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February 29, 2012 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Last night Chadwick Matlin, Reuters Opinion editor, live-tweeted a monthly member meeting of the Park Slope Food Coop. The topic this evening was whether to ban plastic bags.

You can also read through @ChadwickMatlin to read through the comments with more context and for some follow up questions:
They've actually embraced it. Retweets and such. Say what you will about coop, but it isn't blind to its self-parody.
8:49 AM - 29 Feb 12

A tweeter is only as good as his source material.
9:07 AM - 29 Feb 12
posted by 2bucksplus (35 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
7:31 pm: First mention of "fascist food."

Excellent.
posted by angrycat at 12:57 PM on February 29, 2012


My two favorites among many wonderful tweets in this stream:

Discussion about whether coop should post directions to next months meeting. Woman: "there's a huge antennae in the sky, just look for that"


"I do checkout, you know, so that's why I'm speaking. I'm right on the firing line, you know?
"
posted by bearwife at 1:01 PM on February 29, 2012


fascist food

If I were home I would start that Tumblr right now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:02 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Being that I live a block away from this place (which I pronounce "coop," like chicken coop), I've often thought about starting a "People of PS Food Co-op" blog, kind of like the Wal-Mart one.

The place on the same block, which is a store for babies, called Boing Boing is also deserving of its own blog mocking it.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:04 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is really hilarious. I just sent this to a food activist friend, and he's laughing his ass off.
posted by brundlefly at 1:04 PM on February 29, 2012


This is just a Portlandia sketch, right?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:05 PM on February 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hilarious. Too many gems here, but this is pretty funny:

Counterpoint! "Bio bags have their own sustainability issues. A lot of them are made from corn." Proposes group bag share w mutual cleaning.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:11 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


ok thank you twitter, the awl, and brooklyn

i will talk to you later, you guys have a good one
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:13 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


*sigh* Oh, Park Slope.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:14 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you had told me, as a child, that this is what Grown People do with their free time, I would not have believed you.

(which I pronounce "coop," like chicken coop)

I am now re-reading all the posts pretending everyone is a enormous, lividly self-righteous chicken clucking away.
posted by griphus at 1:18 PM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some of this is funny, but this is what democracy is like, you know?
posted by phrontist at 1:19 PM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


@phrontist that's what makes all the chortling about it so depressing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:22 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I truly don't understand why anyone would bother with the insane rules and constant drama that comes with being a member of the Park Slope Co-op. There are a bunch of other co-ops in BK that are just as good, plus there are more farmers markets then you can shake a carrot at. In a lifetime of living here, and knowing many people who are members, I have never heard anything but complaints or sarcastic mockery.

I've come to the conclusion it's really a big front for a group of hippie masochists.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 1:29 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I believe whole heartedly in democracy, and for that matter eschew plastic bags for all my shopping, but have never been to a community meeting where this many really silly things are said.

Also, democracy is strong enough to withstand some laughter.
posted by bearwife at 1:29 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah. With democracy comes some silliness. It'd be depressing not to laugh it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:34 PM on February 29, 2012


2 hours after beginning of meeting, sign in book still making the round. Yes, it's in a composition notebook.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:43 PM on February 29, 2012


@phrontist that's what makes all the chortling about it so depressing

Good lord, give me a break. The decision to ban plastic bags seems like a no-brainer. It would save the co-op $22,000 a year for one thing. All the ridiculous discussions about banning Israeli humous are just political posturing and a waste of time.

Having participated in my fair share of co-ops, board meetings and AGMs attended by nincompoops and plainly crazy people, I can say, sure, people need to be heard, but it doesn't mean every opinion has equal importance.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:45 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I truly don't understand why anyone would bother with the insane rules and constant drama that comes with being a member of the Park Slope Co-op.

This should explain everything.
posted by griphus at 1:49 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


@phrontist that's what makes all the chortling about it so depressing

It is depressing to think that anybody wouldn't find this craziness funny.
What is also depressing is using @[username] like as if this place is Twitter.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:49 PM on February 29, 2012


you know what though? the food co-op is awesome. okay, it's also ridiculous. but i would go 3mi out of my way to shop there - the food was better and cheaper than anywhere else in the city. and i liked knowing i was supporting a setup that was for people, by people.
posted by entropone at 1:50 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I truly don't understand why anyone would bother with the insane rules and constant drama that comes with being a member of the Park Slope Co-op.

