Eat Your Vegetables: "The Age of Innocence" (Wharton, 1920)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: The Age of Innocence (1920) Vegetable Equivalent: Iceberg lettuce Nutritional Value: An example of how “progressive” thought hides its own reactionary impulses Recommended Serving Size: Read slowly and steadily over a month; garnish with Martin Scorsese’s workmanlike adaptation if desiredEdith Wharton wrote The Age … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Inglorious Basterds" (Tarantino, 2009)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Inglorious Basterds (2009) Vegetable Equivalent: The beet Nutritional Value: A cinematic lesson in ethical causality Recommended Serving Size: All in one sitting, preferably while drinking a glass of milk and eating apple strudel with whipping cream "I’m gonna give you a little something you can’t take off." - Lt. A … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "The Crying of Lot 49" (Pynchon, 1966)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) Vegetable Equivalent: An onion, mostly because it is multi-layered, but also because it might make you cry (but only from laughter) Nutritional Value: Witnessing the birth, development, and decay of an obsession Recommended Serving Size: As much as you can in as little time … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "The Third Man" (Reed, 1949)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: The Third Man Vegetable Equivalent: Potatoes or some other easily obtained vegetable that can be distilled for the black market Nutritional Value: A cinematographically gorgeous glimpse of post-war life and American disillusionment Recommended Serving Size: In one sitting in Vienna itself, if you can manage it; if no … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Vegetable Equivalent: Bok choy, a vegetable that helps sharpen your memory Nutritional Value: The film helps you remember to forget Recommended Serving: All at once, preferably on an overcast afternoonJoel (Jim Carrey) has broken up with Clementine (Kate Winslet). He di … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: Beowulf

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Beowulf (the poem)Vegetable Equivalent: Spinach, the vegetable of warriorsNutritional Value: A Christian perspective on what’s worth keeping and discarding from the non-Christian pastRecommended Serving Size: The Seamus Heaney translation read loud in 200-line chunksThe Beowulf poet lived in Christian cult … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Out of the Past"

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture's more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Out of the Past (1947)Vegetable Equivalent: Any vegetable that looks good in the chiaroscuro-lighting of film noirNutritional Value: Actions have consequencesRecommended Serving Size: In one sitting on a rainy evening, preferably with a trench-coat and fedora handyKathie: "Is there a way to win?"Jeff: … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Singin' in the Rain"

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture's more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)Vegetable Equivalent: Beans, the musical vegetableNutritional Value: Recognizing emotional authenticity in the midst of artificeRecommended Serving Size: All at once, preferably while you’re cozily sitting at home; bonus points if it’s raining outside“Dignity. Always dignity.” ~ Don … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Citizen Kane"

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture's more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Citizen KaneVegetable Equivalent: The vegetable you loved as a child but through a cruel twist of digestive fate can now no longer consumeNutritional Value: America encapsulated in one gloriously conflicted tycoon; the responsibility of interpretationRecommended Serving Size: The entire film, viewed in one … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "Gulliver's Travels"

High-brow Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Gulliver’s TravelsVegetable Equivalent: Broccoli, a vegetable forced upon you as a child but returned to with enthusiasm as an adultNutritional Value: Improved eyesight; greater awareness of proportionRecommended Serving Size: Parts One and Four and a refusal to accept the 2010 Jack Black-vehicle adaptation as a substituteGreat satire makes unfamiliar the things we take for granted. Properly deployed, satire forces us to be both the observer a … [Read more...]


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