Useless EatersSun 9:54 am +01:00, 27 Jun 2021
Penang, Malaysia, 2019
Linh Dinh- — The Unz Review June 26, 2021
Last year in South Korea, I went into a fried chicken place and asked for half a bird. Misreading my hand gestures, the lady gave me a full one, but chopped up. It’s standard in South Korea to gorge on an entire chicken, while downing mugs of beer. Their BBQ restaurants also stuff you with meat, usually pork.
Germans, too, can devour frightful quantity of pork at one meal. Served such a sinful portion in Munich, I immediately thought, There’s no way all that is going to fit inside my body.
In Cairo five months ago, I’d sometimes eat dinner with the staff at my budget hotel. Though it was always varied and delicious, there was almost no meat. With flat bread, we scooped potato chunks, mashed fava beans, lentil dip, eggplant in an oily tomato sauce, pickled carrots and turnip, feta cheese spread or falafel, etc. Not bad, since it only cost around $4 to feed three people. All over town, however, there were fast food joints that offered obscene-sized burgers. One named Cheesy Heart Attack had three huge beef patties topped with bacon, slices of cheese and deep-fried mozzarella sticks. A multi-tiered chicken sandwich was dubbed Bazooka. A five-piece chicken meal was called Bomb Attack!
Meat consumption is certainly an affluence index. In Albania, a typical deli sandwich, costing a buck or $1.25, has only a few thin slices of salami or prosciutto, and even the cheese is broken up. Used to heftier Philly hoagies, I’d buy one to go, then supplement it with store-bought meat.
In downscale Tirana eateries with no English menus, you can get spaghetti with butter for around $1.70, or a plate of pilaf with a meat-flavored broth for just $1.30. Either can be consumed whenever, including for breakfast, and your glass of water is free
I’m giving you these examples to show that eating habits vary very widely, with each considered normal, for its time and place. In Saigon, even a piss-poor banh mi is supposed to have pate, ham, cucumber, carrot, cilantro and mayonnaise, but in a mountainous village near the Chinese border, I ran into a guy bicycling around to hawk six sweetened rolls for 22 cents, for that’s all the market would bear, near the end of a winding, unpaved road, among the clouds, with fairies, angels and maybe even God, just around the next bend. Like a dumbshit, I asked him, “What else do you have?”
We’re not just ignorant of what others eat, but what we had to swallow not even that long ago, and that’s why Orwell is, again, so magnificent. Big-hearted, he paid the closest attention to the most banal, yet most insistent, of our problems. That of feeding ourselves.
In The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), Orwell reproduces the food budget of a poor man, as printed in contemporary newspapers. His diet consists of just bread, margarine, dripping, cheese, onions, carrots, broken biscuits, dates, evaporated milk and oranges.
Orwell, “Please notice that this budget contains nothing for fuel. In fact, the writer explicitly stated that he could not afford to buy fuel and ate all his food raw. Whether the letter was genuine or a hoax does not matter at the moment. What I think will be admitted is that this list represents about as wise an expenditure as could be contrived; if you had to live on three and elevenpence halfpenny a week, you could hardly extract more food-value from it than that.”
Though in serious decline, the British Empire was still one of the most powerful, yet millions of Englishmen were literally disfigured by their poverty.
Orwell, “The most obvious sign of under-nourishment is the badness of everybody’s teeth. In Lancashire you would have to look for a long time before you saw a working-class person with good natural teeth. Indeed, you see very few people with natural teeth at all, apart from the children; and even the children’s teeth have a frail bluish appearance which means, I suppose, calcium deficiency. Several dentists have told me that in industrial districts a person over thirty with any of his or her own teeth is coming to be an abnormality.”
(In movies about England during this period, you don’t see any toothless smile, do you? That’s just Hollywood, obviously, so keep that in mind when you watch a film about any country. From its biggest claim to the smallest detail, Hollywood nearly always lies. You’d think everyone already knows that, but recently, an imbecilic reader used a Hollywood film to badger me about the Vietnam War. As Ron Unz sadly points out, Americans get most of their history from Hollywood. Talk about Jew-screwed! Shoah proves the Holocaust. Roots is a documentary about slavery. Three sistas took America to the moon, even if it never got there. It must be true because I saw it on a screen! No wonder the country is being flushed down a Third World shit hole.)
Orwell, “In one house where I stayed there were, apart from myself, five people, the oldest being forty-three and the youngest a boy of fifteen. Of these the boy was the only one who possessed a single tooth of his own, and his teeth were obviously not going to last long.”
After depicting working class life so grimly, Orwell paints an idyllic scene of a comparatively prosperous blue-collar home. On a winter evening after tea, “when the fire glows in the open range and dances mirrored in the steel fender, when Father, in shirt-sleeves, sits in the rocking chair at one side of the fire reading the racing finals, and Mother sits on the other with her sewing, and the children are happy with a pennorth of mint humbugs, and the dog lolls roasting himself on the rag mat.”
It’s where “you breathe a warm, decent, deeply human atmosphere which it is not so easy to find elsewhere. I should say that a manual worker, if he is in steady work and drawing good wages—an if which gets bigger and bigger—has a better chance of being happy than an ‘educated’ man. His home life seems to fall more naturally into a sane and comely shape. I have often been struck by the peculiar easy completeness, the perfect symmetry as it were, of a working-class interior at its best.”
This assertion that a laborer is more likely to be content than an intellectual was likely derived from Orwell’s socialist orientation at the time. Still, no society can be deemed healthy if its working man’s lot isn’t at least tolerable. In the US, it’s already impossible, and will only get worse.
