May 30, 2013


On April 3 I was waiting for a bus, with a plastic bag containing three boxes of cookies. This was one of the boxes. It is the subject of the following sentences and perhaps that is why I have no picture of the other two boxes, which came from different manufacturers. The cookies were to be eaten during an art show reception I was participating in that I suspect I will never get around to writing about. Certainly I would want people to show up to look at the artwork rather than to eat the cookies, but I had already seen the art and needed something else to occupy myself with.

A woman and man were also waiting for the same bus I was. They were beside a tree so I stood on the other side of the tree. It was unusual for anyone else to be waiting in this place, and it was also unusual for me to travel with such a large quantity of cookies. These two factors would combine in a most tragic circumstance.
The woman walked in front of the tree, so that she was almost in the street, looked over my bag and spoke. This was immediately bad news. Ordinarily nobody speaks to me in public except to ask me for money. This time it was worse.

“You like to eat organic stuff, huh?”

I responded to the effect of “I try.” I eat a lot of garbage. Not as much as I once did.

“Kashi contains GMOs, those cause cancer.”

The person pronounced “GMOs” like “jeeyemoze.” If I didn’t know what GMOs were genetically modified organisms already and that this person was pronouncing the letters in an abbreviation, the statement ought to have confounded me, so clearly I had to already know what GMOs were and did, and yet the person spoke as if she an adolescent telling a younger sibling that Santa Claus didn’t exist as petty revenge.
I believe, but cannot confirm, that I responded “anything you buy at a supermarket is going to kill you.” Perhaps I should have said “get away from me, you presumptuous tub” but I am never at my best while waiting for a bus.
The person replied, still looking at my bag, undeterred by my lack of mindblow, “Yeah… you should grow your own food.”

She waited a moment, and before I could ask “do you grow your own food?”, and perhaps I wouldn’t have, because my immediate goal was to make her voice stop, she curtly remarked “gmoze are really bad for you. you should google it” and returned to her side of the tree, CASE CLOSED, without considering that I might have anything to say to it, like she was a living Hi and Lois cartoon.


I was too filled with hate to respond.
By the time it was a feasible option we were on the bus and I preferred, for the moment, unfulfilled resentment to attempting to speak to someone like that. It was far safer for me to silently hate her and myself than to risk the hate being focused on her exclusively, who had not had thirty years to develop antibodies for it. The fact that I hated myself for not focusing my hate on the woman is a marvel of evolution.

I object to a stranger telling me that I “should” do something, and I object to a stranger assuming I lack knowledge, and I object to Hi and Lois.

I was immediately reminded that four days earlier one of my more virally-minded face-book relations reposted this image, which mixes specific brands with general company names and seems to think Nestlé, one of the largest food companies in the world is a product of its considerably smaller and exclusively confection-focused competitor The Hershey Company. Both have been known to profit from exploitative labor used to obtain their chocolate, though Hershey has at least expressed a willingness to change that. In 2012. There is no wrong reason to boycott Nestlé.

Indeed most of these companies have been selling massively processed, sugar-soaked, salt-smothered de facto poison for more than half a century, for much of that with full knowledge of the long-term health effects of consuming such things. Why have I never been pestered about for drinking Coca Cola in public, but this harmless closed box is a problem? Because there was no mass-repostable graphic that said to harass Coke-swallowers recently. You would have had to actually read paragraphs about it and reach a conclusion on your own to realize it was garbage. Or look at the back of the packaging.

Go forth and boycott Monsanto products! I made a poster!

Okay!

Eh do you care why? There’s a URL on my poster…

Nope! It was in stylishly arranged photoshop text! That’s good enough for me! I’m going to find somebody who’s already bought one of these and try to make them feel bad about it! Maybe I’ll even get an opportunity to use “google” as a verb!

The boycott picture doesn’t say “GMO” on it anywhere, so it is likely that my informant also found a smirky, kony-esque video to go into scantily more detail.

Or perhaps she saw this graphic and realized oh no, three letters! That’s at least two thirds as bad as MSG!

I actually DID “google” it and the very first image was one which gave no information at all beyond ooh dass bad! In fact I was so sure it would that I wrote the part referring to “this graphic” prior to my finding and placing it here. Perhaps I should have used the text search, but I was only instructed to employ google and not any specific google function.

I am concerned that gmo is approaching southern connecticut from two different directions but for the moment I am safe.

