Thursday, December 08, 2011

I like Killing Flies

I recently watched a documentary called “I Like Killing Flies”.  Due to the unique perspective of Kenny and the fact his station in life is behind a hot stove in a small kitchen I found the whole film quite interesting.  He offers more than 900 items on the menu, all from scratch in a kitchen the size of a walk-in closet, from which Mr. Shopsin runs his tiny family-owned Greenwich Village restaurant.  After spending his day feeding neighbors, during a lull in the cooking Kenny holds court for the camera offering up wisdom and wit on life, death, sex, politics and sometimes food.  After 32 years at the same storefront his family must find a new kitchen and this is also a major topic of the movie.  I highly suggest viewing this film, but if this sounds only somewhat interesting let me offer a few of Kenny’s more interesting observations.

On ones duty in life:
The first duty of everybody in life is to realize that they're a piece of shit. Selfish and self-centered and not very good. You're willing to sacrifice 20 thousand people in another country just so you can go to a Wings concert. You sacrifice the lives of a hundred thousand Chinese female babies just so you can rent this fucking camera and do your stupid art project. No problem! You're a piece of shit. Once you realize you're a piece of shit it's not so hard to take. Because then you don't have this feeling that you're a good person all the time. And let me tell you something, feeling that you're a good person all the time is like having a brand new car with no scratches on it. It's a real responsibility which is almost impossible to live up to. Being a piece of shit and then occasionally doing something that's good and true is a much easier place to be. I think that's really important and I always try to raise my kids to understand that they're not that terrific. And that not being that terrific, that's okay 'cause most people who say that they're terrific, Bill Clinton, Cardinal Egan, anybody you want to talk about, they're not so terrific. Martha Stewart, they're not so fucking terrific either. And there's nothing wrong with being not-so-terrific. In fact, it's what the whole ballgame is about, being not-so-terrific... and accepting it.
On a sour relationship with an exterminator:

A few years ago someone found a roach in their soup.  It certainly doesn’t mean anything in the history of the universe, but your relations with that person, is just you, them and the soup.  It’s a huge event of incompetence on your part…..They come to your place for something other than good food, satisfaction, and this women got nothing but abuse.  A horrendous event for both parties.
On his culinary standards:

It’s ok to do stupid things, not that we have high standard, but they are going to put it in their damn mouth.
On cooking:
Most of cooking is a matter of mechanics, not aesthetics, not cuisine.

On how to treat people:

They are all decent, people who treat other people with respect. It’s a mark of high civilization to treat people with respect who don’t deserve it so you try to treat everyone with a morality that makes you a good person regardless of if they deserve it or not.

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