Found a couple of really old jokes from back before I had a website. Might one of these be the world’s first meme?
Found a couple of really old jokes from back before I had a website. Might one of these be the world’s first meme?
A cell phone sounds off at eight-thirty to notify Donald Trump that his helicopter has arrived atop his building. The man himself slowly shuffles around the three story penthouse apartment, decorated primarily in gold and marble, while habitually clearing his throat and snacking on crispy baked goods straight from the bag. They spatter and explode from between his tight chalky lips. A servant, careful not to hold eye contact, brings him tea and a paper while he drops crumbs all around the elegant 17th century influenced room. Licking the tips of his short red fingers, he makes his way to the bathroom and empties himself desperately into a fifteen-thousand dollar toilet. When he emerges a small team of stylists primp and affix his hair with a series of holding sprays and volume adding mousses. Hair is swept forward, then over and up, before being carefully laid on top of itself. The makeup, hand-mixed by an on-staff cosmetologist, is infused with real 24 karat gold and applied liberally but varies in intensity depending upon his mood and schedule. Today is an important one so he demands more and his normally pink completion takes on a rich orange hue as he cries out for further cosmetic enhancements.
When satisfied, the staff encircle him with mirrors but he doesn’t give them more than the most passive of glances. To Trump it’s more important that he feel beautiful than look it. That is one of the many secrets to his boundless confidence. And, if he needs a touch up on the road, someone will be there. Because today is not a normal day, this is a day on the campaign trail for this man of the people. As he takes a seat in his private chopper he goes over some of the talking points for his next speech. “Brag about penis size” is highlighted, as is “subtly encourage racism” and “ramble incoherently.”
Thirty miles north in a sizable Chappaqua mansion, Hilary Clinton is already dressed and being briefed by her campaign manager via phone over the things she needs to change her opinions on to remain popular. Today it’s all about damage control over the ongoing email scandal with the FBI and reinforcing her new commitment to gay rights, something that has been solidified by a new partnership with the Human Rights Campaign. “Don’t worry,” says the manager over the phone, “even though you opposed marriage equality and tried to pass anti-gay legislation until 2013, they understand that it’s important to you now that you are running for President. They’re endorsing you fully thanks to help from our mutual ties with Goldman Sachs. They are absolutely going to publicly endorse you as their candidate, probably today.”
The rest of the call addresses ways to avoid discussing contributions form such large banks as Sachs, something she knows Bernie Sanders will likely bring up in the next debate. “We don’t want them to think you are crooked or bought and paid for, so we’ll have to fight these accusations at every turn. Remember while on the road to stop and get a photo with every staff member you can. We’ll have people there to take the photos and get them out to the press, but try and pick lots of different people that aren’t too ugly or too pretty to alienate the average American. We’ve got this great little story in the works about how you love iced tea but can’t find any ice so you have to drink it at room temperature! That’s really going to make you seem like a regular and humble person.”
It is agreed upon by all parties that the iced tea story is a home run and should be sent out to every major news outlet once they find something to shoehorn it into. Hillary hangs up the phone and goes outside to take in a few nervous breaths of cold air before coming back in to tell people what bags to take out to the car that will drive her to the airport, possibly only to have the plane land under more claimed sniper fire.
America, for a multitude of reasons, is seriously considering pitting an angry clown against a lying shill for the red white and blue crown. In one corner we have famous megalomaniac who is promising to dismantle the establishment that has crippled the middle class while paying not-so-subtle tribute to every violent and racist instinct that a person seeking scapegoats can have. In the other, you have the usual appeasement politician with deep ties to the very banking establishment that has hurt this country for the last three decades and will say anything deemed popular to get elected.
