Moon-Watcher going Nietzschean on a tapir skeleton (from 2001: A Space Odyssey).
[Note: The soundtrack album of 2001: A Space Odyssey lists Ligeti's Atmosphères as an “Ouvertüre,” the end credits of the film translates Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra as Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and while the film credits Ligeti's Requiem, the soundtrack album gives its full name as Requiem für Sopran, Mezzosopran, zwei gemischte Chör & Orchester.]
Eating bone marrow passed from prehistoric to historical
times with mentions by Homer of both its fine taste as
well as its medicinal properties. Roman and ancient
Chinese recipes established the versatility of bone
marrow, medieval menus assume inclusion as traditional,
and modern dishes ...seem desperate for attention.
Grilled marrow bones with Rosemary-Lemon
Bruschetta? Really? Around the same time that
medical science was defining human bone marrow as the
seedbed of our blood, clever marketing was pushing animal
bone marrow as a healthy foodstuff and elixir.
Companies often make a name for themselves with one product and then try to introduce similar or associated products with an eye ever affixed on more profit. Bayer Pharmaceuticals had a tremendous success with aspirin and in 1889 introduced the Heroin brand as a “non-addictive” cough suppressant and morphine alternative. That same year, the Bovril Company of England was founded to sell its meat extract and beef tea base product. Bovril was originally made as “Johnston's Fluid Beef “ and peddled to Napoleon III in 1870, but soon afterward won over the British. “Fluid beef,” aye? In 1899, Bovril began marketing Virol, self-described as “A preparation of bone-marrow” and “An ideal fat food for children & invalids." Its Edwardian advertisements sought to undo the Victorian (i.e. Dickensian) approach to care-giving with such claim as, “Virol. May save your child's life. It has restored many wasted children whose parents despaired of them. Virol is recommended by doctors and used in hospitals for Anaemia, Rickets, wasting diseases, & c.” Production of Virol ceased in the late 1930s, though it remained on some shelves until the early 1950s. Bovril (now owned by Unilever), on the other hand and refinement aside, remains popular to this day in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Well, Bayer still sells aspirins...
It's a given that bone marrow has been used as a homeopathic treatment for a variety of complaints and maladies from ancient times to the present and as long as a widespread mistrust of science exists folks will consider backyard or backroom solutions and remedies. But, in all fairness (and totally illogical), if hundreds of dietary supplements are on-sale at the local pharmacy, why not apply one's own spin on the sales platter?
Suggested CHICKEN LITTLE'S label for non-aggressive idiots.
Now, if Bone Up!® represents the optimistic, then it follows that CHICKEN LITTLE'S suit the pessimists (not that they'd understand, anywho). Only true losers wouldn't care if they wasted their money or not, so it's facilitating a means for someone else's end and cavities beware and all that. The proposed solicitation of Agri Star Meat & Poultry, LLC, the new owners of the infamous Agriprocessors that shut down in 2008 because of really really bad press (and an earlier raid which netted 400 illegal workers), is inspired economics. The new owners have cleaned up certain areas, but remain kosher and beheading more chickens an hour than any other slaughterhouse in the world. The chickens get their heads chopped off so fast some rabbis believe it's not kosher to be that quick... Speed, it's a good business practice... And what other infamous people are known for the speed by which they killed? Any guesses? Right, moving back to Postville, Iowa and Agri's corn-fed chickens...
In 2006 I was researching the so-called Davenport Tablets hoax and had occasion to track the movements of a Reverend Mr. Jacob "John" Gass (1842-1924) or, simply, Pastor Gass. I wrote at the time: “The bad press took its toll. Gass moved from Davenport to Postville, IA in 1882, became pastor of an existing congregation (German Lutheran Church of Postville; 1882-1894), was involved with the building of a new church and delivered its cornerstone dedication address in August of 1890 (it was renamed the German Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's Church in 1894). According to parish accounts, Pastor Gass was called “John,” rather than Jacob, and was highly thought of and known for his good deeds and thoughtful sayings (Schroeder 1971). After leaving St. Paul’s, he tried farming, but with little success. Gass eventually sold the farm and purchased a Sears Modern Home (Model No. 52?) through the mail, erecting it across the street from the church. Today, it’s home to several Hasidic rabbis who work at AgriProcessors, the world's largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse. The Rev. John Gass started a German language newspaper in 1892, the Iowa Volksblatt, and was its owner and editor for three years. The newspaper wasn't profitable and the business was sold in 1895, becoming The Postville Herald in 1917 and publishing in English. Gass then retired to a life of growing flowers and strawberries; a box of his fruit sold for ten cents each. He’s buried in the Postville Cemetery.” It somehow seems appropriate for crushed kosher chicken bones and dried out bone marrow to come from a little town in the middle of nowhere. It means something, but I haven't a clue.
Talking with or to Mr. ED* is a little before my time... Let's see, 1961 to 1966? I was watching NYC channels in New Jersey from late 1963 to early 1965, and actually do remember a few episodes. Okay, McGraw Kaserne and Perlacher Forst in München didn't have American television in 1965 and 1966, and I don't remember any episodes in reruns in 1967 when we got to Kansas. Be that as it probably wasn't, we did live in Wichita Falls, Texas for six months at the end of 1969, getting out a few months before a tornado took a third or so of the town away. I've never been to Iowa and I'd be wary of getting behind anything from Texas, but if I had to choose, I might save my choice for another time. Perhaps importing Chinese smog might work out after all... *Erectile Dysfunction.
No more wasted days and wasted nights,