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July 19, 2013

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WTP

Interesting. Which would be more appropriate for our subject, to start painting his toenails (assuming, and I know I'm, uh, playing with fire here, that he does not already do so) or to insist that women stop? Thinking this through the PC hierarchy, it would seem that women should stop doing such, as it's probably bad for the environment and it obviously turns them into objects useful for sex alone. Sex alone...I'm all doubled up. But for him to opine such, him being something of a man, wouldn't that be another example of the hegemony of the patriarchy? Alas, I have a meeting...

Robert

What drivel. Their contempt for ordinary people is limitless. Considering 'elitism' is probably a grievous sin in their book, the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Anna

The mythology of meat is well marbled with machismo.

That one's a keeper.

Now hand me the Plastic Spatula of Oppression™.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

And yet, if these men started expecting women to stand at the hot grill, Mike Power would probably claim that is oppressive patriarchy, too.

prm

Not expecting, @Ted S, offering, in a non-threatening, non-gendered environment of mutual respect and genuflection. Possibly with interpretive dance.

sk60

It generally seems to depend on who’s in the mood or who’s the better cook, at least of the items in question, or - perhaps more commonly - who’s prepared to spend the day on duty, sweating, while smelling of grease and smoke.

If barbecues are a sign of the patriarchy why does the man (usually) get the job that's sweaty and smelly?

Richard Dale

"This grilled-food gender split is ubiquitous, odd and unacknowledged."

In fact it is none of these. Three adjectives, two demonstrably false and the third with no argument given in justification.

David

Their contempt for ordinary people is limitless.

Yes, but spare a thought for poor Mr Power, our fretful Guardianista. He has to write laughable articles in order to let people know how much better he is than the unenlightened proles. You know, those awful blokey types with their suburban gender roles and low-quality sausage.

It’s the egalitarian way.

JuliaM

He'd love my BBQs then - I part-cook the meat in the oven then turn it over to the Patriachal Oppressor to be finished on the grill. Perfect equal division of labour. Put that on a stick & suck it, Mr Power!

dicentra

Plastic Spatula of Oppression™

More like the Plastic Spatula of Melting All Over The Grill And Spoiling The Meat, Not To Mention The Stench

Real men use stainless steel.

Steve 2

The barbecue is the ultimate symbol of Western patriarchal hegemony.

The low quality sausage is obviously a phallic symbol, which is why unreconstructed misogynists - subconsciously fearing emasculation at the hands of liberated feminists - oppressively exclude women from their cooking rituals.

The flames represent the destructive male ego. Only women can create life. Men, like fire, only destroy.

The tongs represent our subjugated ensqueezement between the twin forces of capitalism and traditional gender roles.

The eating of animal flesh is itself an act of male violence and domination against innocent non-human persons that Western paternalism falsely declares to be inferior to human (male) life.

In a telling inversion of the gynophobic Christian fable of the Fall, where Eve supposedly "corrupted" Adam by feeding him a nourishing, organic apple that was dropped willingly by a friendly transgender tree, at the barbecue the man gives woman murdered flesh to eat - seeking to taint her feminine essence with his Spicy Pork Kebabs of Hate.

David

* The TypePad spam filter is still twitchy. Any problem with comments, email me. *

Darleen

What always strike me about such odious drivel is that Leftists are bound and determined to suck all the joy out of life.

WTF is so awful about letting men do what they enjoy? I should snatch the lighter fluid from my 84 y/o dad's hands and banish him to the patio least he set a sexist example for his 10 y/o twin great-grandsons (who love to stand around in rapt wonder whenever a male relative is ready to signal low-flying planes with a Weber-contained bonfire)?

David

WTF is so awful about letting men do what they enjoy?

Aside from the urge to disavow or “problematise” things that are fun, I suppose one idea is that if you can get people to mouth, even hallucinate, a kind of pretentious guilt – if that unrealism and/or dishonesty becomes a habit – then in a sense, an important sense, they’re compromised. And compromised people are easier to manage.

dicentra

Then again, moral preening is often its own reward.

Darleen

And compromised people are easier to manage.

Yep -- obligatory Atlas Shrugged quote:

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt."

Bart

"If there is anything less compelling but more oppressively penetrating than the conversation of four suburban men discussing how to light and then operate a barbecue, I have yet to hear it"

So has he not heard of the Janjaweed militias or does he not think they're as oppressively penetrating as men talking about barbeques? Mr Power is either preternaturally ignorant of the world around him or has a very warped sense of priorities.


