Some screeching, cunt-chafed harridan at Salon recently took to the Interwebz to shrewsplain to us why celebrities making paella in the wrong dish is apparently cultural appropriation. Mireia Triguero Roura sniffily tells us that while we were enjoying “unnecessarily gigantic meals” in our homes over the holidays (because she and her band of unshaven, rainbow-haired, perpetually offended harpies are ultimately the arbiters of what is necessary and what isn’t in other people’s lives), actor Rob Schneider was committing an act of nefarious cultural appropriation against Spain in his own home.
Spaniards were outraged. Some replied with angry, insulting tweets. Many sent pictures of their own paellas as inspiration. Others created fake, outrageous variations on the classic hot dog. A Spanish chef kindly took it upon himself to show the American actor what paella is and what it isn’t. For some hours, this became a trending topic in some regions in Spain. Schneider finally apologized and vowed to try to make it again, with all the new paella knowledge forced on to him through social media.
Massive raw lobster tails aside, Spaniards were reacting to what they felt was cultural appropriation of their cuisine.
Spaniards are certainly very proud of their cuisine, and we can be regionalists to a fault. No two towns can fully agree on what exactly you need to put in a paella. Some argue that onions give it the better flavor, but many will say that there is no place for them in the dish. Some take their issue with peas and fava beans, and others have unearthed family recipes going back to the 19th century to show that snails have a place on the rice. But small battles aside, there’s one thing everyone can agree on, and that is that one must cook paella in, well, a paella pan.
That’s right. Rob Schneider insensitively put stuff that he likes in his paella – in his own home – using the WRONG. FUCKING. PAN. – using ingredients he liked – and Spaniards lost their collective shit. Perhaps they should worry more about their abominable more than 18 percent unemployment rate, rather than soil themselves on Twitter because some celebrity posted a picture of his dinner, but that’s none of my business.
But then we have this Mireia Triguero Roura explaining just why it’s so offensive to cook what you want and how you want it in your own home, and I have to once again point to the fact that this cultural appropriation and perpetual offense garbage has jumped the shark. Hard.
The shallow and wide pan, with two handles in opposite sides, gives the name to this rice dish. And to some extent any rice dish cooked on such pan could qualify to be a paella. So even if we take this very low bar for defining paella, Schneider’s dish failed the test. As a twitter user pointed out he just made “rice with things,” or perhaps more accurately, things with rice.
Well… technically, that’s what paella is – rice with things. There’s vegetable paella. There’s seafood paella. There’s chicken paella, meat paella, mixed paella, you name it! There are also green beans, artichokes, and peppers – all depends on how you want to make it. So yeah – it’s rice with things, no matter how much snobbery you want to inject into your criticism.
To Schneider’s credit, where could he have turned to for a paella recipe that wouldn’t have infuriated most Spaniards? Just a few months ago, the famous chef Jamie Oliver failed the paella test again when he proposed a recipe that not only was again not made in the proper pan, but it also added something no Spaniard has ever seen in paella: chorizo. Just like Schneider, Oliver received his fair share of criticism on social media, and even newspapers reported the story as some outrageous insult to Spanish culture.
And why should Schneider give a shit if something he makes in his own home, for his friends and family, that he will consume “infuriates” anyone? Is he trying to sell it? No. Is he a chef in a Spanish restaurant? No. He’s a celebrity who posted a picture of his fucking dinner. Get over yourselves.
But unlike Schneider, Oliver is a chef, and a widely recognized one. So people will turn to him for advice. What are a celebrity chef’s responsibilities when writing a recipe for a dish that hails from a different cultural tradition than their own? How much should they stay close to the original dish and how much room do they have to be as creative as they want to be?
A chef is an artist with food. His only responsibility is to his customers, who will either love or hate his dish. He certainly has no responsibility to ask permission from the perpetually aggrieved about how he chooses to create. If they don’t like it, you know what they can do? Not spend money in his restaurant. Not buy the dish.
Did the Moors in ancient Spain, who began cultivating rice around the 10th century ask the Chinese in the Pearl River valley region who originated rice for permission to cultivate rice and use it in their dishes how they wished?
Did the Spaniards, who imported pepper seeds from Mexico in the 15th century ask them for permission to use them in their national dishes?
Saffron, a common spice in paella, is native to Southwest Asia and was likely cultivated in or near Greece. I don’t see the Greeks flinging “cultural appropriation” turds at the Spaniards for using that particular spice in their paella.
