Calhoun’s Ca(n)nons for April 5, 2012
Mmmmmm. Yummy ground up odd bits of boneless meat scrapings from cow carcasses thoroughly mashed up and treated with ammonium hydroxide. Mmmm.
What do you mean, Eeeeuuuu! We’ve been eating the stuff for years. It’s been added to hamburger meat and we’ve been chowing it down with gusto. Until some wisenheimers, some goody-two-shoed Food Police types decided that people might like to know just what went into that all beef patty started calling it “pink slime” and hideous pictures of this gloopy stuff started show up on TV.
After which, Obese Nation America, which had been scarfing up this stuff by the daily ton, recoiled with the horror reserved only for a pencil-thin Food Nazi Vegan who’s been handed a dead cat on a dinner plate. The beef industry panicked and invited politicians in for a photo op at the beef-scraping factory to prove how safe and good and yummy this all was. And beef officials declared that if we just called this goo “finely textured lean beef” everything would be fine.
But the greasy die had been cast. Consumers ran their tongues out and went “Ack-Ack-Ackkk!” Fast food restaurants took out big ads declaring that they always never used the stuff. And the companies that ran “finely textured lean beef” factories in at least four states quietly closed their plants and laid off about 1,400 finely textured employees.
And, best of all for the beef industry, Pink Slimegate quickly slid off the radar before people could start asking the kind of question they needed to ask, which is: Should I even be eating this hamburger in the first place, with or without the slime?
Because that question would lead directly to others, like: What went into the cow while it was jammed into a huge feed lot and stuffed with . . . what? At one time we fed cows other ground up finely textured cows. And sheep, until mad-cow disease supposedly stopped that practice. But we are still stuffing our feed-lot cows with pesticide-loaded grain and antibiotics to ward off diseases which are exacerbated by jamming a grazing animal into crowded pens and stuffing it with corn and other fattening stuff that turns its naturally lean, grass-fed muscle into bad Omega-6 laced fat. After which we hack it up and eat it.
And then get all pissy when we find out that finely ground pink slime bits of more cows have been added back in?
The same food freak-out is taking place with the troubling “high fructose corn syrup,” the ubiquitous sweetener that’s been dumped into nearly every food product you can possibly think of, including ones that shouldn’t have anything to do with the word “syrup.” And now nutritionists and scientists are investigating the possibility that high fructose corn syrup is somehow processed differently by the liver than plain sugar, and that difference is helping to fuel the obesity epidemic that’s killing us.
But do food manufacturers declare that they will get this awful stuff out of our food supply? Naw. Instead, they’re busy renaming it, like they think that calling it “Smiley-Face Sweet Field Sugar” will solve the problem. To date, their efforts have been met with the angry buzz saws of proprietary food-name lawyers from the “real” cane/beet sugar industry. Sorry, you Fructose Syrupies,but the word “sugar” has already been taken. Move along.
Well, what’s in a word, really? Nothing when you live in Fake Nation. In that world, words are just useful tools to fleece the marks. Toss in our uniquely American desire to remain deluded, our extraordinary tolerance for being lied to and the rest just comes easy. From Madison Avenue to K-Street to the sacred halls of Congress, it’s all one big game of rebranding -- PhonySpeak in pursuit of the big bucks, the votes, the power.
And woe betide the smartass who comes along to point out the obvious. Take poor Elizabeth Warren. This hideous, terrifying scold wanted credit card contracts to be written in clear, plain language, the charges and fees all spelled out in simple, easy to understand language. My God, can you imagine? She also wanted citizens to be given some modest consumer protections in the marketplace, on Wall Street, in the automobile showroom. It was beyond horrible and the Republican corporate shills in Congress reacted accordingly to make sure she was sidelined, and they’ve been busy undoing even the modest protections that she managed to put in place over their half-dead bodies.
Or take Sarah Palin and her Big Lie of “death panels.” There were no “death panels.” What had been proposed was that under the developing health reform plans, Medicare would pay for seniors to meet with their own doctor and/or geriatric end-of-life experts, so they could get accurate information in order to make their own choices for their own end-of-life care. No panels, no hooded judges sentencing people to death. Just patients consulting with their doctors in order to make sure their decisions on their own care would be put in place when the need arose. That’s all.
Yet, thanks to Palin’s lie and fake name, that service was removed and now seniors are left on their own, which too often results in terrible suffering that runs contrary to what the patient wanted for themselves and their families. Real suffering in a real world, thanks to Palin’s dishonest wordsmithing.
Well, why not? It’s just words. Here in Fleeced Nation, a lie is as good as the truth. Especially if it makes you rich and famous and sends the bill for any damages to the sucker public.
So, America, eat up! Here’s your wonderful and delicious ammonia-treated finely textured lean beef pink slime high fructose corn syrup hamburger. Not only is it tasty and delicious, it’s good for you. That’s right. It’s very, very good for you. Trust me. Would I lie to you? Of course not.
Open wide. Yum.