Scott McFarland


A Basic Requirement of Modern Life

It seems Congress is “sitting on its hands.” The governing elite “doesn’t give a damn.” Many experts have a “sick feeling” about America’s future prospects.

The New York Times, you are indispensable to our factories and homes and commercial establishments. You facilitate our lives considerably.

You have the ability to send news without any difficulty over the entire world through electric waves. You can utilize the power of the First Amendment to relieve Americans from “all tiring muscular work.”

You can ask how often public opinion rises up with a singular message. You can ask experts to account for this phenomenon. You can wonder whether this might become even more common in the future. And you can generalize. Don’t we all love to generalize? Isn’t science itself a quest for generalizations?

It’s certainly true that “most Americans were raised by mass media.” Kids are in fact “demonstrating, protesting, espousing sexual freedom, and experimenting with drugs.” Generational conflict is universal. The following factors may indeed cause actual outcomes to be materially different from those projected: 1) access to capital; 2) changes in market demand; 3) stranded costs from deregulation; 4) failure to exceed customers’ minimal standards of satisfaction; 5) refinancing of existing debt; 6) terrorism 7) war; 8) unforeseen natural disasters; 9) unresolved litigation. You can ask: “How real are these costs? How many are unseen? How will we recoup?”

Sure, the intelligence and character of the masses is incomparably lower than the intelligence and character of the few who read The New York Times. Americans do live in fear of being eliminated from the economic cycle. The production and distribution of commodities does remain “unorganized.” People from different countries do suffer for “the want of food.” People from different countries are indeed killing each other “on a regular basis.”

I know things are getting so “regular, normal, and comprehensible” that pretty soon we’re not going to know what to do with ourselves, that we’re approaching a “Copernican moment.”

I’m certainly aware that we’re about to “learn something new about our place in the universe.”


Train Station

The zoo cream cork has cooled that the devilment plant stand
logistical blending by correlations interjections. Train station:
The Supreme Court has ruled that the government can’t ban
political spending by corporations in elections.

Lacrosse the gum tree, logistical arachnids are being highpantsed
by unsown loners. Train station: Across the country,
political attack ads are being financed by unknown donors.

True, honey and logistics have been bubblegum espressos
at least senseless crime of freezer, but ice rink weak-kneed
champagne high-pants registration two-fourths correlations
to dispose cow radar blending honey in logistical champagnes.



In 1914, a sixteen-year-old Italian boy arrived at Ellis Island. He soon found a job in the kitchen
at the Ritz Carlton, where he eventually worked his way up to Head Chef. During the first years
of the Napoleonic Wars, the French government offered a hefty cash award to any inventor who
could devise a cheap and effective method of preserving large amounts of food. Sixteen ounces
of hamburger meat can contain meat and fat from 200-400 cattle from multiple states and two to
four countries. Your daily mealtime tasks may seem unimportant, but when you serve foods that
build strength and endurance and courage, you’re helping to build victory.

Ettore Boiardi’s likeness appears on ConAgra’s Chef Boyardee canned pastas. Boiardi’s last TV
commercial aired in 1979. In 2000 BC, people in what is now China ate noodles made of millet.
ConAgra’s products are available in supermarkets, as well as restaurants and food service
establishments. In 1809, a French confectioner and brewer observed that food cooked inside a
jar did not spoil unless the seals leaked. A 4000-year-old bowl of millet noodles was discovered
in Qinghai province, near Xi’ning Prison. Qinghai, which lies outside of China proper, has been
an ethnic melting pot for centuries, mixing Tibetan, Han Chinese, Mongol, and Turkish
influences. In 1917, the Italian Army experimented with tinned ravioli and spaghetti bolognese.

The original Chef Boyardee dinner for four cost 60 cents. It included uncooked spaghetti, sauce,
and Parmesan cheese. In the late 1980s, Parma, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, suffered major
financial problems. Durum wheat pasta was introduced to Italy by Arabs during their conquest of
Sicily in the late 7th century.

