Pseudo-patriotic madness


FluffernutterThis is news, right from the CBC, not April Fool or The Onion:

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has finally granted initial approval to a Bill naming the Fluffernutter the official state sandwich. The bill was filed in 2006 by then Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, in response to a motion by State Senator Jarrett Barrios limiting school Fluff servings to once a week. She thought that motion was, ‘nuts’.
The Fluffernutter is a peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff combination and has been a staple in Massachusetts diets for generations.

Okay, for anyone with any shred of common sense left, that isn’t news. It’s insanity. Sheer, unbridled, unrepentant nuttiness. It’s crazier than a bagful of bloggers. And why is the media even giving this “serious” coverage instead of railing on about the uselessness of these addle-brained state politicians?

An official “state sandwich?” One that, by the way, has its own song

Oh you need fluff, fluff, fluff
To make a fluffernutter
Marshmallow fluff
And lots of peanut butter…

What next? An official state salad dressing? State muffin? State flatbread? State sushi roll? Does a state need an official everything? Apparently so. That simply takes patriotism into the realm of insanity. I can hardly wait for the debate of the official state vacuum cleaner bag…

Not to mention the incredibly stupid mixture of junk food a fluffernutter represents – plus a name that just begs to be lampooned.

Fluffernutter? Sounds like a porn-movie extra. You can expect the jokes to make the social media rounds any time now. And the angry rants about politicians blind to issues of obesity and health.

Wikipedia tells us a fluffernutter is:

…a sandwich made with peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff (not marshmallow cream which is totally different) usually served on white bread. Variations of the sandwich include the substitution of wheat bread and the addition of various sweet, salty and savory ingredients.

Geez, who even eats white bread today? And Marshmallow Fluff? It’s a calorie-dense item…

“…its ingredients consist of corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavor, and egg whites…”

But, the Washington Times tells us, US legislators take this bilgewater nonsense seriously:

Legislators took a voice vote and it was clear: “The fluffernutter shall be the sandwich or sandwich emblem of the commonwealth,” the text of the bill stated, United Press International reported. The bill still has to receive another House vote before moving to the Senate for consideration.

The Boston Globe says the bill has passed its first hurdle and is on its way to the final steps: a final House vote then ratification in the Senate.

And these politicians were elected on what platform?

Back in 2006, the fluffernutter became the source of a mini-tempest when a US senator tried to introduce a bill to keep them out of schools. As What’s Cooking America tells the tale:

State Senator, Jarrett Barrios, outraged that his son Nathaniel, a third-grader, was given a Fluffernutter sandwich at his grade school in Cambridge, said he planned to file legislation that would ban schools from offering the local delicacy more than once a week as the main meal of the day. He was quoted as saying:

“As a parent, if I want my kid to eat healthy, he shouldn’t be able to go to school and get fluff or fluffernutters every day for school. We have the highest childhood obesity rate of any industrialized country in the world. We have the highest or the next to highest early-onset type-one diabetes.”

Senator Barrios’ bill was an amendment to a larger bill cracking down on junk food in schools. The move touched off a marshmallow war in the State House, when legislators jumped to defend Fluffernutters. What Senator Barrios did not realize, was how much of a New England icon the sweet marshmallow spread slathered over white bread and twinned with peanut butter was. The bill to ban it drew legions of protective Fluffernutter patriots to arms. State Representative, Kathi-Anne Reinstein, said she would file legislation that would make the Fluffernutter the official sandwich of Massachusetts. Reinstein says she wants to preserve the local legacy, which is simply Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter together between two slices of bread.

After the fight consumed the Massachusetts legislature for a week, Mr. Barrios said he planned to drop his proposal. All the talk about making the Flutternutter Sandwich the official state sandwich was also dropped.

Because of the debate over the bill, the town of Somerville, MA held it first annual tribute to Archibald Query and Marshmallow Fluff. in 2006, Somerville, MA. The festival was dubbed “What the Fluff.”

No wonder their nation is hellbent-in-a-handbasket towards social, moral and cultural collapse. Isn’t there anything more important to debate in the government? Even debating the material used for dog licence tags is more relevant to the modern world than this.

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But wait, it gets crazier. South Carolina is debating an official state fossil; the brainchild of a third-grader who suggested a woolly mammoth. And of course the creationist crazies had conniptions. As Live Science tells this tale of religiously-motivated madness:

When 8-year-old Olivia McConnell proposed that her state, South Carolina, adopt a state fossil, she may not have expected her request to prompt a drawn-out fight with creationists in the state legislature.

In letters to her local representatives, Olivia asked that the woolly mammoth be made the official state fossil, because mammoth teeth dug up by slaves in a South Carolina swamp in 1725 were among the first vertebrate fossils discovered in North America.

Her senator, Kevin Johnson, told CBS News this week that he thought a bill honoring the request “would just fly through the House and through the Senate.” But the bill is currently languishing in the House, months after it was proposed in January, because some lawmakers with creationist beliefs have objected on religious grounds.

The Daily Beast adds:

Sen. Kevin Bryant, a pharmacist and self-described born-again Christian who has compared President Obama with Osama bin Laden, voted to sustain a veto by Governor Nikki Haley of funding for a rape crisis center, and called climate change a “hoax,” proposed amending the bill to include three verses from the Book of Genesis detailing God’s creation of the Earth and its living inhabitants—including mammoths.

Bryant told The Daily Beast that the intent was never to hijack the bill. “I think it’s a good idea to designate the mammoth as the state fossil, I don’t have a problem with that. I just felt like it’d be a good thing to acknowledge the creator of the fossils.”

Bryant’s proposed amendment was originally ruled out of order by Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell (no relation to Olivia) because it introduced a new subject. Bryant has since submitted a more on-topic amendment, describing the Columbian Mammoth “as created on the Sixth Day with the beasts of the field.”

Creationist wingnuts and pro-fluffernutter advocates. What a mix. How did any of them ever get elected? And how does anything serious ever get done in the USA with them in office?

One thought on “Pseudo-patriotic madness


  1. It’s spread to Hawaii: legislators had a debate this week on what to choose as their state instrument:

    http://www.pollstar.com/news_article.aspx?ID=810946

    Sorry, ukulele. Hawaii won’t spurn the steel guitar to sound its love for you.
    Bills in the state Legislature that would’ve declared the friendly little guitar the official instrument of Hawaii both died near the end of the legislative session.
    The measures easily passed the Senate and House earlier this year, but with differences that meant more debate. That’s when steel guitar players stepped in, setting up a showdown between the state icons.
    Alan Akaka, a music teacher with politics in his blood as the son of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, orchestrated an email campaign arguing the instrument born in Hawaii better represents the state.

    This is interesting though:

    In short order, the conversation shifted from the ukulele’s unique position in Hawaiian music to a more complex exchange about identity and cultural value.