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  • Russell Jaffe

What Do Swedish Fish Oreos Say About Us?

What do Swedish fish Oreos say about us? Pretty much everything, turns out.

Because we're many generations deep in equating real meaning with material goods. From advertisements to technology that has outpaced our abilities to process and communicate, we've become our own WiFi-like hotspots for cultivating promotional branding without even knowing it. We watch Donald Trump say horrible, racist things, and we share about him, we talk about him, and he isn't the problem, then. He's the agent of the problem. He's the weakest observable link in our social chain, and we are all on this chain, then, if he can exist at all. We are our worst within our repulsive objects, which is to say the lowest and most horrible we can go. We are at our worst with distances: Distances between human-to-human interaction, distances between the land and how we respond to the land, and even distances between economic classes. But human beings were built to survive in the unrelenting facelessness of nature, and we always do. We share about shocking, usually unhealthy--or heavily modified, at least--foods, and then interlocking hybrids of those foods.

Why? Our legacies of strange objects speak for us.

It is the shock of the new, and the collective repulsion and attraction to the shock of the new, that which spurs us on to life itself from childhood. That wonder spark that keeps going, keeps us all alive, despite it all.

We draw shallow breaths in alienation under the girth of our own objects that we have grown around like tomato plants on stakes. And within speaking about, sharing, lacing our mortal actions in time around these goods is the most important thing we have, or at least what it feels like we have left: Intimacy.

Everything good stems from intimacy, and intimate language is its agent.

But ourselves are dangerous landscapes.

Ourselves are dangerous with additives for this kind of promotion.

Or sandwich cookies between the marketplace itself and the demands of the marketplace to economize things at whatever he cost, let alone running them through with tactfully composed variations on intimacy like a skewer.

It's the sharing itself that takes a terrible toll. The thrashing itself that further entangles us in the web. And here we are. It's getting hotter and hotter.

Anyway, I tried to get some at Target, but they didn't have any. I even called around. No luck. (Turns out they're exclusive to Kroger, for now.)

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