While I don’t actually know Trump’s bathroom habits, the above is a more realistic portrait of the two frontrunners for this year’s presidency than anything offered up by their campaign strategists or even the mainstream media. Trump does live in a solid gold apartment. Clinton has lied about being under sniper fire. Donald has bragged about the size of his penis on national television. Hilary’s website includes the story about the room temperature iced tea. He’s a master of talking without saying anything. She’s only endorsed homosexuals as equals in the last few years. He has been bankrupt numerous times. She has deep ties to corrupt banks and may be indicted for mishandling and willful destruction of classified information. Ugly truths like this go on and on for anyone who is willing to put in the time to track them down.
The argument could be made that politics have always been filled to the brim with sensationalists, phonies, corrupt opportunists, and power hungry robots. You could also make the argument that this country has never needed them to not be those things more. Furthermore, when did outright and relentless lying become reasonable? When did inciting violence and bragging about the proportions of your genitals become relevant in political discourse? When did politics go from civil debates on governance and the occasional shady deal to a mischief of rats copulating in a pile of soggy garbage? We live in the age of the internet, it’s not like you can’t check up on these people while you’re managing your fantasy sports team or shopping for that next thing you don’t need. We really don’t have a great excuse.
A dog will eagerly devour a delicious chocolate bar offered to it primarily because it is unaware that the sweet perfect taste of cocoa is the dog equivalent of Diet Ricin (regular ricin is also not good for dogs, FYI). Dogs are also pretty stupid. I think that this logic can also be applied to the average American voter. While it took me a little longer than the twelve year old version of myself would have guessed, I eventually explored every region of the continental United States. And, if you asked me what they all have in common, I would tell you that they all possess a lot of people who are wildly selfish but still support concepts that directly oppose their best interests.
When Occupy WallStreet was still a tangibly physical force I assumed, like many, that change was coming. When it fizzled into internet activism and became the digital equivalent of a wet cough, I expected it was only a matter of time before a subset of backpacked youths returned angrier than ever to break through barricades and hit investment bankers with axes before they were liquidated by police gunfire. Mansions would be burned without exception while the Koch bothers were drug out of their opulent dwellings, drug into the streets and eaten by underpaid teachers— not because people took pleasure in the killings but because it was what had to be done. That didn’t happen. Instead Occupy members just got kicked and pepper sprayed in the face while the organization’s co-creator wrote a book explaining why protesting is no longer a viable option. And, based on every protest I’ve seen in the last decade, there seems to be a lot of truth to that. But Occupy was for freaks and intellectuals, not the regular people they were trying to help.
Average people, for one reason or another, seem much more excited about having answers and much less interested in seeking them out for themselves. Taking what a pundit or political figure says at face value is a lot easier than hearing it, breaking down its meaning, researching its validity, and then checking to see if they’ve been consistent in that assertion. This is probably why Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump can talk behind a podium without getting egged into a coma for lying every single night. It’s why so many highly religious people vote Republican just because it identifies itself as the “Christian” party, even though most Democrats from the United States are also Christian. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of America still considers Jesus as their number one guy. It’s why overly aggressive policing is tolerated, it’s why you don’t make more money, it’s why you pay top dollar for a terrible education, it’s why you live in the only developed country that doesn’t provide you with healthcare.
Stupid people are easy to manipulate. They’ll believe anything you tell them if you say it in the right way and with enough gusto. Facts become an impediment. But even those Americans belligerent with stupidity can sense that there is something wrong. Those that grew up in the great era of change and American exceptionalism, who failed us so completely and then sold off the future as piecemeal, have started to realize there is a problem. But many don’t yet understand it. It’s as if they can hear the pained squeals coming from the New World as it has had its head kicked in over and over again, but they can’t quite make out the boot that is doing the stomping.
This is what gives a wealthy fringe weirdo like Trump an appeal to angry people fed up with the status quo. This is also what makes Clinton seem viable by comparison. They are familiar personalities with millions of dollars of clever marketing behind them. There is a revolving door between top-tier industry and government jobs. No matter which frontrunner you vote for that will remain a truth. They aren’t evil, they’re just vacuous people with selfish agendas who do not care that you exist. Perhaps, at a minimum, you might consider casting a vote for someone else. And if you are feeling exceptionally patriotic, you could organize and make the powers that be absolutely terrified of you. After all, it should be you who has the power. It should be the citizenry coming away with the biggest piece of the pie, even if we all have to share it and it’s some shitty flavor like rhubarb.
