The recent spate of gaseous eruptions by celebrities on teevee has pointed out a sociological dietary sea change in these United States.
It's a matter of the farts, and the fart-nots.
Fibrous foods, once considered the diet of the underclasses are now the food of choice for the elites. Beans were the mainstays in the diets of hillbillies, Irish layabouts, Mexican immigrant workers and indolent cowpokes. Soybeans, brown rice and oatmeal were eaten by hippies, Buddhists, the elderly, and other non-producers.
That is so 2007!
The whole grains and legumes once scarfed exclusively by those who couldn't afford meat, are now being gobbled by those who could but won't- such as politicos, movie stars and the media blatherati.
Hence, an explosion of very public dietary gusts by élites as disparate as Barney Frank and Oprah; Justin Bieber and Yoda. Nancy Grace, Newt Gingrich, and Popeye the Sailor Man have all been caught giving vent on camera in the last year alone.
These are all people who take care of themselves and eat fiber dutifully. Consuming foods rife with the fart-producing sugars, raffinose, stachiose, and verbascose is the right and smart thing to do. (Bacteria get crazy when these sugars hit our intestines, they feast wildly and produce lots of gas!)
They are the rich, the educated and the driven. They know better than you and you know it.
The consuming of oat groats, cannellini beans, cauliflower, farrow, and wheat germ is a sign of intellect, taste, personal drive and success. It's the new caviar, and its consumers are healthier for it... though smelly, out-of-control, gassy intestinal exfusions are a not inconsiderable side effect.
Unfortunately, the impoverished of today eat refined foods and fast, simple carbs: white bread, burgers and fries, freezer pizzas, sugary drinks, and Snickers.
Public flatus was stigmatised as the activity of oafs, rudeboys and lowlifes in the Victoria Era, as so many things were. But social scientists now say the odiferous function will be a signal of privilege and high social-standing by mid-century.
With this odiferous, dietary New Age dawn will come changes in social morés, according to experts.
"Exuding intestinal gases with a squeak will be the same as exuding indifference once was," says Rutgers gastrosociologist Edgar "Choch" Mañana.
Soon the middle classes will take up dietary fiber and then it will be engraved on our psyches as a symbol of status and signs of moving-on-up.
A new day will dawn. Age old values will fall away. People will stop trying to blame others for farting, and may actually begin taking credit for gassy public exudations.
"The era of 'the dog did it,' may be ending." says Mañana. "Expect rectal prostheses that will afford the wearer the ability to fart at will."
Perhaps the gas' offensive odor will be changed by a pill, a dream first expressed in 1781 by none other than that great dreamer, (and " farter of his country)," Ben Franklin: "My Prize Question therefore should be, To discover some Drug wholesome & not disagreable, to be mix’d with our common Food, or Sauces, that shall render the natural Discharges of Wind from our Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreable as Perfumes." This would open up previously untapped markets in scents and fragrances. (Read: JOBS!)
Meanwhile, the rich get richer and spend their soft-earned dough on designer beans and whole wheat spaghettini from Italo-Bulgaria.
In general, this is a positive development, though an unusual, top-down one. So many customs, and morés have come the other way. "It's down-right counter-intuitive- that the glorifying intestinal gases is anything but 'bottom-up,' " said Mañana. "But there you have it."