Triple bypass-on-a-plate: smoked Elgin sausage and rigatoni al formaggio
Preamble: Thanks, BitchPhD, for all the love. Plauditory recognition from one of my favorite internet auteurs always makes a good sausage great.
And now, a spot of patriarchy-blaming.
Iâ€™ve been meaning to get this off the Twisty chest for a couple of days now. I allude to a fluff piece broadcast by NPR last week wherein Michele Norris interviews the preteen winners of the 82nd Annual National Marbles Tournament. Note: this post is
also not a fluff piece.
The National Marbles Tournament is structured with girlsâ€™ and boysâ€™ divisions, thus producing, at the end of the gripping contest, a Marble Queen and a Marble King. Unless marbles has become a full-contact sport since I was a kid, I can imagine no physiological purpose to this segregation, and so am forced to conclude that marbles aficionados, who allow such antediluvian prejudices to govern their competitions, are retarded.
I also detected sexist undertones to the interview itself. Norris talks to the boy kid about the mechanics of the game. She asks the girl kid, I kid you not, about kissing.
â€œThe victory comes with a little bit of responsibility,â€ Michele Norris tells the girl kid, alluding to the tournamentâ€™s sadistic tradition requiring the Marble King to kiss the Marble Queen. She does not address this, or any of her subsequent remarks concerning the kiss, to the boy kid. Romance, particularly when itâ€™s fake and forced, remains the purview–and, as we have recently seen, the responsibilty–of the female.
Norris asks young Marble Queen Amy Nees to describe the big kissing moment, because as precious as it is when adults make kids enact adult scenarios, itâ€™s even preciouser to make them describe the experience in their own adorable words!
â€œThere isnâ€™t really much to it,â€ quoth young Amy, not interested in being cast as a living Hummel figurine by the stupid radio lady, and obviously eager to put the whole sordid affair behind her. â€œYou just have to live through it.â€
She might just as well have said â€œI just close my eyes and think of England,â€ but Michele Norris thinks it is just hilarious that this 13-year-old girl has been forced by local custom to adopt the culturally-mandated role of feminine doormattitude by submitting to the undesired advances of some dorky marbles champion. It eventually emerges that the poor kid was made to suffer through three of these prepubescent maulings before the incompetent newspaper photographers could capture the darling smooch in all its wholesome cuteness.
Norris actually adopts the patriarchal party line, telling the kid that three kisses â€œisnâ€™t so bad.â€ Amy, however, has not yet been cowed by the patriarchy, and stands up to Norris: "Yes. It is."
But she’d better get used to it, or her first frat party in 4 or 5 years is gonna be quite the eye-opener. For Amy Nees, Marble Queen, lives in America, the supposedly non-third-world country that’s been bringing you dutiful acquiescence to unwanted sexual advances since, well, forever.
(The photo above is of Amy’s brother, last year’s boy winner, kissing last year’s girl winner, who is described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as "recoiling." So cute!).