Friday, May 30, 2008

Nation Freaking Out: US Turns To Spam, Turns Off Rachael Ray

Two news articles caught my eye this week. One story was about Spam, an inexpensive canned meat product, and how much their sales have gone up in recent months. The other story is about Rachael Ray, the cute television chef with nine-hundred teeth in her smile, and how her neck scarf got her fired from Dunkin’ Donuts commercials. Oh no - not Spam, not Rachael Ray!

The rising cost of oil and economic woes have prompted many people to make serious adjustments to their grocery list (adjustments as in people can only afford milk, dried lentils and Spam). Many neo-cons would take this opportunity to remind us how convenient shopping is these days, because we need to buy so very little. Obviously, that time we used to spend selecting filet mignon and live lobsters can now become family hour (when I say family hour, I mean packing boxes before the bank comes to throw everyone out onto the street).

Then there’s poor Rachael Ray, America’s cooking program sweetheart, selling donuts and coffee for the folks at Dunkin’. Wait a minute – is she wearing a scarf that looks vaguely Arabic? Oh my GOD. That’s right folks, Dunkin’ fired Rachael and pulled her commercial off the air because they thought her scarf looked Middle Eastern (and we all know that in some parts of America, Middle-Eastern is just another way of saying Al-Qaeda, right?). Right. Worse, her scarf could also represent those greedy, mustache twisting Saudis and their criminal gas prices. Well, it looks that way to Dunkin’ Donuts executives. So in order not to offend you (the donut buyer) with images of attractive scarves, they decided to err on the side of blatant racism instead.

Desperate times make people do strange things. They will do things like hoard duct tape, waiting to seal their windows and doors if they are ever threatened with a chemical attack. They will make the most poorly paid employee at their firm (always the receptionist) open the mail with rubber gloves, because they are afraid of packages full of weapon-grade anthrax that have never arrived. People will eat canned meat by the truckload, completely ignoring the inexpensive chicken thighs (or even cheaper, beans and rice) because they’re broke. And finally, their bosses have fired Rachael Ray because of “implied symbolism” that no one sees. It is all bullshit.

That said, I would like for you to know that I am boycotting Dunkin’ Donuts, and by hell I will put Spam in my mouth! Times are hard, but I can afford to be sane. They (you know, them) can have their canned meats and willful ignorance. For the past seven years I have seen people react to crisis by loading up on yellow ribbon magnets for their SUV’s and being afraid of things that may never happen, and I am over it (“over it” as in fuck ‘em).

If this isn’t about oil and poverty weird-ing people out, it can only mean one other thing: It’s an election year and the Republicans are down in the polls. Gee, ya think?

Green Day - American Idiot

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