Campus Free Speech

Oberlin Students Accuse the Cafeteria of Cultural Appropriation

Inauthentic General Tso's chicken is a hate crime.



What's eating students these days? Inauthentic sushi, it seems. Some offended diners at Oberlin College are accusing the dining halls of disrespecting Asian culture by preparing dishes so bad, they practically count as microaggressions.

As I wrote in a recent column for The Daily Beast:

It's one thing to quietly gripe about the quality of dorm food (students have likely been doing that for centuries). It's quite another to accuse the dining room staff of stealing from Asian culture because they didn't prepare the General Tso's chicken with the correct sauce. …

"It was ridiculous," student Diep Nguyen told The Oberlin Review (the "it," in question was a Banh Mi sandwich with the wrong bun). "How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country's traditional food?"

For one thing, the Banh Mi sandwich is itself the product of the blurring of cultural boundaries: French and Vietnamese.

For another, there's something deliciously ironic about Oberlin students—some of the most privileged people in the world, as evidenced by the $50,000 they pay annually in tuition—whining about the bun-thickness of meals prepared by lowly paid cafeteria workers. As academic and writer Fredrik de Boer noted on Twitter, "When you're defending the cultural authenticity of GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, you're a living Portlandia sketch."

But cultural appropriation in the cafeteria isn't the only thing on the minds of Oberln students. Activists recently released a lengthy list of demands—many of them reminiscent of the demands made by students at dozens of other universities. Perhaps most notable: Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces and allowance money for black student leaders.

I'm not convinced these things would make Oberlin a more racially-harmonious place, however:

If all of their demands were met, two things would happen. First, since most of the items require separate and distinct services for black students, there would be a lot less racial intermixing. Second, because the cost of hiring all these new employees and providing so many services is prohibitive, tuition would skyrocket. Oberlin would become much less affordable for the very students most dissatisfied with the college; it would also become weirdly segregated.

Read the full thing here.

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  1. Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces and allowance money for black student leaders.

    What do we want?


    When do we want it?


    1. I guess they need their own drinking fountains.

    2. They’re more comfortable among their own kind.

    3. Merry Christmas! Equality Is Over If You (If You Want It).

    4. We can call the blacks-only section the Rosa Parks Memorial Seating.

      1. I thought that blacks-only safe spaces were called, “townships.”

  2. What’s eating students these days?

    Other students, after making out with them?

  3. Anyone who thinks General Tso’s is anything like authentic is an idiot. SJWs are always ignorant of the cultures they claim to defend.

    1. “What’s eating students these days? Inauthentic sushi, it seems.”

      Does Robby think General Tso’s chicken is sushi?

      Yeah, most of the Chinese food we eat is tailored to American tastes.

      When I was goin’ to Mexico, I was in a Mexican restaurant with my friend Chuy. He was explaining to me how in Mexico, the food isn’t really like in Mexican restaurants here. It isn’t all covered with Cheese–that’s an American thing. He said, “This isn’t really Mexican food”.

      I told him that, technically speaking, anything he eats is by definition Mexican food.

      1. What we eat is really Tex-Mex.

      2. “This isn’t really Mexican food”

        Yeah, it’s better.

        1. Not surprisingly for a country with the Pacific on one side and the Atlantic on the other, Mexicans eat a lot of seafood. And pork. If you go to a Mexican restaurant that doesn’t feature a lot of pork and seafood it’s probably “Mexican”.

          1. When I had “real” Mexican one time I noticed it didn’t have a lot of flavor. Maybe that’s usual or maybe not but that’s when I decided I’ll take the American variety.

      3. There are big regional differences in the cuisine, same as for us yanqis. Further south, and (duh) closer to the coast, there is more seafood. There is a difference between urban and rural cooking as well. The urban is heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine, which was heavily influenced by Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine, while the rural cuisine is heavily influenced by the native cuisine.

    2. I would suggest to these brats that if they ever find themselves in China for work or just celebrating Mao, stick to KFC or McDonald’s. Not a place to let your Anthony Bourdain culinary freak flag fly.

