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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Symbolism Art for Technology Argument Paper

So I am writing (actually I'm done) an Argument paper on why you should NOT use a microwave. Well the professor wanted us to include artwork, powerpoint or cited photos and present them in class. Last night I happened to look in my book and I had a rough draft sketch of this.

Mr.Man saw it and asked,"Don't you think that's a bit advanced for the likes of people in your class." I laughed and replied,"Well it's easier for me to smash this out in 30 minutes than fart around with powerpoint."

Turns out -the class loved it. I apologized and said I only had 30 minutes to spend on this and all I could find was an old watercolour set - my pens are missing.

It's a simple symbol of instant gratification - everyone wants the baby but none of the labor pains. Just hit that baby button on the microwave and you will be "all done." haha.

One kid in there was like,"you're badass! you cook, and shoot, and paint and you're gonna be a nurse" Badass! LOL.

Funny, but I'm glad it went over so well.

see below for some of the content of my paper
that took me about an hour. lol

Instant Noodles Instant Life

“I want it and I want it NOW!” Everyone has heard this phrase before. It’s not even shocking to hear or see the tantrums or both children and adults. The modern world has no “downtime.” If a person admits or mentions that they will go home to cook they are often asked, “You cook dinner? Who has time to cook? You know HOW to cook?” That is often followed by the confession that they will simply ‘pop something into the microwave.’ In 2001 The US Energy Information Administration took a survey across the country and found that 75% to 93% of homes had a microwave. ( , The Effects of Income on Appliances). The most shocking fact is that whether people were below the poverty line or well above high income they ALL had microwaves. What was once a novelty item is now a standard item in every house or residence? The US Energy Information Administration also discovered that regardless of marital status, roommate status, houses with child or without the microwave is used for both snacks and cooking. Cooking! The use of such convenience tools like the microwave has permanently altered the way in which we prepare and purchase food. Truthfully told modern tools like the stove, ovens, toaster ovens, and plug in gadgets leave very little to experience and knowledge of a person in the kitchen. It has also created food technology in manufacturing because the availability of the tools is affordable and widespread, food manufacturers have created food that can be cooked quickly and to resemble ‘traditional’ food. You can look at people in the store and they have no desire to touch raw or unprocessed meat, chicken, pork etcetera. They will more than likely pick something that doesn’t look like it has a bone in it.

Relying on a microwave for your food is a dangerous dependence. It is dangerous to yourself as a civilization and detrimental to your health. According to the Palo Alto Medical Health Foundation over 25% of Americans eat fast food daily. (, Fast Food). If a family of this time were compared to a family in 1911 you would see that the diet has drastically changed. The diet has changed to match our instant indulgences, our fast pace lives that are enhanced with technology, entertainment, and communication. The cars we drive, the homes we live in, the jobs we have, how we study, how we worship, how we keep in touch – all of these things are fast and only getting faster. We expect our brains to keep track of more things and sort through more and more information while our bodies are more slack and distanced from nature. Food comes from nature and as we get further away from a natural state so does our food. By the time food comes out of the microwave it has been removed from nature countless times and more often than not it no longer resembles its true origin. It also has next to NO nutrition compared to the way food was intended to nourish people.

The microwave was invented in 1946 during a radar research project. ( , “Microwave Oven”). It was an accidental discovery that the microwave had an effect on food when it melted a candy bar in Dr. Percy Spencer’s pocket. This accident with the candy bar led to experiments with popcorn and eggs which are still cooked in the microwave today. The next 30 years since this accidental discovery would lead to microwaves that varied from 6 feet tall to the more recognizable countertop model. Because of its speed and efficiency it really captured the attention of Americans and later the world. The New York Times has published articles advising that kitchen gadgets bring the fast food mentality home. ( , “Kitchen Gadgets”). This is probably unbeknownst to people. An everyday person who is busy from the moment they wake to the time they go home is only thinking that they would like to get something warm into their stomach and sit down for a bit of relaxation. What people fail to understand is that food manufacturers’ work in cahoots with appliance makers to create mutually beneficial products. This means that the appliance manufacturer will make a machine that specifically fits specifications requested or made by popularly purchased premade foods and snacks to increase appeal. Make no mistake – these two companies are not out to make your life easier nor are they there to make you a healthier person they are simply there to make a profit from you. There is also the problem that the microwave has created false need. Priscilla Peralta recently had some damage to her microwave where the door handle snapped off. In an interview with the author she confessed, “If I am unable to reattach this handle I will be forced to buy another one, or how will I boil water?” (interview, 07/01/2011) Boiling water is not even cooking; in fact it is one of the most commonly done things on an open fire with a flame besides barbecuing. But boiled water is used in many instant foods these days: ramen noodles and its hundreds of variations, instant oatmeal, instant coffee, hot chocolate and even macaroni and cheese. The inability to use a microwave could put a serious dent in a person’s schedule and possibly interrupt a meal for a child.

