Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Eat Lard!

I read in The New Yorker that:
In February, the city’s Department of Education amended Regulation A-812—“to improve the nutritional quality of food and beverages available for sale to students at school”—mandating that only twenty-seven snack items, all of them prepackaged and approved by the Office of School Food, could be sold during school hours. The target is childhood obesity, but the effect is that pupils hoping to fund the pep squad or the eighth-grade wilderness trip can now do so only by peddling Whole Grain Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts (No. 12 on the list) and Reduced Fat Cool Ranch Doritos (No. 7) and not, say, their mothers’ brownies or carrot muffins. Anything homemade is forbidden.
This is the height not only of idiocy, but of perverse unintended consequences. What I would like to know is how come unintended consequences always seem to benefit the evildoers? More sales for Frito-Lay, yay! As always on every new chapter of the ongoing saga "The Road To Hell is Paved With Good Intentions", the authorities, in their zeal to protect children from obesity, are contributing to their further ingestion of junk. I can assure you that anything homemade, be it fried in lard, covered with bacon, basted in butter, and smothered in cream (or all of the above, like a gratin dauphinois, oh, yum) is healthier than anything that comes in a bag sprinkled with fluorescent orange dust. But corporations always seem to have the last word. All parents can do is stage a cute little protest. If I were a parent, I would fucking sue the Dept. of Education over this.

In another example of pernicious brainwashing brought to you by your friendly neighborhood advertiser, NBC is going to institute behavior placement, in order for couch potatoes to subconsciously adopt supposedly good habits as they fester in front of the TV set. This is supposed to be for the common good, but it is actually the height of evil. (George Orwell, eat your heart out). 
Behavior placement gives marketers extra incentive to advertise at a time when digital video recorders equip viewers with an unprecedented ability to skip commercials, says Jason Kanefsky, a media buyer at Havas's MPG. "You're not forcing your way into a program in any shape or form," he says. "You're just nodding your head at a program."
Jason, I hope you have a spot reserved (right next to me) in the circle of hell allotted for marketers and advertisers. These people's confidence in our collective gullibility, stupidity and inertia knows no bounds. And for once, they may be right.


  1. In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
    - Mark Twain, Following the Equator; Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar 1897.

  2. Imagine Mark Twain's blog, if he were around today. I miss him.