Antonia Landi

Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Picky eaters are bad company

In Entertainment, Food, Opinion on March 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Picky eaters are like children - infuriating. Picture: Howard Dickins at flickr

Picky eaters are like children – infuriating.
Picture: Howard Dickins at flickr

If, like me, you happen to be of the culinary sort, chances are you like to share good food with your friends. A dinner party might be nice – some lovingly prepared food, a couple of glasses of wine, and happiness all round. Unless you’ve accidentally invited a fussy eater. All of a sudden, the evening that could’ve gone so well is replaced by ‘I’m not a big fan of that’-s and ‘I can make you something else if you like’-s and a stressed host trying to put together something the black sheep would eat out of the kitchen cupboard staples.

Now, I don’t care how or what someone eats as long as it happens in their own home. If they choose to be picky, let them be. But when a person tries to superimpose their absolutely ridiculous eating habits on someone else, I get a bit cranky. The fact that their diet differs from mine isn’t what this is about – I am quite happy catering for people with special diets due to allergies or personal beliefs, and see it as a test to my culinary abilities more than anything else. But I am in no way willing to support someone that thinks being ignorant about food is a good thing. And that’s really what pickiness is all about. I once had a flatmate who liked tomato-based pasta sauce, but had a phobia of ketchup and wouldn’t eat a raw tomato. She also considered it ‘rude’ to season any dish that was to be shared in case another person wouldn’t like it. To this day, I am lost for words.

I fully understand that there are some things that most people just don’t like. I myself wouldn’t go anywhere near black pudding, and I know that a lot of people feel the same way. But picky eaters are very unpredictable, which makes cooking for them a nightmare. Having to compromise taste in order to please the odd one out just plainly goes against everything I believe in. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Don’t pick at it with a fork until it’s cold, that’s just plain rude. The worst fear for a host is that people will not like the food, and it doesn’t matter how few or many people that entails, a virtually untouched plate is always a failure. But as if this wasn’t enough, picky eaters are almost always the most stubborn people you will meet. No matter how ridiculous their eating habits are, and no matter how well you know that if they’d just try it, they’d like it – trying to feed something new to a fussy eater is like making people drink poison. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll actually like it and then you’ll have to start adding spinach to your shopping list of monster munchies and cheese slices? But of course, a fussy eater is more worried about projectile vomiting at the dinner table.


Are you a macfag?

In Entertainment, Opinion on October 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

As soon as the news of Steve Jobs’s death hit the headlines, tribute facebook statuses and tweets were unstoppable. Apparently, Steve Jobs was an ‘innovator’ and a ‘legend’ that ‘transformed’ the way we look at personal computers. All of a sudden, everybody seemed to be an expert in computer technology and macfans were sprouting out of every crease. I own a MacBook, and an iPod, but I am quite happy to admit that I don’t really know what Jobs’s contribution to technology entailed. Apart from setting up a massive empire that has gained cult status despite its increasing commercial success, Steve Jobs was just the head of yet another company. But let’s look at this cultural phenomenon a bit more closely.

Mac users are generally considered to be hip, cool and creative types – the kind that edit videos and music on their laptop, instead of slowly sinking into the black hole that is the spreadsheet. I’m serious. There are videos about this.

You just need to google ‘macfag’ to realise just how much Apple products have been adopted into modern culture. The term is obviously meant as an insult, but the war between winfags and macfags is long from over. For some reason, the stereotype that mac users are somehow cooler than windows users seems engrained in modern society. Admittedly, mac users tend to have more money (which is why they can afford to own a mac) which in turn means that they are likely to spend more money on their appearance and social life. But that still doesn’t explain why they need to dress like this or behave like this. I think the biggest problem is that most mac users are hipsters. If you are a hipster, chances are that you own at least one (or three) apple branded products. But what once started as a small-ish company that merely offered an alternative to the monopoly of Bill Gates has now turned into an annoying, ever-present business card for people that want to be ‘different’. It seems that the only way you can make your creativity credible, is by using a mac to edit/cut/re-draft whatever ‘art’ you think you are doing. No mac? Sorry, but you’re obviously not cool enough.

I own a mac because I like their simplistic layout and overall appearance. Yes, I do want my laptop to look as good as it works, and yes, I am aware that I probably could have gotten a much better computer for my money had I chosen to opt for windows. What saddens me is that all this stereotyping is causing Apple more harm than good. Instead of appreciating these products for what they are – well made, designed pieces of technology that are easy to use in everyday life – they have become a mere accessory of every hipster from here to down under. But what is even more baffling is that everyone who wants to be seen as your archetypical mac user usually has left-wing political views and is concerned about the environment and ethics. Do I really need to point out to you how much money Apple makes off guys like you? I’m not even going to mention the child labour and environmental issues.

Luckily, Steve Jobs’s death is old news now, and the wave of macfans has reduced. All that is left now are the usual macfags, whose prime habitat is the coffee shop, you know, so that everyone can see how creative they are in public.

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