Pariah Shunned Celery

First off I suppose I should make clear that that is not my fat hairy belly in the picture.    Honestly,  I thought that today’s words,  which include only the very diet-friendly celery foodwise,  which I tend to think of less as a vegetable and more in the category of onions and garlic and other aromatics,  which are really about providing extra flavor to dishes more than standing on their own,  would have spared me pictures of fattening foods.   I suspect I will be the only one who was surprised that the image search results included several pictures of raw bacon.   I considered using an image of a bowl of homemade cream of celery soup,  but decided the husky gentleman was a better choice.

Time was when a gay man with a big hairy belly was a pariah,  shunned by all of the smooth, hairless queens who seemed to have a lock on queer.   These days of course,  guys with hairy bellies need only call themselves “bears” and are likely to find themselves awash in admirers.  Sometimes I watch Perry Mason (the old black and white tv show) and it is striking to me that except for on an occasional villain no man ever appears with any facial hair.   These days mustaches and goatees are de rigueur and even men who commit no crimes sometimes have beards.  Even on television.

When I stop to think about it,  just in my life time we queer folk have gone from hated and shunned pariahs to mainstream social acceptance.    Early next month,  here in Washington state,  we will vote on a ballot measure legalizing same sex marriage.   The proponents are out-spending the opponents by about five to one.   The measure is leading as of today,  though the opposing side has reserved a huge ad buy and who knows if,  having once lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts  (where the first in the United States same sex marriages were celebrated) I will once again live in a place that makes history in the gay rights movement.     There are no calories in this post.

My thanks to Lynn O’Connell who suggested today’s words.

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38 comments on “Pariah Shunned Celery

  1. WA is a pretty good state, I think things will turn out the right way. In the meantime, have a bloody mary and some celery 🙂

  2. Pariah means ‘social outcast’ (but that word is no longer used re: the gay community which is a huge, intelligent part of today’s society); Shunned – I had no idea that archaic term was still used; I adore celery (cannot made a proper tetrazzini without it nor a proper tuna salad).

    I will have to go with ->

    philistine – archaic – Apiaceae

    • One of the things I try to do in these posts is to highlight obscure, interesting or unusual words, even if they have become somewhat archaic. As a social practice you are right that shunned has fallen out of favor, but as a word….well I would not be shocked to read an article today explaining perhaps that “health conscious consumers have shunned diet soda”. Thanks so much for your three words. I looked up Apiaceae; that one will be interesting 🙂

  3. I would not have put these 3 words together logically, but then I am a right brain not a left brain thinker. My dear Alan, how clever of you to put the shunned Celery together with PARIAH. Now I learned something new. I too hope that Washington passes the law. All the best on this vote.

  4. And I thought this was going to be a story about a pariah shunned by celery. the anthropromorphized celery would have nothing to do with the pariah – a leper, a mormon, or a full-time bacon-eater. But no. It was about a theme close to your heart, suggesting that you follow the concept of writing about what you know. And the celery was just a ruse to pull us in. I love to read your posts, and follow them with my non-linear nonsequiteurs. (Where’s the spell-check on this crazy WordPress thing)? You know Alan, someday you may inspire me to write, rather than just aggregate and edit. Very fun. I thank you. 😛

    • Susan, If you do write I hope you will let me read it. I try to let my readers choose the three words, but always I write about my thoughts and return to my themes, regardless of the words the post is tagged with.

  5. I love celery and agree with your categorizing it with onions and garlic! All give subtle or strong flavors to so many dishes, and, if you cook with me, onions, garlic and celery are in almost everything!

    • mmm. In New Orleans, the recipe for most anything goes “first you make a roux, then you add the holy trinity”. Onion, celery and green bell pepper are the “holy trinity” and add flavor to a huge range of dishes.

  6. This one is truly priceless – sensitive – and it beautifully brings the topic to light ! Kudos as always 🙂 It’s truly amazing how the paradigm of what defines a “pariah” keeps shifting in the mind’s eye of society !

  7. Pingback: Pariah Shunned Celery | WFT! is up with wp/EA/fb and other bitches and moans

  8. actually you expend more caloric energy than what celery contains chewing and digesting it … but please, don’t lump the common but crunchy celery in with such noble, flavorful, and of course odoriferous bulbous veggies as garlic and onions (-;

    • You’re right Bill, that eating _raw_ celery has negative calories– the activity of chewing and digesting burns more calories than it contains. That isn’t actually true if the celery is cooked tender.

  9. A really intriguing post today. I expected the tale to be of a pariah who shunned celery.

    I certainly am thankful that society is becoming more open to allow folks to find their place in the world. Everyone needs a chance for love and acceptance. I look forward to the passage of laws that will support everyone’s rights. I notice how much progress we have made as I write from the largest US city with an openly gay mayor. Anise Parker is known as a good mayor not a gay mayor. That is awesome progress.

    • Harold, when I stop to think about it, it is truly stunning to me the progress that gay people have made in gaining their full civil rights just in my lifetime. So glad you enjoyed this post.

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