I joined the Park Slope co-op because it was the closest one. I don't ever have to deal with insane rules or constant drama. I do my 2-hour shift once every four weeks and the rest of the time I get to enjoy farmers market quality produce at Trader Joes prices. The worst thing about it for me is that it gets really crowded, but hey, that's just part of living in New York, right? The only people I've ever heard complain about it are people who get behind on their shifts and have like 8 makeups to do, but that's their own fault.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:50 PM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


In some meetings there is a purpose which is at least as important as coming to the right decision: being a democracy, having people feel like they are part of the group.

Attend some AA business meetings where we usually do our business by group conscious, not just majority rule, if you want a real laugh. Doesn't mean they dont bug me, however.
posted by shothotbot at 1:51 PM on February 29, 2012


It is depressing to think that anybody wouldn't find this craziness funny.

I think 'ey're saying that they find the fact that these things are funny to be depressing, which still admits that this craziness is funny.
posted by LogicalDash at 1:52 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've often thought about starting a "People of PS Food Co-op" blog, kind of like the Wal-Mart one.

In a similar vein, I've been working on food-coop bingo. So far I've got "child of anti-vax parents with advanced conjunctivitis" and "sickly-looking person buying homeopathy pills." I got started on this after overhearing the employee in the wellness section recommend bloodletting to a customer. Oh, and two guys next to the dried fruit earnestly discussing their relationship with the moon.

I'm a member, mind you. But man co-ops can drive you nuts.
posted by werkzeuger at 2:16 PM on February 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


Also you got to understand that these meetings are probably classic case of voluntary-response bias. And the couple dozen people being silly represent those with the most time to be the most vocal about the most ridiculous things, rather than the other 12,000 members.
posted by entropone at 2:16 PM on February 29, 2012


I forget sometimes how amazingly earnest people can be, and then I remember that when I interviewed a prominent food blogger, who was actually a very nice and down-to-earth person, the quote from the interview that stuck with me is the one that went: "There's just so many amazing varieties of chard!"

Also yesterday on Twitter I was accused of contributing to the ruin of our collective future because in a link to a story about a climate scientist's report on the relative climate impacts of various fuel sources, I only quoted him saying how bad coal was (and not how bad oil also was).

That's what makes Portlandia work as comedy, isn't it? The earnestness? Gotta be the most fertile soil for humour.
posted by gompa at 2:26 PM on February 29, 2012


the secret is that you're earnest whether you want to be or not
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:32 PM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some of this is funny, but this is what democracy is like, you know?
posted by phrontist at 4:19 PM on February 29 [+] [!]


Which is why I'm slowly becoming a fan of absolute monarchies as I age. Democracy is fucking awful.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:45 PM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Democracy isn't awful - it's just tedious at times. During recent school board elections, for example, a major election issue (inasmuch school board elections actually capture the imagination of the electorate) was about banning WiFi in schools. A totally manufactured issue, not based on any scientific evidence. Kind of like the whole vaccination = autism meme.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:11 PM on February 29, 2012


i've been to far more ridiculous co-op meetings.
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:44 PM on February 29, 2012


Just sent this to my buddy who's been a little homesick for Brooklyn from Albuquerque.
posted by rhizome at 4:45 PM on February 29, 2012


"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- Winston Churchill, 1947
posted by Frayed Knot at 4:50 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I forget sometimes how amazingly earnest people can be, and then I remember that when I interviewed a prominent food blogger, who was actually a very nice and down-to-earth person, the quote from the interview that stuck with me is the one that went: "There's just so many amazing varieties of chard!"

....Well, chard is really damn good.

This is why I go with a CSA instead, though - it only runs for 6 months, and I don't get to pick week-to-week what I get, but I only have to work one shift for the entire year, and I can limit my exposure to the drama. It's entirely possible that I could be making a more ecologically conscious choice in my carrying bag, and I could also be taking more of an interest in visiting the farm upon which my basil is grown, but if all I do is pick up my box and say "see you next week," I never know if anyone has an issue with that, and that's great.

(Actually, my CSA does sponsor a few "mix and mingle" potluck events, but the membership is a lot more foodie - they don't notice things like "hmm, did you bring things here in a BHA-free container?", instead they're all saying, "damn this is a great way to use zucchini, what's the recipe?")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh god. I can't look. I was on a co-op board, once upon a time, long ago.
posted by Goofyy at 8:35 AM on March 1, 2012


New York Times: "Food Co-op Politics Leave a Bad Taste"
The co-op, despite the wonderful job it does providing organic foods at affordable prices, suffers from its own adolescent myopia: It believes that what it does has broad implications. Suppressing hummus on Union Street won’t change the world.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:28 PM on March 4, 2012


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