* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Market Stall

9 May 2002
George has no added trans fatty acids

In America the kids aren't alright. Gun culture not withstanding, the nutritional status of the next generation is in a state of chaos. It might be the least of that great nation's problems in this era, but the overlords-that-be have decided that the young adults of the United States aren't eating enough butter.

I'm not taking the piss. Marketers for [Nameless For Legal Reasons] butter have reformulated it in a squishy manner, coloured it neon pink and blue and shoved it into a squeezy tube. No more dull spreading yellow solids onto boring bread - now you can write your name in magenta butter onto funky ciabatta before microscootering off into the sunset. Cyan-tinged baked spuds, dripping with duck-egg blue lardy goodness is the future.

Parents need fear no more that their offspring's membranes will grow flabby through lack of cholesterol (and that's science, kids!) - they'll be padded out with dayglo cow juice with cell membranes rigid enough to withstand enemy fire. When the range expands beyond blue and pink into the rest of the spectrum, dinner tables across the land can expect to see the first high-calorie Degas copies spread across their wonderbread.

"Janet? Come see how little Sebastian's painted The Last Supper over his sandwiches!"

And so on.

A fearsome thing, for a standard, traditional foodstuff to have to relaunch itself gloriously into the market-place in the face of falling sales. And strange too, to have to remind the public that the item which they remember from their childhoods still exists but is now even more fabulous than they remembered. The chairman of ButterCom looking at that quarter's sales returns and muttering "But it's butter! - how could they not buy it? What are they cooking their grits in, engine oil?"

Of course we can see how the marketing board then arrived at the decision to push butter to infants and teens. Pester-power is an amazingly strong force, and children know how best to bully their parents into buying them what they want. Besides, who else could be targeted, and how? The standard route of making products sexy doesn't really work - men don't stop by the apartment of their attractive neighbour to borrow cups of Lurpak. Marlon Brando made famous the concept of butter as lube, but Crisco has far surpassed that now. And no right-think divorcˇe tries to seduce her next boyfriend with a friendly "Dinner at mine? I'll be cooking with...BUTTER", unless said boyfriend has kinky Brando-esque fetishes.

"Goddamn, Jack! How'd'ya manage to uproot all those trees so fast?"

"Well Jim - let's just say the wife made my dinner tonight with some golden lovin'"

Possibly not - shades of golden showers there. But maybe the Butter Association, or the Dairy League, or whoever's responsible for filling US stomachs with cheese and whey, felt that manliness and muscles weren't quite the right image to be associated with the humble slab o' grease.

So they got hip with the kids, and good luck to them. May their sales increase and their brand-image -"BUTTER - not just yellow"- spread (bad pun - apologies). It's hard enough to repackage old goods as new, let alone to the younger, stupider generation.

Before we go though - a brief glimpse into the future. Twenty years from now, when today's youth have grown to be the CEOs of tomorrow. The company meetings to discuss the merger of Coke-GlaxoWellcomeSmithKlineBeecham-Nike with Nestle-Mars-Exxon. Making polite conversation afterwards over tiny canapˇ morsels, looking out over the city through the window. The last light from the sunset glowing into the CEO's faces, with the neon-green blinis, glitter-infused sour cream and UV-reactive caviar twinkling gently in their hands.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter

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