A PLACE AT THE TABLE
(directed by Lori Silverbush & Kristi Jacobson, 2012)
**** (out of 5)
> Every now and then a documentary comes along that is so important, it really should be mandatory viewing for humans. Like THE CORPORATION, this is a film every American should see. They shouldn’t even have a choice in the matter. It should be the only thing playing on every TV channel in America for the rest of the year. It is not just a tragedy that so few Americans have the slightest clue about the depth and desperation of hunger in the United States- it is a complete disaster!
. It is one of our most profound national shames that we have allowed the gap between the haves and the have-nots to become so unsustainably wide that one-third of American citizens live in a state of food insecurity- defined as not knowing where your next meal is coming from. That’s 50 MILLION CHRONICALLY UNDERFED PEOPLE- parents, teachers, retirees, cops- and mostly: children. But we are such a vile, heartless punitive country that we just don’t care much, really. For America,- it’s all about servicing the needs of the rich. If we’re such a “compassionate” country, how is it we spend less on a whole week of school lunches for one child, than on one double latte at Starbucks? How is it that among advanced industrialized countries, we rank dead last in percentage of people living with daily food insecurity?
. Sorry. I am unable to mince words: it’s flat-out insane! Anybody who tells you we love our children in America is shockingly ignorant or stuck in deep, soul-sucking denial. The proof is in the pudding. Our deeds tell the truth about our priorities. The rest is empty rhetoric. We use our (criminal!) agriculture policy to subsidize Big Corporate Agribusiness- companies like ConAgra and Monsanto, evil entities who produce poisons like high fructose corn syrup and MSG, instead of intelligently supporting small farmers who produce healthy fruits and vegetables. We provide incentives for cash-strapped adults to feed their kids chips and cookies instead of celery and oranges, sugary sodas and juice-drinks instead of milk, water or real juice from actual fruit- so their kids grow increasingly malnourished as they grow ever more obese.
– We ALLOW schoolkids to be so hungry they simply cannot learn: sitting there in the classroom listening to their own stomachs growl, and imagining their teacher as a giant banana and their classmates as juicy ripe apples and oranges.
– We punish single mothers when they finally land employment by instantly cutting them off of the food stamp rolls, making their family situations considerably worse because bloated corporations rolling in record profits are unwilling to pay these people a living wage! When they got public assistance there was at least a can of Spaghetti-O’s in the pantry- now there is NOTHING.
. After a big stink was (justifiably) made about the horrific crap that passes for school lunches (over-cooked mush, choked with high fat, heavy carbs, excess sodium, empty calories, and artificial ingredients), the budget was set to dramatically increase for childhood nutrition programs. But when the fat-cat special-interest BASTARDS on the senate Agriculture committee threw a tantrum, the final bill was so eviscerated that a mere six cents was added to the budget for each meal- and that, over ten years! Any thinking person would realize immediately that this will not even cover the inflation we can expect in food costs over the next decade. We’re not talking about a gain here, we’re talking about a net loss! And worse! Instead of taking the money from obscene corn and soybean subsidies, to increase the school lunch budget- they stole the funds from already hungry food stamp recipients- cutting one anti-hunger program to increase another for no net benefit! And we allowed this, through our willful ignorance and inaction. A terrible sell-out was celebrated as a great victory: sadly typical for a morally bankrupt country like our own.
(My heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to delightful film actor Jeff Bridges, who produced, appears in, and promoted this potent film, after founding a non-profit NGO called END HUNGER NETWORK in 1983. This man talks the talk AND walks the walk, in a time where the common man feels all but forgotten by people of wealth and privilege like him.)
SEE this vitally important film and educate yourself.
. And don’t tell me we love and care for our children. THAT IS A VILE LIE. As a people, WE DON’T. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
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© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.