Food evolves, much like other art. Chefs explore new flavors, new spices, and new ingredients to make tasty dishes that stand out to their customers. Countries import various fruits, vegetables, and spices, and create new, interesting, innovative meals that vary with each individual palettes.
I’m guessing Mireia Triguero Roura is not that adventurous, nor is she open minded enough to understand diversity in that context, because when faced with a lack of things to be outraged about, these nags must dig deep to keep the indignation alive.
And she admits it.
It is hard to talk about cultural appropriation in food. For one, most cuisines have been developed as a result of the influences of many peoples, and hail from particular territories rather than countries.
Then perhaps she should stop talking about cultural appropriation in food. But no, she wastes many more paragraphs doing just that in the most inane, imbecilic manner!
A quick browse through the big food magazines in English reveals that virtually all have at least one paella recipe that includes chorizo—and most include other big no-nos among paella chefs. But most of them fail to mention that “chorizo” cannot be found in the dish in Spain. And in fact, most Spaniards felt even disgusted by the thought of it.
So what? Does that mean that others aren’t free to enjoy chorizo in their paella? Normal people just let others enjoy what they like, as long as it doesn’t infringe on their right to do the same. But apparently certain Special Snowflakes™ in Spain are unable to allow others to simply enjoy their own creations, so they have to destroy everyone else’s happiness, because it’s the only way they can validate their sad existences.
And yet if the nature of paella changes regionally inside Spain (even inside Valencia region), why should we allow those discrepancies only inside the borders of Spain? Shouldn’t we embrace, as David Rosengarten suggested in a Saveur article, the “changing nature of the dish” and “focus on the singular pleasure of eating it” instead? One could argue it should be a source of pride to see your cuisine become a source of inspiration for many around the world.
Unless one is a pretentious fuck weasel, in which case one writes entire articles waxing hysterical about “cultural appropriation.”
But at the heart of Spaniards’ battle to keep chorizo out of paellas around the world is the sense of protecting a sacred identity.
Sacred identity? What sort of fuckery is this? It’s food, ferpetessake! It’s rice mixed with olive oil, some veggies, spices, and proteins! It’s not like it came out of the Virgin Mary’s untapped asshole. It’s FOOD! Get over yourselves!
Earlier this year at Oberlin College, some students protested against a coleslaw and pulled-pork sandwich that was being sold under the name “banh mi,” which is a Vietnamese sandwich consisting of none of those ingredients.
Well, color me shocked! Oberlin students – the mental institution that spawned the feminazi, child molesting landwhale Lena Dunham – are protesting something?
Take, however, two of the big immigrant cuisines in the U.S.: Mexican and Italian. Arguably, tacos ordered in Texas are quite different from a carnitas taco found in Jalisco. And “marinara” sauce in the United States has come to mean a whole different world from the original Italian word. But unlike Mexican-American and Italian-American food in the U.S., which are the result of large populations of immigrants settling in the country and bringing with them their food and recipes and adapting both to the ingredients and the palates of the land, the chorizo-paella (or the Oberlin “banh mi”) seems rather the result of non-Spanish chefs in a test kitchen deciding what belongs in a dish with what seems like little research or respect to the country of origin. And unlike most creations that are a result of culinary cross-pollination (think: the ramen burger), no one is changing the name to suggest this is a new creation. (I suggest we call this “choriella” from “chorizo” and “paella”).
So ultimately, what Mireia Triguero Roura is offended by is the word “paella.” Just like any other Special Snowflake™ she just haz teh sadz that someone has the temerity to use a word with which she disagrees to describe something as basic as food, made by someone other than she and her band of perpetually aggrieved shrews find acceptable, and therefore, since her delicate labia are bruised by mere words, she can’t help but publicly shame them for it. Nagging – it’s like Vagisil for the SJW soul.
Krishnendu Ray, a New York University professor of food studies, argues in “The Ethnic Restaurateur” that white chefs have more freedom to play with other people’s food than chefs of color do, which creates an inherent inequality in the field. To that, I would add that in a world where most people turn to the Internet to find recipes — and English is the de facto lingua franca of the online world — English-speaking chefs not only have more freedom to play around, but they also have the power to ultimately transform traditional dishes from other countries, without so much as an acknowledgement.
And of course, no Salon article would be complete without quoting some obscure, perpetually victimized “professor” of food studies, claiming “white privilege,” to give the drivel what passes for gravitas in the world of the culture jihadists.
Cultural appropriation? Check.
White privilege? Check.
