To quote my friend Courtney Rose: “Is there a better phrase in the English language than ‘Breakfast served all day?'”
There is a drive, an aspiration uniquely American—not in character, but in ubiquity. Conservatives love well-done steak, liberals love cage-free eggs, Texans like their chili without beans. The hype for fried eggs and pancakes at eight in the evening transcends our everyday divides.
The building blocks of a typical American breakfast—eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee, batter and/or bread—are cheap and easy to acquire in bulk. They don’t require any particularly specialized equipment to prepare (cleaning up can be a different story). And while the perfect poached or over medium egg can be a long and epic endeavor of trial and discovery, people aren’t getting French toast after an AA meeting because they want to dance and cavort at the court of subtlety.
The American breakfast is a ritual of rebirth; you’ve been out partying and need to sober up before you get home; you’ve been out not partying and want to affirm that life can have decadence and wonder without that which triggers addiction; you’ve hit it off with a new person and a brave face needs a full stomach.
Breakfast all day is a promise: whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, you can find shelter here, you can be built anew. It’s not an infallible promise; breakfast is still at heart, composed of commodities, and thus cost-prohibitive by nature under capitalism (or likewise prohibitive for people who have food restrictions living in a food desert, etc).
But America doesn’t need “blessing”. It needs a rebirth.
You bless a baby. You bless a marriage. You bless something tender and vulnerable that needs a leg up to survive a dimension of secular chaos. America is neither of those things.
I presume if you’re reading this in the first place, you’re already somewhere on the spectrum of “skeptical about patriotism in general”.
If you’re new, just to bring you up to speed: land stolen from indigenous, genocide against indigenous, people stolen and imported as slaves, advantage taken of immigrants fleeing wars and socio-economic decline, interfering in smaller, poorer country’s governments, American Gladiators canceled twice, programs of deportation and genocide.
The same time where IHOP was running commercials of rural folks explaining how sometimes they can’t eat breakfast in the morning and need to eat it whenever, and it was still the most important meal of the day regardless when you had it, we were introduced as a country to the method of shutting down dissent of American imperialism by demanding to know “why don’t you love America?”
However shallow, this succeeds because critiquing the State’s actions and being forced to insist the State must be exalted suggests that there is nothing the State can do that would necessitate its dissolution. And once you’ve made that compromise, what moral standing do you have to push for change?
This is why the neoliberalism of the Democrats will, if unaltered, be crushed in the 2020 elections.
Insisting on a “progressive” fealty to the State is like saying “I love my Dad and he must never be punished, but I also vow to find all the bodies of the people he’s murdered and give their families recompense.”
The American Dream is a lie. You cannot be whoever or whatever you want through initiative and guile. And it will take generations of struggle to undo the systems that enforce that lie.
We are damaged, wicked, wounded and on the prowl. We are not fit to be blessed.
But, and I believe this from the bottom of my Communist heart: we can, in the meantime, work towards rebirth. Of militarist institutions demolished. Of private property redistributed. Of borders unfurled. We can work towards a world where everyone in America can be reborn through breakfast.
I mean that last part literally.
The cost for security at Trump Tower is estimated at $183 Million.
Let’s assume your average breakfast costs around $9.59, which is the cost of a Denny’s All-American Slam.
That’s 19, 082, 377 breakfasts. Obviously it’s not a 1:1 deal. You would need to establish designated breakfast kitchens throughout the country to ensure you were feeding the people who needed it most. There’s also a question of how you would ensure that you were able to allocate enough of the 7.9 billion eggs and 14.4 billion pounds of bacon the US produces each year without creating spoilage or shortage elsewhere.
But regarding the suggestion that leftists don’t have concrete ideas about how to improve things—
I say free breakfast. On demand. Without apologies.
America is not, despite it’s pledge, in the business of “justice for all”. And we may not get there in our lifetimes.
But breakfast for all.
It’s not what the Founding Fathers envisioned for America.
And that’s what makes it great.
(Photo Credit: wookie75/Flickr)
Author: Jetta Rae
Founder of Fry Havoc. Can be found on twitter at @jetta_rae