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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, February 9

Gross foods

Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

It’s the ninth day of the month and I still haven’t changed my calendar.

Ramble of the Day

There’s a very fascinating article by Amanda Mull of The Atlantic about the trend that sees people post videos of these intentionally horrible recipes. We’ve all seen a few — the one Mull cites is Spaghetti-Os pie, but the one that sprung to my mind was the woman who makes hot tea by mixing way too many dry ingredients first. They are, by design, provocative and while that’s hardly a surprise, the true question is: Why do we, as an internet society, continue to indulge in these grand but disgusting jokes?

Mull attempted to answer that by asking Alexandra Plakias, a Hamilton College philosophy professor who studies food, disgust, and moral judgment. The answer was hard to determine, Plakias said, but I found it to be quite profound:

For many people, it isn’t enough that they watch, aghast. They also have to smash that RT, because disgust can function as a powerful identity marker—in this case, by helping people to define what they’re not. “We co-opt this kind of disgust response to enforce social norms and moral norms,” Plakias told me. “Our judgments about which foods are disgusting are fairly arbitrary and are mostly culturally determined.” ...

Whatever the boundaries, these expectations around what is and is not eaten fortify our shared reality. When a recipe goes viral for violating the aesthetic norms of some subset of the internet population—too greasy, too creamy, too mushy, too bland—the response to it often mirrors something Plakias has watched her young son do with his friends: Gleefully declare something to be gross between peals of laughter, buoyed by a small indication that they all understand the world in the same way.

I am completely satisfied with this explanation. I am not surprised our erratic, inconsistent (and sometimes stupid, though that may not be the case here) guidelines on how to lead life come into play here. In this case, the guidelines aren’t horribly restricting — it’s okay to think a Spaghetti-Os pie is gross, and it’s nice to bond with your friends over innocent things, really. Maybe I’m only saying that because I miss being in the same room as my friends and so the bonding experience sounds particularly enticing to me — who could say?

My other takeaway is that, thankfully, this article didn’t make me quite hungry until the very end when Mull mentioned a Sprite pie. I did not have a single craving for this Sprite pie, but I remembered that I hadn’t eaten some pie in a while and really wanted some. (Sadly, all I ended up with were some pre-dinner almonds to kill the hunger for a short period of time.)

tl;dr: There’s an interesting article about those videos where people make gross food, and how our interest in it is, in part, a story of sharing experiences.

Stay informed, read this: Christine Hauser on a Utah school reversing its decision to make Black History Month curriculum optional after backlash for The New York Times

Links of the Day

Tony Collins, English football’s first Black manager, died aged 94.

Referee Mike Dean will sit out the next round of Premier League matches after he and his family received death threats on social media.

Borussia Mönchengladbach-Manchester City has been moved to Budapest’s Puskás Arena, as Manchester City will not be allowed entry into Germany through COVID-19 protocols.

MLS and its players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, avoiding a lockout.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba will miss several weeks with a thigh injury.

A longer read: Lindsay Gibbs interviews Atalanta Media’s Esmeralda Negron and Hannah Brown and their quest to get women’s football more broadcasting deals for Power Plays