Friday, November 22, 2013



     Good old Time Magazine. It struggles on in the internet age, devoting more and more of its pages to bite-size "factoids" that rival websites for speed of transit through the intellectual digestive system. Each and every article has to be illustrated - over-illustrated. Colour and highlighting adds to the illusion of ethernet illusion, and the layout owes much more to Facebook than to any school of journalism. I love it, and I'm a long term subscriber who has lived through Time's evolution.

     Every once in awhile it digs up some true gems, and the November 18 edition is no exception. I have to admit that the inevitable long feature articles on the personalities of US politics (Is there any US politics that is not personality-based as opposed to issue-based ?) are eminently skipable. Even for Americans who live in that soap opera. Even Canada's entrance in this contest, good old Rob (Fat) Ford gets a mention. His cameo is splayed across an insert that is 1/2 title, 1/4 photo and an incredible 50 word run on sentence that has almost as many errors of syntax and punctuation as I have fingers.

     Enough of such trivia. The true meat of the issue comes in the back pages. 'The Mysterious Provider of Sushi' is a five paragraph article that it, amazingly, too three people to write. Do the mathematics. Time looks into the murky undersea world of the dreaded "Sushi conglomerate". Who controls the uncooked fish market in the US ? Hold onto your chopsticks; it ain't the Yakuza. Far worse by several orders of magnitude.

     The "Codfather" of this piece is none other than the Unification Church - the Moonies. Nowadays they go by the name of the "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification". Obviously a play for the American market with the buzzword "family" bit. Or could there be another connotation to the word "family", most familiar in places such as Palermo ? Poor Japan. The Koreans have struck back.

     Under yet another alias the Moonies market the morsels to the masses in the USA. The moniker - 'True World Foods'. Cough, cough and triple pneumonia cough. No kidding. The Moonie managers lack a sense of humour or they'd realize the irony of this.. TW denies its connection to the Moonies, but court documents show otherwise. Time found it hard to penetrate further as TW's New Jersey headquarters' phone system didn't work, and phone calls to their New York office went unanswered.

     Time surveyed a selection of 70 restaurants across America, and True World was the supplier for 48 of them. TW counts 7,500 restaurants as customers in the USA. Their uncooked tentacles in this field make the Washington Post coup look trivial.

     Look out Time. Any more raw exposées, and you may find a fish head in your beds. As for me this revelation has spoiled my sushi mania for at least a short while.