      1. if they ever find themselves in China

        Unlike Mexican as I claimed above, “real” Chinese food is *much* better than the Americanized version – at least the crap that served in most take-out joints.

        1. my friend got one of those jobs teaching english in china a couple years ago, and he says what we think of as “chinese food” would be like chinese people calling mcdonalds “american food”.

            1. Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. Where I grew up the only Chinese food available was from take-out joints which are indeed “fast food”.

              1. I especially like the dog stew meat in the frozen food sections there. The small ones taste best.

      2. I fucked up the link. Keep getting the 50 character count but here goes nothing

        https://www. wp/2013/10/28/you-may- never-eat-street-food-in-china -again-after-watching- this-video/

        1. link

          Just use regular html [a href=”http://…”]click bait[/a] (replacing square brackets with angle brackets)

          Greasonable (click username) has a way of making it even easier as well..

        2. I’m learning that damned near everything in China and India is fucking disgusting.

      3. Backpacking through China in 1988 my buddy an I carried our own chopsticks. One day we were out a bit longer than planned and ended up with one pair between us. Loosing the coin toss I used the house chopsticks. As I paid the bill afterwards I saw to my horror that their idea of “cleaning” their chopsticks was to dump them tip down into a sitting bucket of water with the previously used ones – and pull a pair from that same bucket for the next customers. The result was 5 days of painful dysentery.

        1. Backpacking through China in 1988

          Nice. I did a “package tour” in 2001 and I thought that was edgy…. OK no I didn’t but at least I learned enough to be perfectly comfortable going it alone next time – whenever that is. At least I didn’t get sick.

        2. Thankfulty, they use disposables now or wash them right.

      4. Mmmmm, brats. That’s DEFINITELY not Chinese. Or Mexican.

  4. I would have so much fun as a professor there. For the possibly one day that I would last.

    1. I would spend my one day being a lunch-dude so I could smack one or two of these entitled brats upside the head.

      1. It would be fun to use ethnic accents when asking if they would like a particular food. Woulda youa lika soma spugeeehtti today.

      2. I kind of fantasize about the Draft being reinstated and I get to be their Drill Instructor. Torn between going Full Metal Jacket or Biloxi Blues on them. I would certainly duck with their heads for 2 months straight.

      3. The primarily black ladies at my college cafeteria would’ve stood for none of this shit. You got what they served & liked it. Or else

  5. No mention that General Tao’s chicken has already been heavily modified for Western consumers from its supposedly Hunanese origin? Robby, I am disappointed.

    Also, there’s a way to both quickly eliminate college students complaining about culturally appropriated food, and provide a healthy, nutritious food resource to the university population.

    1. I think that’s the reason he invoked Portlandia. It would be a ludicrous complaint.

  6. Despite being possible Hispanic, perhaps the whitest contributor the magazine has this side of the Moynihan era isn’t the best one to be covering race politics. Shouldn’t one of Reason‘s black writers handle this? Only Nixon could appropriate China, you know.

    1. one of Reason’s black writers

      Ummm. I see a problem here.

  7. Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces

    Nothing says progress like racial segregation.

  8. I’m back briefly from Army Basic Training for xmas. I will have many tales of derp for the AM links.

    8 more weeks of training when I return in January. So far being in the Army has been easier and more fun than I expected.

    1. “being in the Army has been easier and more fun than I expected.”

      They always say that right before they’re strapped to their bunk and beaten with soap-in-sock bludgeons.

      1. There was a guy in my platoon during reception battalion who looked exactly like Joker from Full Metal Jacket.

        Real boot camp is less like that movie and more like that part from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life about putting clothes onto the lower peg:

        1. I hear you. Just don’t call him Francis.

        2. I also hope you were adequately trained in marching up and down the square.

          1. Plenty of that, but even more PowerPoint presentations. I practice holding my breath to stay awake.

            1. Hey Derp, glad it’s going well. Getting some range time in?

              1. Not yet. So far, we’ve done the obstacle course, the team-building course (big puzzles with ropes and boards), combat lifesaving, and Treadwell Tower (climbing/rappelling). The tower is named after a guy who won every medal for bravery there is.


