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What is to be done?

Tim Nelson
Updated: August 23, 2018

How do you make bacon? It’s pretty simple. My method involves getting a frying pan, turning on the stove somewhere in the range of medium heat, putting in the bacon, and flipping once I sense the slices start to crisp up. When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll even put a shirt on first to avoid singeing my skin with bacon grease. I’m pretty sure that people love bacon as much as they do because it has a pretty high taste-to-effort ratio.

Making bacon is so easy, in fact, that one Vermont company used part of its packaging to not only provide comprehensive instructions on bacon preparation, but take a shot at the state of American public education.

“If you really don’t know how to cook bacon,” says Black River Meats, “please contact our elected officials and complain about our education system. Every American should know how to cook bacon… seriously.”  

It’s a clever marketing stunt that’s attracted widespread attention on social media, and from the AP. That’s probably because it’s the kind of sentiment that seems straight out of a Baby Boomer email chain, but it’s 100% genuine.

While it could thus be read as an indictment of Millennials and Gen Z-ers who are too busy studying dank memes to be of much use in the kitchen, one could interpret the viral copy proffered by a company from Bernie Sanders’ backyard as a rallying cry to improve the sorry state of our schools in this country.

The Department of Education is helmed by Betsy Devos, a “school choice” evangelist who bought her way into the position and seems to actively despise the very concept of free public schooling. This year, she and the Trump Administration proposed slashing the DoE budget by 5% from 2017 operating levels and has spent this week weighing whether schools should be allowed to use some of that money to buy guns. How schools could have the funding to provide basic bacon education is anyone’s guess.

That’s not to mention the active undoing of protections for disabled students, transgender students, and victims of sexual assault on college campuses. Even after graduation, it’s now harder for victims of fraudulent for-profit colleges to access student loan relief. All of these conditions create an environment where it would be hard for many to focus on bacon-frying lessons.

If you happen to agree with Black River Meats, you can find out how to contact your elected officials here.


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