“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."


        When my parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980’s, they followed a wave of others just like them: young, hopeful, hailing from one of the numerous Asian countries that, in the past century, had felt the military influence of the place they sought refuge. With them they brought values and mythos filtered through the reality warp of language barriers and cultural clashes. Voices unravel a knitting, a salute unfurls paper towels and the smell of frying meat wafts to the tune of the National Anthem. Scout’s Honor leans on quiet but telling symbols: 1) SPAM, 2) phytoremediation and 3) The Kissinger Report, shuffling familial fables into the deck of a pockmarked national history.

¹  SPAM was invented in 1937 by Hormel as a military supply food. Subsequently after, the canned meat would find itself deeply entangled in many Asian cuisines. (See: budae jjigae, SPAM musubi)

²  Sunflowers filter toxins from their environment and hold them inside of their bodies. In reported cases in East Baltimore, children mistakenly ate the seeds from contaminated sunflowers, passing the toxins from one vessel to another. Humans are, in a sense, similar to sunflowers in their ability to filter and retain these toxins.

³  The National Security Study Memorandum 200, colloquially referred to as The Kissinger Report consists of 123 once-classified pages correlating the potential of population increase in the 12 “Least Developed Countries” to the potential of negative impact on the US economy. The recommendations that follow this analysis include the financial and political support of proxy wars and eugenic programs.