bracket bracket 32 by Paul Smedberg




1. Made or consisting of iron; partaking
of iron; iron; as, irony chains; irony particles; irony starch.

2. Resembling iron in taste, hardness, or
other physical property.

Origin: From Iron.



What is it about National Starch that makes my heart swell with passion?

Could it be their important role in the food chain? Could it be a nerdly fascination for the Riven-like specialty starch facility in Indianapolis? Could it be the poetic qualities of the name “National Starch”?

I think it's all of these things.

That National Starch is a real, thinking, breathing, international corporation, made up of real employees, facilities and markets just adds to the mystery.

As a child, I never even dreamed that something like National Starch would be possible. Hoverbikes, yes. But National Starch – not in a million years. This was a failure of imagination for which I blame the schools. Why can't little children dream about really large scale starch processing facilities?

Well, they can.
But they don't.
Why is that?


We're taught to dream of a world of space ships and mood-controlling drug dispensers that are surgically implanted into the necks of violent criminals. A world in which peace is as lasting as good government. A world filled with angry but sexy people whose life and death stories are administered in little 8 minute segments sandwiched between commercials.

But, for the vast majority of us, we don't dream of starch.

Fortunately, some do.

Many of the fine people at National Starch do take their work home with them. They do slip off to sleep thinking about how agricultural products can be magically converted into emulsifiers that enhance mouth feel. And sometimes, when the stars and tide are just right, these same people dream of new forms of plastic that are transparent – but you can write on them with a ballpoint pen.

Lucky us to live in a National Starch world. A world of convenience. A world of excellent mouth feel. A world of believing . . . National Starch.




But wait, there's more.
more adoration of National Starch.

If adoration is the right word.

You know, the biggest problem with pure nature? Well, I'll tell you the biggest problem with pure nature. It's lack of irony. Nature is never ironic. Never satiric. Never sarcastic. (Well maybe some of the mammals, but never the trees and plants.)

Human activity and production is endlessly ironic, self-satirizing and best described by sarcasm. Nature . . .

you gotta love it,
but it will never elicit a wicked smirk.

Smile of reason – yes. Wicked smirk – no.

Here are some lovely assemblages of images of a National Starch plant. If plant is the right word. Ya ever see Antonioni's Red Desert? Well, this is just like that, but without the shallow sex.

bracket bracket is a made by Paul Smedberg

Here are the other issues I know about, in no good order:
31 30 29 9 18 17 29 28 3 26 25 23 22 21 14 20 24 13 6 12 11 10 19 8 7 5 4 27 2 1 16 15

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All this stuff is copyright 2006 Paul Smedberg
National Starch and Chemical is a member of the ICI Group