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First World/Western World Problem. Please stop!


Can we please stop responding to posts with "that's a first world/western world problem? It serves no purpose, except to totally stop all conversation, and could literally be applied to virtually every post on this site. Please stop already!

  1. I'm in! Although I've never done this. And while we're at it, can we also stop telling people who ask for the best version of Prepared Food X that they should make it from scratch instead, because it's so easy?

    14 Replies
    1. re: small h

      "i'm looking for the best jarred marinara" always turns into "you should make your own, blah, blah, blah". it's an on going cycle on CH i've seen take place several times. I had a post about finding a good sub for Lea and Perrins steak sauce and sure enough i got a "make your own" response!

      1. re: small h

        I was going to give you my artisan saltine cracker recipe, but...

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          Saltines? Do those contain salt? I think that's a chemical, and I don't eat chemicals. Or processed foods like flour, which is probably also an ingredient in your crackers. Thanks anyway, though.

          1. re: small h

            Hey, some of my best friends are chemists!

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Well, when you eat some crazy combination of letters (H20! NaCl!) and your legs fall off, don't come running to me.

              1. re: small h

                I think it's rather insensitive that you are telling them not to "run to you" once their legs have fallen off.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Do not defame my 1st world heritage!! My father was one, I was one, and generations of chemists in the kitchen.

                  Better living through chemicals is the motto of my generation.

                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      And if it's not actually better living, then we will come up with a chemical solution to that! Isn't that how LSD was created?

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        No, alcohol.

                        Sorry, it is Monday, and my witticism ability is lower than normal. And that is pretty low on a good day. As many will attest.

                2. re: flavrmeistr

                  Hey, small h doesn't seem to have any problem with you eating chemists, just chemicals. As long as you're eating free-range chemists, with at least a few hours of open-air lab time per day.

                  1. re: Wahooty

                    That probably accounts for the off taste.

                3. re: small h

                  I thought your response to flavrmeister was HILARIOUS!! I thought you were going along with the sarcastic "homemade saltine cracker recipe" gag then I realised you were serious. You were serious right? You're talking about soda crackers right? As in "Premium Plus" brand crackers for example, available in salted and unsalted? THOSE crackers? Salt is a MINERAL. There are minerals found in all foods. We would die without minerals, salt included, you can't live without it. Please tell me you were kidding and you really did know all of this and I was fooled and fell for your gag.

                  1. re: joseenatalie

                    < Please tell me you were kidding...>

                    I was kidding.

            2. I find "First World/Western World Problem" responses sort of amusing. It's the new millennium equivalent of "Eat your [distasteful food]! Kids are starving in [country/region]!" I think it's funny that people want to act as virtual parents to message board participants.

              1. A 3rd variant--
                It's not really ____ from ___ if it doesn't have _____.

                1. I will take "first world" over "amazing" any time. Those fries were amazing. The pie was amazing. The service was amazing. The salad was ok but not amazing. Anyone know where I can get an amazing appetizer and an amazing cocktail in an amazing atmosphere? What's the difference between very good and amazing? Why does every other post on Chowhound contain the word amazing?
                  If everything is so amazing, why aren't there more amazed-looking people when I go out for dinner?

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: Samalicious

                    While every fiber of my being is marinated in agreement, and I would include "awesome" in the proposed ban, gird your loins because it's getting worse. Recently I noticed on a regional post that "amazing" has been supplanted by "amazeballs". That being my first encounter with this abomination, I googled and found that it is increasing in popularity. Waiter Q: "How did you like the meatballs?" GenX customer: "Dude, they were amazeballs!"
                    Another reason to cook our meals at home, where we can banter-banish at will! ;-) BTW, if you want a number that would leave Carl Sagan gobsmacked, check the number of results of a site-wide search of "amazing".

                    1. re: greygarious

                      As Rat in Pearls Before Swine would probably say "I kicked him right in his amazeballs for using the word in public."

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Those darn kids. They should stick to good old fashioned sayings. I thought those fries were the bee's knees!

                        1. re: Jase

                          Swell! Terrif!

                          Just watched Thoroughly Modern Millie last night for a themed dinner and a movie out friends do. So many antiquated phrases.

                        2. re: greygarious

                          I will not be using amazeballs. Wow.

                          1. re: melpy

                            Me either. I hate that saying.

                            However, i DO like, "It's (or you're) the tits!" Trying to incorporate that into everyday life. probably not at work though...

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              "It's (or you're) the tits!"

                              Yeah, I've always thought you were - I mean your posts were, or are. I hope you're not at work...

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                oh god. and now that i've posted to this thread i will have to see it pop up and know that "amazeballs" is being said hundreds of times....

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  Let's get all the parts involved. Sam F. used to say that I smile like an ass eating cactus...

