Maybe because we are so close to voluntarily electing a doddering guy who conjures images of state funerals, I’ve started obsessing on death notices. (Actually, it’s because I like to track how long it takes the NYTimes to notice a dearly departed has merited multiple homages over many days and to run an obit.) One ad last week that gave the cause of the demise as CJD was rather chilling at a time when our trusted government by big business, for big business is prohibiting cattle producers from testing their animals for mad cow disease. Even more amazing has been the reaction to the UN official who suggested the planet could benefit from all of us forgoing meat just one meal a week. To call it a lobbyists’ shitstorm would be to underestimate the next hurricane. Never in all of history have so many people had access to so much information, and still the national motto might as well be “in cheap meat we trust.” Beef is not supposed to be as everyday as bread. So my other new obsession is Hamburger Helper. Given how prices of wheat etc. have gone crazy while beef remains a bargain, shouldn’t someone be marketing Noodle-and-MSG Helper?