Looking Backwards Through The Lens

Having travelled a great decent amount of the world puts me in a unique position to observe and report the absurdities I find. I jump from country to country, peering through lenses that I have acquired from each country I have visited. I started my journey with my “America” lens, then laid each proceeding lens upon that first lens in a means to compare and contrast; An attempt to better my understanding and acceptance of each cultures’ absurdities (and even some I would consider phenomena). And no, I am not so blind that I don’t see the “through the looking glass” metaphor I’ve just made concerning the compounding nature of travel as it pertains to global cultural awareness. However, in my efforts to use this set of compounded lenses to interpret the world I currently reside in, being Korea, I think it is equally valuable to turn that lens around and shuffle through the various lenses and return my gaze to my original: America. So, to take a brief break from my foreigner’s bizarre and enigmatic interpretation of Korea, I will look at some recent American topics that will make you say, “How are there people in our country who would CREATE things like this?” and then we will take a look into the possible conversations that occurred in those board meetings:

The Metabolism-Enhancing Taco:

There is a Michelin 3-star somewhere in Taco Bell’s kitchen…

Who would have thought that something like this could ever be made; a Frankenfood comprised of a Taco Bell hard-shell taco and Dorito’s Chips. The board meeting must have occurred along these lines:

Taco Bell Executive #1: “Look, the economy is still rough, McDonald’s and Starbucks are barely staying afloat by tapping into each others’ markets. We need something new, something amazing that will re-tap the market. I refuse to believe that the Fast Food market is saturated. So, the question is, aside from breakfast foods, decent coffee, and a menu that deceptively placates a mother’s guilt through less-than-accurate health ratings, what do people really want?”

Taco Bell Executive #2: “I’ve been thinking about this long and hard and haven’t come up with anything. Well, nothing as good as my idea back in 2005 for the ‘Kentacohuts.’ All I know is that whatever this idea is, it needs to be HUGE to save this company.”

Taco Bell Executive #3: “Alright, I got it! Our tacos are already delicious, but what if we made them moreefficient?”

Taco Bell Executive #1: “More efficient?”

Taco Bell Executive #3: “It takes the human body about 75 hrs to digest food. Now, our food on average already takes less than that, about 12 hours. Now, hear me out on this…what IF….what if we used the diaretic power of Dorito chips with the already hasty bowel-movement-inducing powers of our tacos?”

Taco Bell Executive #2: “Oh. My. God. This is genius…Diarrhea equals profits. Let’s get this down to production right away.”

We Are All Chained To Our Shoes:

The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t say a thing about shoes.

Do your shoes ever fall off while you are skating? Do you accidentally kick them off while running? Are you just obsessively paranoid that someone is going to run by and grab them as you are resting your legs up on a picnic table? Well, Adidas took care of all of your concerns. Not only do these new shoes harnass your laces in with velcro (which I think was some form of fabric-magnet in the 80s), they also come fully equipped with chains to lock you into your latest consumer purchase. Obviously, these have stirred up a ton of conflict in the African-American circles due to the insensitivity issue. I’m not quite sure the “Kunta Kinte Kicks” are ever going to make it to the Footlocker. Here is how the meeting went:

Executive #1: “Alright, as we are always looking for new fresh ideas for our shoe designs, we have a presentation today from a student of the Stoicist School of Modern Design and Philosophy. His name is Sky and I think he has some great ideas.”

Sky: *shows design* “I wanted the shoe I created to reflect our modern world. Epictectus, the Stoicist, believed that slavery was only in our mind. Therefore, we can only be slaves if we mentally accept ourselves as slaves. Furthermore, Haug, a student of Marx, later stated that we allow commodities to control us. For instance, we buy a pair of running shoes because we believe that we will run more through its ownership. However, in the end, we are still the same person and do not end up running more due to our bipedal-purchase. In this way, we are slaves to the shoe through commodity feteshism. I believe my shoe design will demonstrate these philosophies in a more concrete manner. I call it the Adidas: Chained. And once people truly accept their fate, they will remove the chains…Adidas: UNchained.”

Executive #2: “I gotta say, this is fantastic. Are we worried about the African-American demographic finding the design a tad insensitive?”

Executive #1: “You know, I think they might just be over that whole thing. Let’s move forward with production.”

As you can see, we as Americans come up with some pretty ridiculous and entirely insensitve things as well. If you need just more more board room interview to get you through your week, I think The Whitest Kids U Know did a stand-up job with this one: Grape Juice for Kids!


A guy who looks from both sides of the metaphorical telescope…who also writes a blog,



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About Jordan Carver

I just love life, experiencing it all, and it is definitely better with more people participating. Whether it's surfing, rock climbing, or exploring the forests, it's always better to share the magic.

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