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    That sounds like something Sam would say - and he wouldn't hesitate to try it if it were on a plate - not your ass - and I mean that in a good way.

                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                  I have friends who have totally made that phrase work in real life.

                                1. re: EM23

                                  Thanks, that was interesting for me, a person who evidently lives in a hole somewhere devoid of these new words and phrases.

                                  I did like "evil prairie dogs," however, and plan to start using that.

                              2. re: Samalicious

                                I will withstand all of the above over "to die for." Because honestly? I wouldn't want anything I would die to eat.

                                1. re: Samalicious

                                  I have a friend who has never eaten a morsel, taken a vacation, seen a movie or boughht an item of clothing that was not "amazing". It's amazing that I haven't throttled her.

                                2. Many areas of the world do not have affordable access to the internet, or any access at all, so they are not among us to share their stories here.

                                  39 Replies
                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    Yes, the very fact that we're having this discussion is a....
                                    you know...

                                      1. re: Kalivs

                                        Where did you find the best jarred amazeballs in the "first world?"

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          Are you talking about malted milk amazeballs?

                                          1. re: bbqboy

                                            Gosh no - I don't want to get called out as not being authentic. Besides, those aren't vegan-friendly...

                                          2. re: bulavinaka

                                            Jarred amazeballs? Never! They are so easy to make at home . . . Let me know if you would like my amazeball recipe for amazeballs.

                                            1. re: gaffk

                                              Don't be so douchey - you know amazeballs recipes are supposed to be posted on the, "Home Cooking" board. But then I'd have to search for it... searching drains the crap out of my cordless keyboard's batteries... then I'd have to find a nickel to open the battery compartment... who even keeps nickels these days? I'd ask one of my less-salaried workmates for a nickel, but they'd think I was poor like them... Wait - what if an, "Amazeballs Recipes" board was created? First World solution!

                                              1. re: gaffk

                                                I would love your recipe!!!
                                                Do any of you other guys have a great tried and true amazeballs recipe? I’m about to get a bumper crop of CSA amazeballs, and I need ideas. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but this will be my first time eating amazeballs. Y’all seem to know so much about them, so I am going to pick your brains. Here are my quicky q’s:
                                                How much should I tip on my CSA amazeballs delivery? I was thinking 10% because it’s not like the delivery guy is cooking AND serving my amazeballs.
                                                Would it be rude if I keep my amazeballs locked in my new kitchen? Will my friends and family shun me for not sharing my amazeballs?
                                                Are amazeballs safe to eat if I leave them out on the kitchen counter overnight?
                                                Is it safe to stick my hand down the garbage disposal if my amazeballs get stuck in it? I have read that Cleobleach uses thongs for this purpose, but I don’t really understand how that would work.
                                                My DSIL pronounces amazeballs, ah-ma-zeh-balls, and it drives me batty. Should my DB get a divorce from her for this?

                                                1. re: EM23

                                                  Amazeballs taste exactly like Brussels sprouts, which means they are inedible. Drop them off on your neighbors' porch--the ones you like the least--in a plain brown bag, then run.

                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                    Clearly you have never had true amazeballs.

                                                    I feel I must now be snarky and surly in response to every post of yours I read. I had things to do today, so this will really be a burden to hunt down all your posts to add my obviously witty brand of snark. Dammit!

                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                      from your response it seems you've never had shaved amazeballs then. you're clearly missing out.

                                                    2. re: EM23

                                                      Just be careful how long you leave your amazeballs out on the counter, or you'll need to post how many cc's of amazeball antidote you'll need to avoid amazeball illness.

                                                      1. re: EM23

                                                        OK EM23, here's the recipe for my amazeballs:
                                                        1) Drive out to Lancaster County (or the agricultural area closest to you). Stop at the cow farm and get one lb prime cut beef. and 1/2 lb of the best veal. Proceed to the pig farm and obtain 3/4 lb heritage pork.
                                                        2) Proceed to S. Jersey (or whatever agricultural area closest to you, but farthest from ag area 1) and obtain a dozen ears of fresh sweet corn.
                                                        3)At home, harvest fresh parsley, thyme, oregano and sage from your herb garden.
                                                        4)Grind the meats and herbs in your Delorean meat grinder. Be sure to refrigerate meat mixture IMMEDIATELY so that it does not grow bacteria or attract flies.
                                                        5) Roast the corn on high. When it is thoroughly dry, mill it in to flour in your backyard creek mill.
                                                        6) Combine meat mixture and flour. Simmer in cast iron pan on stovetop for 2 hours in sauce. (You can go with a brown sauce or red sauce . . . but don't even get me started on those recipes.)

