In Re: The “Necessary Lie” of Non-Fiction.



“AS THE DAYS SLOGS BY,” Pontificator Dumbfuck-Naïf once opined, in the early ’90s, revealing his (embarassing, but not-atypical) twenty-something overconfidence: “Baudrillard and [such-and-such] seem more [like] products of their time.”  (Gosh!  What a great era the early ’90s were, to feel like you were “better” than your “betters!”  Whew!)

Nonetheless, though: Simulacra and Simulation strikes one, from this vantage point, as being so “prophetic” as to pass beyond the parameters of “prescient” to reach the exalted status of, simply, “useful”: a “copy with no original” only strikes on as an arch concept, physically, if one has less versedness in/experience of the underlying principles by which things come to be … moreover, how divorced from an (art) object’s appearance before us, is the identity of the object, itself?

Thus, I submit: With a nod to Paul Lukas’s ‘zine Beer Frame (The Journal of Inconspicuous Consumption) which first got me thinking this way, an appreciation of the text above (with mirrors to our current political situation that are, um, “hard to ignore”).

(1.)  “Shultz pretzels have been made the same way for generations.”  Things are hard to dis-prove, if it could be true, so the reader, presumably will file this away under “Sure, why not?” or “Who cares?” which, ultimately, means: “We’re not lying to you!”  MORAL: Some things are easy to say.  Period.
(2.)  “Located in an area that many deem the ‘Snack Capital of the World,’ our town knows how to make pretzels.”  Note that the packaging does NOT tell you which “area” this is — exceedingly odd, in my opinion; I’ve never seen one without some goddamn address — so it looks like this omission was tactical: it can’t be dis-proven, if you don’t know where they made the damn things.  MORAL: (See above.  We’re learning a lot today, aren’t we?)
(3.)  “We take pride in every batch we bake.”  Good for you!
(4.)  “Shultz is committed to quality and value.”  As opposed to sucking and shittyness!
(5.)  “So enjoy a handful of Shulz pretzels and satisfy your snack craving with that fresh baked taste everyone loves.”  You know: everyone!  Sure!  Can’t argue with that!

MORAL:  There ain’t none.  This thing’s so duplicitous it might as well been designed by Karl Rove, IMHO, right down to the way the stragetic omission of the “c” in (what would have been) “Schultz” rings the note of familiar-sounding for people who’d respond to such an invocation, while carefully avoiding the ethnic sounding original so as to not alienate the potential audience/consumer base of . . .  oh, what shall we call them . . . bigots and xenophobes!


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