"But, as several thousand years have passed since men had to kill our protein, make a fire, cook it and eat it"

We haven't had to kill animals before eating them for several thousand years. We've been cooking meat with electric grills since the Neolithic as well. You heard it first in the Guardian.

mojo

"The mythology of meat is well marbled with machismo. "

A dandy example of alliteration, admittedly.

Now, let's talk about 250,000 years of hunter-gatherer existence, shall we?

mojo

Not quite as good as "A little old lady got mutilated late last night", though.

Richard Powell

It is indeed nauseating to read about pieces of dead animal treated in this patriarchal fashion. I can practically smell the stench of burning flesh. We should be grateful to Mike Power for drawing these horrors to our attention. Is he perhaps related to Nina Power, the up-and-coming comedienne who also pens an occasional Guardian column?

Andrew Zalotocky

"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."
- H. L. Mencken

David

Nina Power, the up-and-coming comedienne

No, you mustn’t mock. She’s guiding us to utopia.

JHo

In People of the Lie the late Scott Peck observed that evil frequently manifest an obsession to conceal itself. This he coined the keeping up of appearances, a corollary of which is clearly common leftist intentionalism - that ubiquitous stripe of narrative robbing and swamping that lends frequent content to pages such as these.

And the extension of such groomed optics and inverted meaning, you ask? Surely it's none other than that flat, opaque ignorance that anything exists outside the Progressive's own disorder, that being the left's most characteristic telltale. Well, that and that familiar, rank intolerance of it.

See, leftism is a collective disorder comprised of life's ready supply of individual disorders. As an institution of collective ideology, it is that wholly expected construct that society's many dysfunctionals erect to grant themselves legitimacy.

Who are we to deny them a whole language to murmur about it with, both being such as they are?

David

evil frequently manifest[s] an obsession to conceal itself.

If the devil wanted a place to hide, he could do worse than among people who compulsively and ostentatiously profess their virtue.

I’m speaking figuratively of course.

JHo
If the devil wanted a place to hide, he could do worse than among people who compulsively and ostentatiously profess their virtue.

I should add that in that universe of manipulation, deceit, and dishonesty -- and the characteristic denial of it all -- lies that bewildering propensity to adopt the linguistic terms of regular, meaningful discourse.

This is spread across domains: Crazy Uncle Bennie rails on about Nazi aliens from Pluto not unlike how the mad exwife perjurers herself to steal the kids not unlike how, you guessed it, Progressives make fanciful claims on everything from liberty to health to finances while the evidence of each fraud outs foundational dysfunction.

It's that theft of language that when translated from dysfunction-speak really gets me. Once you see it in Uncle Bennie or the crazed ex -- whether it's his otherwise forgivable denial or her downright criminal evil -- when it collectivizes and creates a tribe or a Party, linguistically it outs itself precisely like each of them do.

Look for that mash-up of all the right words used to support all the demonstrably crazy or evil behaviors you can pack into a cohort or institution and gussy up an official name for. Personally or collectively they're all on the same continuum.

bgates

If there is anything less compelling but more oppressively penetrating than the conversation of four suburban men discussing how to light and then operate a barbecue, I have yet to hear it.

Does he mean to tell me The Guardian isn't made available to the blind?

dicentra

"But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." — Yeshua bar Yusef (circa 32 AD)

D

Look for that mash-up of all the right words used to support all the demonstrably crazy or evil behaviors

There's a brilliant scene in C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet, where the villain (a college professor, as is the hero) is asked to explain why he's doing what he's doing. He explains it to the hero in flowery, poetic, jargon-rich language. But they're on another planet and the hero has to translate into the natives' language, which he doesn't know very well, and he has to use small basic words. The villain's argument falls apart, because at its core it's incoherent and inexpressible in normal language. The scene does a great job of showing how empty a lot of rhetoric is if you take away the big words and the fancy language. Any good argument should be expressible in small simple words, even if it takes a while to do.

jones

I don't know about anyone else but every time I go hunting for meat at the local Tesco I get an urge to beat my chest and roar incoherent alpha-male utterances when asking for my pound of fillet steak.

Primal urges and evolution at it's best........

I've stopped beating the wife though at least.....