                                                        In answer to your other questions:
                                                        -Never offend your amazeballs delivery person by even entertaining less than 30% tip. I mean, did you see that recipe? That delivery person is saving you tons of time and effort.
                                                        -Amazeballs should be locked away and served only to those foodie friends and family who you are confident will appreciate the amazeballness of it all.
                                                        -Never leave amazeballs on the counter. If in doubt, throw it out.
                                                        -I understand Cleobeach's advice, but personally feel a VS wonder bra is just as effective.
                                                        -ah-ma-zeh-balls is too easily confused with matzo balls and I suspect your DSIL will be expecting soup. Unfortunately, a divorce is the only solution--I hope your DB has a good prenup, lawyer and relation with his children.

                                                        1. re: gaffk

                                                          You forgot the most important step! One needs to take pictures of every step. Pictures should include captions:
                                                          -names for every cow, pig and farmer met on your journey
                                                          -steps to disassemble and pack the Delorean meat grinder
                                                          -pictures of the roasting process - especially of the creek mill (ooh - envy!)
                                                          -fuzzy picture of amazeballs in the fridge

                                                          Skip taking pictures for all the remaining steps and then appropriate somebody else's pic of the perfect amazeball presentation.


                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                            Damn . . . I usually have my DC handle the photography so I forgot this oh-so-important component. I'll hang my head and stand in the corner for 30 minutes :(

                                                            I also forgot (and so did you . . . tsk, tsk) the need to post said photos to my amazeballs blog.

                                                            (Seriously, I haven't had this much fun on a thread since the April 1 Banana Board :)

                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                              Isolda – You must be a supertaster and it appears that you wish to yuck my yum. Therefore I shall be joining MplsM in replying to your future posts with great snark.
                                                              Pine – Are you a doctor? I may need your help if the thong or wonderbra gets, uh, stuck in the disposal.
                                                              MplsM – let’s snark and be surly on every thread. I get high off of being condescending towards others and I’m going knock the socks off of “first world problems” from now on.
                                                              Gaffk – What can I say?!?! You are a freakin amazeballs amazeball!!! Thanks for all of your sage advice:)) That said, I decided to replace the sage in your recipe with Aleppo pepper. I hope you don’t mind my adaptation.

                                                              So fun having a laugh with you “guys” Just waiting for this subthread to go poof…

                                                              1. re: EM23


                                                                First, substituting peppers for sage absolutely destroys my *perfect* recipe; I will no longer share any recipes with you.

                                                                Second, I am not a guy. Your colloquial insult has left me with no choice but to snark at you on all future threads.

                                                                Third--and with all sincerity--I hope the mods have enough of a sense of humor to leave this subthread. Maybe they can use it as a basis for next April 1?

                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                  Go on then...snark away. Helloooo, flag button!

                                                                  I would understand if it was deleted, though. I think it's cool that they have left it untouched so far.

                                                                  Have a good "one", G!!!

                                                          2. re: gaffk

                                                            Sounds delish! I'm getting very hungballs.

                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                              Ummm....I think that might be hungryballs......methinks
                                                              "hungballs" are entirely different. ;O

                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                I just wonder if this whole "balls" discussion can be traced back to "Schweddy Balls" in terms of origination?


                                                        2. re: bulavinaka

                                                          Free range organic amazeballs from Liechtenstein are probably best. They are low carb, gluten free and no MSG!

                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                            Amazeballs in Liechtenstein with a toddler and a vegan ? TIA.

                                                            1. re: Samalicious

                                                              While the amazeballs across the border in Feldkirch may not be as piquant as those in Vaduz, FL, I find they more than make up for them in size.

                                                              1. re: Samalicious

                                                                Kinda doubt MplsM ary's cred - see my response. Question - TIA? Oh, I get it - "This Is Amazeballs!" Oh crud - getting a "low battery" prompt on my cordless keyboard - you wouldn't happen to have a nickel I can borrow, would you? And don't try to pawn off a 5-centime coin on me - there are no money changers that are open right now...

                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  No solar cell on the wireless keyboard? What about your carbon butt print?

                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                    Solar cell manufacturing is almost all commie - commies outlawed amazeballs along with religion - and that ain't 'merican. And what's more 'merican than religion and butt prints?


                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      Are we saying we cannot lie, we like big carbon...er, never mind...

                                                              2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                Liechtenstein? Castles? Game of Thrones is SO amazeballs! Wait, what season did the low-carb version come out in? Did they have MSG back then? I'm calling you out...

                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  I am 58. I have no idea what Game of Thrones is. On my first of many visits, the Prince autographed a childrens' book I bought in the tourist office and gave a 5 minute explanation on the Principality. This was in 1975, and a long walk from Feldkirch with a 35+ kilo backpack.

                                                                  And the MSG is organic coming from shrooms growing under the cow flops. Mind altering tea from those amazeballs.

