Possibly emboldened by his numerous contacts at the CIA—or just the existence of his new album, Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt—musician and producer Moby waded haphazardly into a conversation about federal food stamps today, penning an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. Specifically, Moby’s argument centered on which foods federal funding should help people pay for, arguing that the government shouldn’t allow people to spend their food stamps on “candy, soda, cheese products, energy drinks, processed meats and lots of other items that end up seriously compromising the health of SNAP recipients.”
As one might imagine from a very rich man telling a bunch of very poor people what they should or shouldn’t be “allowed” to eat, Moby’s missive didn’t go over well.
In the essay, the noted vegan/South Side advocate discusses his own experience with federal food assistance, holding up his mother as an example of someone who used stamps to help meet her family’s nutritional needs with beans and greens and other more naturally nutritious foods. Working from there, Moby did his best to put the blame for SNAPs problems at the feet of the food companies for lobbying to have their delicious, addictive junk covered, but people still detected a very Moby-esque vein of “Hey dummies, don’t eat garbage!’ condescension lurking under his words. And, thus, came the tweets.
Weirdly, Moby’s argument toward a more-regimented SNAP has a few ideological overlaps with Donald Trump’s once-proposed, much-mocked solution to send the program’s recipients a sort of shitty Blue Apron “Harvest Box,” instead of letting them buy a goddamn frozen pizza or a scandalous Snickers every once in a while. We weren’t expecting to write about the philosophical agreement between Moby and Trump tonight, honestly, but hey, you know where this magical, mysterious news cycle will take you next.