Ah! The recipe for progtard butthurt is complete!
Now, go enjoy your paella, heathens! Add some corn, tuna, and mayonnaise to it, and microwave it on high. And don’t forget to post a photo on Twitter and brag about your paella attempt, to really give this squealing nag something to gripe about!
If you don’t feel like reading the entire story linked, here’s a short version:
Special snowflake gets internship at a firm that requires employees to dress professionally.
Special snowflake notices one member of the firm wearing shoes that don’t conform to dress code.
Special snowflake gets bent out of shape, because someone is violating dress code with apparent impunity, and approaches manager to ask if the interns could violate dress code too.
Special snowflake’s request is denied.
Special snowflake can’t take no for an answer, and writes a proposal/petition, signed by other special snowflake interns, telling the management why they should be allowed to violate company policy.
All special snowflakes who signed the petition get tossed out on their entitled asses.
Isn’t it amazing when the special snowflakes get into the real world outside their university safe spaces and discover that the real world doesn’t care about their special snowflakery? Rough lesson, boys and girls, but one you should take to heart.
The advice columnist is correct in her response.
Y’all were pretty out of line. You were interns there — basically guests for the summer. Their rules are their rules. This is like being a houseguest and presenting your host with a signed petition (!) to change their rules about cleaning up after yourself. You just don’t have the standing to do that.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Special Snowflakes demand extra time to do their schoolwork, because it interferes with their activism. We’ve seen them violently demand that their opposition be silenced and even deprived of employment! We’ve seen them demand safe spaces and participation trophies. They want passing grades just for breathing and excused delays in examinations, because they’re just too stressed about the perceived injustices they face in this world to study! And universities, in their blinding ignorance, have genuflected in front of these overindulged piglets and bent over backwards to accommodate them for fear of being branded racist, misogynist, or any other offensive “ist” you can think of!
Well, guess what, snowflakes!
That’s not how the real world works.
No one believes you’re special or important because today you identify as a demigender toaster!
An internship is supposed to provide you with an opportunity to learn and get real world experience! You’re certainly not doing anyone a favor by gracing them with your presence, no matter what mommy and daddy told you when they gave you that pony! The work you do will determine your value to the company that affords you said opportunity. They are your host. They are kind enough to take you on and show you the ropes. They certainly don’t need your privileged, disgruntled whining about being forced to wear leather shoes! You don’t like it? Get the fuck out! Your internship is a gift to no one but you, and if you’re extremely lucky,sometimes you’ll even get paid for the opportunity!
A workplace is not a democracy. A workplace is not a “safe space.” Your manager does not owe you an explanation about why a certain full-time employee may or may not be exempt from a stated workplace policy. And they certainly don’t need a bunch of puerile brats organizing what amounts to a mini protest of policies they don’t like. Your manager is not your friend, parent, or nanny. A workplace is where you learn practical experience in your chosen career, and perhaps, if you really do your job well, you will have an opportunity to join the workforce as a full, productive member!
Oh, and by the way, the person who was “violating” the dress code was a Soldier who had lost her leg! So yes, she was allowed to wear whatever shoes she wanted. What’s really telling is that special snowflake, instead of acknowledging that perhaps interns have no place informing management who, in their view, should be allowed to wear whatever they wanted, claims they would have taken the Soldier’s predicament into consideration when making their recommendations!
Who in the blinding, sniveling fuck should care about what a bunch of sniveling millennials recommend as a dress code at a firm whose leadership quite obviously knows better what kind of image it wants to project? Do special snowflake and her whining cohorts really consider themselves that important?
My friend Amanda has it exactly right in her post about this very same subject this morning. The entire letter shows that special snowflake doesn’t understand what she did wrong. She thinks the interns are somehow higher on the food chain than they actually are, and further believes that the management ought to reconsider their firing!
The selfish, entitled brattery is nauseating! Amanda also notes that special snowflake appears to only be concerned with her own dismissal and not that of her fellow interns, even though she organized this mini-mutiny, and if she had any integrity at all, would hold herself responsible.
She mentions how professionally the proposal was written – just like she was taught at school!
Perhaps her school should have taught her the value of professional conduct, instead of coddling and telling her how special and important she is!
My mom called me a misanthrope today. She calls me that a lot.
I have to admit that there are times I do feel like humanity has become this despicable caricature of itself – entitled, perpetually offended, authoritarian, too willing to use force (whether government or personal) against others in order to get what it feels it deserves, and numbed down dumb.
