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Across The Web | On ‘Maybellene’ and General Tso’s Chicken | Jonathan Zimmerman

“Our solid American citizen,” Linton began, “awakens in a bed built on a pattern which originated in the Near East but which was modified in Northern Europe before it was transmitted to America.” Then the American removes his pajamas — “a garment invented in India” — and washes with soap, “invented by the ancient Gauls.”

Carrying an umbrella, devised in southeastern Asia, he walks to a restaurant where he eats an orange (from the eastern Mediterranean), a cantaloupe (from Persia), and waffles (a Scandinavian dish made from wheat, which was first domesticated in Asia Minor). He washes it all down with coffee, which — like hoop earrings — descends from the Abyssinians.

Later he smokes — “an American Indian habit” — and reads the a newspaper, which superimposes characters invented by the Phoenecians upon a substance invented in China. And at the end of the day, “if he is a good conservative citizen,” he will “thank a Hebrew deity in an Indo-European language…

via On ‘Maybellene’ and General Tso’s Chicken – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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