ACTOldFart

There seems to be, deep in Mr Power's mind (if there is such a place and it's capable of having depths), an underlying assumption that women should do all the cooking all the time. If that's not gross, egregious, hegemonic sexism, I don't know what is.

ftumch

I've worked kitchens, not much, but hey... and most kitchens are male, most waiting staff are female... are the kitchens macho? Not really. It's been a while, but I see no reason why there should be any difference now. Either way, is cooking on barbeques a macho testosterone fueled thing? I think not. The whole point about cooking is service. When your mum makes sunday dinner, she dominates the kitchen, when your dad makes a barbeque, he dominates it. It is entirely about making your guests happy, even if it means filling jugs with Pimms.

ftumch

damn, I forgot. I hate making comments, I don't right so good.

I wanted to suggest That our Host host a barbeque. Next year, preferably, as I am currently skint. £25 a head should be good mind. Just dont askme to cook, I am crap. I can wash up mind, happily. For beer. And pie. With Gravy. I am Northern.

David

Poor Mr Power is getting quite a kicking in the comments, which now number over 900, thanks largely to links from non-Guardian readers. Sadly, so far as I can see, he’s not responding to his critics. Any of them. Instead, he’s taken to Twitter, where he tells us, rather triumphantly,

I wrote this about sexist men and BBQs and the comments went wild. 930 so far. Anyone would think I touched a nerve.

If you want to know who such people are, how they imagine the world and what they will ignore… that’s a big clue.

Karen M

Anyone would think I touched a nerve.

He's a leftist, David. He can't stop flattering himself.

David

He’s a leftist, David. He can’t stop flattering himself.

Quite. But you do have to marvel at a mind that when faced with a barrage of refutation and factual corrections can somehow construe this as validation. The fact that so many people are mocking him and pointing out his errors is, amazingly, proof that he is righteous. An achievement he then declares to the world.

That’s not an everyday kind of vanity. That’s something else.

Mr Eugenides

I'm sure I speak only for myself when I say that the name "Mike Power" reminds me of a smutty video I saw on the Internet that one time. Perhaps it's Bidisha, writing under a pseudonym?

David

Hey, Mr E.

I miss Bidisha! [ Jazz Hands! ]™

Her mental convolutions were such fun. Like Laurie, she’s one of those people whose every second utterance is a demonstration of leftism as a condition.

By the way, if you pop back around 10:30 am, I’ll be posting something you might appreciate.

Nigel

The suspense is killing me

JHo
...leftism as a condition

It certainly is. Clinical disorder is an accurate, literal handle that could be more amenable to the left's own secular conventions: Give it what they think is a progressive label and maybe they will come.

Actually I doubt it. It's still a raging offense to truth and civility that greatly prides itself as such:

...you do have to marvel at a mind that when faced with a barrage of refutation and factual corrections can somehow construe this as validation.

At least we can also diagnose it as a mental disorder to maybe one day get some traction rooting it out. How I do not know.

sackcloth and ashes

'He's a leftist, David. He can't stop flattering himself'.

I'm reminded of a saying from Army days. The quip was that if you were part of a platoon or company, or on a course, and you didn't know who the cock in that group was, it was you.

Mike Power, you are a cock. Even in comparison with Theo Hobson and Max Gogarty.

David

Mike Power, you are a cock. Even in comparison with Theo Hobson and Max Gogarty.

Oh, he seems quite oblivious to his cockery. And determined to remain so. Which would explain why he still hasn’t responded to the mountain of objections and corrections. Instead, he’s telling his Twitter followers that “blokes get so weird about [barbecuing], and it’s a right drag I reckon. Cosy sexism of the worst kind.”

The worst kind.

Henry

The title of this piece gets it about right. And it's a worthwhile observation that much of the responsibility for gender-issue silliness in fact lies with men - some of whom are afraid to argue when they hear wild claims angrily expressed, whereas others seem determined to take the patriarchy stuff to extreme logical conclusions. They castigate themselves and, incidentally, all their fellow males for the sin of having a Y chromosome.

Those of us who are male and/or have sons and don't agree with all this take issue, and they say "haha...touched a nerve there". They're right in a way - a politician doesn't need do defend the logic of what they are saying, they just need to wind up a sufficiently large number of people, so well done them for being er... good politicians.

This weirdly anti-male attitude underlies much CiF output, but it's by no means limited to that paper. The Times apparently doesn't want to be left out of this game, and has been producing it's small share of CiF-worthy journalistic gender-political baiting.

Reed

Enjoyed this comment at The Guardian article...