                When I get back, we have land navigation (maps & compass stuff) and the gas chamber. Rifle stuff starts the week after.

                We got to run around with rubber ducks (dummy rifles) during the combat lifesaving exercises. That was kinda fun. We also crawled around in the dirt with them. We looked like a bunch of baby sea turtles crawling into the ocean. A drill sgt kicked me in the helmet for not holding the rifle right.

                “Hey YOU!”


                Also, I have to call it a “weapon” because the Army doesn’t think the word rifle sounds cool enough.

                During one of the first aid drills, we could hear booming cannons and chattering machine guns in the distance. Some other classes were shooting that day.

                1. Sweet. The navigation stuff should be cool too. I like doing stuff like that.

                2. Hold your compass flat and away from any ferrous metal. Know the declination. Really know your scale and your contour interval.

                  1. Yep. It’s all in the Warrior Skill Level 1 book. It’s the only we’re allowed to have besides bibles, qurans, etc.

                    1. All kinds of dumbasses who think they know what they’re doing and have “done it for years” don’t hold it flat and/or hold it next to a metal object. Often they will say “my compass must be broken”.
                      As a general rule YOUR COMPASS IS NEVER BROKEN. You’ll know before you try to use it if it is. Those fighter planes that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle? They thought their compasses were broken.

                    2. SIV is correct on the compass. Two other tips. Also use terrain association to confirm location and if possible don’t follow a long leg following a bearing. Rather plot and follow a bearing to a confirmable point (e.g. road intersection, hilltop etc), go there and then follow a short leg to your point. Biggest tip, plot your points and then pick them up in the shortest way and not in the given sequence.

                    3. Another protip: read through Lone Survivor, take notes on their landnav techniques and NEVER do anything they did. They made just about every dumbass, boot mistake in the book.

                3. Just don’t call it a “gun”!

                  1. Which one is for fighting, and which one is for fun?

              2. It sounds like he’s still in Red Phase. White Phase is next, which is when you get to shoot stuff.

                Hey Derp, when you hit the range, make sure to shake your clothes out good. You do NOT want brass to fall out of your ACUs upon leaving the range.

                Also, you probably know this (you’re here after all), but always act as if there’s a death laser coming out the barrel of your rifle, and keep it pointed as such. I had some nimrod hold his at waist level as he executed a turn that brought the barrel across our whole platoon. He had like four DSes fall on him like a bolt from Zeus before the movement was even done.

            2. Another method could be, “try and identify something that would offend a transgender person on every slide”

            3. So what’s the daily Basic Training routine like these days?

              1. 0500 lights on
                0530 first formation
                0545 PT
                0700 come back from PT and change
                0730 breakfast
                0800 to 1200 training/classroom
                1200 lunch
                1300 to 1700 training/classroom
                1800 dinner
                1830 to 2030 drill sgt time, mail call
                2030 to 2130 hygiene and personal time
                2130 lights out

                1. 7.5 hours of sleep? Jesus H Christ! The Army’s gone soft.

                  1. If you have fireguard, that knocks off an hour. And some people like me have to get up early to be ready in time. And sometimes the other guys won’t shut up so the drill sgt comes in and makes you do various exercises for half an hour.

                    I get about 5 hours of sleep each night.

                    1. 35P- cryptolinguist. I don’t know what language yet. I got 132 on the DLAB so I think I will get a hard one.

                    2. Enjoy the Presidio of Monterey. Try to break tradition and DO NOT get married to a classmate, especially from another Service.

                    3. If you get selected to learn Mandarin and your prof looks like my first Chinese prof (what are the Chinese characters for “Barbie doll”?) you will have a hard one every day you are in class.

                    4. I think I will get a hard one

                      I have no desire the sign up – also, I’m 46 years old – but as a linguist (if only by degree) that makes me envious.

                    5. if only by degree

                      BA, I meant to say. I don’t actually do it.

                    6. I forgot about fire guard.

                  2. 0500? Back in my day (1983), we started at 0400 unless we had to run more than a couple miles to get to our range for the day. Then it 0330, though that only happened a couple times.