A lot of pressure comes along with being a truly adorable baby, and most babies are known to hold onto the youthful good looks that defines them for as long as they can manage. Unfortunately, father time cannot be stopped and is sometimes terribly unkind. Here are nine examples of grade A baby meat that have spoiled rather badly…
Baby Blake Hauser used to be known as the darling of Fairfield County but, in 1994, his appearance at Holland Hill Elementary was dubbed “less than stellar” by critics. Hardly in the public eye since then, it’s rumored he is now working as a senior network administrator. How the mighty have fallen!
“Cupcake” Dan Williams was THE hottest baby during the Johnson administration. Whatever happened between then and now must have been pretty brutal because he hardly even resembles himself anymore. Tragic.
Martin Cheema worked with some of the finest photographers that Sears had to offer in 1988. The stunning results ended up on dozens of fridges across eastern New Jersey while onlookers exclaimed “what an adorable child!” That number dwindled to just two by 2012. While you can still see a glimmer of what made him such a epic baby, there’s certainly nothing “A-OK” about his current look. Nice try, Martin.
Jessie Sullivan’s peekaboo antics were legendary amongst her extended family but sources say that she hasn’t played a game in over thirty years! Also gone is her signature (and super chic) fuzzy security blanket that many find it difficult to recognize her without! She is currently a model and teacher living in California.
Paul Thomas may have more cuteness credits than any one baby has a right to. The premiere mall Santa of Sandusky Ohio used a photo with Thomas from 1990 to 2006 as part of his portfolio. Paul’s looks, sadly, faded long before then and was forced to take on work as a start-up employee. He died in a house-fire in May 2013.
Sonya “Sony” Bellamy’s adorable face delighted the elderly members of her community in Salt Lake City. Known as the baby with the most pinchable cheeks in Utah, geriatrics would line up to give them a squeeze. Now a hideous monster by comparison, Bellamy keeps a low profile and works as the spokesperson for numerous health and beauty products.
Harris Meyer was Madison Avenue’s little star in 1979. Tragically, he passed on shortly after this photo (left) was taken. However, we have a pretty good idea what he might look like today (right) and it’s definitely not good…
Désiré Holcomb’s unique look took Santa Fe by storm until she was overshadowed by her little sister only two years later. Apparently incapable of sharing the limelight, she seems to have lost it completely. Without her trademark chubby cheeks and round face, she is practically unrecognizable. Yikes.
Charles Alberts was once eight and a half pounds of completely endearing beauty. Sadly, his rapid weight gain ballooned him up to a horrific one-hundred and ninety. If anything Alberts serves as a cautionary tale to babies everywhere. He currently works as an investment banker.
Somewhere in a room there is a svelte man with curly hair illuminated by the glow of a computer monitor as he sifts through endless social media postings and curates his crowd-funding pages. Previously a webmaster that spammed chatrooms for paid clicks, he also ran his own webpage that served as a vehicle for him to obtain donations from anyone who happened upon it. More recently Stephen Jolley has raised precisely two-hundred and twenty-one dollars on his Kickstarter for the, self-described, purpose of naming tracks for an album that he had already completed. He is an interesting man with the kind of neurotic quirks normally possessed by fictitious characters on the page or screen, but I feel he is all the better for having them.
Steve also cultivates what can be unequivocally considered my favorite Facebook™ page. Several seconds of it is all it takes for you to start feeling a little insane. It’s almost as if the website had taken on a malicious virus and begun eating itself. You’re greeted with endless screenshots within screenshots of random status updates, error message, and the all powerful like button. As you scroll, you make your way through posts simply requesting likes, links to the very Facebook™ page you are already viewing, announcements for upcoming status updates, self-critiques of these same posts, and the occasional semi-earnest mention of a musical project he is working on. The profile and banner images frequently involve dozens of screen-shots (often within other screen shots) of his own profile, error messages, the like button, seemingly random statuses, and an image of the man himself falling into a void. It’s not clear whether he has some beef with social media or has embraced it to the point of near madness. His music, which seems to match the tone of his online persona, draws you in a similar manner. It’s brimming with square noises, digital distortion, and oscillates between light fun and serious business.