ManWhoFellToEarth

It's the piousness that bugs me, and yeah, vegans are much worse on that score.

Reminds me of my absolute favourite joke -

Q: How do you know if somebody is a vegan?

A: Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Reed

The thought that others might be enjoying themselves without permission...

ServiusGalba
Too many summer evenings are ruined by the smoke of barbeques and the stench of burning dead animals. It adds to pollution just when people with breathing difficulties and asthma are having a hard time of it. About time this antisocial practice was seen as such.


My sentiments exactly...

morninglightmountain
Jesus Fucking Wept, this has got to be the most sanctimonious, killjoy sentiment I have ever heard. You know you are a joyless, over-entitled, first-world problem having tw*t when you can complain about barbecues during a heat wave.

J.M. Heinrichs

Perhaps he once attempted "bbq" but the girls kept showing him how he was doing it wrong.

Cheers

Rosseuage.wordpress.com

Don't be too hard on Mike, I bet him and his boyfriend fight over who's going to do the meat every weekend.

Flaming Cheek

Someone once said that the reason men go to war is that women were too valuable to be sacrificed. As open fires can be dangerous, perhaps this is a reflection of the old feeling that the men should be near the flames more to protect the female than assert any macho impulse.

Silly of course as the pampered self-strokers of the Guardian knows best in all things.

∞ ≠ ø

Plastic Spatula of Oppression"

Nice. Some are quick to point out the fallacy without realizing its depth.
An ersatz spatula. As there are no plastic spatulas at barbeques so much for the oppression.

Power, of course, would show up with all the accoutremon, including a plastic spatula and silly hat. Genuine elitist prig, or prog,... whatever. Given his particularism regarding sausages one must assume he is a foodie, or a ...

Nicola T.

Women love b.b.q. because they don't have to do the main cooking that night. Point final as they say in French.

Iggy Slanter

If you want my "Plastic Spatula of Oppression" you'll have to pry it out of my charred, smokey, hands.

JuliaM

Food really is a minefield for the progressives, even uncooked:

http://patterico.com/2013/07/21/dry-asparagus-suggests-racial-discrimination/

David

Julia, I think that one deserves a post of its own.

naz

So the Groan is saying that cooking is women's work?

Glad we've cleared that up.

Bob-B

I always let my wife do the barbecuing. I didn't realize until now how virtuous this makes me. I hope it's also good to let her do the ironing.

monoi

No mention was made of the Co2 emitted by those bbqs? Surprising.

Woodbine Willy

Doesn't Mike Power realise that this BBQ business is just a cunning female ploy to get men to do all the hard work while feeling guilty at the same time. Grow a pair, Mike, and get the chicks to the cooking while you crack open a few tinnies with your mates.

J.Philip

What? I live in the southern lands of the Unite States of America, the men are still killing and grilling all season, and a women has no business near a grill. What stupid progressive European utopian logic this is. I apologize to all European Men who still wear the pants.

ACTOldFart

Mind you, there is something to what Mr Power says. Put together a sunny day, a backyard, a few blokes (alcohol-fuelling optional), some flammable substances, and all the usual patriarchal, hegemonic, competitive chauvinism will inevitably emerge. To wit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bjvj5FjUPE

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPoJFL-l9jw

Mr Power would have paroxysms. Oh, the emissions! Oh, the humanity!

Grey Fox

"But, as several thousand years have passed since men had to kill our protein, make a fire, cook it and eat it"


I am a bit late to the party, but I am surprised that no one has brought that little piece of historical illiteracy up yet - even in the Old World peasants had to slaughter their own meat (a yearly ritual, as only so many animals could be maintained on a given amount of land) until quite recently, I believe. Here in the Americas subsistence hunting and home slaughter was pretty common in certain areas less than a century ago.

Chris M

"But, as several thousand years have passed since men had to kill our protein, make a fire, cook it and eat it"

He's right, in my house we lead the cow directly into the kitchen and eat it alive and raw.

Patrick Chester

WTF is so awful about letting men do what they enjoy? I should snatch the lighter fluid from my 84 y/o dad's hands and banish him to the patio least he set a sexist example for his 10 y/o twin great-grandsons (who love to stand around in rapt wonder whenever a male relative is ready to signal low-flying planes with a Weber-contained bonfire)?

Obviously. He needs to arrange it so it is visible from orbit or his great-grandsons will get the wrong impression...

Sheesh. ;-D

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