He has been called many things. Among them, Mississippi Redneck Cook, Redneck Sous Chef, Monk of the Transcendental Capsaicinophilic Society(TCS), Order of Immaculate Twister, Keeper of the Faith . . . and a towel. And those are just what he calls himself! Some call him the chile prophet. Some call him the servant of El Grande Habanero. I just call him Rael. He waxes eloquent on all things chile, and occasionally ventures into other topics. He is always entertaining.Rael gave me permission to post some of his rants here. So, in no particular order, here are some:
A chile haiku:burnt tongue
singed bungin hell
god pleasepity me;
Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
Rael"...no poet here..."64
On Open Fields 2008Right wing, left wing...macht nichts. But, yeah. No chance we could attend this year though. Busy busy.
As to themes and movies, maybe work in something like...Ironman. Haven't seen it yet, but with that title, you've got a wonderful title track from Black Sabbath and Mr. Ozzy. Nothing like a bonfire in an orchard with heavy metal blaring through the night."I....AM.....IRON....BUNG!"
Maybe....."Horton Hears a Hab". ("Eat Me! Eat MEEEEEEEEEE!")Too kiddy-like?
Maybe....."Indiana Jim and the Eating of Habs"?Maybe...I need coffee.
Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
Rael"..evil powder disappears/Demons worry when the chile-wizard is near/He turns joy to tears/Everyone's happy when the chile-wizard walks near.."64
More on Open Fields 2008
Or "The Indiana Jones: Achin' for Pain". Note the pun on 'jones'(damn, I'm proud at so #%#^^& early in the morning!); "The" is very important!The poster/etc. could include pic of =Mark's "fem-chile" atop a pair of leather boots, whip in hand. Maybe a little Nancy Sinatra (hey, stop yer groanin!) singing "These Boots are Made for Walkin'"? Okay, so you can't put music on a poster. I'm thinking opening credits for the movie...yeah...
Uh, back to bed.Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles with Whips.......
On ChinaExcept for the flight (been there, done that last year; damned long), and assuming it's actually legit, the visit would probably be pretty groovy. Grasshopper in chile sauce; fried scorpion; things from the sea (so said) you wish had stayed in the sea! Well, okay, that was in Beijing. Generally, the food was pretty dee-lish. Chiles just help kill anything that ain't already dead.
Can't go this year, but lemme know next year, and the better half and I will gladly represent you and your products in China next year. I'll even pay for our own rooms if you foot the bill for the round trip tix (for two) ;)Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
On slow list email traffic:
Just slow, I believe. Seeds have sprouted, so everyone is gathered 'round their seedlings, praying to El Grande, and otherwise oblivious to the world.Or it's that damned Job Thing that gets in the way of life (if not sucks the life right out of you).
Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
On faux chipotle
It's a subversion of all that is chipotle. Actually, I think it's more like the big "blackened" fad. Everyone wanted everything blackened - catfish, chicken, beef, pig, dog, pineapple, etc. - except few knew what it really was (and not too damned many knew how to do it, which is what blackening is: a doing, a method, a verb dammit). Ergo, "blackening" seasoning, mix, spice, etc. What the phuck?So, chipolte, my theory goes, is being subverted similarly. Chipotle seasoning; chipotle spice; smokey chipotle! Uh....right.
Blame it on advertising. Lies and leanings offered with smiles, big tittied wimmen (say it ain't true!), and groovy CGI, all designed to coerce, er, no, INFORM and Educate the consumer as to what he/she should desire, no, want, um...no, NEED because, well, no one wants to not stand out (Be an Individual!) in the crowded world by being, doing, consuming as does everyone else (Be an Individual Just Like THEM!). Hence, in the realm of the culinary, what the public needs is chipotle! (but you're all too damned wimpy to eat it, don't really know what it is anyway, so we'll sell you this sheeeeeeeeet, which costs us, like, a penny, and you'll happily consume your fake chipotle flavored full-o-antibotics-and-hormone chickie, and be happy in your World O' Delusion).So, chipotle = fake smokey smelling shit with some burnt halo-peno floating about.
Yum.Actually....I think I went on the "damn those heatless chile folks to hell!" rant a couple (or more) years ago and was chastised for suggesting that Freedom of Invention was somehow not a Right and that the Almighty Market always dictates: good stuff sells; shit does not. Well, I knew then that that was horsekaka, for we all (should) know that Monster Corporations control most of the foodways, and when Food Corp, Inc. says to the grocers "sell this crap and move the real food onto lower shelves, far away, or better yet, give us their shelving space," well the grocers shake from the knees down, bow deeply, kiss a little hiney, and lo, Heatless HaloPeno Salsa with Scrumpdillyitious Hothouse No-Flavor Tomatoes and Onions hits the shelves, dominates the shelves, appears on menus, and YOU WILL PHUCKING LIKE IT (because we've done our best to eradicate real food, or at least blame the Chinese for doing what we've done to food, products, etc. for the last
hundred years).Maybe it was actually my saying something like 'folks "inventing" heatless chiles should be shot and (most) corporations should be burned to the ground' that got me chastised. I fergit.