                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                    I think it's pretty frickin' amazeballs that there is still at least one human on planet First World who hasn't been sucked in by this show:


                                                                    True story - a friend of mine was actually courted by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Is that coincidence or amazeballs?

                                                                    MSG from cow flop shrooms? Please tell me those cows are grass fed - that would be - you know - AMAZEBALLS!

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      First discovered along the headwaters of the St. Johns river in 1972. On the largest ranch east of the Mississippi River. Deseret. And it is all grass fed.

                                                                      Too expensive to ship corn down here.

                                                                2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                  Just to clear up the confusion - Liechtenstein amazeballs should be available at Whole Foods, any natural foods stores or coop. Of course Trader Joe's has their own organic knockoff brand (Swiss made), which are serviceable but not nearly as amazeballs as the Liechtenstein amazeballs.

                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                    Nope, Huffpost just came out with an exposé. They are not really from Switzerland. They are from Wisconsin!

                                                                  2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                    In Japan, we call it bikkuriballs. I think it has surimi in it. But since it's an Ajinomoto product, it probably contains MSG.

                                                                3. re: Kalivs

                                                                  I love all of you -- you're all amaze...amz....

                                                                  Nope, can't do it. But you know what I mean.

                                                                  This is one of the threads that makes me love CH -- y'all make me laugh with my brain, and that's a big plus in my book.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    I hear from unreliable sources that AC/DC is releasing a new version of an old song they will name "I Got Big Amazeballs"

                                                                  2. re: Kalivs

                                                                    In the immortal words of AC DC

                                                                    I've got big balls
                                                                    I've got big balls
                                                                    They're such big balls
                                                                    And they're fancy big balls
                                                                    And he's got big balls
                                                                    And she's got big balls
                                                                    But we've got the biggest balls of them all

                                                              3. I don't even know what the phrase is supposed to mean. Fat, dumb and happy--that's me!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                  Fat, dumb and happy - now that's life in The First World...

                                                                2. "First world problems" is a fairly lame, canned response to a post if you ask me.

                                                                  But my personal pet peeve is 'emperor's new clothes.' I've been petitioning the mods for years to just look the other way and let me viciously attack any post that alludes to the ENC to put down a dish/trend/restaurant. No luck so far, but I do think the boards would be better off if all rules of posting etiquette were suspended when responding to a few key phrases.

                                                                  1. What board and context does this phrase appear? I've never noticed it.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. >It serves no purpose, except to totally stop all conversation, and could literally be applied to virtually every post on this site. Please stop already!

                                                                      That phrase, while not a favorite of mine, does serve the purpose of expressing a point in the way some posters wanted to express it. As for stopping all conversation, this thread is evidence that it has not done so.

                                                                      We're all free to ask them to "please stop already." Others are free to continue to use those words. I'd suggest we get over it.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: squid kun

                                                                        I didn't say the phrase successfully stops conversation, I pointed out the intent to do. It's clearly used by people whose submeaning is "shut up, you've got nothing to complain about".

                                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                          Maintaining, regaining or being reminded to have some perspective is not a bad thing.

                                                                      2. So where is the second world? Would it be enclaves of modernity surrounded by a population without modern communications, healthcare, and industrialization? China, India, the Stans come to mind.

                                                                        Or those who are proceeding at their own pace and pick and choose what they want? Kiribati, Botswana, Chile, and Morocco may fulfill that criteria.

                                                                        And after the breakup of the USSR, there is the case of a 1st world military and a 3rd world economy and infrastructure.

                                                                        As I have seen on Chowhound, "That is a first world problem" implies a wealth of opportunity versus poverty and starvation. And that phrase always makes me chuckle because Chowhound is based on advertising to the top 1% of the worlds' population.

                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                          Are you genuinely asking what 'second world' is, or are you musing on what it has become post-1989?

                                                                          Because (and I write this with the broadest possible generalisations) the division of the globe into three worlds was based on politics, once upon a time, with capitalist nations as first world, communist/socialist/soviet bloc as second world, and third as 'the rest' or developing...

                                                                          You raise interesting questions and they might be related to a post-1989 global scenario, but I'm not sure 'modernity' figures in exactly.

                                                                          1. re: Lizard

                                                                            I believe it goes far further back than that to the time of the French Revolution -- when the first estate was the aristocracy, the second estate was the clergy, and the troisième etat was the bourgeoisie.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              I can see how you'd think that, Sunshine. That division you mention was one that inspired those political theorists in the 1950s looking to conceptualise world/global divisions. But it's not exactly the same thing,

                                                                              1. re: Lizard

                                                                                Didn't say it was the same thing....but that the concept of dividing the world into three nice, neat subsets was much older than mid-20th century.

