The Taste Of Things: Film Review

Ostensibly the film is about food and the preparation of food and how people get on with each other while preparing food.

But I don’t think that’s what the film is actually about.

An important character in the film dies part way through and another important character mourns the loss.

And now take a step back and ask – how does a filmmaker or an author show the depth of the relationship that existed for which the loss is now felt, the loss of the wonder of the other person?

So I think that the concentration on the cooking of food, the technicalities of making food, the technicalities which showed the characters and skills and attention to detail – all of these were outward manifestations of relationship.

Long protestations of love are in the end just protestations, but the ballet of their movements together shows something deeper.

I don’t know if it’s a novel way, but it’s a clever way of showing the dual experience of the everyday and a more subtle experience. The everyday experience of cooking something that’s essential to life, and the higher experience of joining with someone. Through that we can feel that the relationship is deep, founded on solid ground, and meaningful. So we can believe the loss is real.

There was another thread, which was that the food preparation was very real. We see them pull the guts out of a fish, and then out of a chicken. We see them scald the skin off the blackened feet of the chicken and scrape the skin off a sole or turbot. No neatly presented packages of food from the supermarket, because the film was set at about the turn of the 20th century and mass produced food was far off into the future.

So we get to look into a more raw, more real, more elemental past and to be wistful about what we have lost in the modern world. I think that’s what the film was about. It was about loss.

Musk On Jews

There is a furore around Elon Musk’s tweet, with advertisers withdrawing their advertising.

Let me take you out into space a bit and look down on how the tweet came about. 

First came a tweet from Charles Weber who describes himself as a Jewish Conservative from S. Florida. His tweet contained a video advertisement of a father and son sitting in a car. The father has caught the son making antisemitic comments on social media and he tells the son how hateful it is and whether he wants to step out of the car to tell it directly to the group of Jews we can vaguely see through the windscreen.

The intent of the video advertisement was no doubt to suggest that some young people ought to think a little more before mouthing off.

I have seen the video before and when I saw it I thought it was taking a gamble. What is to say that those ‘young people’ at whom the video was directed wouldn’t imagine themselves in the shoes of the son and jumping out of the car and shouting antisemitic words?

Ah well.

So ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Eric’ responded. Before I paste in what he responded, you should know a bit more about The Artist Formerly Known as Eric

He is not antisemitic. He is more or a man who sees things from his point of view. For example, when a person who styles him or herself ‘being libertarian’ tweeted this about Osama bin Laden

You shouldn’t read Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” & become a sympathizer. You should read it to understand the motive and plan. In no way was 9/11 justified, but there were reasons besides they hate our “freedom.” They hate us being over there. And we haven’t learned

The Artist Formerly Known as Eric’ responded this way. He tweeted

You couldn’t apprase Bin Laden any more than you could Ibram Kendi, or Angela Davis. As far as they’re concerned, there is an infinite well of pain that’s owed to you.

I take that to mean the former-Eric looks at things from the point of view of the protagonists. In other words, that you should not seek to impose your narrative but to understand that there are different narratives. And recognise that our ability to do so is limited because we are not in their shoes.

That’s bollocks because in the absence of certain narratives the world is chaos. 

That’s my point of view.

So against this background, what the former-Eric said in reponse to Mr Weber’s endorsement of the video advertisement was this:

Okay.

Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.

I’m deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much.

You want truth said to your face, there it is.

And in response to that, Elon Musk tweeted

You have said the actual truth

Oh, the Jews have been pushing dialectical hatred. They have the temerity to say this is right and this is wrong.

OK. So that’s a point of view. 

I’m not really concerned with it because the former-Eric is not the boss of X (Twitter) with the power to make the world reverberate in the way that Musk can.

So what do I think is so ‘wrong’ about what Musk said when he endorsed former-Eric’s tweet in reponse to Mr Weber?

The real poverty of thought in Musk’s comment lies not in whether he’s right, or whether he’s wrong, but the fact that he’s made an exception for one group and holds them to a different standard than other groups.

He’s in good company. The last high profile person to do so was General deGaulle, who when he was president of France said at press conference that the Jews were “at all times an elite people, sure of itself and dominating.”

The truth is that if Musk looked around with an unbiased eye he’d see that what he said is true of so many groups throughout the world.

The British class system is built on superiority and their narrative.

Colonialism is built on superiority and the narrative of the colonialists. There’s dialectical hatred in full flow.

Yes, probably some Jews and their narrative of world history and the transcendent are a little mixed up. You might do the same if your sense of worth was tested at the barbed wire of Auschwitz.

Certainly some Palestinians think they are superior and that their narrative and dialectical hatred is the right one. You only have to hear their description of Jews to know that.

Trump certainly thinks some people are superior and that his narrative is right, witness his comment at a rally recently when he talked about those who live like vermin.

Now tell me what group doesn’t have a strong element of thinking they’re superior and that their narrative is right? And by extension that the opposing narrative is wrong? There’s dialectical hatred. 

The problem with the whole world is in thinking about the issues and not about the people.

Perhaps just the poor downtrodden colonised masses who bow their heads; they might not think they’re superior.