                    1. We’ve gotten up before 0300 a couple of times. The very first day, I got up at MEPS at 0400 on Monday and went to bed at Fort Sill at 2000 on Tuesday. Awake for 40 goddamn hours!

                2. 0500 lights on

                  I’m out.

                  1. That, & no “1700 – 1800 cocktails”

                3. Thanks for that. The surprise to me is that you get to change after PT.

                  Nothing like trying to stay awake during those after-lunch classes.

        3. Of course Army boot camp is nothing like that depicted in Full Metal Jacket. Marine boot camp, pretty close. 🙂

          1. Aren’t the Marine Corp and the Army basically the same thing?

            1. [Soldier and Marine shouting in unison while pointing at each other]

              “No! I’m way better than *that* guy!”

            2. “Aren’t the Marine Corp and the Army basically the same thing?”

              Dude, people in the army wear berets. They’re halfway to being like the scarf-wearing drag-queens of the Air Force.

              1. That’s scarf-wearing LIFT-queens

                1. (image of men in flight-suits hi-fiving, one mouthing the phrase, ‘Sick Burn Yo’)

            3. …basically the same thing?

              A Marine sniper is on his way to your location…

            4. Not even close – they let him go home for Christmas instead of just singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, he’s probably seen a woman, and hasn’t been carrying a real rifle everywhere he goes including bed.

              When I did Parris Island in 89, the middle 4 weeks was all rifle range training.

              1. Parris Island? Fucking WM. Real Marines went to boot camp at San Diego.

                But yeah, I snorted at the idea of being able to to home for xmas from boot camp. I was in at Easter and basically the same sort of semi-sacrilegious shit for that.

                Yup 4 weeks at the range at Camp Pendleton for me too (’86).

              2. ” he’s probably seen a woman, and hasn’t been carrying a real rifle everywhere he goes including bed.”

                Army basic training is coed. My platoon is about 1/4 female. We have 1 male drill sgt and 2 female ones.

                We would have been issued weapons if the training cycle did not overlap with xmas. They didn’t want to go through the trouble of issuing weapons just to put them all back a week later.

                1. Unless you get Benning; they train the technical MOSs at Sand Hill and the Infantry down the street from there. The only women are at battalion or civilians.

            5. They are not and I have done them both. – or maybe things have changed that much over the years since I changed uniforms.

              Army NCO’s seem to get away with unprofessional stuff that would have shortened one’s career in the Marines. Both can be dicks to their troops but the Marines have to have real reasons to do it.

            6. I was at San Diego and Camp Pendleton in ’69. At that time, they were running cannon fodder through boot camp like shit through a goose. The power of The Farce was overwhelming.

              1. Yeah, San Diego and Pendelton from ’76 to ’78 – then over to Okinawa and the Pacific for a few years. They didn’t even send me to MOS school – the USMC just put me in an 81mm mortar platoon and OJT’ed me in. I turned 18 about the time I got my MOS.

        4. Boot camp is not what it used to be.

    2. Just miles from your doorstep, hundreds of men are given weapons and trained to kill. The government calls it the “army”, but a more alarmist name would be The Killbot Factory.

      1. It did sting a bit when they put that Koch Industries microchip into my brain.

        Back to you, Kent.

    3. Excellent. I’m glad it’s going well.

    4. Baby killer.

      1. That’s the next phase of training – no spoilers.

    5. Sweet, welcome back!

  9. I refuse to link to the Daily Beast

    I am officially protesting their non-commenting policy. If i can’t read the exhasperated liberal smuggies, there’s no joy in it for me.

    That said….

    …if Robby failed to note the homonymtastic-irony of a sandwich called, “the Banh Mi” @ Oberlin? ….


    … he should be fired for striking-out in a game of Pundit T-Ball. They simply can’t tee them up any easier than that.

    1. Yeah, if you call your sandwich a banh mi you’re pretty much asking for it.

  10. I’m still not convinced this isn’t an Onion article that has caught media attention.

  11. General Mills would totally kick General Tso’s yella Chinaman ass.

    1. Neither of them would have the balls to fuck with the insurance guy. Even the penguin that he always hangs with could take them.

