On Brussels Sprouts, Obama, Fox News, and Cats

I’ve been on an odd streak lately. Last night I had dinner at a restaurant in Florida with some friends, and, for the fifth consecutive night, I ate some Brussels sprouts. I love Brussels sprouts. Last night’s version had been sautéed with bacon, mushrooms and onions. For some at my table, the dish was ambrosia; for the rest, it was as if we had ordered monkey brain tartare. There is no middle ground with Brussels sprouts. People seem to either adore them or loathe them; very few can take them or leave them.

Barack Obama is the Brussels sprouts of presidents. (Hmm. Should the 22nd  Amendment be repealed, that might not be a bad reelection slogan.) In any event, his supporters see him as some sort of savior on a holy mission, while his detractors tend to view him as a closet Marxist out to undermine the fabric of America. (George W. Bush, while reviled by the Left, found less ardent support from the Right, so the divide was not as great.) There are simply certain things in life that have no lukewarm setting. One might hate them or one might love them, but it’s generally one or the other. Think Brussels sprouts and Obama. For neutrality, you might have to turn to corn and Eisenhower.

The Fox News Channel elicits similarly disparate  reactions. For its regular viewers, Fox News represents their only respite from the incessant left wing caterwauling of the mainstream media. For detractors, the network is a shameless shill for Conservative causes. I admire those on the latter end of the spectrum, because they’ve accomplished the mystical feat of coming to that conclusion without actually tuning in. (“I never watch that horrible channel!”) It’s not unlike Yogi Berra’s purported comment that nobody ever went to a particular restaurant because it was too crowded.

In the animal world, it’s cats that create the most visceral reactions, both positively and negatively. Even in Switzerland, there is very little neutrality on the subject; one is either a cat lover or a cat hater. (No one has ever published a book called 1,000 Ways to Kill a Parakeet.) Historically, cats have been symbols of Satanism and witchcraft, while some societies have worshipped and treasured them. People can have mixed feelings about dogs, goldfish, turtles or wombats, but rare is the person who can take or leave a cat.

I’m not sure why some things in life are so polarizing. And for those on either side of these great divides, it’s difficult to understand those on the other end. I mean, how can you not like Brussels sprouts? Are there any other examples where rapprochement seems impossible?

  1. tabula rasa

    Olives?

    Broccoli?

  2. Dave Carter
    C

    Scott Reusser recently observed that if cats were big enough, they would devour their owners without a moment’s remorse.  If Barack Obama’s government continues growing, it will devour all of us.   I suspect sensible people are understandably wary of both.  

    But eating Brussel’s sprouts?  On purpose?  I’ve tried ‘em.  I wouldn’t fight anyone for another one, but I don’t have a visceral reaction.  Then again, that live octopus we ate at the restaurant in Korea might have damaged my taste buds…  I must think this through while watching Fox News.  

  3. Astonishing

    If he were “sautéed with bacon, mushrooms and onions,” Obama might be tasty–otherwise he makes me gag.

  4. Foxman

    Cilantro

  5. tabula rasa

    Quick Brussels sprout’s story.  My dad was shipped to England in early 1944 on a British ship, where they apparently served Brussel’s sprouts with great regularity (also liver).  It was a rough crossing and he spent much of his time at the rail, leaving his dinner behind him.  

    Until he died, all one had to do was utter the words “Brussel’s sprouts” and he would turn green.  

    Dave Carter: Scott Reusser recently observed that if cats were big enough, they would devour their owners without a moment’s remorse.  If Barack Obama’s government continues growing, it will devour all of us.   I suspect sensible people are understandably wary of both.  

    Great analogy.  And after devouring us, it would stretch out for a long satisfied nap.

  6. Foxman
    tabula rasa: Olives?

     

    I love olives, but have you ever tasted an olive tha has not been treated, an olive as it comes off the tree?  They are vile.  I forget what needs to be done to make them edible, but how did we ever learn that they would be good if treated?

  7. Keith

    Tractors  (Green and Red – John Deere vs International Harvester)

    Liver (I like to try it every couple years to remind myself why I don’t like it)

    Worship Music (especially if you’re of a certain age . . .)

