A few years back, in the infamous beef defamation case, Oprah was accused of taking the meat out of Texas, but now Texas has done that all by itself. Texas is taking the meat out of its educational system. How to improve those graduation rates? Take the hard stuff out of the curriculum and reduce the number of those mandatory tests.
You might need to wait to see Food, Inc. on DVD. One theater in all of northern Texas is showing the documentary that will make you rethink your answer to the question: What’s happy about a Happy Meal?
Remember that the Texas beef industry sued Oprah and a vegetarian (Howard Lyman) for “beef defamation,” and lost. Maybe Food, Inc. will lead more people to adopt Oprah’s attitude. The documentary illustrates the numerous ways some large agribusinesses do not want the public seeing, learning about, or thinking about the food from which their profits come.
We are at the other end of the spectrum from “Funes the Memorious,” Borges’ famous story. After the fiasco of A Million Little Pieces, we now have a memoir about the Holocaust that has been misrepresented. Not that the people involved failed to remember accurately. They admit to acting consciously to deceive, offering further testimony to the world’s attachment to something other than radical relativism. The movie based on the faked memoir, An Angel at the Fence, will proceed, and the filmmakers plan simply to recategorize the work as fiction, perhaps in an unconscious tribute to Baron von Munchhausen, while the author of deception tells people that giving the profits from the film to Holocaust survivor charities will suffice as penance for his forced confession. Mr. Rosenblat and Roma Radzicki offer no objection to the blood money the film will generate. To be fair, Oprah will need to haul Herman Rosenblat in front of the cameras again, and do for Mr. Rosenblat what she did for James Frey after uncovering Mr. Frey’s scam. Oprah could wheel out a Mark Twain quotation on the show: “I sometimes think it were even better and safer not to lie at all than to lie injudiciously. An awkward, unscientific lie is often as ineffectual as the truth.”