(image courtesy of Stephen Jolley/Created by Robert Burns)
I interviewed him about his new album, perplexing digital art, and borderline hermit lifestyle. The following is a portion of our discussion:
When I first met you a mutual friend mentioned your old website and said you were essentially a “digital bum.” That was the most futuristic concept to me at the time.
SJ: Yeah that was when I first started panhandling on the web. That was my thing for a while. I guess it still is.
So do you take any offense to being called a digital bum?
SJ: I don’t take offense because it is what it is. Analog bums or ‘bums in real life’ live on the streets, do hard drugs, drink too much, and smell bad. I only have some of those problems. Still, when I see people begging for money on the street part of me is envious of their lifestyle. I know it’s a terrible thing to say but we’ve all had that feeling. Rent is due and you have work early in the morning and you can’t sleep because you are worried about money and then the thought enters your head, ‘I could just not go to work tomorrow and be a bum’.
Trust me, I’ve been there. I can hold a job in real life and beg on the internet in my free time. Internet access is so widely available these days that even if my non-virtual world falls apart I could beg on the streets and and on the internet at the same time. Libraries, Starbucks™, and Panera Bread™ are all playgrounds for a bum that wants to go digital. I’d probably be the richest bum on the block while living dual bum existences.
What made you want to start crowd funding the crowd funding?
SJ: When I started crowd funding for my Kickstarter promotional video it just felt like something was missing. In order for the Kickstarter campaign to successfully raise $200 I figured I would need at least five-hundred from IndieGogo to really give my Kickstarter promo vid some pizazz. I hoped that making a nice crowd funding experience would be more of a journey than what I’m crowd-funding for which is kind of pointless to begin with. The importance of what I set out to crowd-fund for has been trumped by the crowd-funding itself, meaning that the art of Kickstarting is much greater than the names of my tracks which is what the Kickstarter campaign is truly for.
Why only set a Kickstarter goal two-hundred dollars?
SJ: $200 was an honest number. I’m totally done with the album. Everything but naming the music. A lot of jerks ask for $20 000 or whatever for their art project. That’s kind of rude. I’ve saved the people $19,800 by doing everything else out of my own two pockets and one good heart.
Well, the IndieGoGo campaign didn’t pan out but you surpassed your Kickstarter goal by twenty-one dollars in just over a month. Tell me a little about the album. Who is it for?
SJ: I made this album (which at the time of this interview remains untitled) mostly to keep myself entertained. When you get on a computer and do something like e-mail, Facebook, Youtube, games, spreadsheets or make tracks it’s really all the same. Staring at a bright screen, clicking and typing. The only difference is what you see, hear and how it changes your life and the lives of others. Making it was something to kill time and avoid all of my real life problems which seem to surround and keeping closing in on me. It’s best to avoid that feeling of being suffocated my the outside world.
The music is mostly for myself and if anyone likes it that is just the luck of others having similar taste in what sounds good to me. There are no real lyrics and it’s ultimately meaningless except for… you know… it’s art which I guess is beautiful and whatnot. It doesn’t have a message, it’s not trying to shape culture. It’s the unused Yankee Candle you find in a trashcan. It’s the plastic toy you bite into when scarfing down a Mexican pastry. A small bonus or a slight annoyance on a boring day.
The most exciting thing to come from this album so far was the excuse to bombard people on social media. Reminding people again and again, ‘HEY! Look at me! I did something in my free time! Yeah I’m no doctor or lawyer and I’m not even eating a fancy fuckin’ brunch but this is still important for you to know about me somehow’. I probably could of got that satisfaction by not actually making an album but lying about it but I didn’t think of that till just now.
