June 1st, 2007

Tom Lehrer is Smug

Conspicuous Consumption-O-Rama

Tonight, Conspicuous Consumption-O-Rama brings to you the following piece of evidence that we as a civilization have, indeed, Gone Just A Bit Too Far.

Presented, for your consideration: the "Limited Edition" "Retro" Starburst candy. I'm using air quotes liberally here for good reason. This candy attempts to encapsulate the entire second half of the twentieth century in fruit chew form. How? By randomly assigning a flavor to each decade, apparently.

Haight-Ashbury, Dylan going electric, Andy Warhol, and everything Wonder Years about the 60s are represented by "Psychedeli-melon." The tumult, tacky fashion and personal discovery of the 70s are perfectly summed up by "Disco Berry." The consumerist and world-awareness of the "Morning In America" 80s brought to us by "Optimus Lime", proof positive that the good people at Starburst are well aware of their target demographic. And finally, all the angst and world change of the 90s are, in a brilliant feat of meta-awareness, played out with "Hey Mango-rena!" because nothing sums up an entire decade like a one-hit wonder and/or a fruit chew flavor.

I want to be the guy who comes up with the idea to make these flavors. I want to work in the Flavor Labs and toss crumpled up paper balls into my basketball trash can, trying to conjure up a unifying theme for passion fruit, grape, pink lemonade, tangerine and piña colada. Five Stages of Grief? No, no... uh, the five senses? Olympic Rings? The grape can be the black ring. Nah, that's a no go. We didn't get the "Official Vaguely Fruit-Flavored Chewy Candy of the 2008 Olympic Games" contract. Damn you, Skittles, damn you to hell!

Or maybe I can work flavors around a theme. Yeah! That'd work, too! Okay, howzabout, um, Presidential Assassins? Yeah! We'll have Lee Harvey Orange, John Wilkes Banana-Kiwi, Charles Guiteauberry, and Leon Czolgosz, uh, Leon Czolgosz Fruit Punch.

(Ah, yes, good old Fruit Punch. Always there when you need it.)

Okay, M&M/Mars. You heard me. You know how to reach me. Your move.