      And if anyone actually understands why/how the penguin ended up in those ads I’d really appreciate hearing it. What does a penguin have to do with insurance, and why would a general be hanging out with him? I’ve always been completely confused by that.

    2. Colonel Sanders can whoop them both at the same time.

    3. General Tso was a very flamboyant man. A complete failure as a general, but a helluva cook.

  12. Gaston! There is no dog in my hot dog!

    1. That’s what you think…

  13. Between the wings of commas and periods lie the deepest trips, my devilish scones.

  14. “It was ridiculous,” student Diep Nguyen told The Oberlin Review (the “it,” in question was a Banh Mi sandwich with the wrong bun). “How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”

    I believe the student’s name is Derp Nguyen

    1. Don’t even get him started on the French fries. Or the Chile dogs.

  15. Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces

    I am completely baffled by this stuff. I remember in the 90s my school had a dorm for “international students” and I thought that was off-putting. Pretty sure we hadn’t gone full-on racial segregation beyond the already de rigeur “Black Student Union”. I just can’t fathom going to college to supposedly “widen your horizons” and get a toe into the “real world” only to remove yourself from the real world even further.

    1. I just can’t fathom going to college to supposedly “widen your horizons” and get a toe into the “real world” only to remove yourself from the real world even further.


      Widening their horizons is the furthest thing from Oberlin kids’ minds. If they wanted to do that they’d go to Youngstown State. Going to Oberlin is about making contacts with others from the top of the socioeconomic pyramid.

    2. There was plenty of self-sort-of-segregation when I was at college, but I’m pretty sure there weren’t any officially segregated places or events.

      1. Good point – yes, there is always some of that. But where I was most of us self-segregated by “clique” – usually closely identified with musical tastes – rather than race.

      2. Yeh, they were pretty laid back spaces. Nothing to get worked up about.

    3. Whenever I mention that there was a living group named “Chocolate City” at MIT to people that didn’t go there they think that I’m just making it up for a laugh.

  16. Can’t we as a society all just agree to ignore them. I mean if we just pretend they don’t exist or just ignore whatever derp they spew then maybe they’ll get the message that they’re idiots. When someone says something stupid to me, I completely change the subject and pretend they didn’t say anything at all. Whatever happened to doing that?

    1. Sure we can…right up until they end up running every fucking government department and ruining our lives through the regulatory apparatus.

      Wait, should I have written that in the past tense?

      1. In which case it’s better to let them say intemperate things and continue developing juvenile, abrasive personalities, so they don’t rise very far in the real world. Socially adept statists are far more dangerous than the alternative.

      2. They’re just two year old’s looking for attention. If no one gives them any, maybe they’ll stop?

  17. Are they going to protest against Asians or blacks appropriating European culture by playing in the orchestra?

    1. You don’t understand cultural sensitivity. It’s OK for historically oppressed groups to appropriate the oppressor’s culture, but not the reverse.

      1. I read that as “histrionically oppressed”.

  18. In case any Oberlin students read this article, and the comments. General Tso’s Chicken is a Chinese take on Southern Fried Chicken with BBQ Sauce using their own native ingredients. This is not cultural appropriation. This is the true fruits of Multiculturalism.

    Also look into modern Spanish cooking, and chef’s. A lot of them are inspired from many differing World regions, and “Libre” Anarchism.

    1. “a Chinese take on Southern Fried Chicken with BBQ Sauce”

      So appropriate it right back.

      General Lee’s Chicken

      General Pickett’s Gourmet Chicken (because they charge too much, get it?)

      1. “So appropriate it right back.””