Give me the rundown on your digital history.
SJ: When I was thirteen I created a Southpark fan-site. It had stills from the show and a choose your own adventure game. I had banner ads that paid 10 cents a click. My site was only making about a buck or so a day so I started spamming Geocities chartrooms with links that sent you to my sponsor’s website. My friend gave me the suggestion to have the link’s text say ‘Don’t click here!’ Someone would click and BAM I made a dime! I was a teenager making about $20 or so an hour doing this. In the late 90’s the exploits of the internet were amazing. I saved up enough for a guitar and a Nintendo 64 before my sponsors shut me down.
I didn’t do very much interesting with anything digital in my high school years. I fooled around a bit with Fruity Loops, AIM and Livejournal like everyone else. In 10th grade computer class I made an exact clone of the Hamster Dance Website but renamed it ‘Steve Jol’s Crazy Hamster Dance’. I kept the copyright info but changed it to my name which I thought was really funny.
It is funny.
SJ: In 2007 I first started putting music out on the internet. This is where the ‘digital bum’ thing you mentioned early came into play. I had a locally known website, thejols.com which, sadly, is not up at the moment. I was going negative from hosting fees which obviously makes the whole purpose of pan-handling pointless. This is where I first started begging for money on the internet instead of tricking sponsors into giving me money. Thejols.com was clear in that It was not giving anything back to the donators or to the public for receiving donations. The future was then and it was time for people to start begging for money for the same reasons crust punks beg for money now in the real world… no reason except for sometimes it’s easier to do the easiest thing imaginable instead of real work.
I’m kind of curious on where you feel you are right now as an artist and as a person. What is your day to day like?
SJ: As a person I’m getting to the point where I am not cool anymore. I’m an acquired taste for people when I’m out on the scene but definitely still gourmet. I spend a lot of time alone on my computer. That’s how I really stay connected with people. Not by some dumb job or coffee shop or something.
My life as an artist is mostly about me since I’m by myself so much. I try not to let anyone or anything inspire me except for myself so my art really starts to eat itself pretty fast. My music and the pictures I post on the internet really are what I’m experiencing day to day. I’m already letting people look thru my eyes and see what I’m seeing which is a screen be it a laptop, phone or whatever. I guess what I’m like as a dude is probably exactly what you and and everybody else imagines and assumes since I’m on my computer so much. Having said that, everybody reading this interview is staring at a screen so really I’m a reflection of us all.
What Defines your online presence?
SJ: My online presence is becoming more impersonal as time goes on. I love the internet but am kind of introverted and that carries over to my surprisingly outgoing online presence. Personal information about myself appearing online is making me increasingly more uncomfortable. I don’t really want the digital world to know what I’m doing and where I’m going but it’s becoming increasingly more impossible to avoid. It’s not so much paranoia as it is annoyance in that I am aware most of my Facebook people don’t really care about me as a person. However, how you are perceived on the internet carries over into the real world. If you can look good online and carry on the facade out in public then chances are you’ll be given a higher tier social standing in both realms which in turn gives one better opportunities in real life. Better looking significant other, higher paying job and more attention are just a few of the many good things that are brought on by a positive web-presence until it all comes crashing down and you feel like you need to deactivate your social media permanently or, at best, for a few months. I’m playing it safe. By being blatantly insincere on the internet I don’t have much room for growth but also it’s hard to do much damage to an online presence that’s thinner than air.
If you don’t want people to know who you are in the digital realm it’s best to flood it with false information about yourself. Create a mask because most people don’t care about your life. Providing humor to the internet is really the most positive thing I can think of instead of making people jealous with all of the cool things you are doing. It’s still selfish because I live for likes, upvotes, re-tweets, or whatever, but at the same time it doesn’t do the world much damage.
