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The Futurist Cookbook: I found this at the Fort Mason bookstore, which was lucky because I thought I'd have to special order it for an exorbitant fee. It's a combination art manifesto and cookbook. There are a bunch of rants against pasta, and then some sample dinners which are actually short-short stories, and then just when you think there will be no recipes there are recipes for the rest of the book.

After reading this book the main thing about Futurism I find interesting is the obsession with airplanes. People call themselves aeropainters and aeropoets. The Futurist Cookbook tells you to make aerofood, and to bake bread into the shape of airplanes, and names the dishes of a dinner after the stages of an airplane flight ("Taste Buds Take Off", anyone?). It reminded me a lot of contemporary artists who are obsessed with the Internet. The airplane stuff was kind of cargo cult and distracting from the real point of Futurism, which is actually good because as far as I can tell the real point is fascism. Good aesthetics (modulo airplane obsession), lousy politics.

My mother read the cookbook while she was here and deemed it "crazy". It is pretty crazy, but it seems to mark the first time food was treated primarily as an artistic statement (it's hard for me to pin down exactly what happened here for the first time because of all the stuff that went on in antiquity and medieval times, but it seems like something happened here for the first time). There were some recipes with great names like "Network in the Sky" (possibly interoperating with the Mashed Potato Cloud), and a recipe for risotto balls that sounds really good. Also it had the following anecdote:

The time set for sitting down at table had already passed and no one said anything about getting thie Lucullan feast underway. I got up to ...

— Look, my dear friend, in being late even you are passéists; I thought the Futurists, if only to do something new, would have started early but instead there's the usual boring wait just like at all the banquets in this bourgeois world.

He looks at me and smiles ironically — to eat in the future ... what's more Futurist than that?

[Comments] (2) Desk Set: Sumana borrowed this movie from the library. It's pretty funny and it has great corporate set design and booze-drenched office Christmas parties like The Apartment. The acting is good; you don't get good snort-laughing from today's top actresses the way you got with Katherine Hepburn. The whole story is an object lesson in not making really stupid design decisions, which got kind of frustrating. The romance seems kind of tacked on. Sumana watched the DVD commentary and reported that in the original play, there was no romance and it was a Man in the White Suit sort of comedy.

Incidentally, has anyone noticed that Kate Mulgrew really likes to play characters also named Kate? She's playing Katherine Hepburn live at some local theater, she played Kathryn Janeway of course, she played a Kate Columbo in an old mystery series, and I think there was another mystery series that only had a pilot where she played another Kate. It is odd.


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