WEST GOSHEN, Pa.—Today, boys and girls, we are going to depart from our usual custom of calling out the shitwads who ignore conventional norms of usage. No brickbats for the boneheads who confuse adoptive and adopted; no crucifying the clodhoppers who don’t know that irregardless is an irregular construction; not a single drop of disdain for the dickheads who think alot is one word. We are here instead to worship at the profane altar of Thug Kitchen, a website, two cookbooks, and a way of life whose motto is “Eat like you give a fuck.”
Thug Kitchen and its cookbooks are worthy of praise for several reasons. To begin: the writing is nasty, brutish, and short, muscular and direct. The authors write like they give a fuck, and you should, too. For example:
“This is a fucking wake-up call. This is for that section of the grocery store that you avoid. This is for drive-thru lines so long that they block traffic. This is for ketchup and pizza qualifying as fucking vegetables. This is for everyone who wants to do better but gets lost in the bullshit.”
No pussy-footing around here, kids. Not a compound or a complex sentence in sight. As for the profanity—that glorious, cheerful profanity—it supplies a jolt of flavor, like white truffle shavings on a vegan plate of pasta aglio e olio, but the paragraph is just as direct without it. So listen up, boys and girls, use all the goddamn profanity you want, but don’t expect it to rescue a limp-dick sentence. If your sentences have the mushy feel of overcooked pasta, no amount of assholes, motherfuckers, or dickheads is going to save it. Moreover, profanity takes practice, so practice up until you can wield it naturally, as in the following recipe for green pea and garbanzo bean dip.
“Think all green dips must be guacamole? Grab some peas and broaden your goddamn dip horizon with a batch of this green goodness—it’s packed with protein and a fuckload of fiber. Peas aren’t the sexiest veggie in the store but they are cheap as shit and available year-round on the freezer aisle. Let these little green bastards help you be the envy of everyone else’s stagnant snacking.”
Sure as shit that doesn’t sound like Rachel Ray’s cookbooks—or even badass Tony Bourdain’s travelogues—and it’s lacking altogether in the luvvie aroma of other vegan cookbooks; but contrary to what Sister Mary Clitoris told me about people who use “foul language,” it doesn’t condemn a person to the life of an outcast. Thug Kitchen’s Facebook page has half a million fans. The first cookbook (there’s a new one out presently) was #1 with a bullet on The New York Times hit parade. That’s a big fucking choir.
The brains and the attitude behind Thug Kitchen belong to Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, both about thirty. For the two years between the time they started the Thug Kitchen website and the publication of the Thug Kitchen cookbook in October 2014, nobody knew fuck all about them. They didn’t pimp themselves or even put their names anywhere on the site. As Mr. Holloway told Epicurious, “You see a hundred photos of [cookbook authors] before you even get to a goddamn recipe. Photos of their relationship, their family, and their farm—I fucking hate you, I’m not going to read your recipes now!”
Can I get a “hear, hear” up in here? That’s fucking tao, boys and girls. “True words aren’t eloquent; eloquent words aren’t true. Wise men don’t need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren’t wise.”
Keep on thuggin’ and living like you give a fuck.
For additional insight, consult.
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