Two decades ago I finally got my own place. I did not have a microwave nor did I feel that I needed one. I grew up in a home that cooked almost all the meals except the bread and I also grew up in a restaurant so cooking food was not an insurmountable task. Water could be boiled on the stovetop, nachos could be flash broiled in the oven, and popcorn could be made in a copper bottom pot with the flames of the stove. Almost everyone who came over would always ask, “Where is your microwave?” I would simply explain that I didn’t need one and it seemed ridiculous to buy something that I would rarely if ever use. No one ever asked about my complicated espresso and cappuccino machine, but they would always ask about that missing microwave as if I were missing a front door, or a bathroom and toilet. It is something that always stays with me. That experience really reinforced in my mind that people have an invisible reliance on The Microwave. If there were a national emergency or natural disaster how would every day Americans feed their family or boil their water. If given a good old fashioned pantry and nothing but a stove of the 75% microwave owners in the population how many would be able to cook something? Is it possible that after 4-6 weeks without the availability of electricity and a microwave that a family could go hungry? The microwave should be used as a tool not a crutch. This reliance on the microwave has truly impaired every day people from the ability to be self reliant, creative and self sustaining.

The use of the microwave also takes away a human ritual that is vital to emotional sustenance. ( , “Eating Together”). It is the act of breaking bread together and sharing a meal. The act of preparing a meal is one of togetherness, of hearth, of closeness. It is a winding down process that allows people to feel communion, safety and comfort. It is a symbol of humanity and what is best about people. It is a myriad of expression that can show gratitude, sympathy, tradition, and even refuge. It is the same gesture around the world when you welcome someone into your home and feed them something from your own hands. However, if a quick and easy meal is just thrown into a microwave and hastily set on a table; does it have the same effect as the scent of traditionally made food welcoming you? Does the microwave have a button for joy, satisfaction, sharing, or quality?

It cannot be denied that it is indeed convenient to cook with a microwave – but could it also be killing you? Dr. Bernard H. Blanc and Dr. Hans Hertel performed research in 1998 that proved the constant consumption of food made in a microwave will do four things: 1) increase cholesterol 2) increase white blood cell numbers 3) decrease red blood cell numbers and 4) cause production of radiolytic compounds. ( , “Microwave Cooking”). The first will impair your heart and blood to be efficient. The next two will impact your immune system. The last is the introduction of non natural compounds into your bloodstream which could trigger cancer. On top of all this beastly fact is one more truth --- food prepared in a microwave loses a significant amount of nutrients in the cooking process. Microwaving food is a violent act, all cooking is a violent act that changes the food but microwaving it will produce leukocytes to be found in those who consume it and leukocytes are normally only found in people who have been poisoned! Unbelievable.

By no means would it be easy to give up a convenience that you have used for years. Some people may never even use their stove, convection oven or even toaster oven. But it is in the best interest of your cultural and physical health to give up a microwave. Although it seems handy in your everyday life, it may harm you in later life. It may harm your health, your family bond or even your personal survival skills. The path to free living includes freedom from self inflicted poison from microwave cooking. Understanding what goes into your body may be a first step to understanding how you fit in this puzzle of our society. Being in a throng of people is offset by meals prepared in filial surroundings and the friendly effort that goes into making a great meal. Also be aware that by making your food in a more traditional way reduces the amount of garbage that goes into our landfills and garbage dumps. The simple act of forgoing the constant use of the microwave will serve to bring more family and friends together which could be the first step to bring cohesion in this fast paced world.


  1. I love it! You're very talented!

  2. @Tasha - Thank You! It's definitely easier for me than a powerpoint - I hate that thing. lol.

  3. Our microwave died over 4 years ago and we never replaced it. I really do think that not good for you. However after 4 babies my last being 10lbs I gotta say, "where can I get one of those microwaves"?

    Very talented gf.

  4. @PELE---4 babies!!! 10lbs!!! You are a gangsta! After the research I did I am really not a fan. We lived for years without one and then my friend was like "I brought you a gift" LOLz, it was a microwave. In fact yesterday I gave it to a kid who just got his first apartment and he said ,"without a microwave, I am eating mcdonalds all the time." I don't know which is worse the mcD's or the microwave dinners - but I let him have it.