Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Short History of Corn, via Rooty Hill

Say what you will about Furner (god knows I have), the man is a fucking innovator extraordinaire. Who knew the hamster wheel spun so sensationally inside his boof head? Fed up and frustrated with losing at home (eight from ten this year), he put the team up in a hotel and treated their game against Brisbane as an away game. He bussed them to a “modest four star” hotel on Saturday afternoon. They spent the night “playing cards”, and then caught the team bus to their own home ground. This cost the club $5000, and was, in short, a masterstroke. CheckMATE Furner you wily fuck. The Raiders beat the Broncos and….well, let’s not get excited. We know how this goes. Win in flamboyant fashion one week, lose spectacularly the next. You could set your watch to it.

Brian Smith orchestrated something similar (sort of) a few weeks ago when the Roosters had an away game at Penrith. He organised a Roosters camp. IN ROOTY HILL. They lost the game. Obviously. Everything Brian Smith does is an exercise in industrial scale pointlessness. See also: Brian Smith hiring a crane from which to loom over training sessions like some kind of scrawny-necked omnipotent chicken-God. What he saw from his lofty position is not important. It was a pointless undertaking. It’s like how Doritos are always trying to come up with new flavours. They’re forever maniacally adding new elements to what is essentially mechanically-masticated corn fashioned into triangular shapes and doused with cheese-flavoured emulsifiers. This too is pointless. The fundamental components are unchangeable. One or two top notes may be tweaked to make Mexican Fiesta over into Spicy Nacho Chilli or whatever, but a Dorito is a Dorito is a motherfucking Dorito. By the same token, or maybe by a different token, I don’t know much about tokens per say, Doritos are delicious. Making corn into a chip. That is innovation. Those Incas and Aztecs, Mexicans, whoever, they knew what was up.

In light of this I’m pausing here a moment to give corn some consideration. I think it’s warranted. Corn is amazing.
Corn is the world’s first fully engineered plant. Those Central and Southern Americans, they did amazing things with food. They were the greatest cultivators in history and manipulated corn so comprehensively that it is wholly dependent on humans for its survival.
Consider this: Corn kernels do not spontaneously disengage from their cobs, so unless they are deliberately stripped and planted CORN WILL NOT GROW AND THERE WOULD BE NO CORN.
People, good people, using their bare worker hands, have been tending it continuously for thousands of years. This was before everyone was immersed in the erotic publishing phenomenon, obviously. Also, nothing in the wild even remotely resembles corn. What did they breed corn from? It has no counterparts! I’m not the only person to ask this question. In 1969 food scientists from all over the world hoped to settle the matter once and for all and convened at ‘An Origin of Corn Conference’ at the University of Illinois, “but the debates grew so vituperative and bitter, and at times personal, that the conference broke up in confusion, and no papers from it were ever published.”* So basically, corn’s origins remain as much of a mystery as ever. As mysterious, say, as the giant squids of the deep, with eyes as big as dinner plates. 

And you know how the fourth season of Jersey Shore was filmed in Florence Italy? Of course you do. Here is a bit of an interview with The Situation:  
Q. Was there anything you didn’t like about Florence?
A. I missed a lot of the things I took for granted in America – like Doritos. They’re impossible to find in Italy.

That was in case anyone needed further confirmation of the good work that those toiling South and Central Americans did. Horticultural innovations aren’t what they used to be. Coaching innovations aren’t either. Square watermelons? Tricking pliant and partially-concussed minds into believing they are playing away games at home? Please.

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