Sunday, August 3, 2008

'stache #56 - the beef tendon moustache

While American adolescents of the early 20th century restricted themselves to simple ‘staches like green pepper moustaches, musselmoustaches, lime moustaches, and only dreamt of one day resting an entire roast chicken under their sensory-deprived snouts, around the globe Samoan teens wildly threw marinated and sautéed beef tendon atop their mouths, or so reported the young anthropologist Margaret Mead in her 1928 Coming of Age in Samoa. Typical of most Americans, Mead left home for college in the big city and the world’s truths announced themselves to her so that she, like all other bright 18-years-olds, found herself the sudden owner of all life’s answers. In Samoa, she found the youth’s sexual development uninhibited by the shackles of Christianity and monogamy and manifest in this cartilage lip ornament. Franz Boas, a deeply sentimental wearer of a great many moustaches himself, found no reason to correct his ambitious and newly liberated student. Of course, this was long before 'problematizing' texts was popular in the classroom.

The Beef Tendon Moustache, not unlike Margaret Mead’s dubious contribution to anthropology, is controversial, unstructured, and messy. This beef tendon for ‘staching came from a dingy midtown Szechuan restaurant known for its (nonsexual) spice.

No comments: