Last week’s paper featured a story by Katie Jane Fernelius on the Durham Burger Club, a group of women (and only women) who meet monthly to, as the name suggests, eat burgers (and only meat burgers) in a judgment-free zone. While most of the comments were of the “where do I sign up?” variety, there were some who wondered why we were celebrating an organization, informal though it may be, that excluded the non-carnivorous. 

“Was the ‘no vegetarian’ part really necessary?” Ellen May asks. “Disappointing to see in a supposedly ‘progressive’ newspaper. Why should we laud this group again? I need lots of vegan food reviews to make up for this travesty. There’s nothing noteworthy about eating basic meat burgers.”

“While we’re focused on not ‘shaming,’” adds Lauren Annelise, a registered dietician, “how about we not demean women for their personal dietary choices (or be shitty toward vegetarians/vegans who would otherwise love the camaraderie)?”

“A bit tone deaf to include ‘no vegetarians’ in the title,” writes Ann. “I expected better, INDY!”

On Facebook, Scott Dotson chimed in, “The vegans’ comments are why they don’t invite vegans.”

We’ll leave this here. Last week, Brian Howe reviewed the new film The Favourite, which he gave four stars and called “indigestibly delicious and disgusting.” 

Rabbi Jonathan Gerard writes: “The Favourite is a terrific and thought-provoking film, but I can’t decide if it’s an anti-war film or a film showing that ‘war’ is a universal and permanent fact of the human condition. In the background is the war between England and France. Foolish aristocrats send young men to fight for a cause that is never explained and likely has no purpose and finally ends in a peace that seems to result in no benefit for either side. In the meantime, the women left behind at court, represented by Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail (Emma Stone), engage in an equally formidable battle with each other for power and position. At the expense of human dignity, even the men and women at Queen Anne’s court fight foolishly and comically against each other. Director Yorgos Lanthimos’s film portrays the absurdity of the human [compulsion] to go to battle. Even the relationships between the opposite sexes at court are entirely adversarial. No one cooperates with anyone else (a kitchen worker takes pleasure in watching Abigail being brutally whipped, despite not knowing what for). There is no cooperation and no sense of obligation—only the struggle to climb over the person ahead of you. Is our largely self-defeating competitive drive being framed in this film? Or is it being mocked?”

Two weeks back, we published a lengthy interview with UNC professors Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, whose new book, Prius or Pickup? How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America’s Great Divide, explores how politics split along the lines of those with “fluid” and “fixed” worldviews—but as they note in the book, and in the interview, their research really only explains how white people vote. 

Miriam Broderson sees this as the “epitome of white privilege”: “Halfway through the interview with Weiler and Hetherington, and only after being asked about ‘minorities,’ do they acknowledge that their supposedly universal theory only applies to white people. They give a brief and general statement about why African Americans support Democrats despite their ‘fixed’ worldview (‘that the Republican Party has proven itself so obviously hostile to them over a long period of time that don’t really have a choice’), and then, for the rest of the article, they continue using the fixed and fluid categories to explain ‘Americans’’ political behavior, despite the fact that they don’t apply to one third of the population! This is the epitome of white privilege: create a broad theory that does not apply to people of color, and then continue to act as if you speak for everyone.”

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