March 27, 2023

"What would be the point of hedonism?" — the automatic transcription mistranscribes. He said "heganism."


(Yes, 2 David Sedaris posts (almost) in a row. It just happens sometimes. I don't artificially separate posts from other posts.)


Lurker21 said...

That didn't seem like a great introduction to Sedaris, and I wondered what he's doing on morning TV, but by the end, yeah, there was a bit of Andy Rooney or Russell Baker in there, only in 21st century form.


Heganism is a diet/gender identity that aims to reconstruct hegemonic masculinity with the goal of removing these stigmas attached to male veganism. Yet heganism fails to do this, and, in fact, worsens the marginalization of male vegans. herefore, heganism ought to be rejected. Instead, an alternative option for reducing the marginalization of male vegans could be found in the emergent literature on non-hegemonic masculinities. By rejecting hegemonic masculinity and publicizing the range of other masculine identities that exist, there is an opportunity for men to utilize their agency and interpret masculinity in their own way – especially with regards to dietary preference. In this way, focusing on non-hegemonic masculinities offers an encouraging avenue for reducing the social stigmas attached to male veganism.

n.n said...

Hedonism is a narcissistic orientation, which has no redeeming value to society or humanity.


Yes, but is the juice worth the squeeze? Humans enjoy and thrive with binary diets by Nature.

Quaestor said...

The transcription software is smarter than anyone employing the absurd neologism

Vegan is a stupid word. Vegetarian covers all the bases. (If it was good enough for Hitler, it's good enough for all dietary fascists.) It follows that derived terms such as hegan and shegan are also stupid insults to a beautiful and useful language.

Hegan as defined is pointless. Male hegemony, carnivorous or otherwise, is natural and will inevitably reassert itself, more rapidly than modern feminists who obsessively beaver away at Yggdrasil can scarcely imagine if the West falls to China or Islam, which looks more probable with each passing day. Do not too fondly treasure what you endeavor to destroy, that's madness. Isms that seek the nullification of 42 million years of primate evolution are doomed. Ask the Shakers, for starters, if you can find any. Regression to the mean is unavoidable.

On the other hand, we could redefine this silliness to agree with Nature. For example, an "hegan" could be someone who restricts his diet to male plants. There are such things, you know. Squash and other edible gourds, for example. Unfortunately, such heganisn is a recipe for slow starvation. Monoecious plants bear male or female flowers only, but only the females bear seeds and the associated edible pods that we eat. The males have little nutritive value for humans, and they're often mildly toxic as well. Too bad, vegans. Mother Nature hates you.

Wince said...

Sedaris said...
"Heganism: I only eat things that were male."

"How am I gonna get a scar like that eating pussy?"

Darkisland said...

Eating roadkill, disgusting as it sounds, is a thing in some parts of the country. John McPhee wrote an essay on it in one of his books. Probably appeared in New Yorker first. perhaps in the 80s or 90s.

At that time it was not any kind of philosophy, it was just a free way to get tasty meet.

I think I will try the heganism the next time we eat out. "Excuse me. The chicken Kiev I see here, was that a male or female chicken? I only eat make meat and need to know.

Another way to have fun in restaurants is to pay cash. But not normal cash. Pay with Susan B Anthony coins. Or $2 bills. You can get both from your bank. Or buy uncut sheets of paper money from the treasury, carry a pair of scissors and cut off as much as needed. For some reason this really freaks people out (H/T Steve Wozniak)

for bonus points, wear a MAGA hat while doing this.

John Henry

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Hegenism is the synthesis of meat and vegetables.

rhhardin said...

I'm reminded of Carol Adams _The Sexual Politics of Meat_ which I bought long ago for peak crazy.

n.n said...

All vegans are vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are vegans. Veg difference.

That said, humans are poorly designed, poorly designated vegans. Pass the supplement.

Ann Althouse said...


Interesting that someone else put together that coinage, but readers should know that Sedaris's use of the word is much different and it's satirical. Watch the video.

The quote you dug up is also funny in its own unintentional way.

PigHelmet said...

I’m telling you, OpenAI’s Whisper transcription platform is the answer. Whisper!

Quaestor said...

"All vegans are vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are vegans."

Sez who?

n.n said...

"Is the juice worth the squeeze?" has sexual connotations. In related news, the DIE dean should be investigated for sexual harassment, or, at the very least, disgraceful flirting.

CStanley said...

I was a Meagan for about 6 months.

Allergy testing had shown huge reactions to eggs and milk so I eliminated them but I had no reason (nor desire) to eliminate meat. I realized this meant I was eating a Vegan + meat diet so I coined the term Meagan.

