UnNews:Educating America, one cereal box at a time

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20 January 2007

Cereal student

A cereal student educates her classmates, courtesy of General Mills

BATTLE CREEK, MI - Kellogg’s, Post, Nabisco, and other major cereal manufacturers have joined ranks in a united campaign to “educate America, one cereal box at a time.”

“Do you know which president was the first to be photographed?” Safeway’s Angela Woodbridge asked Unnews’ reporter Lotta Lies? “Do you know who established the White House’s first permanent library? Do you know which chief executive wrote Latin with one hand and Greek with the other, both at the same time? You would if you’d read the ‘American Presidents & Their Times,’ a feature on the back of Corn Pockets. The level of ignorance in America is abysmal. Boys and girls don’t know the simplest, most common facts, such as who’s buried in Grant’s grave--which is a tomb, actually--who fathered the United States, and which president stained Monica Lewinsky’s reputation and dress. Like our competitors, we plan to do something about this national disgrace.”

Dee Lishes, a spokeswoman for General Mills agreed: “The next time you set a box of Sugar Rush or Choc-a-holics in front of your little boy, make sure he reads the back of the box while he enjoys our delicious, nutritious product. You’ll be feeding his mind as well as his body.”

Cereals used to feature games, puzzles, riddles, and other fun activities on the backs of their boxes, but, since coming under fire for filling kids up with so-called empty calories, sugar, carbohydrates, fats, and cholesterol, the companies have suddenly sought to enrich their consumers’ minds.

“It’s good public relations,” Harvard’s Professor Du Fuss suggested, “but I’m not so sure that it’s educationally sound.”

“I concur with my colleague,” said Yale’s Dr. Moore-Rhon. “The pedagogy is problematic. I mean, are the cereal companies teaching history or histrionics, essentials or trivia, fact or fiction?”

Dr. Dull, of Princeton, said, “Let me give you an example of the frivolity of the cereal companies’ pedagogical approach. One box--I think it was General Mills’ Crème de la Coconuts or some such--gives a skewed lesson in both politics and history. According to the feature, which was called ‘Liberal Left and Radical Right,’ in which ‘radical’ is equated with being ‘awesome, dude,’ children are taught that FDR was ‘a cripple’--not handicapped, mind you, but ‘a cripple’--and that JFK and Bill Clinton both had ‘numerous extramarital affairs,’ whereas Richard Nixon is said to have ‘fixed a plumbing problem that threatened American freedom,’ Ronald Reagan is said to have ‘ended the Cold War, single-handedly,’ and George W. Bush is said to ‘have saved America from John Kerry, Al Gore, and repeated terrorist threats.’ Now, is that education or indoctrination?”

General Mills' spokeswoman said, “We don’t make a cereal called Crème de la Coconuts, so, obviously, Dr. Dull is making that up. Our facts are checked by an unbiased bipartisan panel of educators, journalists, and chemists to ensure that they are completely healthy for mind and body.”

"We’re filling the void left by America’s schools and colleges, including Harvard, Princeton, and Yale,” Woodbridge said. “In doing so, we’re educating America, one cereal box at a time.”

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