Things That Are Trifling

Thoughts on Food, Gender, Race, and Popular Culture

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Food Stamp Cuts…

This makes me SO incredibly mad! Sorry not sorry, asshole republicans who don’t know ANYTHING about this program but just want to legislate to be mean.

“It is terrible policy wrapped in a terrible process…It was just cooked up in the majority leader’s office as some sort of Heritage Foundation fever dream,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). “It is a rotten thing to do.”

Republicans keep being quoted as saying that it only ends the waiver that let ABAWDs get SNAP for more than 3 months in a 3 year period. That’s only part of the story.

First, nearly all states extended this waiver, and FNS allowed and encouraged it, because of the recession. Jobs aren’t really coming back. What are the jobs? They are poor ass paying jobs that don’t even get people enough to get by. Also, as I saw in DC, the job training programs that SNAP offices provide are no substitute for a real job, unless they allow flexibility in what counts as work training. It’s insulting to make people who are homeless fill out resumes or apply blindly to jobs online when the people who are getting hired are probably those with college degrees or GEDs at minimum. Now if we could get behind, oh I don’t know, MORE ACCESSIBLE SCHOOL OR VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS, that would be good. But no, let’s drug test them all.  Drug testing has been proven to be a waste of money and waste of time for public benefit recipients in many states.

This bill also stops seniors and household with kids from benefiting for SNAP if their gross income is slightly higher than 130% of poverty, even if their housing costs or childcare costs put their net income afterwards below 100%). I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it costs thousands of dollars to put a kid in childcare. Under this rule, a mom making like $8/hour wouldn’t qualify for SNAP anymore even though after childcare/rent, her gross monthly income would be way less than 100% of FPL.

Also by instituting an asset rule it basically wipes out the point of saving money. Why save money if the government is going to stop helping you after you have just 2K saved.  Where’s the incentive?

I am so freaking mad that Fox News put this dumbass who buys lobster with SNAP as the poster child for this program instead of the fact that like HALF the people on SNAP are CHILDREN. I hope this dude doesn’t sleep at night anymore.

On the plus side, this Congresswoman had a great tactic. Too bad this type of talk isn’t what gets national news. Stupid Lucas and King should be ashamed. What if all of their constituents who were on SNAP decided to vote against them in the next election? Steve King’s district has a 17% Food Hardship rate. Lucas’s food hardship rate in his district is 18.9.

Finally- something that no one else has mentioned. SO MANY of the legislators I saw walking up to talk about the evilness of SNAP cuts were representatives of color and women. Who wanted to cut SNAP? A bunch of white people. Mostly white men.



No Other Kitchen Would Do

The undertones of this are almost too much to bear.

So much appropriation going on I feel like I’m in Congress.

Nutrition Ed In One Color

As I was writing this title I thought about a parody character of all the well-meaning white folks who want to “teach” people how to “eat well” but actually have no idea of the cultural, social, economic circumstances affecting how people relate to food in this country, assuming they can access it, afford it and have time to know what to do with it. You’d call him Nutrition Ed. Nutrition Ed would be a cartoon character I could use to illustrate all the nonsense I see going on in the food “justice” and “advocacy” world.  The misadventures of nutrition education.


This is my point. Nutrition Ed thinks that coloring pages or cooking classes will help kids learn good habits. Nutrition Ed has never really spent time in a classroom but thinks that kids can benefit from his knowledge.

Nutrition Ed clearly will never get a job at Mars, Inc. when he graduates. They’ve already got him schooled. Make any label green and people will think it is HEALTHY!


Another gem from Sociological Images, one of my favorite blogs. 

I would have never thought that someone would be video blogging about the cultural capital of hipsters. I think what it all boils down to is conspicuous consumption. Hipsters want others to be aware of their appropriations and cultural statements. Nerds and geeks don’t care if anyone outside their niche group does or doesn’t know what they are up to, and can enjoy what they are doing in the privacy of their own space without the need for approval, reaction, or judgement from anyone.

I think wearing a shirt with an ironic statement on it is hipster. Wearing something unironically… is nerdy. Like…. Thrift Shop is not a song for people who actually have to rely on thrift shops for clothing because they don’t have the luxury of “choosing” anything else. Wearing something from Goodwill because it’s all you can afford might classify you as one thing (not nerdy or geeky though, possibly out-of-place, especially if your social circle is one that values name brands precisely because they are out of reach) but wearing it to make a statement about consumerism, is “cool” and “trendy”.



Benefit dinners

There is nothing more trifling than a benefit dinner for charity. The ultimate, however, are benefit dinners for hunger relief causes. Whether national or international, the point is to stuff your face to the point of no return to honor those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Whether it is the “Empty Bowls” drive or the “Taste of the Nation” event coming to your city, or (my personal favorite) the sorority fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association selling you giant cookies during exam time.

I never understood the point of benefit dinner programs where corporate sponors pay to have a congratulatory message to the organization, the dinner honoree, or the cause. The point is that you get to dictate the terms of what the organization does right?

Trifling In The News

While I’m not sure how the content of the website will pan out, one thread I know I want to start is “Trifling In the News”.Edition 1:

Too Big to Fail, or Too Trifling for Oversight? (June 12, 2011)

Wherein the New York Times reports that businesses- hedge funds, insurance companies, etc- are hard at work lobbying Congress trying to prove that they are at no risk of fucking up the financial system circa 2008:

“What they are all hoping to avoid is being designated “systemically important” by a council of financial regulators. That would require them to face stricter federal oversight and keep more cash on hand, which they fear would erode profits.”

