Leaping Leftovers

During the period leading up to the war — to try to dispel the fear and depression — our house started trying to name all of our refrigerator leftovers with radical, inspiring, funny names.

Intifada enchilada. Black Eyed Bush Salad. Orange Alert Tahini sauce.

Silly, you protest? Well, maybe this is just the kind of silliness that we need to keep sane in a world that increasingly seems to be dominated by power, violence, consumerism and blind obedience. In a system based on rationality, mechanistic capitalist economics, mass industrial production and computer technology, humor is a particularly human quality. Computers and machines can imitate all kinds of mechanical, rational human behavior, but they can’t crack jokes. Only our beautiful, biological, imprecise brains can react to the world with a new silly idea, like radical names for refrigerator leftovers.

Photo-syntho-soup. Brocc’o’leave Iraq pasta. Darn it Dahl Bush

The personal really is political. Those in power spread propaganda with their capitalist technological communications systems like television. Thus, the we need to learn how to spread the vision of liberation and life everywhere in humble, small, invisible ways. Like grass slowly growing up through the cracks in the concrete, perhaps our counter-information can eventually sneak up on the mighty machine and topple it.

Commie red spice sauce. Lentils against the war. Intersection blocking asparagus.

People in a resistance movement against imperial terrorism need to keep joy, inspiration and rebellion close at hand — like in a re-used yogurt container for your lunch. After each meal, we’d wash the dishes, wipe the counters and try to figure out what to name the food we had just eaten. After a while, we had to develop a few simple rules: the name had to give at least some vague idea of what the food was. Before the rule, the refrigerator became a collection of slogans devoid of any meaning. The rule made the game harder in a good way, because you had to figure out fancy relationships between food and a particular political message.

Coalition to marinate Tofu. Intl. Women’s Day Spread of Peace.

When your whole house is out in the street day after day resisting an unjust war — blocking intersections, hanging banners from freeway overpasses, going to meetings, tying up traffic with bike masses, painting signs — you’re going to need some good, nutritious food when you get home at night. In times of struggle, spending time to cook, eat and take care of yourself is even more important so you can be effective the next day. Cooking from scratch rather than eating out is best — and you get to name the leftovers.