Finger Licking Good Goods

Branding is a new science and art. Most brands we recognize, laud and admire were birthed in the last few decades. That is certainly true of fast food. We can all name McDonalds, Burger King, A&W, Dairy Queen, Popeye’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell.

Those food spots still exist but there are exponentially more that are defunct like Burger
Chef (as featured in Mad Men), Burger Queen (yes, this existed), D’Lites, G.D. Ritzy’s, Mighty Casey’s, Red Barn, Shrimp Boats, and Wimpy Grills.

My all-time favourite of those around or gone is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not KFC. That rebranded acronym stab at political correctness or food-righteousness does not resonate with me or represent how I truly feel. When I choose to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken it is because the chicken is deliciously DEEP-FRIED! Get your kale salads elsewhere!

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Fear is America’s Top-Selling Consumer Product

The Summer, 2017 edition of Lapham’s Quarterly tackles the subject of Fear. This literary magazine examines a theme using primary source material. Each edition contains dozens of essays, speeches, quotes, art, photos, statistics and excerpts from contemporary and historical authors. I attest that its Spring, 2012 issue on Communication is among the finest things I have ever read.

On the subject of Fear Lewis H. Lapham’s Preamble is highly compelling, intelligent, and troubling. He cites “the innovative and entrepreneurial American genius for making something out of nothing and the equally innovative and entrepreneurial American genius for self-deception.” His point being that the country has lost its capacity to reason critically. What I have noticed in the last two years is America is becoming more tribal and trivial. Ever greater numbers of smaller, more specific self-interest groups take increasing exception with whatever is being said by whoever says it.

The publication and Lapham himself  believe “Fear is America’s top-selling consumer product, available 24-7 as mobile app with color-coded pop-ups in all shades of the paranoid rainbow. Ready to hand at the touch of a screen, the turn of a phrase, the nudge of tweet.” It is important to note that when fear rules populaces crave a strong man. History is replete with such examples and a near corresponding number of disasters.

One could read this piece and conclude that the publication is anti-Trump. That is far too simple a conclusion and naively narrow in perspective. Indeed, in its totality this issue basically concludes people reap what they sow. America is not a Trump America but its fear gave Trump, his supporters and doctrine ground to flourish. American’s now react to a tagline to convince them of deeper thinking and reasoned arguments. “Just say No to Drugs”, “Shock and Awe” and “Make America Great Again” are mind-numbingly inane and absolutely deceptive or self-deceptive.

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