Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No One Should Own a Quesadilla Maker

  • Three billion people live on $2 a day
  • One billion people live on $1 a day
  • 1.2 billion people are malnourished
  • 29,000 kids die each day from hunger and preventable disease
  • Half of disease worldwide is caused by bad water

When I read facts like this, I get upset and I don't know what to do. I don't know if it's okay for me to buy a CD, even used, or if it's okay for me to eat out, except at Taco Bell. I have trouble beating Taco Bell's price on the 1/2 lb.* Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito.

I would like to think that if I don't buy a CD, and give the money away instead, that would help a few people a whole lot, and that's sort of true, but it's not the whole story. Money isn't the whole reason behind the problems in the world--the real problem is people being greedy and wanting stuff more than they actually love other people.

At the same time, I'm afraid that I'm fooling myself, because I was having a bad day on Wednesday and wanted to listen to Raffi, and I didn't care if there was a connection between buying the CD and people being hungry.

I don't know whether it was okay for me to buy the Raffi CD, but no one should own a quesadilla maker. It's easier to make a good quesadilla with a skillet than with a quesadilla maker. Mexicans and Texicans don't use quesadilla makers to make quesadillas. Quesadillas makers have no use other than making quesadillas. Quesadilla makers exist because people feel obligated to give gifts on certain occasions to people that they don't actually care about. There are human beings who would rather purchase a useless appliance and give it to someone than to ask their friend what they really want.

Also, people probably shouldn't own waffle irons unless they make waffles at least once a month.

*Before cooking


  1. Wow Alex, I enjoy reading your blog. I'm sorry it took me so long.
    I understand completely what you're saying.

  2. Alex, before saying anything about the plight of the poor recall Judas' words when the alabaster jar was broken over Christ.

    I highly doubt that quesadilla makers are sinful or wrong. In fact, doesn't it seem odd to condemn quesadilla makers (no one should own one) when the Gospel itself says nothing about them?

    Not in a literal sense do I mean this, but that when we are confronted with 'the poor you shall always have with you' the thing we most commonly do is find a sign of our own excess and paint it black.

    "Love thy neighbor" is not 'love thy neighbor in Africa' but 'love thy neighbor whom is next to you.' I should say that we ought to be grieved about what is happening, but then, the whole cosmos groans as well. It seems that the social justice variant of Christendom is just another way to project the gospel message outside of ourselves, and to cry for 'justice' pretending that our good intentions in wanting it are enough to achieve it.

    But what seems to happen mostly is that we derange ourselves spiritually, contorting ourselves like the flagellists of the middle ages who beat themselves as an outward sign of repentance. "Oh, woe is me and my horrible culture, my horrible nation!" etc. If I recall we are commanded, that when we fast, we should not put on ashes and sack cloth and dour faces so that we may be seen by men to be fasting, but to put on gladness and fast secretly so that only God will see us.

    Likewise I would reprimand all of the social justice advocates I have seen in this way: my observation is that they have put on sackcloth and ashes about the oppression of the world: but what they are doing then is fasting, praying and giving alms publicly.

    It cuts me to the heart to say this, but I remember that the demon of self esteem can strike a man in two ways (According to the desert Fathers) the first is to make him feel good about what he has, and the second is to make him feel good about what he hasn't. Or as the father put it, "If he can not make him proud of his clothes, he will make him proud of his rags."

    Anyway, are we not called to give everything? What is money but a representation of our labour, rent paid us or profit on assets we are in possession of? In some ways, the rich can give less than the poor because their maintenance is higher. Thus why monks are poor; not to glory in poverty and show up the world which is wealthy and pompous, but to be able to give everything.

    If it is done in truth then the world is judged by this; just as we are judged by Christ not by him judging us but by him simply existing. "For I have not come into the world to condemn it, for it has stood condemned already."

    Social Justice and the "Social Gospel" are, as best as I can tell and from my experience, materialistic, marxist Christianity. In short, they are heretical. Our well being is not measured by material things but by spiritual things.

    God have mercy on me for these things which I have written, since I surely condemn myself.

    Hope this helps somewhat, or at least, hurts minimally. How are things in Baltimore, anyway?

  3. Baltimore is great! I think I need to spend a little more time sitting on my stoop.

    Do you own a quesadilla maker?

  4. No. I don't have room for any more extra tools. I'd have to get rid of something. If I loved quesadillas that much, I might get one. But then I'd have to find space for it...

    Maybe I'll use that space in my leg I usually use to store food?

  5. The cost of a waffle maker, amortized over a lifetime and many, many waffle-makings, probably doesn't rise to the level of sinfulness. =)

    Quesadillas, on the other, are bad for you. So they're sinful either way.

    Also, though, I have a bigger problem with the fact that I spend too much money on lunch most days at work, which is really just for myself, than on things like waffle makers, which might serve to bless my entire family, were I to eventually have one. Instead of spending $8 at Taco Bell (big meal, I know), I could spend $3 making a sandwich and taking a yogurt to work.

    On the whole, though, I think most people do have greater problems than how they spend my money. Like, the fact that we so often center our entire lives around what makes us happy, even if "happiness" is something we feel when we're doing good things.

  6. I feel like Phil has hit the mark a lot closer to commenting in the same style that Alex writes.

  7. I'm kind of in awe of the answers that are already on here, but most of all I'm blown away by the truth of the two statements:

    "If he can not make him proud of his clothes, he will make him proud of his rags."


    "Our well being is not measured by material things but by spiritual things."

    I know that I feel better, freer, when I have less "stuff". But personally I think that has more to do with my disposition and upbringing than any sort of spiritual good. I'm also reminded of the five love languages (I'm hoping everyone has heard of them, i'm too lazy to go look up that theory) and that giving and recieving gifts is a means of giving and receiving love. It's very true that a quesadilla maker is unnecessary, but it could be nice to have, and if given as a sign of love, can in a very small way reflect God's overwhelming generosity (after all, He's the ultimate gift-giver!).

    That said, I'd never buy one for myself.