Tag: twinkies

Article: The Continuity of Twinkies

Article: The Continuity of Twinkies

Dr. Egon Spengler: Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s sample, it would be a Twinkie… thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Winston Zeddemore: That’s a big Twinkie.

The closure of Hostess has struck the popular consciousness of America on a surprisingly fundamental level. For many, the level of concern over the loss of a snack food that very few people actually seem to eat is wildly unwarranted. I can’t recall the last time I ate a Twinkie myself. Wonderbread on the other hand, definitely. I can remember the smell of the Merida plant in Orlando and buying loaves of that particular brand. But Twinkies? On the face of it, the loss of the (non weapons grade) yellow cake from shelves seems like no great loss discounting the economic impact of the company closure.

However, those who decry the expressions of concern over the loss of the Twinkie miss the point. It’s not the disappearance of the Twinkie from shelves that worries some; it is the disappearance of a cultural anchor. The food, the very word, has become imbued with meaning far beyond that of a simple snack. In a perverse Derridian manner, the Twinkie has become a signifier, a marker that ascribes meaning to the unrealized and unimaginable future. In the unassailability of the Twinkie, there is a constant and in an uncertain world, there are precious few constants to form a baseline when conceptualizing the unknown. The Twinkie does so while also providing reassurance of the potential for survival, all the while seeped in irony and cloaked in mockery. Should all of man’s science fail and our glass empires collapse back into the sand, what follows? God creates man, man creates Twinkie, Twinkie lasts forever–according to urban legends. Whatever the capriciousness of fate and whatever the future has in store, the Twinkie is one element can be counted on to simply exist and in doing so provide a—albeit uneasy and mocked—continuity of existence. The Twinkie allows for a construction of the future where some element can be predicted. In a world where doomsday scenarios abound, from Mayan cataclysms to simple zombie apocalypses, the Twinkie abides, the Twinkie survives. Erase that constant, that bridge between the fragile “now” and the unknowable “then” and that future becomes all the more terrifying.