Friday, April 30, 2010

Got Milk?

There's a sequence in the film "Life and Debt", explaining how American dairy exports are so heavily subsidized by the government, that American farmers would still turn a profit even if they gave their milk away free. You see hundred-count pallets of fifty pound sacks of powdered U.S. milk forklifted off cargo ships in Jamaica; dried udder-spurt immune to the tropical heat.

Black waiters in flawless white blazers, white as antebellum cotton, bear glass pitchers of this primordial mammalian babydrink to the linened tables of international tourist hotels only too happy to serve globalized cornflakes for breakfast. These are luxury multinational conglomerate hotels with gun-turrets, where armed guards survey whitewashed stone fences crowned by double helices of razorwire.

But in rural areas where bare feet trod dirt roads to bring five gallon buckets of fresh squeeze to a local distributor, where, unsubsidized, they can't afford to sell their backbreak for less than free, thousands of gallons of calfsuck constipate the shiny holding tanks, stainless steel breasts of local industry: the market so tied up the owners sluice the spigot to flood the concrete floor and unpaved streets with latex sheets of bovine goodness. Streams of milk gorge what passes for gutters, which with the scant exceptions of catlap and doglick, speed to curdlestench rot.

I imagine this scene magnified; land drenched by thunderheads of milkstorm. Billionshot enfilades of tropical milkdrop tit-pelt downpour. Churnsplash of Nestle-less Quick; bubblefoam arroyo-surge, frilled into cancan petticoat ruff where jetskinned tumblesurfers choke-drown-ride a Klan-colored cataract, dragooned into a transcontinental milkshake by a double-edged and lobby-bribed freetrade agreement.

For-profit-export-dumped, the milk is more lethal than free; the process resembling the torture of men force-fed water with their penises tied off; at once glutted and stopped, unbearably pained from the inside by an urgency they can by no means relieve.

From atop a Bretton-Woods fiat-money Matterhorn, the newly christened Level-Playing-Field, the torturers broadcast whirlwinds of bombast about the dint of hard work and personal responsibility, about getting ahead on your merits.

Systematically, and with epic condescension, any suggestion that merit should not be inherited is blown out by a privately owned and nuclear powered windtunnel whose name has been copyrighted and trademarked. It is called, The Free Press.

In this Panglossian Free Press, only the best get ahead, and all is for the best. Worry is superfluous, criticism insane. It will not be heard, it will be blown out. If need be, with your brain.

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