Saturday, 13 March 2010


There may be some point in resurrecting the medieval notion of 'gluttony' as an explanatory strategy by way of explaining Western society, although we'd need to purge it of its religious context. One benefit is the way it excavates some of the buried logic of 'overindulgence' in contemporary world. The medievals understood that gluttony was more than just 'eating lots of food.' Some modes of gluttony get coded differently to others, and gender has a lot to do with that. Being gluttonous for (say) alocohol or drugs is somehow seen as tragic-heroic, rock-n-roll, masculine. Being gluttonous for cakes and chocolate is somehow contemptible by comparison, contemptible because feminised. But a skeletal heroin-chic and a morbidly obese addiction to deep-fried chicken are, actually, the same thing.

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