Of course not all people think they are superior and not everyone by a long chalk spews dialectical hatred. And maybe we are learning. But there’s a definite strain of group superiority everywhere.

That’s what the human race is trying to get past and bring us all together. And in order to do so we have to join in a single narrative that join us above the supposed rightness of the issues that divide us..

Bottom line – not all narratives were created equal.

The thing is that Musk didn’t make a general point about all humans having different narratives and that maybe some people have better narratives. No, he singled out Jews.

We see it a lot; people who have made Jews and Israel their hobby horse. It doesn’t need me to say again how little attention those same people give to other events and other situations that would deserve their attention if ‘Jews and Israel’ merits their attention.

But the reason for antisemitism is not to be understood at the level of world events.

And Musk did it, because he did not make similar comments about other groups and other situations. And here’s the greater point. It’s not just that Musk made his comment at some point in time. He made it now – now when feelings are at fever pitch.

I ask myself whether Musk thinks all narratives are equal or whether maybe he really has bad intent.

Another Narrative

Another narrative has to take into account the possibility that Musk did not make his tweet at three in the morning when his ‘off-switch’ wasn’t functioning properly.

I listened to his biographer and I am not sure he is qualified to describe Musk. I did learn though that Musk is training his AI model on the contents of Twitter. And perhaps therefore Musk’s tweet was designed to give food and fuel to his AI-in-training.

Plot Lines

#1

A loose group of people with assets sunk into oil are firefighting to preserve their asset value because the world is turning green and they have no exit plan. Their only plan is to delay and discredit the green movement.

A team is detailed to discredit Prince Charles, heir to the throne of the United Kingdom because of his influential support for green energy and an end to pollution.

Their attack is via Harry and Meghan. They help to bring them together and they do small things to help the romance blossom.

They see Harry as the entry point for their plan because of his resentment over the treatment and death of his mother, Princess Diana and because Meghan is mixed race, which adds confusion to the mix.

None of what happens reflects well on Prince Charles or any of the Royal Family. The plan goes well until an employee sees the light and decides to expose the plot. The race is on between the employee and the rich and powerful trying to stop the employee. Friends turn out to be snakes in the grass, and supposed opponents prove their worth.

#2

Boris Johnson turns out after all to be a Russian asset.

He is exposed after a coded memo he writes promoting Christopher Pincher MP, is decoded.
The memo shows that when he promoted Mr Pincher he knew the MP was subject to an investigation over sexual assault. It also shows that he lied to Parliament when he said he was not aware of the allegations and the investigation.

The giveaway though is that the memo is shown to be written in a code used by the Russian FSB.
Boris Johnson’s downfall is brought about by his unforced error in using that code, which he does in disregard for how it might reflect back on him and which he does to show off his dexterity and for the rush of playing with fire.

Boris Johnson’s motive is political. He dreams of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire but is gullible and falls for an obvious Russian ploy in which the FSB promise him £350 million a week indefinitely to support his political dream once he has extracted Britain from the European Union.

Johnson’s exit causes him to start to spill the beans, first by leaking a video of a partygate party at CCHQ then by leaking stories that imply his relationship with former Russian agents who might still in fact be active.

The stinger in the tail is when it turns out that Michael Gove is his handler.

Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Nagorno-Karabakh

The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is an autonomous enclave of Azerbaijan. It is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan and completely surrounded by other countries. It shared a tiny sliver of border with Turkey on the west.

It was formerly owned by what was then Persia (now Iran) and then in the early 1800s after the Russian-Persian war, by Russia.

That changed again with the 1917 Russian revolution when it was contested by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Fast forward to 1990 when it declared independence from the USSR to show solidarity with the nationalist movement in Azerbaijan, and the following year it declared itself the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan.

That decision to ally with Azerbaijan resulted in conflicts and cross-conflicts with Armenia, Turkey, and Russia – who all had an interest in the region.

Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh is another region close by, internationally recognised as being part of Azerbaijan but run as an independent state by the Armenian ethnic majority. Not being a country, it isn’t marked on most maps and I have coloured it fuchsia on this Google map.

The Lachin Corridor

In a statement to the United Nations on 18 September 2005, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, said “It is the issue of communication of the Armenians living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan with Armenia and that of the Azerbaijanis living in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan with the rest of the country. We suggest the using of the so-called Lachin corridor – which should be called “Road of Peace” – by both sides in both directions provided that security of this road will be ensured by the multinational peacekeeping forces at the initial stage”

Update 2022

On 22 Dec, Michael Carpenter of the US Government published a long thread on Twitter. One tweet was a warning about a “A military flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh if Prime Minister Pashinyan does not cater to corrupt Russian interests in Armenia.”

Update September 2023

The BBC and other news outlets are reporting today about demonstrations that have been taking place in Nagorno-Karabakh’s regional capital Stepanakert. The demonstrators are demanding the reopening of the Lachin Corridor linking the Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia

For nearly nine months the corridor has been blocked by Azerbaijani authorities, resulting in shortages of food, medication, hygiene products and fuel.

What a mess.