Sadly, I’m not very popular on the internet these days. Introversion in real life causes lack of likes on the web. If you are getting a lot of attention on the web it’s either because someone is super cool, wants something from you, or both. Popular and successful people gives others the idea that liking their social-media content gives you an in with them. My online presence only exists to interact with people who appreciate my art.
Stephen’s new album can be found here.
I have not been posting at my normal frequency due to a secret project that has taken up much of extra my time. But it is almost over so you can stop complaining to your friends about how some weird downbeat website, that they would probably hate, isn’t posting quite so often as you would like. They’ll never again have to listen to you drone on about how you had to wait an entire two weeks for a new story or doodle. They no longer need to suffer through you talking endlessly about how missing my works made you feel so insane that you shot your dog and resulting stress caused all of your hair and teeth to fall out. You can relax now and regrow some of those teeth because the secret project is finally wrapping up.
If the internet has taught me anything, it’s that the repetition of a lazy idea is key to its success. Last week’s posting, where I was inspired by (but in no way directly imitating or satirizing) Humans of New York, received a fair amount of attention so I’ve decided to bring it back. It returns not because it’s an easy way to get traffic and reuse old material but because people demand my unique photographic sensibilities and the beautiful humanity they display. However, with the next post we will be returning to business as usual here at the nonexistent offices in my mind.
“We’re really into supporting causes online without doing very much research into the topic. It’s a great way to make yourself seem smart and socially responsible. Sometimes it can backfire though. A few years ago I liked a bunch of articles about ethnic cleansing before I found out what it actually meant.”
“Fran Lebowitz said there is no such thing as inner peace. She said there is nervousness or death and any attempt to prove otherwise is a waste of time, or whatever. I think that’s why I like hitting people and became a cop. That ugly dyke makes a lot of good sense.”
“My wife would not stop talking about that show, Friends, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. It got so bad that she would tell me which character each person we knew reminded her the most of. Then she bought a new dog and named it Chandler. That was pretty much it for me so I just left.”
“Every day I come to the park and hope the birds will eat me. They’ve come close a couple of times.”
Considering the nearly unfathomable popularity of things like Humans Of New York, I wanted to try my hand at capturing the essence of big city pedestrians myself (because I was inspired NOT because I was copying him or because the HONY hype finally died down a little). Getting a glimpse into one person’s soul is an incredible tool when dealing with every other wonderful person you’ll encounter later in life. It is only through understanding each other as individuals that we can grow as a species. Follow me on a multi-part photographic journey into the heart of New York City and let’s take a bite out of The Big Apple™ together!
“You know, despite how good things have gone for me, I’m incredibly cruel to most people. I’m financially stable and have a great family but I treat people like absolute garbage. Pretty much everyone compliments me on my outfits and the people at work are always really kind, a lot of them actually have done numerous favors for me. But I usually tune people out in conversation and I tend to my teeth a lot. There is also this part of me that can’t stop talking about people behind their backs and I routinely complain about having to wait in lines. Since moving to Manhattan six months ago, I have regularly been sharing online articles about what it’s like to be a real New Yorker and getting tons of likes. I had a wonderful childhood and a caring family and I would just make the other kids miserable despite how hard they tried to make me like them. You’d think that after all this good fortune that I would be a lot nicer but, nope, I’m not. My relationship with my father and my pug are the most important things in the world to me.”
“Every day we’re on the job, I think about how cool it is that we get these awesome guns to play with. I mean, you could probably kill twenty to thirty people with this gun without breaking a sweat. Totally badass. And it’s not a cheap rifle either! I think it’s like two-grand or something and then the vest and the helmet are pretty expensive. Totally fucking awesome. We’re like soldiers!”
“We actually passed my stop a few minutes ago. I just like to keep riding the subway after work because I really hate going home to my family. My wife gained a lot of weight recently and I sort of blame the birth of my son for the death of our sex life. I have also given up on my music career so I could take a good paying job which is necessary for supporting a family. So whenever I see either of them I literally cannot stop thinking about punching them both in the face. Those extra few minutes on the train prepare me for that feeling, affords me time to cry, and gives me the strength I need to suppress my anger and violent urges for another day.”