        Chilis rapes traditional cuisines like the Japanese did Nanking

        I think they once scored a trifecta, with something like a “Southwestern Egg-Roll Kebab”

        1. Spot on with Chili’s Gilly. Honestly it’s their cooking methods that I find most disagreeable. =)

          1. If it aint fried, its microwaved.

          1. I did in college, 20 years ago. because they had great deals on happy-hour pitchers

            About 10 years ago i spoke at a conference alongside the guy who designed their menu (I forget his job title, but he was some upper-mid-manager @ Brinker International, the owner of the franchise)

            We shared a flight back and ended up talking for hours about their ridiculous cusine-funging M.O., which he credited himself for being partly responsible for. “Chipotle Wontons”, or “Shanghai Quesadilla” or whatever the fuck it was. I kept trying to invent too-ridiculous-to-actually-serve combinations, and he’d be like, “No, we tried that, and it canceled each other out…so, instead….”

            1. As a cook you have to take in to consideration flavor profiles. This comes with actual study of a regions native ingredients, and cooking methods. This is not something that a person who has a degree in Marketing is going to be educated in.

              1. Who the hell gets degrees in marketing? I always thought that was the department for people who were only slightly-less-retarded than Human Resources.

                The guy i was talking about actually went to the Berklee School of Music… before getting some post-grad degree in some food-science thing somewhere (maybe Penn, which i think has one of the few specific programs in that) He had no background as a chef or anything. And most of their product was actually farmed out to various subcontractors after they’d designed the basic “idea” of whatever it was they wanted to try launching. They didn’t bother doing any of the ‘flavor engineering’ internally (and there are specialist firms who work on that stuff)

                I always liked learning about the nuts-bolts of how things like retail-chain-foodservice operated. I don’t think they all work exactly like that, but as noted above = everything at chilis is basically “90% prepped” – frozen, then nuked or fried…. perhaps some sauce dumped on it.

                I think there was an article this week in the NYT (*i saw it in passing) how people were outraged to learn that even “high-end” boutique restaurants were making their dishes out of pre-made products made by a long-island-based foodservice-supplier. Basically, fancy-chef-branded restaurants were busted for heating up pre-prepped ingredient mixes.

                1. And charging chef-cooked prices? Yeah, that’s pretty shitty.

                2. If you want to be a “Chef” work for a chef. =)

                3. “I think there was an article this week in the NYT (*i saw it in passing) how people were outraged to learn that even “high-end” boutique restaurants were making their dishes out of pre-made products made by a long-island-based foodservice-supplier. Basically, fancy-chef-branded restaurants were busted for heating up pre-prepped ingredient mixes.”

                  When labor is made overly expensive you outsource in order to control cost. The profit margin in food service is pretty low. You are going to make most of your profit on your booze sales.

                  1. Also when I talk to people who are not in the “Business” they always tell me about how they make the “Perfect” dish. I tell that’s great. Now make it for a thousand people, quickly.

                    1. Yeah, that’s what I think every time somebody tells me I should open a Mexican restaurant based on a couple dishes I served them at a party. Yeah, it’s good and I won’t pretend I’m not proud of that but to gamble everything and work every day, afternoon to after midnight, hoping to compete in the Tokyo restaurant market? Nah, I’ll find other options.

                  2. labor is made overly expensive

                    I don’t know what the “cut-off” is for when it’s profitable to cook your own damn food but some of these places are mind-bogglingly expensive.

                    1. Well Rhywun from an ordering point of view. The fuel surcharge can kill you, the “Parking” extortion that your delivery vendors have to deal with will cost you time, and money, and you need a minimum item, or dollar amount on every invoice to economically justify your vendor to service you.

                  3. The high minimum wage in France means that many bistros switched to pre-made food they can microwave.

                    1. Then restaurants should be open about this. Tell us how you’re compromising. Maybe it would open some minds.

                    2. “Then restaurants should be open about this. Tell us how you’re compromising. “

                      We need a new regulation to stop this ‘problem’ caused by too much regulation!

                    3. I think if someone is passing off reheated slop as chef-cooked then yeah that’s a “problem” – it’s fraud.

      2. Well Biggie. American Chinese chef’s took southern cuisine brought it back to China. Came up with Gerneral Tso’s, then took it back to America.

        Let’s see…

        Deep Fried, Buffalo tossed Chicken Fingers
        Grits made with browned butter, and Blue Cheese
        On a bed of sauteed Collard greens

        General Lee’s Chicken. =)

        1. My gaze is somewhat less than wide.

  19. “Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces and allowance money for black student leaders.”

