November is calling, and perhaps I should be writing about turkeys, or stuffing, or pumpkins. But I’m not. I’m writing about carrots. Stick with me here. I’m about to make my case. i.e. – Carrots as a symbol of what’s wrong with society. W-e-l-l one of the symbols.
I remember when carrots were in the produce department with the good earth still clinging to each bunch. Then someone came along with the brilliant idea of cleaning them up a bit and inserting them into a plastic bag. But that wasn’t good enough for the fast food nation, and TV dinner families. We still had to peel them, or else we might ingest some of the residue of the good earth. Yes, peel them. And so, the next someone came up with the idea of baby carrots — sculpted out of the big ones?? or some sort of mutation ? all peeled and washed and cut. And plastic-packaged – which goes without saying. The consumer was relieved of all carrot responsibility, save having to chew and swallow. It comes in just the right size for good dipping, if you happen to be a dipper, conscious of avoiding the carbs one finds in crackers or bread.
But folks !!! I challenge you to compare the taste of an out-of-the-earth carrot to the ersatz orange nutrition-drained elf-like, thumb-sized “things” packaged as carrots. However, if you want to substitute them for the traditional Thanksgiving Yam –(to save calories)– the taste won’t matter too much when you add brown sugar or maple syrup or even a marshmallow to it.
Okay—so this is not as tantalizing a subject as recent corroborating information about Harvey Weinstein, or as the thunderous danger of our relationship with the puny baby-carrot-like leader of North Korea – but indeed, it says something important about society.
It says: we, as a nation prefer to have things “peeled” and “cut” for us – and we kinda don’t really care about the quality of the final product. We can swallow it, become somewhat conscious of its inferior taste, accept “the deal,” casually acknowledge “that’s what a “deal” is — giving up something (taste) to get something more valuable (convenience),” and we go on with our lives, just as long as someone else does the “peeling.” It’s the long standing “Let’s do stuff that’s “easy-peasy,” school of thought.
And of course, it’s not just carrots when it comes to “easy-peasy.” There’s a whole world of “bots” (robots for the uninitiated) out there waiting to do everything for us. Yes, pretty nearly everything.
It will soon be too late for us to consider how much of this is really good for us as opposed to how much we might still prefer to do things for ourselves.
I may be the only person in the world using baby peeled carrots in a plastic bag, as a metaphor for a society that eschews the value of “doing the work and being rewarded with the flavor.”
Well, the good news is: We’re still eating turkey for Thanksgiving, most people are still celebrating with family and or friends, and maybe even dipping baby carrots into a dip, and most important — actually sitting down at a table and maybe even having face to face conversations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.