“We’re visiting from Indiana and are used to crossing the street whenever we see a black person walking toward us. But there are so many out here that it’s been really difficult so we eventually just gave up and that was cathartic for both of us as guilty white people. We are actually toying with the idea of getting a black friend when we go back home. It’s kind of funny because our friend Mike knows a guy who has one that lives near us and we were actually just texting him about it!”
Yesterday was International Women’s Day so, if you are an abusive husband, hopefully you took it easy on old gal… unless hitting them is actually more equal. Not sure. Equal pay and maternity stuff seem like no brainers but things like who buys the dinner, doesn’t have to go into combat zones, or has extra safety nets to keep then from becoming homeless are much harder to suss out. There is also a buffet of sex crime issues, domestic abuse, and a lot of weird laws governing the vagina. But we usually end up just talking about how often white women aren’t important enough in video games. That always seems to trump everything else for some reason. Anyway I hope you had an okay Women’s Day, women. Sorry nobody seems to be able to get their shit together about what is going on with you.
A friend of mine shared an article with me that showcased how much better the rest of the world’s kids have it than the ones in America when it comes to food. It’s a well known fact that the school lunches in the United States are abysmal but actually seeing them posted in an article without citations really hit the point home for me. Farmers probably feed the pigs we slaughter for food better than most schools feed our country’s greatest national resource—children. We cannot sit idle as the best and brightest are forced to eat unhealthy gobs of processed GMO garbage while France is feeding its youngsters aged brie and the finest seasonal wines available. Did you know that Spain is giving out garlic prawns and paella with truffles to every student who chooses a hot lunch? Greek children are treated to a morning yogurt and are then serviced with thin slices of smoked lamb throughout the the day while teachers play the harp until everyone doses off. Upon waking, white-robed beauties are available to feed the kids grapes and usher them onto buses. Meanwhile, American lunches would be difficult to distinguish from dog food in a blind taste test.
While research seems to indicate that the United States is slipping academically in nearly every major category, sometimes even falling below the global average, we should definitely focus on the presentation of the food that comes out in cafeterias first. China, South Korea, and Japan must have some delicious and beautiful school lunches because their academic test scores continue to be through the roof. But even some countries that aren’t known for having exceptionally tasty foods, like Poland and Ireland, are edging out the United States. My guess is that they are probably importing French cuisine via cargo helicopter on a weekly basis.
Wanting to contribute toward a solution for this problem, I went out across America to investigate the kinds of lunches that schoolchildren were actually being fed. My findings were deeply unsettling. The lunches being provided by most schools were absolutely not enough for children to feel like they’d had an artisanal food experience. These meals would not satisfy the cultured palate of any eight-year-old who was a fan of the Food Network. I spoke to numerous frail looking children that told me that hadn’t even bothered to eat breakfast and could not afford to eat the school lunches. My heart swelled with pride as I told them, “Good. Don’t settle for less. If you can’t get an Eggs Benedict with bacon, then you might as well pass until you can get a kale salad with vegan cookies. Skip as many meals as you have to in order to make your point.”
Meanwhile there were a plethora of heavy children that seemed content to eat whatever was placed in front of them. Had this food been attractive and locally grown, I have no doubts that their unhealthy overweight bodies (which are beautiful and normal) would never have developed. It is with great shame I bring you some example photos of the ACTUAL meals being served to the children of this country. Viewer discretion is advised as some of these 100% real images might be NSFW.
Coffee and a single piece of toast.
A “fresh” banana, an extra sour dill lemon, and one whole white onion.
A slice of swissed cheese, two sauce packets, and three GMO strawberries.
Dry rainbow pasta, green sauce, and a tea bag.
A handful of old radishes and various pills.
Pencil shavings, an empty plastic bag, paper scraps, a twist tie, one rubber band, and a pack of Big Red gum.
See the absolutely incredible article that inspired this one here.