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Oreos, individuals, and the free market

Oh, a kid'll eat the middle of an Oreo first. Or will he, if the flavor is lime?

Nothing appears sacred anymore. When the most popular cookie in the world feels that it has to try unusual things in order to appeal to the market, as it has recently with lime creme filling, it is easy to wonder just what's going on with the world. Sure, there's no evil in trying new tastes per se, and if that's what folks want who are we to criticize? After all, lime flavor has always been properly respected where it matters. With a twist of it in a gin and tonic, for example.

But why do we see all this, well, innovation seems an overwrought term to use. Limes and lime flavor have been around for a long time, and we see it in everything from tortilla chips to beer to now, cookies. Yet why do we see it in cookies, let alone those other products? Especially beloved ones such as good old Oreos? The whole idea simply feels bizarre on some level.

One easy explanation is that the makers of the famous treat, Nabisco, are merely responding to market forces. There's nothing wrong with that, again adding the dreaded caveat per se. The market tends to make things better by offering choices and by making improvements on various levels and in various ways which are sometimes unimaginable at a glance. Having said that, we cannot ignore the implications of changing things simply to change them. If the markets are doing nothing more than reflecting upon that, what does that say about us?

What are we looking for, that we can't be satisfied with good old Oreo cookies? Why ought things change merely to change, merely to be different? To display our individuality? Surely when we have to do things differently solely to display our independence we are in fact the most dependent of creatures. If we must have lime creme cookies in order to be special then we aren't so special because we're merely being contrary to the current fashion. Our personalities and outlooks would be dependent upon it. What are we hiding from when we can't like what other people over several generations have found quite pleasing?

Ourselves. We are hiding from whatever type of person we really need to be, the kind of person we know in our hearts we ought to be, yet resist because that person is not actually of this perceived reality. Finding no God in the modern world yet pressured by society to be somebody we strive for we know not what. We believe we find that not in things and matters of substance, but in lime flavored Oreos.

Yes, yes, yes, we realize the hyperbole in what we've just asserted. We know, we've already said, that there's nothing wrong with experimenting with new cookie flavors let alone habits of fashion per se (yes, we must again add that). We even readily concede that the flavor of an Oreo isn't substantial in any useful philosophic sense. And we certainly do not want to be the reactionary conservative who opposes simply to oppose, who sees every change as dangerous if not sinful. Those reactionaries are as wrong in their attitudes as the revolutionaries who want to alter everything. We simply want people to understand that what was once accepted can continue to be accepted without surrendering any true individuality on our parts. We want also for folks to accept the converse: that if you must change what are mere habits, simple personal proclivities, simply to be different, you aren't particularly individual after all.