Naming those RARE occurrences when someone else’s desire to make money actually turned out sweet.
The perfectly idealized person should have no use for any possessions that are not vital to one’s existence. I could probably find some douchebag Nietzsche quote to back that up if you wanted me to but I think we’re beyond that as a society, yeah? Still, even the staunchest proponents of minimalism find themselves with at least a few extra accouterments taking up space in their geodesic dome/tiny house/place where they’ve been exploiting squatting rights laws for the past six years. I have named those rare occurrences, when the superficial actually turns out (begrudgingly) awesome, White Hat Capitalism.
Our first entry comes from Grippo’s brand BBQ potato chips. Anyone who’s ever opened a bag knows why.
Right now, the uninitiated might be wondering, “What makes Grippo’s so special?” “What could possibly be so great about a simple BBQ chip?”
Trans fats. The answer is trans fats. Like, a lot of trans fats.
See, at a time when other snack companies cowardly acquiesced to Michelle Obama’s demands, Grippo’s wisely eschewed the new dietary guidelines, opting instead for maximum flavor. A flavor that can physically be seen in the filmy residue atop each chip, a greasy matter existing simultaneously as a liquid and a solid, the Philosopher’s Stone of yore, in grease form.
Dear readers, I would be lying if I told you I have not crushed up a bag of Grippo’s to use as a breading for chicken.
Not only wise, but benevolent, Grippo’s took the life-saving measure of distilling this veritable ambrosia into a dry powder rub. Now, would-be gastronomes, regardless of skill level, can overshadow any expert’s dish with just a few sprinkles of this forbidden spice.
Again, I understand this may all sound like hyperbole but that is only because cooking with Grippo Potato Chip Company seasoning is to literally be Prometheus, stealing fire from Mt. Olympus.
You can find the stuff on shelves at corner stores in the ghetto. Or pretty much every homogenized specialty store within gentrified neighborhoods, because white people ruin everything.
So put down that truffle oil, yankee! This is the only extra ingredient you’ll ever need again!
The Hamburger Helper Mixtape
Nobody asked the Betty Crocker marketing team to make a Hamburger Helper themed mixtape. Let alone a high concept deconstruction of the modern era’s “mumble rapper” plague.
With its abrupt tonal shifts between verses, listeners are left to wonder: who is actually rapping?
Is it the baker? That as of yet unnamed anthropomorphized glove mascot? The casserole itself, who is somehow keenly aware of its own deliciousness?
Perhaps in this case Duchamp said it best: “The spectator makes the picture.”
And for that, Hamburger Helper we applaud your stupid cash grab.
After numerous successes with Mario Kart, Mario Paint, Mario RPG, and other games outside of their main series entries, The Nintendo Entertainment Company finally had their first quantifiably stupid spin-off idea in the year 2000.
While Mario Tennis should have by all accounts been the warning signs of dementia for the veteran gaming giant, instead something magical happened when the developers realized one thing: Wario doesn’t have a doubles partner.
But who among Nintendo’s limited roster of ne’er-do-wells would align themselves with the man in yellow? After all, what is truly known about Wario other than that he is Mario’s long lost brother; he embodies all that is avarice; and that [he’s] a gonna win?
Enter Waluigi. Who has divulged even less of his sinister plans for the Mushroom Kingdom. Is he an unseen kingpin, orchestrating events from the shadows, enthralling Bowser to use as a petty distraction? Or perhaps he is an even more incomprehensible evil: downloadable content for future installments of the Mario Kart franchise.
Only time will tell. That is why Waluigi — patron saint of quick fixes, exalted in your mediocrity and the utter cynicism video game companies have for their fans — you are our third White Hat Capitalism honoree.
The fourth entry in this series comes in the form of the Weighted Blanket. Packaged as a way to alleviate the conditions of anxiety or general insomnia, the specially weighted material in these blankets simulate the comfort and security of a tender embrace.
For most, our brains are conditioned to produce good feelings when exposed to gentle touching — it’s just science. Unless it’s reflexology. Reflexology is nothing. So the next time you find yourself agonizing over that terrible thing you did in the 8th grade, reach for one of these.
Just be careful though. If you toss and turn throughout the night you are low key working out your entire core for seven straight hours and you will become uncontrollably strong.
This has been part one of a series on the things that yes, we know we could live without, but, at the same time, like nah.