                                                                            2. re: Lizard

                                                                              Nowadays it's "developed", "developing", "undeveloped".

                                                                              Honestly tho, all these labels are meaningless. You poor people in developed countries have to go to all this trouble and expense just to find good food, whereas those of us living in the "developing" nation of South Africa still have farm fresh produce and lots of yummy meats in the inner city.

                                                                              Of course, if Unilever has its way that will end....

                                                                              1. re: yasminza

                                                                                I hate to break it to you, but there are portions of our alleged "developed" country that still has "farm fresh produce and lots of yummy meats" that can be had with minimal effort.

                                                                                P.S. I do not see chunks of South Africa as anything other than being "fully developed" ....

                                                                                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                  Your post and yasminza's brought to mind (I know not why) Sam Kinison and his plan to end world hunger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0q4o5...

                                                                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                    Oh sure, fresh produce and meat can be had easily in America if you don't mind living in BFE Arkansas or Oklahoma.

                                                                                    But good luck finding fresh produce in the ghettos of Los Angeles or New York City.

                                                                                    I do not see chunks of America as anything other than being "third world", including people without running water or indoor plumbing.

                                                                                    (I speak from experience in both countries, having lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, California, and Washington state.)

                                                                                    1. re: yasminza

                                                                                      The following was from 2007 and lists the NATIONAL percentage of fruits and vegetables that farmers in California grow:

                                                                                      Pomegranates: 100%
                                                                                      Artichokes: 99%
                                                                                      Kiwi: 97%
                                                                                      Olives: 96%
                                                                                      Figs: 96%
                                                                                      Pluots: 95%
                                                                                      Plums and Prunes: 94%
                                                                                      Brussel Sprouts: 93%
                                                                                      Avocados: 90%
                                                                                      Nectarines: 89%
                                                                                      Garlic: 85%
                                                                                      Celery: 83%
                                                                                      Grapes: 83%
                                                                                      Dates: 82%
                                                                                      Apricots: 82%
                                                                                      Cauliflower: 82%
                                                                                      Broccoli: 81%
                                                                                      Lemons: 79%
                                                                                      Persimmons: 77%
                                                                                      Honeydew: 77%
                                                                                      Tomatoes: 76%
                                                                                      Lettuce: 73%
                                                                                      Nuts: 65%
                                                                                      Carrots: 62%
                                                                                      Strawberries: 59%
                                                                                      Spinach: 59%
                                                                                      Tangerines: 58%
                                                                                      Chinese Cabbage: 49%
                                                                                      Asparagus: 47%
                                                                                      Cantaloupes: 46%
                                                                                      Peaches: 44%
                                                                                      Limes: 42%
                                                                                      Non-Valencia Oranges: 37%

                                                                                      1. re: Servorg


                                                                                        I don't know if you've been to California, but it's an extremely large state, and while the more rural/suburban areas have a lot of fresh produce for sale by farmers and grocery stores, try finding that in East LA or Compton.

                                                                                        1. re: yasminza

                                                                                          You are really behind the times when it comes to fresh produce in the East LA area. Farmer's Markets http://velasfarmersmarkets.org/28996.... and Latino grocery and Asian grocery stores, not to mention an about to be totally revitalized, remodeled Grand Central Market downtown put fresh produce in the hands of those living in that area without any problem.

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            I believe there is also a Farmers Market in Watts on Saturdays.

                                                                                          2. re: yasminza

                                                                                            We're trying to make it better but there's a long way to go. This graphic provides a good current summary.

                                                                                        2. re: yasminza

                                                                                          there is the south central farmers market and until 2004 there was a large plot which was a community farm then the owner got greedy and wanted more $ and kicked the farmers out. i believe it's still unoccupied to this day. there is still a collective that farms in northern long beach. it's still disproportionate but it's there and growing. i just move to colorado from los angeles and in comparison, LA is much more bountiful in fruits than other states.

                                                                                          1. re: yasminza

                                                                                            Wow, if you can't find fresh produce (and meats) in Washington state...I don't even know what to say. All you need to do is turn your head to the right or left, anywhere you live.

                                                                                            Seattle is a pretty big city and they have "this thing" called Pike Place Market...it is the one of the oldest farmers market's in the US.

                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                              Not to mention Union Square market in Da City or any number of supermarkets with fresh produce.

                                                                                              I'm just shakin' my head here.

                                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                If I happen to be downtown Seattle for some other reason, I like to stop by PPM. I'll buy a croissant and a few spices that I can't get else where, but it is impractical to take much produce home with me on the bus.

                                                                                                I suspect most of the Washington grown produce at PPM comes from the Skagit Valley 60 miles to north, or Yakima Valley 140 miles to east.