Most men need to employ their muscles, and not just to kill. Education isn’t for everybody. Orwell, “The time was when I used to lament over quite imaginary pictures of lads of fourteen dragged protesting from their lessons and set to work at dismal jobs. It seemed to me dreadful that the doom of a ‘job’ should descend upon anyone at fourteen. Of course I know now that there is not one working-class boy in a thousand who does not pine for the day when he will leave school. He wants to be doing real work, not wasting his time on ridiculous rubbish like history and geography. To the working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly. The idea of a great big boy of eighteen, who ought to be bringing a pound a week home to his parents, going to school in a ridiculous uniform and even being caned for not doing his lessons! Just fancy a working-class boy of eighteen allowing himself to be caned! He is a man when the other is still a baby.”
Men have gone from hunters to farmers, to factory workers, and they’re also counted on to build, repair, police and defend society. With the rise of the machine, however, they are increasingly pushed into feminine jobs, or simply become redundant.
Automation and artificial intelligence accelerate this radical transformation. Soon enough, apparently, men won’t even be needed to drive trucks or taxis, and war, too, can be fought mostly by drones, robots and computer geeks, at a distance. The disappearance of many jobs will also affect women, of course, so who will be left to bring home the bacon?
Admired by Bill Gates, Angela Merkel and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuval Noah Hariri is one of today’s most celebrated public intellectuals. Of this rising “useless class,” his term, Hariri comments, “The most important question in twenty-first-century economics may well be what to do with all the superfluous people. What will conscious humans do, once we have highly intelligent non-conscious algorithms that can do almost everything better?”
And, “In the twenty-first century we might witness the creation of a massive new unworking class: people devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society. This ‘useless class’ will not merely be unemployed—it will be unemployable.”
To Hariri, humans don’t have inner selves, much less souls. Totally deluded and mostly incompetent, we’ll be obsolete computers soon enough. Already smarter than us, machines will also be more artistic and soulful. To a fawning, laughing audience, Hariri declares, “I don’t think life has any meaning.”
Hard and clean, metal symbolizes immortality, so even a coin is impressive enough, much less a complex machine. Though moving so precisely, it doesn’t sweat, slurp loudly or defecate, so, of course, billions of mortals can’t help but worship cars, motorbikes or just watches. Now that machines can even think, we should just slink away.
You can be sure, though, the elite will continue to see themselves as having economic, political or artistic value, even if they or their offspring are as degenerate as, say, Hunter Biden, or even worse. Though perverts and criminals, they decide what’s good, true and feasible.
Useless eaters can only survive on welfare, but if they’re kept breathing, they’ll only breed recklessly, since they have nothing to do but screw all day. Surely you don’t think they’ll compose novels or symphonies? Of course, they’ll rap, but who wants to listen? This endless cloacal stream of useless eaters will rape this already ravaged planet to death. Even now, we can hear Mother Nature screaming. Why tolerate this disaster?
The elite like to toy with us useless eaters. On March 28th, 2019, there was a masked contestant on Project Runway named Kovid Kapoor. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Another cute mind diddle is the Netflix series, Utopia. Finished filming by October 19, 2019, so before Covid, it was released on September 25, 2020. Conning the world into believing there’s a deadly virus, a vaccine is then released to stop human procreation.
The evil architect of all this is Kevin Christie, as played by John Cusack. In one scene, Christie lays out his rationale:
How much evil do you have to do, to do good?[…]
We now have exactly what we want. Hundreds of millions of Americans lining up, offering us their arms and letting us give them our creation.[…]
What we’re doing is far greater than death.
Tell me this, what have you done today to earn your place in this crowded world. Exactly! Everything I do is a cure for our current situation.[…]
That’s the amazing epiphany we had. We didn’t have to kill to accomplish our goal.
We intend to stop human reproduction for three generations. The busy, endless, global assembly line of babies will grind to a halt.[…]
In the first five years, we’ll see major birth rate declines, as teenagers vaccinated today hit their childbearing years.[Civilization] is a very nice euphemism for a species that has replicated like a contagion across the planet, killing all other species in its wake. Except things that are cute, like puppies or koalas. Never in history has there been a creature begging for extinction more than the fucking panda, except us. […]
A hundred years ago, the global population was 1.7 billion. In 2011, it reached 7 billion. People live too long, die less often, fuck too much and shit out babies.
Global warming, mass extinctions, food and water shortages. All these problems can be boiled down to one thing: Overpopulation.
At 1.7 billion, we can be as decadent, self-indulgent and shitty as we want. At ten billion, we have to live strategically. We have to live modestly. We have to live selflessly. And, as you know, we’re not that good at it.
For decades, we’ve been shamed for just being alive, since our existence, with its out-of-control carbon footprint and everests of plastic trash, wrecks this planet. Draining precious resources, babies are not blessings but curses, spawned by the mindless.
Since eating beef increases global warming, we must switch to vegan burgers, or better yet, learn to appreciate deep fried tarantulas, ant larvae tacos and stink bug risotto. Even eating shit is possible, scientists tell us. Still, glaciers disappear, icebergs melt and oceans rise, because we can’t stop driving or farting, not to mention flying everywhere for no good reason. Where should I go next?
To thwart human life is utopia, then, to the elite, so we need to be culled, for sure. War will also depopulate, and with increased demand for just about everything, there’s also lots of money to be made. Borrowed cash will fatten banks.
Rid of unsightly useless eaters, the elite will have more space and nicer views. The prettiest among us will be retained to pleasure them, for isn’t that what life is all about?
With their minds uploaded onto computers, their cells rejuvenated and their defective organs not just replaced, but fantastically upgraded, they’ll live forever as gods.
We won’t even get to become devos, just forgotten history.
Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.