Whatever. But I feel better now.Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
Rael"...Monsanto is the Workplace of Satan..."64
On evil corporations:
Here's a couple of points for general discussion....At what point does a small manufacturer cross over to > "evil corporate mass marketer type"? I enjoy a certain amount of good
First: realize that I generalize, and greatly so. Many of my "you's" are you in the plural. Second, not all corporations are evil any more than all human beings are evil. Yet, many (too many) are, corporations (unethical, generally) and humans (immoral, generally, or at least wildly selfish). Thirdly, yes, I know. Ethics/morality from Rael. It doesn't get much funnier...Anyway, a corporation is "evil" when:
1) the company becomes monopolistic;
2) the HQ is set up out of country to avoid paying US taxes;
3) company operations are set up out of country or outsourced to avoid paying US labor;
4) the product (its quality, etc.) is secondary to profit;
5) the public good/welfare is secondary to profit;
6) the product/company causes or contributes to great environmental, social, economic, etc. damage;Any one of the above, and others I did not consider, contribute to "evil corporations" in my opinion.
I don't necessarily think it is a size issue per se, although some problems seem inherent with huge corporations. Also, corporations enjoy some freedoms, as it were, and protections that individual human beings do not enjoy. This is wrong if not for the simple fact that a corporation can do far more damage to the general public than can an individual, generally. Simply put, if a corporation is guilty of, say, misleading the public and doing some great harm, more often than not, the company endures. Someone(s) is fired, a fine is levied, and that's about it (if lucky). I would prefer that the corporate charter be revoked, the corporation be liquidated, and all wrongs set right.. . . .
[In response to Jim Campbell's question about wanting to make his chipotle sauce a number one seller - when does he cross the line from 'artisinal maker' to 'mass marketer' and from good to evil?] The quick and easy answer would be: when you, as a corporation (I'll leave the rant on personal wealth for another day...hehe), get too damned greedy, or powerful. (I note that theoretically, power and wealth can be put to good use, which is the common claim of libertarians, etc. I'll believe it when I see it.)[In response to Campbell's question about dumbing down chile stuff to appeal to the masses, aren't we converting legions of people to the chilehead side]. In a word, no. Well, okay, you can make the claim, but its false. Generally said, the idea of "converting" people to the CH side is, with all due respect, said from the point of view of a businessman, someone not wishing to convert people to the wonderful world of El Grande, but to chile consumption. One does not dumb down, say, religion (not mention a few tenets, for example) in order to gain new converts. Well, okay, many religions do just that. Bad analogy.
If people wish to eat chiles, they should eat chiles. As we all know, far better than most, there are many chiles with many flavors and many heat levels. Some bell peppers have a slight bite to them. I've had pimentos that were just damned (damned) fine chiles with great flavor and a nice little bite. But to adulterate a jalapeno, for example, to make it something less than it is is, in my humble opinion, grotesque and speaks to that uniquely human desire to phuck with nature just to satisfy a whim, an ego, and, generally, make some profit. There is no need for it. Make a jalapeno hot sauce and dilute it; eat banana peppers; eat roasted bell peppers. If chiles are too hot, why the hell is someone interested in eating one to begin with? It's like wanting a brussels sprout that is red (more aesthetically pleasing) and tastes like cherry. Why not just eat a phucking cherry?Absurdity justified by a desire for profit.
[In response to Campbell's question about sameness, blandness, the government's like for such, and excessive governmental regulation]. Who do you think dictates many of these food regs (and I assume that most of them you are referring to are of the HAACP kind, labeling requirements, and so forth)? Large corporations. Oh, they bitch about them, but generally the acquiesce, particularly if they get to help write the reg. They know good and well what will force out the little company. And for those who weather the storm, their lives have been made hell for so long, that when Big Corporation makes a play for the small and successful company, well, some call it a sell-out, some call it Damned Wise. I call it a conspiracy.Suffice it to say, when the FDA, USDA, and numerous other government agencies are stocked by company insiders and others with agendas of their own, the regulations, overwatch, etc., are designed to exclude and include. They are not designed with public safety in mind and often give little more than lip service to bona fide science.
