Thursday, 1 May 2014

Cheese - by Frank Zappa


(This essay appears on the inside of the cover to Frank Zappa's album, You Are What You Is. It was submitted to Newsweek magazine for their guest feature column, but was rejected on the grounds that it was "too idiosyncratic.")

It's been suggested that the Gross National Product is perhaps not the best indicator of how well we are doing as a society, since it tells us nothing about the quality of our lives. But, is this something worth dwelling on as we grovel our way along in the general direction of 21st century?

When future historians write about us, if they base their conclusions on whatever material goods survive from present-day America, we will undoubtedly stand alone among nations and be known forevermore as, "Those who chose cheese."

As you will recall, folks, nobody ever had as much going for them in the beginning as we did. Let's face it; we were fantastic. Today, unfortunately, we are merely weird. This is a shocking thing to say, since no red-blooded American likes to think of his or her self as being weird. But when there are other options and a whole nation chooses cheese, that is weird...

(essay continues at link provided)


DBC Reed said...

I rest my case: the General sees the large number of French cheeses as emblematic of ungovernable local differences; Zappa thinks all cheese is homogenised "festering poot" produced by the unions and accountants to reduce the average intelligence level nationwide.I think he has confused cause and effect.