Out of the shoe box

Judging by how Earl Butz was verbally ushered off this mortal coil, I’m starting to wonder if the Chimp’s obit will obsess on phrases like “put food on your family” rather than any actual evil he ever did. I was living in Louisville when the agriculture secretary got outed for making his crude joke, and it really resonated there because the city was under court order to integrate its schools and race was, to put it mildly, a touchy issue (the newspapers, whose editorial pages supported busing, got bomb threats). Even so, all you have to do these days is amble through a mall — or get squished in an airplane seat — to see that words could never hurt as badly as misguided policy. As Greg Critser documented so damningly in “Fat Land,” good ol’ Earl’s legacy is high-fructose corn syrup and other cheap happy meal excess. With luck he has gone off to a very warm place to shit.