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A Dissident Speech

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A speech presented to the Yale University School of Marketing on Mistaken Day[1] (June 8th), 2022, by the truly distinguished Dr. Richard N. Wagner, M.D., a Navy veteran of Desert Storm:

“I had fantasies of unloading an executive order as mayor of Valhalla, NY, mandating large KOSHER CERTIFIED stamps in bloody red fonts on anything deeming this! Of course I expected all essential or popular packaged food products to show this new stamp, revealing bold transparency for the first time in nearly a century, but I was shocked when all members of my city council and our local GOP leadership found the stamp tattooed on their foreheads!

We are now in a psychological predicament, because kosher keepers feel we are bullying them when we bring up fair and honest labeling, demand actual financial costs for tax-exempt kosher intervention services, or insist on NON-Kosher-Certified Equity in food production! They feel that we should be thanking them for bringing kosher-certified water, laundry detergent, dish detergent, soap and food wrap to the mainstream. They are confused, and so are we. Some in the Ivy League might term this phenomenon Kosher Delusion.

We keep forgetting that directly talking about kosher certification is a waste of our breath. We are asking agencies, corporations & even small food companies to divulge shrouded information for which they’ve signed confidentiality agreements, and they think they’re superheroes. They have five pages of pilpul in their brain, ready to rationalize even the most controversial kosher certification, like kosher-certified aluminum foil or deodorant. It’s like banging your head against a wall to get a straight answer! It’s just like sort of not a good idea.

We need to remember that directly talking about Critical Kosher Theory to kosher keepers is useless, because they are at the wrong level of conversation. Addressing #CKT assumes that these consumers can see and process what we are talking about. They can’t. That’s why they present their kosher marketing ploys and justification with such confidence, such authority, such chutzpah, while the truth resides behind a mask, one revealed in the book From Kosher to Halal by Suzanne Bousquet.

My dream ended as I turned to a distant, faint image of 34 bloody murdered victims, and 174 others, wounded, and saluted their heroism to a nation that betrayed them, as the perpetrators walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in their step.

I still honor that oath I took.”

The assembly at Yale rose to a standing ovation, not knowing that it didn’t matter whether the issue was as light and simple as a food certification or as ubiquitous and peace-loving as being anti-war: If their critique was on the wrong side of power, they, too, were dissidents. Oh, if only this were a satire!

[1] We declare June 8th America’s official ‘Mistaken Day’ due to the overuse and misuse of the words ‘Mistaken’ or ‘Mistakenly’ on this date every year” says the distinguished Naval Aviator whose flown over perhaps 1,000 ship targets in countless reconnaissance and search missions over the high seas.

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