We’ve become an entitlement society. I’m not just talking about those who feel they’re entitled to goods and services at others’ expense merely by virtue of existing. I’m not just talking about those who despise the success and achievement of others and feel themselves deserving of a piece of that pie they haven’t earned. All of these characters are symptoms of a larger problem.
I saw a post on social media this morning describing some situations emblematic of the issue.
I walked up to an empty Redbox… one that held my reserved disks. There was a child and her mother scrolling through the second box. The girl turned and looked at me and jumped in front of the vacant box as I stood in front of it. I politely told her I was there to pick up my reservations. The mother turned to me and told me her daughter was searching for a movie and she had a right to be there.
Today I was leaving a store that verifies your receipt as you exit. There was quite a line. As I neared the door, an young boy raced past me pushing a cart and inserted himself and the cart before me. His dad caught up to him and together they exited the store. You would think the dad might apologize or mention to his son that I was in line first but he did nothing.
I’ve seen this myself. As you know, it’s tourist season in DC, and you will always find some rude jackasses elbowing their way through crowds, pushing their way to what they perceive to be the most comfortable or advantageous position on the metro, and flipping off drivers – yes flying the international symbol of love and affection – at a driver who deigned to honk at them, because they were crossing the intersection when the light has already turned red, and they’re obviously entitled to cross where and when they want and their mission to get wherever it is they’re going at the time is more important than anyone else’s.
I’ve seen it in my own niece, whom I adopted when she was 11, and who felt herself entitled to special treatment, because she had a rough childhood before she came to live with us, even as she fed her little sister drugs – Methodone, Percocet, and other poison – because she was entitled to company in her revolting misery.
When Danny was in middle school, he got into a tussle with another kid. Admittedly Danny said something incredibly rude to him during an argument, but the kid, who outweighed him by probably a good 50 pounds, felt Danny’s rudeness entitled him to try and beat the crap out of my son. Luckily, the ginger kid knew how to defend himself even then, but I received a phone call from the school’s administration telling me that my son was going to be disciplined for defending himself against the bigger kid. They felt the physical attack on my then-shrimpy child was somehow mitigated, because the larger kid was offended by what my son said during an argument.
My message to the school administrators was twofold:
1 – No insult and no offense entitles any child to physically attack another child.
2 – My son will continue to defend himself against larger bullies, and next time that child or any other lays a hand on him, I will tell him to ensure they go down and stay down.
But the fact that this kid felt it was OK to attack a smaller kid, because he was offended by something he said is once again an indication of a bigger problem.
We have a society that teaches kids from a young age that their precious feelings are somehow more important and valid than others’ rights.
We have a society that teaches kids they’re entitled to the best in life – even if it’s at others’ expense, and without having to put in effort to get it.
We have a society that’s so scared to hurt Precious Punkins’ feelings, and so afraid to allow them to fail, that they prohibit teachers from using red pens when correcting homework for fear that it might scar the FEELZ, and hand out participation trophies as prizes for not achieving!
Results are not important. Effort is only marginally required, if at all.
The result is people who expect others to bend to their every desire – whether it’s to never critique their weird fetishes, which they invariably publicize loudly for the world to gawp at (and no, I will not consider your coffeemaker your wife, no matter how much you screech that it’s entitled to recognition, nor will I provide dependent benefits for your shrubbery – no matter how hard you claim you identify as a plant and the potted plant is your spouse).
The result is Special Snowflakes who demand excused absences from school and extra time to take exams and turn in university assignments, because they’re so busy agitating for their social justice cause du jour, they ignore the purpose of school is to actually learn something.
And the result is entitled, selfish, spoiled adults who demand their “greatness” be recognized by employers without actually doing the work to make them great, in-your-face grownups, who protest and complain about “unfair treatment,”because their boss refused to bend to their unreasonable demands, and whining, entitled employees who consider their Special Snowflakedom sufficient reason to get raises, bonuses, and plum assignments, because their childhood was oh-so-hard because mommy carefully referred to them as “they,” because they informed their parents one night that they identified as a dinner napkin, while other kids rightfully thought them weird.
We have wrapped our kids in metaphorical bubble wrap, afraid to let them fail, afraid to allow them to learn, afraid to let them face challenges on their own, and terrified of hurting their precious little feelz. We allow them to be rude, entitled, and perpetually offended. We advance the message that force is an appropriate means to get what they feel they’re entitled to – be it through government, bullying, or societal pressure.
Is it any wonder that so many of us hate what this society has become?