A blog meant to represent, as most blogs do, extracts or excepts from day-to-day life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The futurists

I always thought the futurists were just joking around--you know, trying to show some of the pitfalls of our technological advancements by hyperbolizing them in art, literature, even cooking(!) But it turns out they were being serious. Joke's on me.

I just bought a first edition of The Futurist Cookbook (paperback, so it's not nearly as valuable as the hardcover editions). I was reading through the introduction, which was all about how the essays, recipes, and F. T. Marinetti's gastronomic journey across Europe was meant as a "joke"--but the joke was that everything he was saying about food was really intended to signify his ideas about human culture in general. (For the record, I don't think that's really a "joke." I think that's an allegory, analogy, metaphor, parable, etc.)

So what was so surprising to me was that the futurists really did think that technology holds humanizing possibilities. How did I miss that? On some level, I suppose we can't deny technology's humanizing potential, but I always thought the futurists were intentionally trying to be so ridiculous in their movement as to show that such a penchant for technology--a reliance on machines, computers, kitchen gadgets, and so forth--would lead to a race of very weak and lame humans, lacking the hard work, spirit, and creativity that become the essence of humanity itself. Where'd I get that idea? Silly me. I should just stay in the kitchen. And read cookbooks.


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