Since I picked on him peckishly a couple of weeks ago over at Mosteller Musings, let me give this SFGate guy a soupcon of time on this more topical/polemical wing of the family bloggerage. Though wildly off-menu in his food-nannyism about the "toxic zoo" at left (MM #48-50), Mark Morford doth rant often and well about other issues of more consequence, and closer to my heart ... in the non-cardio sense.
An opportunity for him to do so was afforded last week by the explosive reaction to that same anti-KFC-Double-Down article I attacked. The respondents to Morford's original column were overwhelmingly in support, of course, except for a "few oxygen-deprived souls" who only weakly (out of fan-loyalty, I must suppose) suggested to him that the Colonel's sandwich just wasn't all that bad, and that there were "far worse things out there" to get his animus animated about. No, no, says he to those few: you've missed the more important,"larger picture" (told you so). And here he admits to his true target(s) all along:
... all the pollution, animal abuse, INDUSTRIAL FARMING, chemicals, synthetic, antibiotics, hormones and just plain insidiousness of a company [losing syntax in mid-rant] concocting something this greasy and disgusting in the modern age. (full article here)But while he's at it, okay, Why not admit rhetorically that there are indeed "those things that are worse for you than KFC's fistful of karmic hate"--and get some of them off his chest? So the remainder of "37 Things Worse Than a KFC Meatwich" does just that.
But first, a moment with Industrial Farming. If, Mr. Morford, saving the lives of millions of CALORIE-deprived souls around the world is of any consequence, then scientific agri-business must continue going about its business for years and years to come. Cute little organic "victory" gardens in everybody's utopian backyard--which even so canny a food-pundit as Michael Pollan seems to get misty-eyed about--just ain't gonna feed the SIX BILLION people, and counting, on Planet Earth. Thanks to "industrialization," the developed countries, including mainly us, have indeed been able SHARE our surplus groceries with the rest of the world. Moreover, our friendly neighborhood supermarket offers the most inflation-resistant, bargain-priced product you can buy in these hard economic times, or any other time for that matter. So very, very fortunately--think about it--it's THE product we can't live without.
However, here is a buffet of Morford's top seven, a tasty mix the sublime and the ridiculous, which I've seasoned with a sampling (in quotes) of his pungent prose:
1. Tea Parties. A recent rally featuring Sarah "Queen of Duh" Palin reminded him of the Lollipop Guild serenading Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz"-- "that bizarre acid-trip of a scene ... the moment just before a very stoned Dorothy skips away to hook up with her crazy gay pals and traipse through a giant Pink Floyd album, the moment when those three adult dwarves stumble out of the Munchkinland horde wearing little kid outfits, and sing their little surly song, replete with surly, out-of-sync leg spasms." Nicely done.
2. Floating garbage. Referring to that recently reported and news-piced "giant, rancid, thousand -mile swath of plastic collected over a period of years in a huge swirling vortex and choking off sea-life as far as the eye can weep." No bun needed.
3. Military spending. No argument from me, of course, about that vomit-inducing 53% of our annual tax bill. "We have the largest, most bloated war machine in the world. We SELL more guns, tanks, jets, and warheads to more dictators, regimes, and drug cartels than anyone on the planet. Are your local schools crumbling? Public hospitals failing? Entire state dumber than Glenn Beck's fact-checker? Blame the military ..."
4. Miley Cyrus. The ridiculous.
5. The Catholic Church. Worthy of quoting his full, sardonic treatment: "Sure, sure, the Double Down will enrage your colon, toxify your blood, disfigure your heart, greasify your skin, shrivel your genitalia, and dumb you down to the level of slug shoelace. But that's nothing compared to 2,000 years of abuse, lies, oppression, lack of sunshine and dead leathery skin that accompanies handing over your soul to the sinister clan of old men who run the Vatican. As for the Pope, well, it would appear the "holiest" man in the Christian empire cares more about PR than child rape. You know, just like Jesus wanted." More from me about all of that in a later post.
6. "Jersey Shore." For him it's the TV version of the Double Down, I guess. Why has Morford risked his gastro-intestinal health by watching even a moment of it?--one might ask. I suppose it's meant to be , like Miley Cyrus, another example of America's Double-Down-and-out sense of TASTE.
7. Republicanism. No argument here either. For me, the once proud party of Lincoln has become a weird religious cult of cold-eyed shamans leading a bunch of wild-eyed Kool-Aiders. For Mark Morford, the party "has devolved into a shrill, shrieking puddle of Glenn Beck's crocodile tears, Rush Limbaugh racists and surly white men who hate the fact that you might [in future?] have decent access to health care, can marry someone you love, and don't hate [as the Republicans do at present?] everything and everyone not inbred near a Texas football stadium." (The guy's rhetorical outrage doth betimes befuddle the plot of his sentences.)
8-37. Here he fudges. Morford put out a call on his FaceBook fan-page for suggestions to finish out his 37 "non-food items deemed far worse for you than a KFC Double Down." Check 'em out. They too range from the important to the inane--from Ann Coulter to a dioxin enema, from the Bible to unprotected bestiality (?!). Fun readage.
Okay, Mark Morford, time's up. I guess I'm a fan, too, because ... De gustibus non est disputandum. And you can Double-Down on that.