“We were watching… and noticed a disturbing pattern. One group of smaller ants were being crowded and grouped in the bottom of the habitat. And then, at the very top, was this one ant that we observed to be controlling it all. This was Ant Hitler.”—
The endless minds behind Minutiæ are already hard at work, cooking up another issue soon. Why not step back and take a look at the most recent issue, featuring a surprisingly prescient longread that involves terrorism, government conspiracy and some pretty important Persian food.
A Six-Stop Los Angeles Burger Tour for National Burger Day
Haven’t gotten enough vitamin Burger in your life lately? Well, considering that yesterday was Memorial Day, if you still have a hankering for burgers, it’s either an indication that yesterday’s party plans fell through, or you’re the type of tough S.O.B. who just can’t get enough burger in your life.
With you hardcore beefeaters in mind, we’ve compiled a little mini-roadtrip of some of the best burgers around. Maybe you can’t make the drive today, but save this post for some upcoming Saturday when you’ve got fire in your belly and a full tank of gas.
Stop 1: The Market Grill, Monrovia We’re beginning in the east and heading west, to follow the sunset as we unfold burger after burger on the road ahead of us. The first stop, then, is The Market Grill in Monrovia, just east of Arcadia. Begin your tour promptly at 11 a.m., for several reasons, the most important of which is the fact that The Market Grill doesn’t open until then. But you’ll also want to be first in line because of the buns they serve here, freshly baked and cooling on some racks near the window. Not too spongy, not too dense and bready, these white buns are a soft and pliable delight. They wrap and compress around your fingertips with ease, while the buttered and grilled interior stands up nicely and offers a little crunch. The beef, is no slouch either, having been ground fresh that morning and given a prodigious and salty sear. With a thick slice of melted cheddar, this is simple, homemade burger purity — a great way to start the road trip.
“Nonviolence is an inherently privileged position in the modern context. Besides the fact that the typical pacifist is quite clearly white and middle class, pacifism as an ideology comes from a privileged context. It ignores that violence is already here; that violence is an unavoidable, structurally integral part of the current social hierarchy; and that it is people of color who are most affected by that violence. Pacifism assumes that white people who grew up in the suburbs with all their basic needs met can counsel oppressed people, many of whom are people of color, to suffer patiently under an inconceivably greater violence, until such time as the Great White Father is swayed by the movement’s demands or pacifists achieve that legendary “critical mass.”—
This is a big part of why I feel uncomfortable playing prisoners for comedy in improv. I think that white, well-off improvisers think of prisoners, the homeless, and sex workers specifically as caricatures because there is an idea that they made choices to end up where they are in life. We don’t often look at the realities of many peoples’ lives that bring them to those situations because we don’t have to. We have lawyer uncles who can help us with DUIs, friends who will spot us for meals when we need them, etc. Not every prisoner is some gross awful jerk who wanted to break rules. It’s just the privileged ones who get there that way.
Caroline, I have to disagree with this quote and some of your response. I don’t believe that pacifism IS an inherently privileged position, at least not as we’ve seen historically in the big places like the segregated South, India and Tibet.
I also don’t agree that, by being a caricature of a socially-constructed ‘type’ of person (prisoner, sex worker, etc.) in an improv scene, all improvisers (who are not all white and many of whom do not come from money and some who have been homeless themselves in the past (me)) are playing into a larger global conspiracy to keep people down or misinform future generations about the truth behind why people are where they are in life. A lot of improv, I believe, is making connections (mapping, say) between what the real world understands as normal and we as improvisers think is funny, and gently (or sometimes haphazardly) placing the two together to really expose their similarities and differences.
I sometimes talk about what I call the ‘working improv knowledge’ of life. As in: do you know five things about this (any) subject. If that subject is ‘prisoner’, I think a lot of people would say the five things they know are something similar to: behind bars, committed a crime, breaking out of jail, making pruno and talking through those glass partitions. Those, to me at least and I would argue most improvisers, are the most common things to be played as part of a prisoner improv scene. None of those describe inescapably ugly people, or mentally broken people, or have an association with race whatsoever. I think it’s highlighting what the regular world knows about a basic topic, and then the improvisers would be adding their own twist to it (advertising pruno like it’s a high-class wine, going through an elaborate escape plan only to have the cell door be left unlocked, using your one phone call to order a Domino’s pizza).
Anyway, I just gave you three PERFECT scene ideas, so I guess all of this typing was for some good reason. And let’s just say that sometimes it’s not ‘white people’ who cause all of the problems (just most); sometime’s it’s just plain ol’ non-denominational assholes.