    And Jesse Jackson brushes a tear from his eye, thinking back to the years when *he* was a young man, just starting out as a race hustler.

  20. Something else to think about. If you look at Thai, and southern Mexican coastal cooking. You have the same ingredients being used, and some of the same local cooking methods, yet two completely different cuisines. Just think what you could do by mixing those food cultures.

    Libre you mind, and your ass will follow.

    Be Free.

  21. They can have my fried chicken, collard greens, and watermelon when they pry them from my cold, dead, greasy hands.

    1. Fucking Preach It Brother/Sister !!!!!

  22. As a Texan, I can assure you that what passes for Tex-Mex outside of Texas, while not a hate crime, is definitely a crime against food. These kids obviously don’t have a basic understanding of how the world works.

    These myopic children should travel throughout Asia to see how American food, often a simulacra of European foods, is interpreted. A large % of Japanese kids think that McDonalds is Japanese; including the shrimp burgers.

    1. I once ate an abortion in France they were trying to pass off as “pizza”.

      1. in 1992 i did a 6-week drunken tour of Europe (immediately after graduating high-school)… we ended up spending most of our time in Eastern Europe because it was sooper cheap and we’d blown half our money on $10 cocktails in Italy.

        We saved funds by barely eating anything except bread/cheese/pate-spread. So we were basically starving all the time. Add to this that almost all the actual ‘restaurant’ food in Eastern Europe was abysmal, with rare exception. (they were still coping with the fall of the berlin wall, and eateries were few and far between)

        Anyway, one night while drunk-wandering through Prague… i saw a stand in the distance, with a lit-up sign saying “Hamburger”. I cried with joy. Look!!! OMG. Nothing could have made me happier. I ran up to the stall and gleefully waved money at them. I was still slavering and wondering how amazingly lucky this all was when…. my buddy goes, “you know… you’d think there’d be like a grill, or a stove, or some cooking appliances…” and we sort of realized that there was no cooking going on at all…

        …and then the grizzled Czech pushed a dry bun with a cold hunk of Spam on it toward me. they didn’t even have any mustard.

        i felt betrayed like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man…being dragged back to the Dentist chair. I wept and wept.

        1. Reminds me of the time I was in Dieppe and was roped into buying sausage and fries. The sign made it sound so delicious. When the guy brought be the dish it was a sickly looking hot dog on a bed of white fries. I was thoroughly disappointed and he gave me a look that suggested he knew damn well the scrap he was serving me.

        2. Yikes. I had much better luck in 1986 East Germany – everything else about the place was depressing but the food was great.

      2. Planned Parenthood is in France?

      3. Also, I think this could have been a better reply =

        “”*I* once ate an abortion in France””

        1. So you are a fan of breakfast foods ? =)

  23. Mark Twain. This is what makes America’s Food Culture Great.…..bill-fare/

    We have one Hell of a Melting pot to cook in. =)

    1. Ironic – I just had this quote printed/framed for my son’s new bistro.

  24. There was a place in Tampa, FL, near the corner of Dale Mabry and West Waters, that made really good General Tso’S chicken.

    Tupelo, MS has a place called Mist that made really good General Tso’s.

    Cedar Rapids, IA doesn’t do Chinese too well.

    1. Looking for great Chinese in Iowa – TASTE PLACE in Ames. Opened last year, classically-trained Chinese chef who practiced in China/Europe. All the second-generation, rich, Asians eat here – but you won’t find General Tso’s.

  25. “Perhaps most notable hilarious: Oberlin students want blacks-only safe spaces and allowance money for black student leaders.”

    Fixed that for ya.

    Ah, to be young, and have no freaking clue about history.

    1. Do you think they approach black people and say I’m sorry your black?

      1. I’d love to see the itemized hospital bill resulting from that.

  26. If I were the foodservice manager at Oberlin, I would be glad to accommodate the students’ concerns about the racial sensitivity of the menu… By which I mean, I would serve nothing but oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs. Let them eat that for a week, then see how fast they beg for the return of the old “insensitive” menu.

    1. Fuck that. At least oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs would be fine.

      Just beans and boiled cabbage. That’s it. Only salt and pepper for seasonings.

      1. I’d actually prefer the beans and cabbage to oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs. Oatmeal, blech! I could just take my big daily scoop of protein powder I typically take every morning since most of the time I’m too lazy to get up in time to make eggs. No protein in the morning and I sometimes feel sleepy during the middle of the day.

      2. Well the University I used to work at took the salt shakers off of the tables, so they only get pepper for a seasoning. =)

    2. Akira. You would get fired for “Oppressing” them.

  27. Don’t these Oberlin students have something to do, like study? They most definitely need something to do, the lack thereof is apparently causing their brains to rapidly deteriorate. I mean, seriously, they seem to be descending into complete madness.

    1. No shit. When I was in university I didn’t have time for this kind of silliness. I guess pushing to stay on the honors roll to maintain an academic scholarship in a Mechanical Engineering degree program is probably more time consuming than the average ivy league lib-arts program.

    2. I like to think that it’s just a small but loud minority of particularly idiotic students who are leading protests over “cultural appropriation”, lack of safe spaces, and “rape culture”, and that the majority of the student body is too busy studying.

      However, I’ve never seen any solid numbers on this, so I really don’t know.

  28. Also unexplained: why are the students of Oberlin eating cafeteria food instead of trying to out-hipster each other by finding the most authentic whateverist cuisine in some strip mall somewhere. Yes, I read Marginal Revolution.

  29. Just for the hell of it, I looked up Panda Express, which is what I’m guessing served the General Tso Chicken. Turns out they were founded by actual Chinese chefs, apparently including Ming Tsai. I’m not sure Chinese folks can ‘appropriate’ their own food. I understand how white folks making fun of Black kids’ names, or pulling the outsides of their eyelids up is offensive, and people are right to object to it. But ignorance of cultural transmission is no excuse to scream ‘cultural appropriation’ when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. And it’s sad that anybody listens to these folks.

  30. “And it’s sad that anybody listens to these folks.”

    I am praying that most people listen only to confirm how silly this driven is. If they are getting any real political traction we are truly Eff-ed.

  31. “Cultural appropriation” has got to be one of the stupidest terms in the SJW lexicon.

    I’ve never encountered in real life someone who believes that “cultural appropriation” is a bad thing, and I really want to. I want to string them along and watch them paint themselves into all kinds of corners. That would be endlessly amusing.

    1. I’ve never encountered in real life someone who believes that “cultural appropriation” is a bad thing

      It’s a learned derp.

      1. I sometimes wonder if they would look at my career living in Japan and speaking the language as “multi-cultural” or as “cultural appropriation”. But if one of these SJW-types wanted me to give a fcuk about it I would tell them to put on knee-pads and suck-start me first.

    2. I think the original meaning of it was intended to refer to dressing up in stereotypical garb of another culture, as a costume. But somehow now it’s been twisted into meaning any time a white person adopts or incorporates any aspect of a foreign culture into Western culture.

      For example…
      Old meaning: American sorority girls dressing in kimonos for a Japanese Party.
      New Meaning: American fashion designer incorporates a kimono-like appearance into an evening gown.

      I totally understand people being offended by the former, and on occasion the latter can stray into offensive territory, but for the most part it’s acceptable.

  32. OK man wow lets roll with it.

  33. I want to lodge a complaint against olive garden for their cultural misappropriation of Italian food. it is deeply offensive.

    1. It was certainly offensive to my gastrointestinal tract last time I ate there…

  34. General Tsao died in the Alamo defending the Republic of Tacos from the Jalapeno invaders.

    Pass me some Colonel Crockett’s racoon tail chili.

  35. Wait…so these spoiled brats who have never worked a day in their life are upset that the cooks making $8/hr with no benefits, paid vacations, or any other perks, who are breaking their backs all day long, aren’t serving them sufficiently authentic cuisine?

    Well I am thoroughly offended. Reason should start putting Trigger Warnings on their articles; unabashed elitism makes me feel unsafe.

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