A lawyer with an obvious predestination towards crank depositions decided to take McDonald’s to court in Seattle last month. This lawyer, purportedly of East Indian origins, and acting on behalf of vegetarians of the world, construed himself to have been cheated, violated, sinfully besmirched, soiled and sullied by the news that McDonald’s, ever so surreptitiously, had used beef flavoring in its fries.
Taking to the higher ground, the lawyer with the holy cause went to the local Hindu temple where his priest advised him that his life would never be the same, now that he had actually ingested atomic subdivisions of the holy animal. He could, however, cleanse himself by going to India and taking a dip in the manure/droppings/cow-patty contaminated, grimy, un-hygienic mother of all rivers, the Ganges. A local priest in Montreal, also consulted on this matter, downplayed the gravity of the contamination, explaining the little particles of beef marrow, cow-DNA that were racing around his vegetarian veins would eventually leave his body peacefully, un-metabolized, allowing his soul to be once again dispossessed.
Two interrogations are necessary here. Firstly, does there exist a species of vegetarian who orders from McDonald’s and ‘does not’ expect to flirt with beef related or cow-touched food particles? Do the squeaky, underpaid and continuously union-bashed teenagers, who handle fries, beef patties, lard-laden strawberry turnovers, fish-cakes, bacon strips, mounds of cow-cheese and genetically modified lettuce at supersonic speeds, have an executive mandate to stop, think, wash their hands and separately serve vegetarian monks when they slip into the line and require holy meals? What enormity of ludicrous, lunatic crackpots has descended in our midst?
Secondly, what does this say about the times we live in? It seems that the fundamentalist nuclear-saffron brigade now in power in India -- competing with other brigades to fawn at the feet of habitually beef-devouring US corporations like Enron -- along with their sympathizers abroad, who are riding a wave of spurious sense of self-esteem about India's recent news-worthiness in software business savvy, feel that it is their right and duty to make an exhibition of their insufferably obscurantist cultural traits in order to attract attention in the west? Can they not serve their communities in other ways? Why go to McDonald’s in the first place? For the sake of Shiva's lingam, go to Curry-in-a-Hurry, where ghee-drippy multicolored burfis abound to please their roly-poly preppy progeny from the burby hoods.
The Toxic Texan
Worry. Worry a whole lot for the next four long years. George W Bush II, also starring as US President, is hell bent on performing his role with his usual explicitness. Notice how he postures, deliberates and then drawls out pedestrian pronouncements about the way he has been advised the US will run the world from now on. For example, sleazing out of the Kyoto accord on environmental emissions control after having signed it. He refuses to sign the ban on land mines. Refuses to participate in the ban on chemical, germ and poisonous weaponry. He wants to revive the multi-trillion dollar missile-defense system that is not expected to be operational for another 15 to 20 years, that is guaranteed to start a new arms race around the world even though the system has failed miserably even in some of the most rudimentary beta-testing. But so what? It will swing into motion the Boeings, the Martin Mariettas, the Lockheeds, the General Dynamics, the GE, Exxons and other defense contractors who had heavily bankrolled the acting President, after the criminally complicit Supreme Court stopped the Florida count and gave him the Oval office – a.k.a. offal office! The US will once again not pay their UN dues (In fact they have not paid them in full for years) because they got shafted out of the UN Human Rights Commission by belligerent nations who do not want to dance to a US tune. The US, setting the nation’s moral tone under the acting President's Dad, used 315 tons of depleted Uranium during the Gulf war, and subsequent to its blockade of Iraq has hastened the death of over one million Iraqi children by denying them essential medicine and basic nutrition.
So welcome to the 21st century. From illicit animal flavors to mad cow to missiles against rogue nations, the new globalized world order has created a banquet mentality behind the comfort and security of fences such as the one erected for the Summit in Quebec City where the globalizers end up puking out their half digested ideas in the courtrooms of America where to litigate is an option only money can buy.