Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy birthday Slurpee!

Which brings us to 7-Eleven's glistening new Manhattan outpost. Apparently the location is doing well, having been dutifully covered in the New York Times and worshipped by burnished, carb-counting types looking to dupe themselves into thinking they're not burnished, carb-counting types. Slacker-hating sophisticates can now pretend to be slackers, projecting a false sense of value onto the very suburban childhoods that felt so valueless at the time. What's glimpsed here is a small piece of a much larger and much stranger social machinery: With misguided nostalgia comes a tendency to fetishize the mundane because the truth is either too earnest (I miss being young!) or just plain sad (When did I become this person?). As a result, people no longer simply wander inside and drink a Slurpee, but wander inside and "drink a Slurpee." I'd be concerned about this, worried that the point of the Slurpee will be missed, except years of experience have taught me that after three furious sips, the overly self-aware brain will be frozen, all meta-oriented cells will be annihilated, and, for a few painful seconds, we will all be bumbling freshman again. Truly.



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