happening with my taste. It goes way beyond things simply not tasting or tasting like cardboard. I have a lifetime of eating and drinking imprinted in my brain, or wherever such things are stored, memories of what things taste like, or should taste like. My sudden plunging into the tasteless world after initial despair is now moving into reflectiveness. I’m sure I’m typical of most people and would have rated taste as lower in any hierarchy of the senses, except maybe dress sense, despite my epicurean bent. Now I’m not so sure.
Carolyn Korsmeyer (American philosopher) “presents arguments in favour of the propositions that taste is an important sense, and that food is an important topic of philosophical discourse, because food and taste play an important role in forming and sustaining community, in providing meaning, and in bringing us to reflective self awareness.” (Philosophy Now Dec ’14). One of her arguments is that the more visceral senses (taste, smell and touch) have been downgraded in relation to the more esoteric sight and hearing and this maybe down to aligning the first three with femininity; linking femalehood with nourishment and the body, and malehood, of course, linked to the higher order senses. The ‘dangers of the body’ connecting with the ‘dangers of the women’, those evil temptresses of us poor men. So it’s a feminist issue.
Food connects us to our mortality, visual and aural stuff alludes to the more profound and mystical. It is also so important in our daily and cultural lives, just think how much food plays a part in so many events: Christmas dinner, thanksgiving, Eid, Beltane, Pongal, birthday parties, and lunch.
My sense of smell is unaffected, this compounds the loss of taste as I smell the food I’m about to eat which then tastes of nothing. Basically I think losing my taste is shit.
Kate asked Nico (edits the local monthly Gazette) about me writing something for said organ. Nico said “nothing political”, I assume you’ve been reading my blog Nico? Well, there’s a challenge. Some might say that pretty much everything is political, certainly much of what is written in The Gazette could be construed as political; what you choose, as editor, to put in is a political choice. For example there’s a regular economic piece: Economic Update written by an investment manager, is this apolitical simply regurgitating economic orthodoxy that has caused the current economic crisis? And in this month’s issue an article by Anthony Bright-Paul, it is a very political piece by a climate change denier, who abuses the term ‘sceptic’, and in the words of David Hughes, president of the Hampshire Skeptics Society about not very Bright’s writing : “This is not the scientific method but ideology, political demagoguery and a failure to examine the evidence and then go where the evidence takes you regardless of personal preferences.”
And continuing on from yesterday’s rant about ‘affordable’ housing another corruscating piece by Mr Monbiot about land ownership in this country. As our new look chancellor pulls more of the woolly stuff over our eyes and will undoubtedly extol hard working families and entrepreneurs whilst doing nothing to right the wrong that is our rentier society. Who owns much our green and pleasant land is very difficult to find out. There’s an interesting organ called ‘The Land Magazine’, here’s part of their manifesto: “The politics of land — who owns it, who controls it and who has access to it — is more important than ever, though you might not think so from a superficial reading of government policy and the media. The purpose of this magazine is to focus attention back onto the politics of land.” As I learn more I realise how important this is, they’re certainly waking up to it north of the border. The Scots are in the process of finding out who owns the land and are considering breaking up ‘large land holdings that impede the prospects of local people’, pitchforks on the grouse moors? Let’s have more light shone on this and begin considering land taxes. As George says these landowners aren’t so reticent when it comes to subsidies. Did anyone else clock the recent attempt by some middle eastern kleptos to move Masai from their land so that they could a hunting go? Fortunately this was prevented.
- a publicly available land owning register and a land tax.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.