Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And Toothpaste Matters?

Oh, aren’t we in such a state over countries that would copy the packaging of our toothpaste and then import it here with unsafe ingredients? And so distressed about designer purses, gizmos, and food stuffs from outside sources that look like, but are not, authentically what they claim to be. This kind of wicked mimicry is such a mortal sin that we scream for politicians to do something and now we’re reading labels judiciously and looking real hard for spelling mistakes or manufacturing sources to see if we have the real thing? What’s with that? Why are we surprised? Seems like, we’re all in this together?

Let’s start with the small stuff. Dry chicken soup or bouillon cubes. Did that stuff ever see a chicken? My mother used to say, “They grind up chemicals into a powder, then wave a chicken over it, chanting ‘chicken, chicken, who’s got the chicken?’ and with that magic act, it becomes authentically something derived from chicken. Can that be denied, when Marcel who works at the manufacturing plant is asked “what do you do?”

And she readily replies, “Each and every day, I bring in THE chicken –through the front door and out the back.”

And beans and bacon in the can? What is that speck of white on top? That’s not bacon. That is simply a scrap of some gluttonous discarded thing. And some sludge bottom-feeder fish is dressed out prettily in firm white strips with pink highlights and sold as crab meat. And does a fast-food hamburger taste like a real hamburger? Not.

But no one can deny that this is what we want. Don’t we clamor for faux fur, faux leather, and faux meat? And fake breasts, fake eyelashes, and fake lips.

Returning to the food fakery, I think the whole mimicry thing is exploding beyond reason when even vegetable protein is fraudulently disguised, and this disguise so welcomed. Manipulated in sacrilegious ways to mimic hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, etc? What’s with that? If you don’t like it, don’t want to eat it, shun it, then why yell with delight over this kind of mimicry?

But it goes deeper than that? Our leaders make speeches all the time that pose as their own heartfelt passions and convictions, but who wrote them? Not them. So no wonder when their words come back to haunt them, they insist, “I didn’t say that.”

Which in truth, they didn’t. It was just a mimicked utterance from the lips of another with an understanding so diverse from their own, that they don’t even get it.

And certainly, when it comes to one of the best and most basic gratuities of our existence -- I’m talking sex now, since it’s also part of the fraud – sure, the righteous-minded rant against paper, film, and video displays of sexual matters. But I don’t hear anyone yelling, “Fraud!” because the mimicry is such a bad copy that manifests brutality and cruelty rather than what should rightfully manifest the delicacy of lace and the sweetest of heart-felt emotions.

A few are calling out “exploitation of women” but even that is not the case. Whether “exploit” is used as a noun, meaning “a masterpiece or work of genius” or a verb meaning ‘to take clever advantage of a situation’, this kind of stuff is far more fraudulent mimicry than exploitation could ever be.

Shakespeare and Chaucer were close, in the hot zone, when it comes to the authenticity of sex and the integral connection with true romance. I guess the biggest reason I shudder at sex-education of children is because I assume, and quite safely I expect, there is no real attempt to convey the real essence and meaning of the act. No Shakespeare or Chaucer element. Which means the instruction is similar to explaining the workings of a windmill without taking into account the force and necessity of the wind.

But in my heart, hope springs eternal. And with that hope, if, and when, sexually-explicit materials find the path to genuine authenticity, I am positive-certain that with that new cultural mindset, “Gone With The Wind” will have another round of even greater popularity than previously. We might even end up re-examining remakes of the romantic liaisons of Captain Kirk of "Star Trek". And children in Sex-Ed classes will weep with wonder at a story not yet told, rather than react with hysterical laughter at details fraudulently disguised as nothing more than fascinating physical maneuverings.

Makes me wonder why toothpaste even matters.


naomi dagen bloom said...

your mother's chicken soup analysis reminded me of mother-in-law who believed all chinese food in new york city came from a central kitchen. there were gigantic tubes that siphoned it to myriad chinese restaurants around town. category: they could be bloggers.

Roberta S said...

That theory would be easy to swallow, except I've been lucky enough to occasionally find a Chinese restaurant with food so incredibly good.

But yes, the analogy fits so perfectly with the spin of bloggers. Thanks for visiting.