A phantom is haunting modern circles of thought.

"Heresy!" declared Billy Graham at a book signing in a small 'orthodoxy guaranteed' literary gathering in Poplar Bluff, Missouri celebrating the release of his latest philosophical efforts The Integral Elements of the American Platter. Graham, in conjunction with scheduled book signings, is concurrently holding public conferences in major league baseball stadiums that geographically coincide with his bookstore tour. Confronted once with the report that he would only preach in such an environment, Graham retorted, "I have to admit that I believe the baseball stadium to provide the finest arena for the communication of ideas of such a broad scope. But I would gladly hold a session in any other location that would provide similar conveniences, including a sufficient number of speakers to allow for that 'omniscient' feeling, access to a preprogrammed organ to give the session a preordained flavor, proximity to snacks and alcoholic beverages to aid in the diffusion of ideas, and at least eighteen men scratching themselves at any given time also to aid the diffusion of ideas. These are the constituents of a successful tour, and not only in the realm of religion.. But returning to this 'meat and media controversy,' "continued Graham superciliously, placing his words in contemptible quotes," it's nothing but foolery, the product of a guilty conscience! It's downright blasphemous! You can read about it in my book. There's also a fabulous recipe for christened casserole."

The controversy may be deeper than Graham ever considered, especially since one could pose a very convincing Nietzschean argument that the essentially ascetic content of the religious ideals that he is preaching is an apology, that it is itself a product of guilty, or 'bad,' conscience, not of Graham in particular but of the religious realm as a whole. But what of this meat and media controversy? Why is it being shunned, mocked, displaced, dismissed, or simply being ignored altogether? Why is the consideration and the recognition of the importance of this relationship between meat and media being regulated to ultra-radical factions and underground left-wing groups? How is it that the majority of the populous remains unconscious of this critical relationship when it so thoroughly permeates the activities of our daily lives? It is possible that the last question contains its answer. Thus, it is the purpose of this publication to expose what is so readily evident, to qualify what is constantly qualifying in ignorance, and to present that which surrounds us. The relationship between meat and media is not governed by an iron set of natural, eternal laws, existing autonomous of human beings, their productive activities and thoughts; rather, this relationship only becomes possible at a particular historical moment under particular conditions of production. It is the purpose of this publication to exhibit the manners in which this relationship 'enigmatically manifests itself' in our daily lives, as if it were a phantom, proving the practical, material foundations upon which such a relationship emerges.

Despite the thoroughgoing, the through and through or 'well-done' or possibly even 'medium-well,' and sweeping character in which this relationship exhibits itself in our daily practices, its unmasking is no easy undertaking. But in recognizing its inner complexities and its external incarnations, our critical analyses must not be obstructed by its abstruse and seeming autonomous nature. We must combat reification in all of its forms. Because of the potentially overwhelming intricacies of this relationship, we will proceed to approach such questions in an aphoristic style. In so doing, it is not our intention to simplify or to undermine the dilemmas or the importance of this pervasive, but production specific, phenomena; rather, we wish to provide a space for the interpretation of this emerging integral element of society. In other words, we do not wish to replace one seeming iron system with a potential other. If one is to disagree with our aphoristic approach, our response is this: that the aphoristic approach is not taken seriously enough. We have no intention of taking a 'text-book' approach; rather we encourage the intellectual and creative contribution of our listeners and readers. Only with theory is decisive action possible.

Danny Comer