As to the political portion of your rant, let me reply this way. I'd be all for Big Business regulating itself. I really would. But, certain things would have to change and be unconditional. For example, as I said above, when a corporation is found in the wrong, e.g. price fixing, not paying taxes, polluting, forcing out small businesses, while circumstances must be considered, of course, generally said, the corporation AS A WHOLE must be held accountable. If tainted meat makes it through the system to the consumer, the consumers who suffer should be fairly compensated, the problem should be discovered, fixed, and the company should be fined, and if similar problems happen again, the company shuts down. If the company pollutes (e.g. a mining company), whatever is required to clean up the area must occur. No selling the business, passing on the problem.Strict standards; strict enforcement; no quarter to offenders. I even support the liquidation of all assets of management of corporations that do irreparable damages, and I mean bankrupt the people, take their houses, holdings, and let them work for a living. I kid you not.
[On Campbell's comment that the voters are responsible since they put the bureaucrats in office]. I agree. The ancient Chinese always considered the relationship between ruler(s) and the people to be a sort of quid pro quo (maybe not the right term). Generally, the people obeyed the ruler said as long as the ruler was looking out for the public welfare (food, shelter, safety, etc.). If the ruler defaulted, though, the people retained the right to remove the ruler, and by remove, I mean kill. I support that philosophy myself as it tends to put the idea of public service first and foremost where it should be.Group hug now.... :-)
I've always preferred getting nekkid in a pile, but times do change...Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
Rael"...Monsanto, btw, is the epitome of the Evil Corporation..."64
On Tobasco and Trademarks:
christ, I must be bored or something. Anyway...I agree that trademark law is important. Damned tired of all that cheese called "parmesan" that ain't nothing like the Real Thing.
Yet, I think a point being bounced around is that the case the folks down on Avery Island present, that they used the name Tabasco in reference to a hot sauce *first*, is not iron clad. Consequently, while trademark law is important, as important is the truth behind the claim. It is, apparently, debatable as to whether Tabasco brand hot sauce was in fact the first to use the term "tabasco" in the name.But for me, what's always been bothersome is that the tabasco chile is owner, as it were, of the name "tabasco", in my opinion. To use the name of a chile in one's product which is, essentially, tabasco chiles plus some vinegar and salt (yes, that may be simplified), and then claim that the term "tabasco" is somehow trademarked because someone decided to use it in a name is a subtle bit of trickery (i.e. dishonest and maybe outright theft).
So, again, while trademarks are important, they should protect *specific* names of *specific* products, else any ingredient in any product is up for trademark grabs. (e.g.: 'Water [TM] brand beverage, with lime' as created by the Aztecs)The idea that tabasco chiles were first used in the preparation of a "hot sauce" (which is a vague term in and of itself) by the McIlhenny's is quite doubtful. That's akin to saying they developed the "tabasco chile hotsauce". You just can't prove it. Steep some tabascos in some vinegar for a day, and you have "hotsauce;" fry some tabascos in some hot oil and you have a "hotsauce". Point being: the only argument behind McIlhenny's trademark is that to date, no one can disprove that Tabasco brand hotsauce was not first on the market (the debate as to that claim notwithstanding). Consequently, using a generic name such as Tabasco should, in my opinion, be the dog that comes back to bite the owners who were too stupid to come up with a more specific name.
But...then you have the case of Coca-Cola, which while of the same name in China/Tibet, the drink is not the same (they use sweetener other than corn syrup, which makes for a FANTASTIC coke). What's up with that? They have confused their own trademark by putting two (at least) variations of the same product under a trademarked name. Even if they get another trademark for the same name for a slightly different product, does that not destroy the argument as to product recognition? Joe public grabs a "coke" and, wow, that's not the coke I know? What's up with that?
But, like, whatever. I need a smoothie made with orange juice and some yogurt with a bit of peach and raspberry. I call it an Orange [tm], Peach [tm], Raspberry [tm] yogurt [tm] smoothie [tm]. You heard it hear first.
Peace [tm], Hendrix, and Chiles.......
Rael"...think I'll make some tabasco [biteme] vinegar...for a salad tomorrow..."64 [tm]
More on Tobasco:
Ah, but is more along the sense of 'truth in advertising,' as I mentioned (Coke), meaning that if a hot sauce calls itself a 'tabasco hot sauce' it should have tabascos in it. Of course, any other poor slob using tabasco chiles in a hot sauce cannot, I gather, use the term 'tabasco'. This essentially sets up a sort of monopoly (wrong word; exclusive use? something like that) regarding the use of the chile, in a sense, which I'm sure the Tabasco (FU) folks are happy about. I'm sure tabasco chiles are used in various hot sauce, salsa, etc. concoctions, but the point is that 'tabasco' cannot be used in the name.
Dislike of the tabasco brand hot sauce aside, my point is only that the granting of this trademark was a bad call. It gives someone an unfair advantage over a commodity: tabasco chiles.
Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
More on Trademarks:
Oops. I fergot this: Many of those name-specific wines, cheese, etc. are given such protective status to ensure not only authenticity but, unlike a trademark, a limitation of production (which, I assume, keeps prices high). Only a certain amount of a specific wine (chianti, for example) is allowed. Extra grapes/juice, etc. must be left to rot, mixed, or whatever, and anything above and beyond the limit cannot be called 'chianti.' Limiting a product to production of a certain grape, chile, etc. grown *only* in a certain region (or country) limits too (parmesan).That would probably prevent you from dominating the world with your hot sauces (which probably would, in fact, make you an Evil Corporate type; you'd have to go on my 'list').
But as said, I'm all for ensuring that something calling itself a "tabasco hot sauce" is in fact made with tabasco chiles; I just dislike that someone/entity has found a means (the legality is irrelevant) to prevent everyone else from using the chile name "tabasco" in a product made from tabasco chiles.Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
On Monsanto and other evil corporations:
No, Monsanto is more insidious in its Evilness. Monsanto attempts to buy all the land and water so they control it all.(in all fairness, there are other corporations just as evil as Monsanto; I have a long list.)
But whomever said that the people in the corporations are responsible (or should be responsible) for the actions of the corporation, I heartily agree. Just doesn't seem that's who's held responsible when the sheeet hits the fan. Someone dons the scapegoat coat, gets fired, maybe a year or two incarceration in the Palm Springs Spa and Prison, then hired as a lobbyist for Bush.I say burn 'em down when they Do Wrong...
'look out the sky turn a hell fire red lord/somebody's business is burnin' down down, down down'...Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
On truth in labeling:
Not to defend anyone's POV (other than my own, of course), but to suggest that "caffeine is caffeine" or the like is a sort of chemist's fallacy. Following that logic all carbohydrates are carbohydrates, proteins are proteins, and so forth. Simply put, they are not the same, i.e. identical, no more than "sugar is sugar".How a thing is processed (made, extracted, grown, etc.) makes a big difference. Corn fertilized by human waste is different from corn fertilized in cow manure.
The FDA, actually, is quite fond of saying things like "it looks like sugar, tastes like sugar...must be sugar (and safe)". Hence, the little wiki link that said sugar beets starting this year will be GM sugar beets.While I don't attribute all the woes of humanity upon diet (generally, we're just stupid, arrogant animals), I do dislike the idea that ingredients are only required to list half-truths, or better said, are not required to tell me if something is GMO, if something, like "modified food starch" has ingredients itself (often it does, such as MSG, which does not have to be listed on a label as 'MSG').
Anyway, honesty. That's all I want. From politicians to food companies, that's all I expect.
Obviously, I don't get much of it.
Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......
On Rael for president:
Hey, that reminds me...(again, not advocating additives, much less having a lard arse...or middle...whatever...)While I do not consider myself in any way overweight (140 pounds, 5'6"), and am quite active (run, bike, yoga, weights), I nonetheless have a bit of a 'paunch'. Not huge, but while I haven't had my body fat checked in years, I figure the majority of "extra" is around the middle.
(I was 8-percent in 1998, but that was only 3 years sober, and I had put ON weight; the 'paunch' first developed after 4 months on a 5000kcal diet in my attempts to become a really short power lifter; was up to 175 :)But the point is: the defining of "extra". I now believe we (male and female) are smart to have a bit of padding around the organs. About a year ago, I was coming in on my bike (bicycle) after a nice 40-ish mile ride, cruising down the street on the campus here, doing about 18-20 mph. A vehicle coming from the other direction stopped to turn left, across my lane (we were on an east/west road; no stop/yield for us; a 'T' intersection). She sat as I approached; I watched, cautiously, and just as I entered the intersection; she turned. I slammed into the passenger side of her vehicle doing 17-18 mpg, taking out her passenger window and ramming my left abdomen/rear back (think kidneys and ribs....yum!) into the door and the passenger side mirror.
Had a helmet on (smart boy!), and actually came through with little injury at all, which is the point: I did have some massive pain and swelling in my left side for more than a few weeks. Did feel like shit. Did not destroy any internal organs much less ribs. My theory is that little bit o' padding around the middle was my saving grace, as it were.So, like, who knows what's good or bad? I figure it's all relative.
No, it's actually all relative to me. The world, I mean. So, this coming election, vote for Rael.Shorter work week.
Taxation of the really rich.
Strong home guard.
Assassination *will* be on the table, always.
Truth in labeling.
Free bicycles for all
(which you'll be happy for because I will raise the taxes on gasoline for all on-commercial transport use).Peace, Hendrix, and Chiles.......