Doran brings out a toast for Tommen, to which Ellaria gloomily reacts by emptying her glass on the floor, sending a defying look to Jamie Lannister, creating in the teenage lovers, Myrcella and Trystane, one of these wtf-moments about the adults being SO embarrassing.
The non-verbal element is of course very strong here, very brutal, very simple, and completely on the symbolic level. Drinking together means: we are in on this together. Refusing to drink is a very strong protest reaction.
I can’t help thinking about the role that consumption plays in our society, in Denmark particularly, it is very strong, at least. Not wanting to share a meal means you can really piss off the host. This is of course particularly accentuated when the reason for not eating or drinking is based on religious, cultural, health related, ethical or political reasons.
This is why I suggest we invent “the social stomach”. This is an implant in the body that includes
- a valve in the throat, controlled by our thoughts (or to begin with, an iPhone with the new app “iSwallow”)
- a plastic tube, parallel to our gullet
- a plastic bag, next to our stomach, and finally
- a second valve, in a hidden place, accessible while at the toilet
This way, we wouldn’t have to create these awkward situations, when with the family, where we’d have to remind them for the hundredth time that we don’t eat this or that. We can simply swallow it, and with a big fat smile on our face let the bad, unhealthy, unethical stuff pass through the body without and side effects. Then at an appropriate moment simply going to the bathroom and flush it out. Completely acceptable and legitimate behavior. Or better: find an excuse to get a lonely moment in the kitchen, find a clean tupperware container, drop the completely untouched food there, and place it safely in the fridge. Now that is recycling!!
A positive side effect from the social stomach implant – aside from the extremely beneficial effect on the social balance in our society – is of course that we can do our duty as citizens and consume more and more, without having any impact on the health system. What with our innate digestive system, we can simply use our for what it’s there for: nutrition.