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lundi 12 décembre 2011

FUCKED UP FOOD OF THE 60s & HOW IT MADE ME GAY: Excerpt NUMBER THREE from "My American Family - In One Era, Out the Other" by BillyBoy*












Food during the early sixties, at least for me, was a very mysterious thing. I am 100% sure it was this stuff which made the chemicals in my body turn me even gayer than I already was. I had a strange fascination/repulsion for food, (as I had for cock and the desire to be caressed by men and boys of any type), as it took on the same vague qualities that mostly everything else did. I somehow believe that, like all inanimate objects (cases in point: Speedy Alka-Selzer and Mr. Peanut) it had a life of its own. And this was a time when junk food took on the absolutely most bizarre forms, shapes, and names - extravagant foods for extravagant times. They gave comfort and familiarity on one hand with the endearing names and all, and had a completely alien life form quality on the other. There were the things I could eat and there were things other children could eat but I could only look at. You have to admit, retrospectively that, the names certainly didn't sound edible. Between ten years of lightening fast change, the sixties junk foods, even though they tried to sound, around the time of astronauts and Olympics, as if they had healthy things in them, were absolutely nuts!

There was Fiddle Faddle, Korkers, Twinkies (which actually looked like common household bacteria under a microscope), Krunchy Nuggest, Ho-Hos, Tasty Kakes, Red Zingers, Zooper-Doopers, Banana Flips, Pringles, Flings, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, Fickle Finger Franks, and Wonka Bars, just to name a very few. Of course, you had to "wash it all down" so-to-speak. The fruit drink Hi-C, sounding madly scientific, was supposedly made in a "special way" (as vague as that sounds!) so it "stays rich in vitamin C!" and during its "Flavor Fling" contest which announced 1107 prizes (including the grand prize of $25,000), they offered consumers to "get acquainted with these famous five flavors" . However, there were lots of alternatives to the pre-packaged liquid soft drink concept. Science class was never so much fun although a number of these refreshing pauses contained red food dye number two and cyclamates which could hardly be called "fun". It was nearly as “fun” as thylitamide.

Those nifty lift-offs into outer space and the whole instant-this-and-instant-that rap was extremely marketable. It mesmerized spectators and consumers alike as powders, concentrates, and tablets that released, for example, "sky blue" flavored beverage as well as gelatinous masses. Wink ("the sassy one"), Mountain Dew ("It'll tickle your innards"), Sprite ("Tart and tingling"), and Tab ("Be a mindsticker"), took the traditional route in glass but not the usual conventional forms, as they came in architectural shaped bottles that paid homage to the latest Apollo rockets as well as the local space-theme drive-in or World's Fair pavilions. The recent glamorization of the newly expanded drug culture made it possible for soft drinks to have a copy such as Wink's: "Join the Cola Dropouts. You get a whole new feeling with Wink. Cola was never like this. You don't just drink Wink. You feel it. A million liquid diamonds turn on all at once. A tintinnabulating tingle wipes out your thirst. And your taste will tell your mind... Wink is where it's at. Now in diet, too." - All I can say now is “Holy Mole-y Macarolly!” . The Fizzies, which came in groovy tablets like drugs, and the Pillsbury Funnyface mix which had Groovy Grape and Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry characters among its flavored spokes-persons had hypnotic alchemistic nuances, not to mention Kool-Aid which apppeared as an inorganic powdered substance which I think recalled cocaine. Jim Jones eventually used some sort of powdered Instant Tang-like substance to use as a fruity tasting mass murder final gulp. These mixes created concoctions that gave one the true sense of creation, (fortunately not often in the way Jones did), a taste of the fast forward modern times euphoria or at least a funny-coloured tongue.

These questionable forms of nourishment had a certain poetic recall and symbolic reference to advancement, accomplishment, success, and harmony within good taste, besides the fact that they supposedly tasted good. The various shapes of these snacktime marvels not only recalled the latest in bacteriology, but also in furniture design and aerodynamics. A Cheese Doodle took on the plastic integrity of a Tecta glass lamp, Bugles had the sculptural "wholeness" of an Arteluce wallsconce or a Verner Panton cone chair, and Fritos had the fluid elasticity of a Storz and Palmer Chaise longue. Pringle, the well-known "newfangled" potato chip, stacked just like the newest chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, while the classic Frito-Lay had the random biomorphisis of Formica's "Skylark" pattern. The sleek, streamlined Scooter Pie vied for structural reliability with the Boeing 707 and the U.S. Enterprise. These treats were loaded with all sorts of chemicals and additives and preservatives, and in scale, parallel to the fuel aboard a DC-7. They were equally aerodynamic.

The dymaxion qualities of these cakes and cookies, with names such as Pop Tarts and Flings suggested not only movement and kinetic experiences which allowed one to fantasize about progress and design, but also, with their general appeal, seduced you with pure aesthetic charisma. In addition, they bowled you over with the magnetism of emotional beckoning. Case examples were fascinating fluorescent pink textured semi-spheroid Sno-Balls hovering over the omnipresent Hostess cupcakes which had highly significant (design-wise) squiggly loops of frosting right down the center. This tubular motif of sugary confection was imitated by lesser known cupcakes throughout the world, but in its original incarnation was as comforting as a reproduction of a colonial armchair. “Traditional yet ‘right’ for now”... contemporary in the truest sense and a bargain at two for twelve cents.

Jay Ward's alter ego Bullwinkle J. Moose (who was really very gay) had a diet comprised exclusively of cupcakes and mooseberry juice (also used as rocket fuel by Rocket J. Squirrel), which seemed limited yet, in its consistency, very sound. They must have packed some wallop though. This also explains Bullwinkle's gay behavior. The synthetic substances baked into the "goodness" of a cupcake unleashed, like an LSD trip, all the furies of the unconscious. Early examples of the spongy cakes, if not for the fact they were the bedrock of gradeschool commodities exchanges ("I'll trade ya my peanut butter and cabbage sandwich for your Ding Dong!") might have been considered dangerous weapons. The example heralded as a precedent in psycho-excuses for total madness came when Dan White was turned into a killer of Supervisor of San Franciisco Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco. He claimed in the trial for first degree murder he was overcome by "temporary insanity" due to his ingestion of two Twinkies although he later admitted that the crime was premeditated. In this case, nobody received "a big delight in every bite" . White's defense was labeled "the Twinkie defense" by the world press. When he was released on parole for voluntary manslaughter, a series of violent riots broke out known as the White Night Riots and people ate Twinkies as these outraged protestors were appalled by the brevity of his sentence, they wanted to imply that they themselves might not be responsible for any violence they may commit towards the monstrous killer. One can only shudder at the 1980s advertised Chicken McNuggets, dressed as Dracula, do to red corpuscles and grey matter. The 1960s “Kaboom!" cereal for children might very well have degenerated average six year-olds into misanthropic Einsteins bent on grade-school carnage.

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