Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Entry for Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw website

I wrote the little essay below for Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw website.

"Why You Don't Just Kill Yourself"

I distrust religions and political ideologies. Beyond the basic tenets of treating your neighbors decently and resisting the urge go on homicidal rampages, they all resort to fantasy and balderdash when they try to explain any more than that. All the concrete evidence points to life being short and brutish at its core, so you might as well enjoy as much as you can before you're fertilizer.

And, since eating is both necessary and potentially pleasurable, why not make the best of it? Sure, it's an ephemeral pleasure, but so is breathing. And no one I know advocates sniffing the effluvia wafting from a porta-potty just because you won't live forever.

So enjoying food is one of the basic ways to inject a little enjoyment into your daily toil. And the best way to enjoy food -- to truly appreciate its many layers and nuances -- is to make it yourself. A scrambled egg is a basic breakfast, but when YOU scramble that egg, adding a touch of spice, a pinch of salt, some scallions and grated cheese, and finishing it as caramelized or as runny as you like -- well, now you've made a meal that will start your day with style. Your tastebuds will thrill with the hints of other flavors you've introduced and cajoled into being. Because you never know when that breakfast may be your last, and who wants to cap off their lifespan with a McMuffin?

Also, even the most jaded and cynical among us needs some fellowship. And cooking well draws the fellow travelers in like nothing else (that's legal, anyway). And, no matter how much you may disagree over the topics of the day, a shared feast works better than any silver-tongued diplomat to keep relations from escalating. Should your neighbor begin spouting off about his views on social darwinism, you can always stuff his mouth with another serving of your special-recipe entree. It's a wholesome, humorous, and always-welcome way to get someone to shut their pie-hole, while the rest of your guest roll their eyes, wink at you, and tuck in themselves.

And I've found that cooking well encourages others to keep your bar well-stocked as they show up with bottles of wine or some obscure liquor they've picked up in their wanderings about the planet. Which is a raison d'etre all by itself.

So if you liked the essay, click on the pictures above to vote for it. Thanks!

Oh, and if you're looking to buy my novel, Bloodsucking Vegas: a vampire noir, then just click on the "Buy Now" button below. It's $3.99 (US) and I only accept Paypal for the time being. Also, it's in pdf format, but if that's a problem for you, just let me know via email once you've purchased it. I can always send it to you in other formats.

Bloodsucking Vegas (pdf)

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