Thursday, April 07, 2005

Death, Poultry, and Dystopia

So much has happened this past week in the world of famous dead people! First the famous lawyer, then the semi-famous poet, then that poor brain-dead superfamous pawn, then Herzog's once-famous personal scribe, and finally, the prince of the tiny fabulous country (the one that stole our famous movie star). Wait. Missed one. Let us not o'erlook the poultry magnate, who brought more death to this planet than all the others combined -- more even than the lone statesman among the bunch.

A moment of respect for the departed.


And the Pope. OK, OK. Even though he gets enough press without this li'l ole line o' chatter.


But not the chicken butcher. No respite for him, no respect. Just a slowly rotating rotisserie, forever and ever amen.


Now let's talk about that 'naked' chicken campaign.

It's a new low in fast food advertising. Apparently, in a post-Atkins world, "skinless" isn't appetizing enough, so now Popeye's is calling the lifeless skinless shreds it overspices "blackened naked chicken." Does that sound yummy to you? They can do better.

"Mr. Mailer? You have a call on the ad copy hotline."

Introducing "The Naked and the Dead" chicken sandwich. Get a free plastic army man with every Naked Dead LunchPak!

What the hell? A brief stroll on the Google side shows that everyone's calling their food "naked" these days. Yek. It's a shameless -- naked, even -- bid to exploit sex to sell cheap low-quality food. Don't believe the hype. If you want an easy frisson of sex to sprinkle on your marketing, I'm sure the Swedish Bikini Team is free this week. This century.

Soylent Green is people!

And Now for Something Completely Depressing ...

Speaking of dystopic futures, Peak Oil is appearing in mainstream media now, and if that isn't chilling, what is?

According to the Peak Oil theory, we're running out of oil. We reached a peak of possible production in 2005, goes the theory, and as demand continues to rise, spurred on by China's voracious and growing needs, prices will rise as well, reflecting a dwindling global supply. Picture oil production as a bell curve, with us just passing over the top. Sooner than we can say "It takes 10 years to build a nuclear reactor" or "Darn! I forgot to install solar panels!" we won't be able to afford gas or plastic bags or Tupperware anymore. Society will collapse, say the proponents, and civilization will eventually revert to a pre-Industrial Revolution state.

What's manageable and almost nice about this theory is that it proposes such an overwhelmingly bleak and unimaginable future that most people easily laugh it off as the ravings of a small cabal of cultists, close relatives of those shaggy cartoon weirdos who carry "The End Is Near" signs. But 9/11 was unimaginable once too. On 9/10.

I know, I know. That's the same cheap shot every conspiracy alarmist uses. Sorry.

Next up: House speaker Tom DeLay found high on nitrous in a Capitol Hill cloakroom, painting an underage intern's erogenous zones with the blood of a dead child. Republican spokesperson Rupert Murdoch calls accusers a bunch of Yank crybabies.


Damn! I broke three rules: celebs, TV, and politics. Good night, Irene. Maybe you'll wake up laughing like I did today.


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