Armagideon Time

“Lifehacking” may be a fairly recent phrase, but the sentiment behind it was a core principle of the American Century and the consumer capitalism taken as both a cause and effect of its brand of triumphalism. It was a drive for Convenience and “Efficiency” in all things. That it also happened to increase the per unit price while helping to distinguish a brand against from the pack of identical products was just a happy accident, I’m sure.

It was such a ubiquitous aspect of daily life that it became the stuff of Tex Avery ‘toons and facile comedy bits — ludicrous promises of purchased paradise whose parodies often paled behind the real deal. Was it really so hard to pour a glass of juice, spoon out a scoop of sugar-saturated yogurt, or vault the low culinary hurdle of mixing your own damn pancake batter?

Perhaps, but that was beside the point. Science — of the practical, profit-minded American type — was there to serve as an eternally-flowing cornucopia whose ever new, ever improved wares were the birthright of a dazzled populace willing and able to pay for them.

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4 Responses to “‘Tis a gift to be simple”

  1. Crowded House

    Taken in this light, the Hot Pocket is actually the peak of lifehacking efficiency. Cram several foods into a bread-like shell and heat it up-there, instant lunch without the hassle of actually assembling something yourself. Cooking has been taken out of the equation altogether, just reach for one of these and you’re good to go. It’s a cheeseburger, it’s a pizza, it’s a meatball sub, it’s everything the American consumer needs for his life on the go! It’s simple, it’s convenient, it’s ready in 2 minutes! When you want a meal on the go, reach for a Hot Pocket, America’s choice for somewhat edible foodstuff of the future!

    Sorry about that, the idea of Hot Pockets as a 50′s foodstuff invaded my brain and wouldn’t go away.

  2. sallyp

    Seriously? Like pancakes are difficult to make?

  3. Christopher Pinkleton

    They marketed a shaker like this for instant pudding too.

  4. athodyd

    “Liquids?” So vodka is okay?

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