MANUEL GONZALES AND MARK BINELLI

A FUTURIST BANQUET

TWO PRESENT-DAY FUTURISTS FOLLOW THE RECIPES OF THEIR FIRST-GENERATION ITALIAN PREDECESSORS AT THEIR OWN BANQUET: MOUNDS OF MERINGUE SHAPED LIKE AIRPLANES, CHICKENS ROASTED WITH BALL-BEARINGS STUFFED IN THEIR CAVITIES, AND NO PASTA WHATSOEVER.

DISCUSSED: Mussolini, Flamingo Tongues, Violent Opposition to Pasta, The Arrogance of Cookbook Recipes, The Senate of Digestion, Some Rice to Honor Mallarmé Zabaglione vs Mascarpone, Three Criteria for Judging Dishes, Hostile Guests, The Room as Aluminum Train, Being Sucked Dry by an Angry Persimmon, Intuitive Antipasto, Surprise Bananas, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.

THE MENU

SELECTED AND PREPARED
BY FUTURIST MARK BINELLI
AND FUTURIST MANUEL GONZALES

  • Primo Antipasto: “Aerofood”
  • Insalata: “Words-in-Liberty”
  • Secondo Antipasto: “Intuitive Antipasto”
  • Dolce: “Surprise Bananas”
  • Contorno: “Diabolical Roses”
  • Primo piatti: “Rice Oranges”
  • Secondo piatti: “The Jumping Askari”
  • Desserto: “Manandwomanatmidnight”

SOME CRUCIAL BACKGROUND
ON FUTURISTS AND FOOD

The founder of Italian Futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, published the first Futurist manifesto in 1909, on the front page of Le Figaro. The poet and philosopher’s eleven-point program was a celebration of speed, new technology (particularly the automobile and the airplane), aggression, even war. Point Seven: “Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man.” Point Nine: “We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene…” Point Eleven: “We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals… bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives…”

Marinetti and the Futurists believed that art, in particular, should be violent and disruptive, a destultifying experience. To that end, the Futurists tended to spread their ideas via outrageous public spectacles—from manifestos to literal brawls with critics to theatrical evenings that often ended with the performers being pelted with vegetables by enraged audiences. (Another early Marinetti manifesto: “The Pleasure of Being Booed.”)

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Manuel Gonzales is a systems analyst for the University of Texas at Austin. He currently lives in Texas.

Mark Binelli is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a founding member of the New Politeness. He lives in New York.

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