Food and the World. Globalisation. note the annotation by Tricky Taipei, too. two connections to our class. first, money and globalisation — $80 mango, $29 dumplings, and our semester long discussion about value and hierarchy. second, globalisation and high technology creating a new genre of global travel and food reporting — given that globalisation is the latest phase of global imperialism, inequality and exploitation are necessary characteristics of all global interactions, travel and food shows also fall well within these confines. what parts of the world play the relatively passive, exotic places to be explored and narrated, versus what tiny parts of the world have the resource and power to dominate the global conversation mirrors the global imperialism pattern for the past five centuries. Professor Liang p.s. i will never spend $29 for dumplings, but yes, Taiwanese dumplings are very tasty …. and remember, most civilisations have a comparable form of food, meat covered by starch — historically tiny bits of meat, not like today — a classic poor people food to stretch the resource as far as possible ….
Worth It Goes To Taiwan $0.50 Dumpling Vs. $29 Dumplings •BuzzFeedVideo via TrickyTaipei
Globalisation. food and foodways …. Anthony Bourdain visited a restaurant in Singapore where the theme is surgical — globalisation, consumerism, and saturation — in an era where everything material and virtual are over-saturated, shock is the only way to get attention. i myself prefer the quiet and simple and slow — the time tested and the familiar and the familial. i suspect part of the anger and anxiety is coming from being bombarded with shock-attention grabbing manipulation all the time. which reminds me of two recent articles, about doctors prescribing “nature” — go for a hike, go meditate in a forest — as medicine; and the longstanding Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature. of course the nature of globalisation is that somewhere somehow this will turn viral, become a “must do” …. books and websites and advice columns will appear about the right and wrong way to “do” nature, and then before you know it, a billion dollar multinational industry will appear — nature coaching, nature tours, products to use while encountering nature, etc. Professor Liang
Explore Taiwan’s Unique Themed Restaurant Culture Smithsonian Magazine https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/explore-taiwans-unique-restaurant-culture-180959241/
Globalisation 2019. the paradox of globalisation is that the more connected the globe has become, the more we realize how much we share in common while at the very same time the urge to draw distinct boundaries becomes more radicalized, militant, and often violent. part of this has to do with the unusual pace and scale of this global connection — what used to take thousands of years now occur weekly, daily. part of this has to do with a sense of chaos and lack of control — and loss of dignity — whether it is indigenous groups, oppressed groups, laid off auto workers, members of a small town. and of course, part of this has to do with the very unequal engine driving globalisation — imperialism is the engine driving this process, hence, the natural reaction. much as i love efforts like these — and as often as i volunteer my time and donate money to any effort to save the historic, the local, the quirky — in the larger context i also believe this: a culture/civilisation is alive when it isn’t spending a lot of time thinking about what it is or isn’t, and the moment one sees efforts to “save” it or to “revitalize” it, then something dreadful has already occurred. my application of this sense is pretty universal, all the way from efforts to make English as the official language of the US, to efforts to save Taiwanese as a language. in any case, this is the broadest theoretical framework for our semester, as always, open to debate, discussion, counter-examples, improvements, and so on. Professor Liang