And overrated

October 1, 2006

Overstuffed RavioliWhat does it mean for a thing to be “overstuffed”? For this is a word that crosses not only ontological barriers (from stromboli to plush animals) but also barriers of class (compare these two examples).

But what is supposed as a limit over which this product is stuffed? Consumer expectations? Industry practice? Good taste?

I prefer to imagine that these products are stuffed beyond the limits of safety and that they may, at any time and with no warning, hemorrhage stuffing. The question, then, of why overstuffed products have recently come to the fore is easily answered: marketeers – always eager to provide a new experience for stimulation-weary consumers – have decided that the best way to add excitement to their product is to add the possibility of violent rupture. Not only does this engage with consumers’ desire for new, exciting experiences, it also forces – much to the marketeers’ glee – their wary eyes to stay always on the product in question. When you have to handle your pasta like a cartoon character handling nitroglycerin, it’s hard to think of anything else.

I’m just waiting to see “overstuffed” under “body type” on myspace.


One Response to “And overrated”

  1. thomas wilk Says:

    will you please do a university of ideas lecture on this huge topic?


    in fact, november will be the month that people will give 4 minute improvised lectures. i find your attendance to be compulsory.

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