Fortunately, no GMO comes in all these stylish and delicious flavors, which can never be used to misdirect public opinion. I just hope none of these graphics contain JPG.

I am fortunate that I correctly assumed she meant google and not googol, a number which is 1 followed by one hundred zeroes, because I probably would have run out of money buying that many gmos.

So bus stop lady now has terminator lock-on vision that can seek out a kashi logo at 30 feet behind any non-lead obstruction. It’s like smoking a cigarette in the 1990s, this week, except we got off the bus at the smokiest bus stop in town, where every third person is smoking a cigarette, spitting after smoking one or selling cigarettes to somebody else, and she didn’t accost anybody. It is no longer trendy to pester cigarette smokers because the government does it already by putting six dollars worth of federal, state and local taxes on a single little box of them. Mission accomplished. The woman also managed to get past the Duncan Donuts and Subway stores across the street (and presumably every other street in New Haven) without procuring a megaphone and yelling JEEYEMMOHZ at exiting customers.

it is possible that as a buyer of “organic” goods I seemed like somebody with an inflated sense of superiority that needed to be ruptured. In fact, any remotely edible thing I had that was in a box would have jammyohs in it. “organic” is the enemy specifically because it thinks it’s better but perhaps is not, in all cases. I can understand resenting that. The goal was not to enrich my life with health advice –not she nor the poster suggested any alternative, GMO-free products– just to get me off my high horse. However, I have also been avoiding high horses ever since I found out they were enriched with MLP.

Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect somebody to say: “were you aware that Kashi is known to use, in its products, genetically modified crops such as corn and soybeans and furthermore has done so without denoting this anywhere on the packaging? Though the Séralini study which linked these crops to cancer has been divisive in the scientific community there is nonetheless a need for regulation and public awareness of what goes into food. Consider that these crops are resistant to pesticides, which therefore encourages use of the pesticides, which may be harmful to things other than the crop and the ‘pests.'”
However, this would have exhibited knowledge and good intentions, rather than grasping at an opportunity to inflict inferiority on somebody you know nothing about, with no provocation. It might also have encouraged conversation (provided there was a pause after the initial question), rather than scorn. Fortunately my scorn is all natural.

I like the idea of viral hypey thoughtlessness actually being put toward a useful cause, but it probably isn’t going to change anything, because it is still thoughtless, and when it’s one of my own causes I become inclined to dislike it out of spite. Nobody involved is going to learn anything. If GMO is defeated and removed from food but replaced by DDT or BVD or MXY or POG then these people won’t take it on themselves to find out, and won’t believe a suggestion from somebody else unless it is communicated on the same terms used by people selling it to them.

The woman didn’t say anything about me having three boxes of cookies, either, which are inherently lethal. “you like to eat a lot of cookies, huh? Cookies have fat and sugar in them, you should hotbot it.”

She was right that the single Kashi allotment were the worst of the bunch. I didn’t get to eat one but they felt weird. I would have known not to buy them in the future without any outside influence decreeing it.



4 Responses
  1. 1
    2:53 pm, May 30, 2013

    PurpleSpace sez:

    Most things give you cancer it seems. Getting too much sunlight will give you cancer, but so will not getting enough sunlight. I just assume everything in the supermarket contains cancer except maybe lettuce, so as long as I don’t eat predominately one thing, except maybe lettuce, then it won’t give me ultra cancer.

    People I don’t know very well are good at telling me what I should do as well.

  2. 2
    12:08 pm, May 31, 2013

    Bloopadoop sez:

    Cancer is just nature’s way of telling you to speed up.

  3. 3
    1:25 am, June 1, 2013

    Heapinfrimp sez:

    packspacko:
    I am going to take a dual preventative measure by only eating cancer. It has not been proven to cause itself, and of course it cannot be given it if it is not there to give.

    oops:
    Nature calls me regularly over matters of minimal significance and I grow weary of the inflated, fabricated urgency.

  4. 4
    10:39 am, June 17, 2013

    that infamous mokvwap again sez:

    okay, now you can’t eat a box of cookies in peace, in a bus.

    we know about monsanto being everywhere, it’s about time people finally figure out about it, and decide to move to the remaining brands that aren’t about industrial food. that’s an awful system.

    but the little pleasure some people take at shoving up that fact in your face is really that kind of people who feel proud and happy about themselves to bring some all-made up moral.

    fact : they do consume Monsanto’s stuff, but in denial. they have to attack others and now you can’t enjoy a goddam chocolate cookie.

    …that’s something !

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