A few days ago, Judge Richard Kopf brought up his unfortunate ruling against a prisoner who complained of being served the vile and dreaded nutraloaf.

Prison Loaf, sometimes called Nutraloaf, disciplinary loaf, food loaf, confinement loaf, seg loaf, or a special management meal, is a food served in prisons to inmates who have misbehaved in various ways. It looks like meatloaf but it is all the ingredients of a meal ground up together. Prison loaf is usually bland, and often tastes awful, but prison wardens argue that nutraloaf provides enough nutrition to keep prisoners healthy without requiring utensils to be issued.

In my head, I juxtaposed the prisoner’s dilemma with the bitching of Oberlin College students, who had to suffer the indignity of an inauthentic bành mí.

Instead of a crispy baguette with grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, the sandwich used ciabatta bread, pulled pork and coleslaw. “It was ridiculous,” Nguyen said. “How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”

Forget that baguettes are French. Instead, ponder how Nguyen would feel if he was forced to eat nutraloaf instead. At least it’s authentic. Authentic nutraloaf.

Food is too spicy or bland, according to your preference. But its purpose is to introduce nutrients into your body. You know what does that really well? Nutraloaf.  But it is nutricious, if not delicious. And if it’s good enough to feed to prisoners, who are certainly marginalized, are college students so much better? Check your higher ed privilege, kids.

While no one wants to be there, we’re heading to a life of nutraloaf because of the never-ending whining about everything else.  Anyone enjoying anything else does so for reasons that are now characterized as malevolent, or worse.  The cries, and the screams, of the most seemingly inconsequential problems, the trifles that cause Judge Kopf to toss the nutraloaf complaint, as if every one of them causes such pain and trauma that it’s unsurvivable.

Oh sure, they survive. They thrive, in fact, despite their incessant complaining. No college student has yet been struck dead by a building named after Woodrow Wilson.  No college student has lost a limb from reading a Greek tragedy, or a classic written by a dead white European male.

Perhaps there have been tears when someones delicate ears heard a cuss word, or a dirty joke, or someone discussing the Washington Redskins.  But if it’s a microaggression to call America the land of opportunity, or even the melting pot, then cry away. But you’ll get over it.

Instead, we can offend no one by never asking for food that’s too spicy or bland, so that someone’s taste buds are sad.  We can never tell a joke, funny, silly or even stupid, lest someone be offended by its references.  We can hate Harrison Bergeron for how he refuses to give a shit about anyone else’s feelings of inadequacy.

We can all eat nutraloaf.  No one will like it. But it will provide us with the lowest quality of food necessary to survive.  If you don’t stop whining about everything, our lives will be reduced to the mediocrity of nutraloaf.

There will be things, many things, during the course of life that will be unpleasant and contrary to what you might wish the world to be.  Others will differ. You’re neither right nor wrong, but you don’t get to ram your way down other people’s throats.  Even the bad things add a richness to life. Even a bruised knee teaches a child a lesson.

You won’t like nutraloaf, but it will be all that’s left when you’re done purging everything that brings flavor, and color, and joy, and misery to life.  That’s what makes life worth living.  Nutralife is merely survival.


5 thoughts on “Nutralife

  1. davep

    SG: “Forget that baguettes are French.”

    “Baguettes” are Bánh mì (it’s not incidental). Bánh mì apparently is the Vietnamese word for bread (introduced by the French). It’s also used as the name of the sandwich.

    The irony of the Oberin complaint is that Bánh mì are the result of “appropriating” something from French colonialism.

  2. Christopher Best

    I fear the future where the only thing you can say about food/entertainment/life is “Well, it’s inoffensive…”

    “Forget that baguettes are French.”

    … a diamond bullet, right through my forehead. Damn those idiot kids… Of course they’re French… That’s the point! Bread was introduced to Vietnam during the French colonial period, where it was co-opted into local cuisine to make something unique. Which makes the mewling about it being altered for the locality even more infuriating.

    Hell, if they were true believers, shouldn’t they be rejecting it a relic of the oppression of European colonialism, forcing the Vietnamese to abandon their dietary norms to fit Western ideals?

  3. Charles Wells

    Bite your tongue. Get a cinder in your eye. When you feel good, you feel nothing.
    R. Buckminster Fuller’s advice to the young.

    1. losingtrader

      Yeah, but if I recall correctly he was hit in the head with a piece of a geodesic dome and spouted nonsense thereafter. Bucky Balls ! Pfft.

  4. losingtrader

    “You’re neither right nor wrong, but you don’t get to ram your way down other people’s throats”
    Can you please leave your sexual fantasies out of your blog? It’s a macroagression.
    Next, you’ll be begging to represent me in the donkey case. And you know what I’ll say?
    “Of course, any lawyer who can call the direction of the stock market correctly can represent me “

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