  8. Pilli

    NASCAR

    Bill & Hillary (individually or both)

    Airline Travel

    Soccer

  9. Ralphie

    South Park

    Ann Coulter

  10. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    Nothing better than Brussels sprouts. The key, of course, is to roast or sautee them — never boil. If boiled, there is nothing slimier or worse.

  11. Foxman

     Gravel sautéed with bacon, mushrooms and onions would be good.

  12. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Foxman

    tabula rasa: Olives?

    I love olives, but have you ever tasted an olive tha has not been treated, an olive as it comes off the tree?  They are vile.  I forget what needs to be done to make them edible, but how did we ever learn that they would be good if treated? · 4 minutes ago

    Cured with lye!

    Signed,

    Child of the Central Valley of California

  13. EJHill

    The problem with Brussels Sprouts is all the EU regulations that come with them. Brussels and all their little sprouts should be killed off.

  14. Dave Carter
    C
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Nothing better than Brussels sprouts. The key, of course, is to roast or sautee them — never boil. If boiled, there is nothing slimier or worse. · 5 minutes ago

    I’ll remember this if that National Meet Up becomes a reality.  I like them best on someone else’s plate.  

  15. Lee

    The Wire

    Cilantro

    Small dogs vs large dogs (as in, are small dogs real dogs? And no, they’re not)

    Reality TV

  16. tabula rasa
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Foxman

    tabula rasa: Olives?

    I love olives, but have you ever tasted an olive tha has not been treated, an olive as it comes off the tree?  They are vile.  I forget what needs to be done to make them edible, but how did we ever learn that they would be good if treated? · 4 minutes ago

    Cured with lye!

    Signed,

    Child of the Central Valley of California · 3 minutes ago

    Nothing says “good eatin’” more than a food cured in lye.  

    I love the things, including the green ones (just don’t put an anchovie in them) and those semi-bitter Greek olives.  Yet half my family picks olives off their pizza.  Olives are good in scrambled eggs and on sandwiches–they might even be good with Rice Chex. 

  17. Foxman
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Foxman

    tabula rasa: Olives?

    I love olives, but have you ever tasted an olive tha has not been treated, an olive as it comes off the tree?  They are vile.  I forget what needs to be done to make them edible, but how did we ever learn that they would be good if treated? · 4 minutes ago

    Cured with lye!

    Signed,

    Child of the Central Valley of California · 3 minutes ago

    But how did we learn to do this.

  18. Brian Clendinen

      Fresh Brussels sprouts that are not bitter yes, sautéed in bacon grease is lovely. Otherwise no thank-you. They are like eggplant, only if the bitter taste is at a minimum are they good.

    I find that with a lot of vegetables, if they are fresh they are good, semi-fresh or frozen, no thank-you or they are nothing special.

    Can’t say that about Obama, he is never fresh. He is always a throwback of at lest 50 to 100 years if not thousands, even though he thinks his ideas are fresh. Then again there really is no such thing as fresh liberal ideas, they are all throwback from hundreds to thousands of years ago. It is conservative ideas that are the revolutionary. Conservatives are fresh, liberals are 1000 year old stale bread and spoiled milk.

  19. Western Chauvinist

    Weird. I’ve been eating Brussels sprouts for the last five days too! Must be another sign of the End Times.

    Here’s a question for the city slickers. Do you know where Brussels sprouts come from? No, not Brussels. They’re the offspring of these aliens from a galaxy far, far away…

    brussels-sprouts1.jpg

    I’d grow them just for the architectural interest, but they attract all kinds of pests. It’s like inviting Obama supporters to move in with you.

    Photo comes from a blog called “savethekales.” ;-)

  20. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Foxman

    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Foxman

    tabula rasa: Olives?

    I love olives, but have you ever tasted an olive tha has not been treated, an olive as it comes off the tree?  They are vile.  I forget what needs to be done to make them edible, but how did we ever learn that they would be good if treated? · 4 minutes ago

    Cured with lye!

    Signed,

    Child of the Central Valley of California · 3 minutes ago

    But how did we learn to do this. · 0 minutes ago

    Always wondered that myself.

    FWIW, my dad used to cure olives in our garage. They were so, so, so good.

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