                                                                                    2. Thank you Carolinadawg! I flippin' hate that phrase. First, it is extremely condescending to the person it addresses. Second, it essentializes the vast majority of people in the world, portraying them as mired so deeply in the basics of survival that they don't have social responses. People in the developing world are as diverse as in the developed world (perhaps even more so since they make up a hell of a lot more of the people in the world!), and poor people gossip, poor people know the power of language, and poor people have opinions that go beyond mere survival. It's condescending all the way around.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                        Exactly. Condescending. My world view is so much broader and more sophisticated than yours: I do not dwell on your petty little first world problems as my mind is occupied with topics of a far more global nature. You're kvetching on Chowhound while I am solving world hunger. Or something like that.

                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                          Exactly! Though you said it so much purdier...

                                                                                      2. I love how serious suggestion on CH degenerates into one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. I actually did laugh out loud. Or at least almost did and have to squelch it because I'm at work. Good job everyone!

                                                                                        I know what the first world is supposed to be and I know what the third world means. So what happened to the second world? Can I be having second world problems and not even know it?

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                          My definition of a second world problem is a flush toilet with no seat.

                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                            2nd world woman's issue if I ever heard one...

                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                              I'm male, and I'll admit to having encountered the condition, and proceeded to make a bad situation worse.

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                This reminds me of a problem I encountered in Mexico in 1978 while crewing on various sailboats. We had the boat I was on hauled out in Mazatlan to scrape and repaint the bottom.

                                                                                                One evening on the weekend, while attending to the bottom of the boat, I had an urgent "call of nature" that needed a fully functioning toilet. I found the boat yard's security guard and quickly asked him in my limited Spanish for "el baño." He gave me directions and away I ran, only to find a room full of urinals without a single toilet in sight.

                                                                                                That's the night I learned the word "retrete" and never forgot it...

                                                                                            2. re: Veggo

                                                                                              Oh you made me laugh. When I am in Mexico, I have to work at various underfunded govt. offices, and I always know when some bigwig is coming in for the day because they screw the toilet seat back on for that day.

                                                                                          2. While we wouldn't say there's a blanket prohibition on this, it is the sort of thing that's likely to be used in a dismissive or attacking way. We'd appreciate it if people would flag this sort of thing for us so we can take a look, and depending on the context, we may delete.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                              Good point, and while hounds got a little whimsical with it, no harm, no foul. So far.

                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                So far.............................

                                                                                            2. Folks, while we think this Amazeballs turn may be a little First World, an ass eating cactus (smiles or no), is just not about the Chow. Feel free to use your local board (Mongolia, Ivory Coast, etc.) to link up all the international Amazeball traffic.

                                                                                              Consider therefore, henceforth and forevermore, there to be a virtual Amazeball lock on this thread. It's the tits, but mirth and silliness will not be tolerated!

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                kaleo, I started as smiling like a donkey eating cactus, but Sam had to morph me.
                                                                                                And FYI, cactus IS donkey Chow.....:)
                                                                                                P.S. Don't forget to link to the Burkina Faso board for more amazeball wizardry.

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  I just realized that I'd been pronouncing 'amuse bouche' wrong all this time.
                                                                                                  Who would have known it's pronounced a-maaz-balz?

                                                                                                2. Along with this, can we also put an end to the dismissive,
                                                                                                  "well if that's your biggest problem. . ."

                                                                                                  1. I've never seen such a comment, not once in years on Chowhound, so I'm wondering what's the problem.

                                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                      I've never seen it here either but a friend introduced me to the phrase a few months ago and uses it occasionally though we are quite good friends and so no judgments are taken from it. I did find it slightly offensive when the cheesemonger at Whole Foods replied to my cheese-picking dilemma "hmm, first world problems, eh?" I understand his point but it's an awkward and bordering on rude and inappropriate way to convey it.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        So..did you reply with, "What the f*** are you talking about? Hand over my Port Salud and be quick about it, boy."

                                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                          I think my response was "OK, I'll take both, thanks." I just wanted to get out of there. I've heard the phrase millions of times but it was jarring to hear it when addressed as a customer.

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            We talked about this phrase on another site I frequent, and my take then and now is that First World Problems is a mildly problematic but mostly harmless way of self-indentifying trivial problems like "spent all afternoon trying to get the background color on my iPhone's calendar app to be just right" or "have so many chargers plugged into my power bar, there's no longer room for the lamp so I can't read a book."

                                                                                                            But it's morphed into something we direct at other people, as a way to tell them that their concerns are trivial and unimportant, and that's condescending and rude. Doubly (or possibly quadruply) so in a customer service situation, where the very nature of their job is dealing with that sort of thing. If picking cheese is so trivial and unimportant, why is the guy a cheesemonger?

                                                                                                            Self-awareness good, dismissiveness bad.

