Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Nigella Lawson: Eroticising Violence
I was reading this. And it reminded me of the one (and only one) Nigella Lawson cookery show episode I had seen on TV from my hotel room in Ahmadabad. The woman is DISGUSTING. It was unbelievable the way she went on and on and on about 'delicious' baby squids: cutting them up delicately ('leave the tentacles whole, they blossom like flowers when fried') and going on about the merits of handling 'squelchy little baby squids' which is bound to 'relax you at the end of a long day'. Maybe I'm more squeamish about cutting up animals and enjoying it, than I used to be before. But I have seen even the most non-human-animal unloving people recoil in horror from the idea of eating veal. Why should baby squid, then, be such a delicacy? Imagine somebody cheerfully talking about cutting a delicious puppy with tender meat (people do eat dogs you know) or even a kid (a baby goat I mean) and proceeding to do so on television. Would you really enjoy the sight even if the puppy/goat was dead? And I'm not a vegan/veggie ethical Nazi. I completely agree with this, for instance. But this woman took food porn to quite another level altogether: eroticising dead animals. And this cool-cook lingo is sooo ridiculous it is nauseating: this 'robust fish holds the curry up so well'. You 'd think the fish was some kind of bra. And she deliberately uses violent language and thereby promotes the elevation of violence into some kind of art form: 'bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife to let the juice ooze out'. She is constantly eroticising and exoticising (lemon grass and baby squids aren't the normal staple diet either in India or England as far as I know: so exotic food) violence through the use of language. And it's all somehow supposed to be beautiful and delicious. Yuck! She put me off my food that night.