In 1971, Consolidated Mills changed its name to ConAgra, a combination of con for
consolidated and agra for from the earth in Latin. ConAgra is headquartered in Omaha,
Nebraska. For thousands of years, bison moved in expansive herds across what is now
Cleveland and Omaha, eating the grasses down as they traveled to new grazing areas, leaving
natural fertilizer—bodily waste and plant litter—in their wake. This natural process helped to
build the rich and fertile soils of the Midwest. Every soldier of food shares responsibility for
supplying bodily ammunition to the unsung heroes who produce America’s war weapons.

In 1919, Boiardi moved to Cleveland to become Head Chef at the Hotel Winton. In 2009,
ConAgra brands could be found in 97% percent of U.S. households. Marco Polo did not import
pasta from China. Durum wheat was not known in China until later times. In the 1840s, tinned
food became a status symbol amongst middle-class households in Europe. Parma, Ohio, was
once home to major industries, such as General Motors, Modern Tool & Die, the Union Carbide
Research Center, and Cox Cable Television. Its tremendous growth came after World War II.
The Food Front serves the fighting front and the home front. From farmer to food worker to
grocer to homemaker stretches the food front—the army behind the armies.

In 1924, Boiardi opened his first restaurant, Giardino d’ Italia, in Cleveland. A special kitchen on
the second floor filled takeout orders. Large-scale wars in the nineteenth century provided
canning companies with many opportunities for expansion. Demand for canned food skyrocketed during World War I. A great deal of what used to be Central American rainforest is now land cleared for raising cattle. Urban populations demanded ever-increasing quantities of cheap, quality food that they could keep at home without having to go shopping daily. During World War II, Boiardi developed field rations for the armed services, providing millions of rations for American and Allied troops. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Consolidated Mills expanded its
livestock feed business. Napoleon put it this way: An army marches on its stomach.

In 1945, Boiardi sold his business to American Home Foods for six million dollars. In 1985, Chef
Boyardee brands grossed $500 million. Durum wheat semolina with high gluten content is what
makes pasta dough malleable. Well-managed cattle can greatly enhance the growth and
propagation of grasses. These grasses can sequester huge amounts of carbon annually. In the
1970s, as commodity speculation wiped out its margins on raw foods, ConAgra moved into the
frozen food and packaged meat industries. In 1946, Boiardi invested in steel mills—these steel
mills helped produce goods needed for the Korean War.

In 1985, Boiardi died in Parma, Ohio. He used good pure beef, the kind you’d ask for at the
butcher’s yourself. Beefaroni was delicious and nutritious, because the quick pep of macaroni
was made more lasting by all the beefy protein. Children loved it, and company did too. It’s hard
to believe it cost only fourteen cents a serving. Canned goods sell especially well in times of
recession due to cocooning, a term used by retail analysts to describe the phenomenon in
which people actively avoid straying from their houses. When victory comes it will not be the
result of great battles alone. It will be a victory that began months or even years before, on
farms, in food plants, and in your own kitchen.



Where have I been? I have been hunting at the hollywood. Now make my bed soon, for I am wearied from The Opening Image, and fain would lie down.

And what met me there? Oh, I met with my true love. Now make my bed soon, for I am wearied from The Inciting Incident, and fain would lie down.

And what did my true love give me? Eels fried in a pan. Now make my bed soon, for I am wearied from The First Plot Point, and fain would lie down.

And what got my leavings? My hawks and my hounds. Now make my bed soon, for I am wearied from The First Pinch, and fain would lie down.

And what became of them? They stretched their legs out and died. Now make my bed soon, for I am sick at heart from The Midpoint, and fain would lie down.

You fear I am poisoned? Oh, yes, I am poisoned. Now make my bed soon, for I am sick at heart from The Second Pinch, and fain would lie down.

What do I leave to you? Four and twenty milk cows. Now make my bed soon, for I am sick at heart from The Second Plot Point, and fain would lie down.

And what do I leave to my sister? My gold and my silver. Now make my bed soon, for I am sick at heart from The Showdown, and fain would lie down.

And what do I leave to my brother? My houses and my lands. Now make my bed soon, for I am sick at heart from The Resolution, and fain would lie down.

And what do I leave to my true love? To my true love I leave hell and fire. Now make my bed quick—The Denouement has made me sick. I’m sick, and fain would lie down.


Scott McFarland Bio:

Scott McFarland is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. View more of author's work here. Contact author.

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