In restaurants I kept ordering the dishes marked Vegan and asking for added meat and got some bewildered reactions from the waitstaff.

Marcus Bressler said...

I've read or listened to all of his books. I find his writing, if not his opinions on some things and his seemingly mental illness episodes as a youth, enjoyable. I don't have time to track down all his magazine pieces (I don't read that once-great magazine, The New Yorker).
My point of this comment is this: I cannot imagine anyone else reading aloud his stuff on the audio versions.
P.S. Part of his OCD is he walks (or walked) along the roads near his home in the UK, picking up trash. Like a vacuum, he is (no jokes about his partner here). That is admirable. His relationships with his deceased father and a sister were very, very sad. He holds nothing back.


Marcus Bressler said...

"All roosters are chickens, but not all chickens are roosters."


(I was a frequent visitor to Key West before it became so touristy. One thing you notice - and hear - are all the cocks walking around)

CStanley said...

I did enjoy the clip.

There’s the distinction between the common sense reaction you’d get at diner and the assumptions made at fine dining establishments that people’s neurotic whims should be taken seriously.

And then the question of what would be the point and the acknowledgment that often the whole point is for people to make themselves seem more righteous.

So some pretty good social commentary, more so than we usual get from liberals.

The “suffering fig tree” was funny because I just watched a video in which Bible scholar Brant Pitre explained the weird episode in John’s gospel of Jesus cursing the fig tree and making it wither. Had never heard it explained before but it now makes perfect sense- the fig tree was actually the tree that Adam and Eve ate from (only our culture has made it into an apple tree) which brought them separation from God, and He was about to enter Jerusalem to restore humanity to life. The video was The Jewish Roots of Holy Week and I’d highly recommend it as well as anything else by Pitre.

Ann Althouse said...

"I’m telling you, OpenAI’s Whisper transcription platform is the answer. Whisper!"

I saw your recommendation yesterday and tried and couldn't figure out how to make it work. Is there a window at its website where you enter a link to the video you want transcribed?

Ann Althouse said...

Also, in this case, it wasn't me initiating transcription but actual subtitles on the video (that you can see).

CStanley said...

Strictly speaking I can understand why sausages would be impossible to categorize but in their final form shouldn’t they be admissible as male?

PB said...

Eat the rich? I think some are serious.

Rusty said...

At first I thought it was about eating philosophers, but then I watched the video.

Narr said...

My wife and I used to toy with the idea of a bakery that specializes in goods in the form of genitalia.

We'd call it "Porn Bread."

n.n said...

Eat the rich? I think some are serious.

Like a diabetic coma. The rule of thumb is consume in moderation.

tim maguire said...

Video unavailable
The uploader has not made this video available in your country

I'll have to take your word for it on the clown shoes situation.

PigHelmet said...

I apologize--that link to the HuggingFace Whisper implementation is pretty useless, as you discovered. I should have tested it better before posting. I will look for a better online version, because it's a pretty remarkable transcription AI, and one for which you and some other readers might have use. It also does translation, so you can feed it audio in one language and get a transcript in another (untested by me, but so they claim).

Here's what Whisper got from the Sedaris video (sorry about the timestamps). It got hegan, heganism, fruitarian, and freegan. The medium-size model wrote "mater dee," which I thought was cute, but the large AI model, with billions more parameters, got "maitre d'" as you can see below.

[00:00.000 --> 00:05.680] I was in the breakfast room of a nice hotel in San Francisco, and as a maitre d' showed
[00:05.680 --> 00:09.720] me to my table, I told him that I followed a strict hegan diet.
[00:09.720 --> 00:10.720] Vegan?
[00:10.720 --> 00:11.720] He asked.
[00:11.720 --> 00:13.160] No, I said hegan.
[00:13.160 --> 00:15.240] I only eat things that were male.
[00:15.240 --> 00:18.240] I'm hoping that's all clearly marked on your menu.
[00:18.240 --> 00:19.240] His face fell.
[01:01.640 --> 01:06.240] What I wonder would be the point of heganism, other than making yourself seem unique or
[01:06.240 --> 01:10.560] righteous in some way, though that often seems reason enough.
[01:10.560 --> 01:15.400] There are hardcore fruitarians who only eat things that fell to the ground naturally,
[01:15.400 --> 01:20.480] thus sparing the apple or orange or fig tree any unnecessary trauma.
[01:20.480 --> 01:24.800] And there are freegans who don't believe in waste and only eat food that they find
[01:24.800 --> 01:27.320] and don't have to pay for, including roadkill...