Monday, May 21, 2007

Social Consquences of Truth

In case, anyone has not noticed, the CC is sort of obsessed with this semi-fluid line between authenticity, and the lack thereof.

All identities are constructed, and there are tremendous, and powerful social mechanisms in place trying to propagate these constructs. This could hardly be considered a revelation.

However, the social consequences of uncovering people's deeply held beliefs as inauthentic can prove to be problematic.

A few years ago, the CC was having dinner with an aunt, and a friend.

Over Oaxacan food, the conversation veered hither and thither to nopales, and chillies, and how the New World had invaded the Old (foodwise.)

The CC having had a margarita (or two) steered the conversation to how chillies never really existed in Indian cooking (just black pepper), and how tomatoes were a "recent" import to Italy, and from there on to India, and how most of the things that Indians considered "Indian", and Italians considered "Italian" were just New World constructs, and since the New World hadn't been discovered for all that long, how authentic could they possibly be?

Well, the CC was greeted with the same response he would've had, had he just mentioned that he had spent the last evening sodomizing his dead grandmother.

Short moral: talking about food can be dangerous.