It's political season again. And while I know that talking politics is rarely the way to win friends and admirers, it's very likely to happen. (Removed a long diatribe about personal politics here.) I hope to take some time over the next few months and present actually useful info that I've gathered about issues that may be of some help to others even where they disagree with me. Of course, that takes time and real mental activity. And so today, I just have this snarky fake conversation that's been running through my head for the last few days.
It's a conversation between Jebster, our class warfare conservative, and Snarky Me. (As a note, I think sushi's okay, but I don't eat it all that often. At a Japanese restaurant with some friends in Nashville who loved sushi, I usually got the fried noodles. But I'll pop a few pieces now and then. When in Hawaii....)
Snarky Me: Jebster, what's up with the whole Obama's a sushi-eating liberal thing? What's wrong with sushi?
Jebster: You've got to be kidding me. What sort of average American do you know who eats sushi? It's a trendy dish for the Hollywood elite.
Snarky Me: Okay.
Jebster: It shows Obama's not a normal, real American.
Snarky Me: So Japanese-Americans aren't real Americans?
Jebster: What? Japanese people? I didn't think about them. No, I don't mean that.
Snarky Me: But sushi's a pretty normal dish if you're Japanese. You can buy it next to the cash register at 7-11 in Hawaii.
Jebster: Hawaii's not exactly a normal state, you know.
Snarky Me: If you wish. The point is that for many people, sushi's just a normal food. Unless you think having Japanese great-grandparents makes you not a real American.
Jebster: Don't put words in my mouth. So, fine, it's okay if Obama was Japanese.
Snarky Me: But, if he's half white and half-black, sushi reveals he's out of touch.
Jebster: Maybe so....
Snarky Me: So you think people should stick to their own ethnic cuisine. Japanese people get to eat sushi; Cantonese get dim sum; Mexicans get stuck at Taco Bell as punishment for living in the U.S.; and Americans get to eat... is spaghetti too ethnically Italian, or are you okay with some spaghettios, not like you're going to find Spaghettios in Sicily.
Jebster: You're being ridiculous.
Snarky Me: Well, you seem to think that black or white Americans can't eat Japanese food without being suspect....
Jebster: No, that's not the point. The point is that he's elitist. He's sitting there dining on sushi when he could have a good hamburger.
Snarky Me: I see. So, buying sushi is just a waste of money. He must have it coming out of his ears and could never understand the concerns of normal Americans.
Jebster: Pretty much, yeah. What's wrong with a good hamburger or a little steak?
Snarky Me: Sounds good to me. You know, I was at Chili's last night. Wait, is Chili's too froo-froo, or am I still okay?
Jebster: You're good.
Snarky Me: Good. Well, I looked at buying the smallest ribeye they had. They wanted $23.95 for that thing. The sirloin was close to $20.
Jebster: Prices keep going up, yeah? Maybe if you liberals would allow a little more oil drilling.
Snarky Me: We'll snark that issue next time. What's interesting is that the normal American would have to spend around $20 at a normal food chain to get a steak. I can get a couple nagiri for you for $10 at Genki Sushi. It's almost half the price.
Snarky Me: Yeah, depending on what you buy, the elitist sushi could be cheaper than the non-elitist slab of midwestern beef.
Jebster: So, what's your point?
Snarky Me: So the point is that the sushi-eating knock on liberals is either unacknowledged ethno-centrism / racial beliefs about who is and is not a real American, or based on incorrect ideas of how much things cost, or just a meaningless insult tossed out instead of engaging in any substantive discussion.
Jebster: It's mostly just an insult.**
Snarky Me: Well, good to get that out there. By the way, do you know if Obama does eat sushi?
Jebster: Um, no, no idea.
Snarky Me: Thanks for this enlightening discussion.
** Jebster should have replied that it wasn't as if Snarky Me was engaging in anything substantive either. To which I would have had no reply other than "touche." That's "touche" with a little accent aigu on the e, a symbol I don't know how to do on a PC, only on a Mac.