The Phantom City

As our food culture blows like a tattered rag halfway down the mast of our desires, the twisting of our tastes continues for the profit of the Mud makers. What happens once all of us have been Supersized? How will the insatiable hunger of Food Inc. itself be satisfied? Well, it isn’t pretty.

There’s a city in America, a phantom city, which sails like a ghost ship ever on without ever reaching port. A city which never stops growing, a market whose appetite is never sated but doesn’t in any real sense exist.The denizens of the Phantom City have no phones, nor cars, nor addresses, none have a voice, none vote. They’re consumers of the purest sort, and their needs are filled silently and without question.

The Phantom City doesn’t pay taxes, it doesn’t have a zip code, it isn’t even exposed to the whether.

At the moment, about twenty-eight million people live in the Phantom city, but there’s always room for more.

What keeps this city alive? The market and the promotion of something no one needs: too much food. Like a science experiment gone awry, the Phantom City grows without care or question, between the belts and the bones of America’s conventional citizens.

Every time one hundred and fifty Americans grows an extra pound of extra fat the Phantom City gets a new citizen, and FoodInc. gets a new customer. An uncomplaining and ungovernable customer whose only interest is sustenance.

Pure fat has no self awareness. But despite its anonymity the 4.2 billion pounds (and counting) of American Fat is beginning to have a life of its own, a political force, and a presence in society. FastFood counts its victories in dollars. These are dollars which have no face, and cause no problems. They don’t want to boycott, or protest, they just want to be fed. So much less trouble than real people, these 28 million are implicitly smiling and happy and above all, silent. Happy Fat on the waists and thighs of America.
Laws don’t apply in The Phantom City, because it doesn’t really exist. It’s just a state of mindlessness.

Its keepers are vigilant, and the future looks bright for them, they may forget that the Phantom City can only exist as long as there are frames to hang onto, but for the moment that luxury is theirs.


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