                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                              I actually like the phrase and my friends and I use it often to point out when an issue may not be as big as we're making it seem. Among friends, it's comical.

                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                If you are using it to talk about yourself, it's self-deprecating. If you are saying it to someone else, it's likely to be perceived as belittling.

                                                                                                                If I'd received that comment from someone trying to sell me something, I'd have voted with my feet.

                                                                                                                1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                  So you have enough choices that you can expect utmost respect from salespeople.

                                                                                                              2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                o.k., being dismissive is bad. but so is a) being self indulgently over dramatic and b) indulging self indulgent, over dramatic behaviour.
                                                                                                                perhaps this was the cheesemonger's way of saying, "hey man, either way, you're a winner, cheese-wise."?

                                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                                  I think that was exactly his point as I think that's the intention of most when they say it which is why I kind of like the phrase. Actually just last night I was having coffee with a few friends as one couldn't decide what to order, another remarked "hmm, first world problems" which kind of just makes us all pause and be grateful for a second. Not sure why the phrase is so hated though I do reserve it for very close friends, I'd never say it to a casual friend or someone I barely knew as the use of the term "first world" can be dubious.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    I think it's fine, as you said, when people are involved in the conversation and friends. I find when someone uses on the boards, it's almost smug as if this person thinks he has shared some special perspective when really it's just stating the obvious. As kids would say, "No duh, Sherlock..."

                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                      That is, err, not *quite* how I learned that phrase as a child.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                        J...flashing that mod wit...you scat girl! (g)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                          LOL I had an innocent childhood.

                                                                                                                        2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                          i don't find it smug. i find it, even when it's used towards me, by strangers, a healthy dose of, "get some perspective."
                                                                                                                          i think people, myself included, often need that.
                                                                                                                          i guess some people find that scolding; so be it. for me, a little of that kind of scolding makes the world better.

                                                                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          I think this hits the nail on the head in the way that I've used it, and in the way my friends use it. Pause and be grateful for a second.

                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  The cheesemonger said that without an ounce of irony? At Whole Foods? I'd have laughed till I cried.

                                                                                                                  Best meme of first world problems:

                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                    Indeed, without a moment of hesitation. He's a good guy and we often chat but it was definitely a quip meant to be loud enough for me to here. I'm not sure he would have said it to another customer but it still was surprising.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      Maybe he thought you were on friendly enough terms to take the comment as a jest.

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                        Yea, that's what I was implying above when I mentioned that "I'm not sure he would have said it to another customer." I laughed but mentioned it here as it seemed like something others might be offended by. We are of similar age, we are quite friendly and so I thought it was comical. Although it was still shocking to have him say it to me, though I guess in my mind I thought, oh he really does think we're chummy and I wondered what others might think if he said it to them though I don't think he would. But yes, paulj you hit the nail on the head. However, it seems that there are some opinions here that people would be really offended if a close friend said that to them.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          According to my online sleuthing this idea of "first world problems" most likely stems from poetry written by Gulistan of Sa'di a long, long, long time ago http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulistan... in which the most enduring thought of his that we still see and read today is his poem that has produced the aphorism about "being sad because one has no shoes until one meets the man who has no feet"...'whereupon I thanked Providence for its bounty to myself'

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            Interesting, thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                            Oh, i didn't get that he said it jokingly. i wouldn't be offended by that if we were both chumming it up.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              Well, he said it not necessarily jokingly but that was my assumption when he said it. He didn't chuckle or anything, he said it with a straight face as if he was saying anything else, but I interpreted it as dry humor. Although given that he didn't chuckle I'm sure others that didn't know him perhaps might not assume as I did.

                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      did you say, excuse me, but you have a First World Job in a First World Market??? Jeez, the nerve! He works selling cheese, he has no point!

                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        Very true, the fact that it happened in Whole Foods makes the story even that much better.

                                                                                                                    3. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                      I've seen it pop up a couple times recently. Don't know if its the same Hound or multiple.

                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                        The first time I got exposed to this concept was when I went to work for the Arabian American Oil Company in 1980. After arriving in Saudi it wasn't long at all before I heard someone use the initials "TCN" and I asked him "What does that stand for?" and he told me "Third Country National."

                                                                                                                        That meant anyone other than a Saudi national or someone from Canada the US or the UK/Ireland/Europe.

                                                                                                                      2. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013...

                                                                                                                        An article about instant ramen, and the problem of feeding the world. This quote reminded me of this thread:

                                                                                                                        'And they foresee a world of 9 billion people "in which the affluent will be presented with too many food choices and [will be] called upon to use their survival skills to choose wisely, and in which the poor will have to use their survival skills to get by on cheap food" like ramen.'