White men who screwed up the world, making sure that they can still make money, and won’t get in trouble should they cause another financial collapse. Even better- Barney Frank defends them (cause his state is full of them. Hey Barney, your state is probably also full of MORE people who were screwed during the financial collapse. But hurting constituents < corporate finance money, right?)

Was Trifling Used Correctly?
Not in this case. The actions of the insurers are what is trifling indeed. They are too trifling to NOT have oversight!

TTR (Today’s Trifling Report)

-Learning how to make a webpage about “Endangered koala’s”!-

-Learning how to embed images on website. Viz.

Business Cat is All Business

Gotta increase my google ranking!!!!!!!

Conferences – A General Note

Conferences cost tons of money so everyone just writes a grant to go for free, and get super excited about the conference tshirt and agenda, only to find out it is dominated by tabs A) and B) namely a) nonprofits and b) white people. TRIFLING!


spend way too much money on conference calls, grantwriting, and “meetings” while corporations continue to rule the world and buy out the government. Despite these epic failures, every day I get more and more emails of job positions where I can make $20,000 a year continuing this cycle of mediocrity. TRIFLING! I will elaborate on some of the unfortunate aspects of the nonprofit sector, below.

Conference Calls 
Conference calls are an epic waste of time. Open calls usually are an hour long and are advertised excessively via listserv or email, with an exciting sounding topic (why else would you be tricked into listening in the first place) like “How to fight Federal Budget Cuts” or “Rebuiling Local Food Economies in Socially Just Manners”. They also take place during the work hour (sometime, but not always during lunch- deceptive!). Everything in the conference call description suggests this turn of events:

1. Listen to conference call
2. Become supremely educated on awesome topic you want to know more about
3. Walk away with knowledge and ideas for your current project

In reality this is what a conference call breakdown

10%: Hearing “Welcome to the conference” about 20 times for all the people who logged on/got disconnected
5% People reintroducing themselves over and over because the conference call software tells them to do so/ and the requisite “WELCOME! From the overly enthusiastic “moderator”
5% Background static from people who don’t know how to mute their calls/forgot to mute
5% People asking for other people to start talking, said person is unaware they are currently on mute
20% Moderator thanking everyone for being on call and reading the introductions to organizations/bios of speakers (Which you already read in the email they sent you)
20% Speaker(s)thanking everyone for being on the call and talking about what their organization does (Which you could read on their website, which you have a link to in the email they already sent you)
10% Discussion of topic at hand, often not logically progressing. (This is the part you should listen to)
5% Interruption of topic at hand with background static/dropped calls
10% People asking questions. Static continues
10% Response to questions: “That’s a great question. We need more research on that. I would check out X website for Y information.”

Somewhere in the last 20% I would put in the new information gained. That was probably gained from listening to someone else’s question, oddly similar to your own question when you started the call. You probably won’t be able to hear the question, since you’ll either have muted the call, started multitasking during the call, and/or got logged off and are frantically trying to log back in.

Efficiency! We loves it.

I honestly don’t have that much experience with grantwriting, except to say that A) Grants all claim to be “highly competitive” and yet B) Most organizations seem to get the grants that they usually do to keep running – except if they went out on a limb for a new grant every once in a while. Grants seem to take up lots of time. Usually an organization has one or two dedicated grant-writers. It is their job to spin the BS of what the organization is doing into “results” that will please the almighty “grant-givers” (all too often known as ‘Corporations’). I often wonder what goes in the results section. Sometimes I think it is things like “We distributed material!” or “We talked to people!” Not “we changed X and Y institutional practice, using Z means!” But I am sure some nonprofits are successful at that. Somewhere out there. Grant writers must also answer the grant-givers’ questions and be able to perform well under pressure talking to someone with lots of money asking you why your organization deserves it.

Meetings are like conference calls, except that you have to see people in person, which makes it harder to pretend like you are not listening. Good meetings will have an agenda, goals, and a semblance of order. Bad meetings will devolve into a 10 minute late start, 15 minutes of meeting leaders’ rambling, 10 minutes of going to find new copies of materials, 20 minutes of arguing about tiny details of meeting subject, 5 minutes of discussion, and 10 minutes deciding when the next meeting will be.

Meeting subsets include but are not limited to:

Pre-meeting meeting: In which you meet to plan a future meeting, in the hopes that it will be executed efficiently. (It won’t).

Non-meeting: In which the agenda is derailed at every turn by a non-sequiter and nothing is decided on OR there was never a point to the meeting to start with. Also known as weekly staff meetings, held for no ritual other than sometimes we are welcoming new staff and must greet them with catered breakfast and generically awkward introductions as a ‘welcome’.

Epic meeting: In which the conveners of the meeting have failed to note that two people in the meeting are at complete odds with one another and a showdown ensues. At least one person must live tweet/facebook/text message another person a play-by-play for this to qualify as an Epic meeting.

Awkward meeting: In which half the meeting takes place in person and the other half via conference call, thereby converging all types of awkwardness into one clusterf#*$ of inefficiencies.

However, Meetings > Conference Calls in that meetings often have free food. Thanks in no small part to a grant which talked about the need for meetings and food to “Get things done.” TRIFLING!

First Post

I am seeking to capitalize on the use of the word “trifling” to describe absurd things in this world. Read, and learn.

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