Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Americans Wreck Everything

I was working on a catering last night, a leadership meeting for an international company, with over 800 guests. There were tables set up reflecting the food and spirits of each country represented, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, France and Australia. The table I was supervising was the Paris table ( no, not that Paris) where we were serving beef bourquiqnnone, with baguettes and eclairs, along with some French wine. I was joking with the guests, trying out my best French accent when a real Frenchman came over to our station. I offered up some beef bourquiqnonne, to which he just laughed and sneered, then I offered him a bagguette, and he said no, so I pointed out the eclairs.
The eclairs we had were prepackaged machine made pastry puffs. he went over and grabbed one, (after a glass of wine, it was good wine) and came back over with the eclair.
"Thees ees not an eclair," he said, then indicated with his hands the size and shape of a real eclair.
"What can I say?" I offered back "We're Americans, we wreck everything," to which he laughed and nodded his head then wandered off to another part of the hall where the party was being hosted at.

That's right. Americans wreck everything, from remaking great foreign movies badly to destroying whole nations, if there's a way it can be fucked up, an American will find it. Look at how badly we screwed up this once mighty nation.
Take for instance this new packaging for bananas being test marketed by Chiquita. I've never had a problem with bananas going bad in my place, because once they start to turn, I find a use for them, like throwing them in some pancake batter to feed the kids as a way to make breakfast a little more healthy (sort of like when your mom put sauerkraut in your brownines as a way to get you to eat something healthy). But the Chiquita Fresh and Ready Bananas let you buy two packs of three, open one pack and keep the next pack fresh until next week. Another thought is you could just buy three for this week and then buy three more next week, or am I making too much sense?
Leave it to corporate America to find a way to take a perfectly packaged product and place it in plastic and polystyrene. Old bananas came in a natural biodegradeable package you could throw in a land fill or a compost heap and be ecologically sound. Now, some marketing genius has found a way to increase the nation's trash output even more in the name of convenience. I'm sure whoever he is, he's sleeping well, next to his trophy wife after downing a double dose of Lunestra, dreaming of the bonus he'll be getting when this idea catches on with millions of American housefrau.
To me, this proves without a doubt that there is no supreme being, for if he was, he'd be giving some fatal disease to all those at Chiquita who thought they could improve on his original design. I know that all these corporations have whole departments of people who pull in six figures and have the need to justify keeping themselves on while laying off and outsourcing the real work force, and so ideas like this are born.
In the meantime,an effort to find a cure for cancer goes waiting. No one's doing anything about alternate fuels, or global warming. But we found a way to package fruit that already came packaged naturally. No wonder the rest of the world hates us. We wreck everything.


pissed off patricia said...

To me this is like when you buy toilet tissue at the store in the six pack and the bagger insists upon putting it in a bag. Why put something like that in a bag? Just toss it in the cart. I'll put it in the car and it'll get home safely among the other groceries that do need to be bagged.

I think Americans not only mess things up, we also over do everything we do. The bananas you mentioned are a great example. Thank goodness they aren't packaged that way here, yet.

You said you were having trouble when you left messages after going to new blogger. I was just wondering, did you activate your new google acct by clicking on the link that came in your email telling you your change over was complete? I was having to type in my acct and password until I did the activation thing and now I don't have to type in anything unless a verification word deal is called for. Then I only have to type in that.

GraemeAnfinson said...

so true Lew. I heard a creationist insist that the banana proves there is a God. i wonder if we get some christian protesters

annie said...

we most certainly do wreck everything.
it gets tougher and tougher for me, mingling out there with many of my fellow citizens. there is little to relate about, since i don't watch the shows they do, or hide my head in the sand about the mess the world is.
i had not heard of the new packaging for bananas-yet. consumption is king!

Paul said...

"What can I say - we're Americans, we wreck everything." I've got to remember that one...

Six years of Bush has undercut our reputation around the world for at least a generation. It's good to have something humorous to say to try and distance yourself from it.

Paul aka "Darius" formerly of possiblegospel

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Yuck! Sauerkraut in brownies! No thanks.

I have a feeling some marketing guru at Dole decided this would be a good way to raise profits too. The packaging probably costs them pennies compared to the markup they'll pass along to the consumer.

I'm skeptical about the taste quality after several days in plastic too. I've gone back to buying head lettuce simply because it stays fresh longer and it's cheaper. That bagged salad spoils too fast and tastes like crap.

azgoddess said...

so true -- we american fuck up everything...damn -- what a great marketing saying....

Snave said...

"To me, this proves without a doubt that there is no supreme being, for if he was, he'd be giving some fatal disease to all those at Chiquita who thought they could improve on his original design."

Lew, I think you and George Carlin are kindred spirits!

Excellent post. If America wasn't so obsessed with money and with the making of money, we might not see ridiculous things like the banana protector devices. Sheesh... I don't see how someone with a conscience could design something like that. The perceived need for money seems to have taken the place of conscience, or at least of thoughtful consideration, in our society. Have you seen the Tom Tomorrow cartoon of the stereotypical wholesome housewife standing in front of a huge pile of appliances and gadgets, with the caption "I'd like some more things, please!" ? I love that one...

I think all we have to do to fuck up nature is to add people to the equation. People have this need to screw up things that are good and whole by tearing them up or dissecting them into parts for the sake of making a few dollars. The earth suffers in the long run. And sure, I admit it, I'm somewhat misanthropic in some regards, and guys like Ambrose Bierce and H.L. Mencken are some of my personal heroes!

As far as fucking up things that don't need fucking up, we Americans are indeed world rulers. If you can't make a buck off of it, what good is it?

sumo said...

You win the golden post award for that one dear boy! Now if I had made those eclairs...your Mr. Frenchy with no manners would have liked them. He probably got stinking drunk later and in his best french accent fell flat on his big French nose. Served him right. Do they walk around like this all the time like they have said eclairs up their asses?

Anonymous said...

Another thought is you could just buy three for this week and then buy three more next week, or am I making too much sense?

You know this seems indicative of something I've been thinking for a while. When you shop more often, buy food in smaller quantities, you seem to cook more often, eat more healthy, and generate less waste (by that I mean wasted food).

I know it's a no brainer, but have you noticed how the "super-size" phenomenon even applies to grocery carts? It's almost as if they're saying: You didn't fill that cart. How dare you!

I know that shopping small maybe isn't practical for families, but might help nonetheless.

John Good said...

Expanding on Kvatch's point:

I tried the whole "buy lots of crap while it's on sale and freeze it for later" thing. Several times. Never worked. I hate dealing with defrosting and worries about how long something is still good for. The grocery is nearly a daily stop for me, and that's okay.

BTW: The new carts at Kroger are the size of my desk!