Baxter Black: On the Edge of Common Sense 5-7-12
May 7, 2012
Rick and I were discussing the uproar about “pink slime.” He said, “Well, I don’t know much, but I’m sure not gonna buy any of their CD’s!”
It’s all in a name; Pink Floyd, Pink Panther, Pink, Pinko Commie, pink in the center (medium rare), pink eye, Pinky Lee and/or pinkie finger. Pink slime, as you have heard is a predominately lean beef that has been separated from fat and is added back to hamburger to make it leaner. It is puffed with ammonia gas to eliminate bacteria. They could have chosen to call it lean beef crystals, beeffulls, red stripes, lean beef sprinkles, or recycled fresh beef calorie reducers. But they didn’t, so unwittingly, they became targets.
The furor began when the drive-by media, all by themselves, manufactured a “Breaking News Expose!” to fill the airwaves during the lull between the Republican Primary/Jerry Springer Tour and the drumming-numbing malaise of Obam-akonomy. Somebody in the newsroom said, “Slime? They are adding slime to food? That sounds terrible, therefore … it must be bad!”
That is the extent and depth of our infotainment media today. Someday they will give a Pulitzer Prize for Invented News! To their credit they are not doing it out of malice, remember they are in show biz. We still hear self-righteous pundits and reporters refer to cows “flatulating” more methane into the atmosphere than all the cars in the country … Oh no! If they had read the second paragraph in the news release they would realize 1) Cows do not flatulate, they belch, 2) Cows also produce more milk than all the cars in the country, and 3) All of agriculture contributes only 5.6 percent of the greenhouse gasses while fossil fuels, their recovery and use, are responsible for 85 percent of all the greenhouse gasses. (EPA 2007). Most of the media are speaking to an audience that seems to have the attention span of a Barlett pear.
For all of us whose “ox has been gored,” by this exaggerated deliberate effort to sensationalize the illusion of a major earth-shattering discovery, we must forego our own indignation of their ignorance. As soon as the next headline; such as another Kardashian divorce/marriage/breakup/pregnancy, or North Korean nuclear threat, or new American Idol host is announced, Pink Slime’s newsworthiness will plummet.
The name Pink Slime will eventually become accepted, to be followed by an increased use of the word “slime” in a positive way, like Cool, Dude, so Ill, Wicked or Sick. We’ll hear teenagers using it constantly, “Slimey, Dude, really Slimniverous! He’s got, ya know, like, so slimable. Oohhh, this is so slimalicious! Gimme some slime, Bro!”
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The ruckus will soon blow over and the name will work its way into our lexicon. And no matter what we call this good product, it will always be Pink Slime. Remember BSE? Bovine spongisomething? The public doesn’t either. It will always be Mad Cow disease. So we’re stuck with PS, and you can bet your slime on it. It’s like having the middle name Elmer, you learn to live with it.