As I sussed out this post, it occurred to me that it is predicated on picking on a child.
But as blogger, I gotta be making a point, all the time, dig?
Besides, I don’t think I’m really picking on a child but making a point at a child’s expense. The child doesn’t know, or care, but in today’s pathologically sensitive climate, straight talk is public enemy #1. Our cultural wasteland is dotted with holy grails of Don’t Say It. Willy-nilly consternation crybabies abound and those of us who grew up in the 20th Century have a hard time adjusting our tone and nuance to the tender impulses of contemporary generations.
So this child. He was 8 at the time and one morning we put together an archetypical American breakfast for him the morning following a sleepover which involved a lame-ass Disney movie and quantities of popcorn his parents might have taken exception to but c’mon, a sleepover is commonly known to give license to be wild and crazy and live it up, unparented style. Popcorn OD is an innocent activity, but after morning dawned, the party was over. Routine resumed. We gave him a bowl of cereal with milk and after his first spoon, he complained that the milk was “weird.” He didn’t like it.
My wife pointed out something I didn’t think of.
He was accustomed to low-fat milk; it was the only form of milk he’d drunk in his post-infant memory. This is a whole milk household and the boy was experiencing the joys of real milk for the first time in his young life. He was raised on that disgusting halfway milk that has become the standard in so many smart, sensible homes in today’s strangely ambivalent culture of American nutritional health. So groomed was he by the cult of low- and non-fat milk that naturally occurring milk seemed “gross” to him. This denatured dairy monstrosity that boasts 0%, 1% or 2% fat is so endemic to today’s consumer that “100%” appears foreign, an alien elixir that will strike you down if you so much as let a drop upon your lips.
This is post-modern America and its delusional dietary habits.
The “fat is evil” narrative is a holdover that has been ingrained into our psyche to such an insidious degree that halfway milk is the standard choice in today’s refrigerators. This disgusting watery milk is a cautionary holdover that has established an obligatory grasp of our collective nutritional habits and is never called to question. Like robotic sheep, we march in tandem to the call of 1%.
Halfway milk is a symptom of society’s quasi-immersion in reality. Our unmindful, mediocre presence in this world shapes our expectations. We flock to devices that do it all well but lack the mindful involvement of a single devoted device that can do it “perfectly.” Milk in fractional measures is selected by about 60% of Americans, not because of its “healthily lower fat content” but because it’s all we have been trained too summon in terms of the reciprocity we expect from the external world.
We give a little, and receive less.
Ours is an age of mediocre abundance. We are shielded from the incongruous shards of reality because we layer behind a state of existence that asks too much of us: to be.
We live in 1% reality because whole life is too burdensome for our detached, civilized minds.