The Broccoli Debate

Entry by: Godai41

15th October 2015
The Broccoli Debate:

a Press Conference

Moderator: Welcome to this rare opportunity to hear from someone we see and meet often but rarely actually hear from. We appreciate and thank our guest for this opportunity to do this in-person press conference today. Please remember that this debate has an international focus in that our questioners, reporters, hail from many different countries.

Audience, please understand, our guest has several other items on the agenda today, so excuse the brief time for the guest’s responses.

Then, let me introduce our famous, currently oft discussed visitor, Broccoli. Welcome to our guest, broccolo.

By the way, our guest brings totally fluency in English to the occasion. Of course, English is merely one of the languages Broccoli knows. To the questions, then. Yes (pointing toward a reporter with her hand raised).

First Reporter: Broccoli, excuse me but may I ask you if you have ever before in your life experienced the furor that seems to surround you these days, especially in political circles?

Broccoli: Well, you know, my ancestors experienced all sorts of ups and downs from country leaders and citizens in many sites from Italy, China, etc. As you also probably know, my individual life span is quite brief, sometimes as few as 12 weeks or up to 15. I learn fast, you see. (giggles from the audience) ☺

First Reporter (follow-up): Yes, of course, but during even that short time have you met this kind of uproar before?

Broccoli: Would you briefly explain the uproar you refer to?

First Reporter: I mean the tendency of some political leaders to appreciate your virtues so much that they seem to enforce others to follow them and make you an essential of their lives.

Broccoli: Gotcha’ now. Yes, been there, done that, even in my early weeks with many “captains” on many “ships.” When I have so many healthy and delicious relatives about, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and even some seeds that morph into canola oil, I don’t know why those in charge insist people must visit and consult only me. You know, I’m not the jealous type.

Moderator: Thank You. Yes, next reporter please. Sir.

Second Reporter: Monsieur, Mademoiselle, or Madame, good day. How would you assess the fervor of various leaders in various countries who strongly encourage their citizens to choose or support only you and not any other kind of available nutritional option? Does it make you feel special or what?

Broccoli: Well, it’s difficult to explain how that works. The elected leaders received a majority and sometimes even a vast portion of the vote. They already have a following, even a mandate. Yet they sometimes focus so minutely on only me and making me the one and only choice that even the people who voted for them after a few years start to wonder if their votes had merit. They thought they were electing someone who could appreciate and allow room for other cole crops and even other somewhat less nutritious foods. It baffles me, truly, why such allegedly wise and broad-minded leaders collapse into monarchical behavior. I’m rather young, innocent, unschooled, so I don’t have the answer, excuse me.

Moderator: Next reporter, your turn Ms.

Third Reporter: Thank you. Everything fine dear sir or ma’am? We enjoy your relatives so much back home in Kaohsiung. Forgive me, I better not waste our valuable brief time. Please tell me do you feel scared that if leaders keep on forcing people in their countries to eat you or pay a penalty that you and all your family will go missing, I mean, extinct? Some people in my face of the woods go missing. Is there any suggestion you have to stop that possibility?

Broccoli: I do get a panic attack from time to time and turn as white as cauliflower when I think of that. Of course, I won’t stay around long enough to see all we broccoli disappear forever but even the thought of it shakes me. Maybe somebody should find a way to show the leaders what it feels like when they force everyone to eat, drink, walk, drive, and think the same way. I know; I have an idea. Why not trick them and ask them to taste zillions of kinds of us for a whole week: broccoli, broccoli, and more broccoli? Ask them after the week if they still like it and want everyone to eat that only. That might work. At least they will have to do it only for a week, not like forever and ever as they plan for their citizens. I wish I were in some country where they already do what the government wants and the government doesn’t have to force them to eat me.

Moderator: Are there any countries really where that happens, dear Broccoli? Hmmm. Let’s go on to our next reporter.

Fourth Reporter: Yes, dear Broccoli, I have worked in several countries in which the people already followed so many trends that whether they must or must not consume you and your brothers and sisters never became an issue.

Another problem came up in those places: the people felt some kind of unhappiness they could not verbalize because they ate, spoke, dressed, prayed, and did everything the same as all the other people. You or some of your family probably met those people because one of those countries is the second largest producer of broccoli. The first is China. What do you think about that culture, the second largest producer of you? You know whom I’m referring to, I’m sure.

Broccoli: Yes, I do; some of my dudes have sweated their way there through the seasons waiting for it to cool down enough for us to mature. But I have to say one thing about that culture: yes, they follow certain mores, traditions, religious ideas, and so on. Yes they have a couple of foods that everyone eats day in and day out. If any rules or traditions are broken, they fight vigilantly, even violently, to express their disagreements, even within the whole family. I don’t know if they are right, wrong, or in between, but I do feel proud of them for not hiding what they believe and for standing up for it. Their foods, even the ones my fellow dudes have been sprinkled in, did not scare them. We endured the heat of the food because we honored the people who believed in that heat and intensity in their own lives. Yes! The government doesn’t make them do anything! They do it already on their own.

Moderator: We have time for one more reporter, dear Broc. She just sidled in back from her assignment abroad. Welcome her please.

Fifth Reporter: From what I hear, Brocc, you have so many dimensions that you defy any nationalism of any border, mountaintop, or gulf. Well, let me heave this query your way. Is there any locale that you and your extended family have wanted to experience and even grow up in that simply tells you, no, we don’t want you: go away, disappear, don’t dare to cross into our land?

Broccoli: What a toughie you are. I get it, though. Some of my clan who have grown up and were served up in other places reported that they received broccoli non grata status. We look semi-soft but we possess some boldness, so they reputedly confronted those stoppers and asked why they couldn’t come in. Guess what answer they got? They heard this: even though we have all lived around here forever and forever and even ate, drunk, walked, talked, and slept in exactly the same areas, you have no right to exist here because the land and the important buildings on the land belong to us and only us.

Fifth Reporter: Hey Brocc, what did you do? What could you do?

Broccoli: I and my ancestors told ourselves and whoever stood around us to remain patient, wait, enjoy the questions and perplexities of living as fully as possible, even revel in the doubt and differences, and one day the groups on one side of the divide and those on the other would learn to welcome we Broccs and also each other to both parcels of land as totally free people,
different but accepting of each other as life digesters.

Moderator: Thank you all our reporters and our special guest, Brocc. We know you well enough now, I suppose, to go by first names, eh sir?

Broccoli: Yes, right. Let’s mosey down to the nearest Belsize pub, have a round, and drink to our answers and even more to our questions. Agreed?

Moderator and the Five Reporters: Agreed!