                                                                                                                        A commenter added this quote from Hitchhikers guide:

                                                                                                                        '"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through
                                                                                                                        three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and
                                                                                                                        Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For
                                                                                                                        instance, the first phase is characterized by the question "How can we
                                                                                                                        eat?" the second by the question "Why do we eat?" and the third by the
                                                                                                                        question "Where shall we have lunch?"

                                                                                                                        Maybe we should change the title to 'third phase questions'

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          And finally, when times get really tough and there is no more first world in existence, "Who do we eat?"

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            That's easy. Whatever weaponry the second worlders purloined from the hapless first world predecessors, they will deploy to vanquish the third worlders. But they will need recipes.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                              Would we need a new board for that?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                  I was thinking the very same thing!

                                                                                                                          2. My son is the only person I've encountered who uses this term. His degree is in Political Science, so I just thought it was PoliSci babble.
                                                                                                                            Now I'll be prepared if a WF employee or someone more hip than me refers to the First World.

                                                                                                                            1. As I suggested in the "Hipster" thread, I find it a bad idea to tell others how they can express themselves or what words/phrases they can and cannot use. Of course I grow tired of the repetitive use of worn notions by those who seem to have just discovered 'em, but if we forbid all such usage, we'd be down to only a few 'hounds. Same thing with policing grammar and spelling.

                                                                                                                              When we start making more and more subjective determinations as to what type of posts are acceptable, we significantly curtail expression. Frankly, there are lost of posts that I find boring, but I'm still happy to see 'em.

                                                                                                                              As to the instant issue, I see "First World problems" as a sterilized version of the phrase I used to hear twenty years ago. When some of my classmates wanted to stifle discussions they found trifling, they would simply call issue "White people problems". Over time other charged variations have persisted, including "Straight people problems" and "1% problems".

                                                                                                                              31 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                what is the difference between telling people what words they can and cannot use and telling people it is wrong to criticize the words some people use?

                                                                                                                                speech is either free or it isn't. yes, you can use any words you want. however, you can then criticize any words you want, too.

                                                                                                                                that said, i also heard "first world problem" first referred to as "white people problems."

                                                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                  You are, indeed, correct. Correcting a correction is still correcting and thereby suggesting that somethings are wrong to articulate. I guess I should be more tolerant . . . .

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                    to put it more simply:

                                                                                                                                    if you have the right to say x, someone else has the right to say x is bullshit.

                                                                                                                                    i think, sadly, this is often forgotten.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                      Often it is more politic to silently embrace a different opinion than to be chronically argumentative.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                        "Often it is more politic to silently embrace a different opinion than to be chronically argumentative."

                                                                                                                                        Is this an example of that philosophy? (g)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                          while i am a big fan of j.d. salinger's "it's better to live humbly for a cause than to die nobly for one,"
                                                                                                                                          i also think there's a vast difference between disagreeing with something and being chronically argumentative.
                                                                                                                                          i also think there's a difference between criticism and being argumentative.

                                                                                                                                          as the dude said, "this aggression must not stand."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                            I agree that there is a difference between criticizing and arguing. But neither will get you a Friday night date or a job promotion.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I always found that the girls who liked to argue most preferred lunch dates early in the week or to just have me come by near the end of the night..

                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                That means 2 things. You pay, and you get no "dessert".
                                                                                                                                                I'd rather be on a golf course.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                do you know this from experience?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                  I read it in Readers Digest, a well-respected, first world publication.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                    but readers digest doesn't have pictures.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                      Nor do I. Experiences are sufficient, and privacy matters.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                          I kayak class 3 whitewater rivers, but I will avoid the river of salt in the song I referenced below.
                                                                                                                                                          Any further questions?

                                                                                                                                              3. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                Those who are chronically argumentatiive never see themselves as such.
                                                                                                                                                Ooh, as my son would say, that's something a 12 year old would post on FB and think she was being philosophically clever.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                  as one of my pet chickens would say, those who call people chronically argumentative never see themselves as such.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                          This site has many, many restrictions on what phrases can be used and how posters can express themselves.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                                            So, that means we should have more?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                              Check out the lyrics to Procol Harum's "Still there'll be more"

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                I think I'll add that one to my Seasonal rotation this December.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                  Catchy tune, great Christmas music.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                It means that cow left the barn long ago...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                                                  Somebody left the gate open.....

                                                                                                                                              3. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                                                So you don't mind adding to those restrictions, then?


                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, if there are going to be restrictions (and by the way, i'm not advocating some sort of formal rule, just asking other posters to recognize the ridiculousness of this particular comment) then certainly, I have the right to request a seat at the table, so to speak, and provide input on what those restrictions should be. hard to understand?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                                                    Whatever lifts your luggage, dawg.

                                                                                                                                            2. It seems like people have pretty much said what they have to say here, and now the thread is descending into silliness, so we're going to lock it now.