Scream Queens and Liquid Fire

I’m not sure I could recommend “Scream Queens“; you have to have a strong stomach to be able to handle… no, not actually the murders.

The language.

fatties and ethnics,” it’s clear the “ethnic spices” she’s thinking of include quite a dose of chile peppers:

Kappa is going to be filled with fatties and ethnics. The fatties will bring their big ol’ appetites and you know what those ethnics will bring with them? Weird spices from their home countries. That is a nuclear combination… The weird ethnic spices will send the fatties racing to the bathroom to blow liquid fire out of their huge, swollen bowels.

The statement is not just interesting as a culturally insensitive rant if ever there was one.
It is not just an example of how the slasher-murders in the series provide the comic relief to the ordinary cruelty of the people.

It is all the more telling as yet another, probably inadvertent, instance of the way “we” (Caucasian whites) tend to look down on spices from other places, at least as long as they aren’t the latest fad in exotic cooking that is mindlessly getting appropriated.

The denigration of hot spices, chile peppers above all, has a long tradition in all the European, and European-influenced, approaches to cooking that have come about since at least the Baroque.

Then, sugar overtook spices as the marker of upper-class ostentation in cooking, health (certainly of the nobility’s teeth) suffered, and the “low” status of hot aromas became a de rigeur affectation for anyone who wanted to, consciously or unconsciously, emulate the example of the upper crust.

Good thing this is changing, but such stereotypes and attitudes die hard. See “Scream Queens“.

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