Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Diasporic Dining X: The No Food Movement

Photograph by Hallie Cohen
Due to advances in brain science, eating is bound to go the way of reading in our electronic age. It will eventually become more practical and rewarding to live life on an intravenous drip. Advances in neuro-sensory stimulation will make it possible to create the effects of a great meal without having to go through the time and trouble of anachronistic activities like mastication, which drain bodily energies away from pure thought. Anesthesia will become the model for the dining experience, with time lapse being one of the central characteristics of the new meal. The only difference will be that anesthesia creates the feeling of no time having passed, while “diners” hooked up to electrodes will actually gain the sense of having experienced a ten or twelve course meal that never occurred. People will be able to enjoy culinary adventures without having to pay the price in terms of caloric intake, trans fats, or the accumulation of arterial plaque. Rigidity and boredom will be avoided through the use of sensory receptors that will allow diners to choose their cuisine of choice by simply flipping a switch once the drip has begun. As in Kubla Khan’s famous pleasure palace, “the patient” will be able to experience a drug-induced euphoria in which the exigencies of everyday reality are temporarily kept at bay, and at a fraction of the cost of a conventional meal.
On a practical level, the average meal, which will now be enjoyed on a gurney, will obviate the need for reservations, priority seating, and lousy service, rendering obsolete such disappointments as getting an overcooked steak when you ordered black and blue. The formality and festiveness will not be lost, as all of the appropriate receptors will be treated in such a way that by meal's end the average diner will walk away with the notion that he's just been feted at a table of close friends. The reality will be that he's been hooked up to the solitude of an indwelling stent. The biggest advances will be in the area of post-prandial effects, which will include minimal amounts of gaseous cloud formation, heartburn, and colorectal insult.

Sunday's Best Chicken Broth by Jesse Millward and Sunset Television.

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