Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Fri Jul 28



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Time for Tortilla Reform

Greg Piper

Corn chips should stand on their own, not upheld by the edifice of white guilt. Unless you enjoy colored chips ironically.

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Call me a radical, tap my phone and expose my philandering, but I believe that tortilla chips should be judged not by the color of their corn, but the content of their crunch.  That's why I object to the idolization, or Mayanization if you will, of non-white and non-yellow chips.

Of course there's nothing morally wrong with, say, blue or red tortilla chips. Indeed, the fact that such colors are sometimes intermingled in the same bag shows that we can overcome hyper-partisanship in this country and make real change. Though, if the metaphor holds, we'd all be eaten alive by a snacking giant (China).

But the popularity of the nontraditional chips among certain people has nothing to do with their perceived superiority to your average bag of Tostitos or Santitas. They choose, and often pay more for, colored chips because of their color. Okay, fine. But as our president would say, let me be clear: You are a Chip Supremacist, and you must recognize the logical consequences of your snacksual preference.

You will settle for less. All chips are created equal, unless they are labeled organic or come from free-range, sensually massaged corn. But if you prefer blue or red chips, you will get excited to see them in a university cafeteria or buffet, whereas you might sulk and think "I'm paying $8.50 for this?" if you saw white or yellow chips. (Sodexho pulled this stunt at my college, using a rainbow of lies to mask the low quality of the chips.) The central problem - that you are paying a relatively high sum for lots of mediocre food - only arises in your mind if the chips are historically represented among cornstuffs.

You are deeply patronizing. Corn chips should stand on their own, not upheld by the edifice of white guilt. Unless you enjoy colored chips ironically.

You are gullible. Because of the high expectations around them, colored chips are bound to disappoint and lead their adherents further and further from reality as they seek to justify their investment of time and meaning in these supposedly anointed wafers. Chipostles are more vulnerable to getting talked into taking strings-attached personality tests, buying HD Radio receivers and other embarrassing activities.

Have you even been to a good Mexican restaurant? Chances are their made-in-house chips are yellow. Why? Because they don't need gimmicks!

You can do better than dolled-up corn chips to show your love of every tribe and tongue. Buy Natural American Spirit cigarettes instead.

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These (Chip) Colors Don't Run

Jeremiah Lewis


Tortilla chip racists will mask their subtle arguments in the guise of chipotlatial equality, calling for a return to our white-chip values, eschewing the red and blue (and avocado green) tortillas in preparation for their next whites-only party, and issuing bullet-points that practically spell out the new Jim Crow laws in nacho cheese-dipped venom. They claim to own the salsa ver-d-itas, but it comes off like the twelve-hour aftermath of a Chipotle burrito binge.

First, they'll claim that nothing is inherently wrong with blue or red chips, and they'll even try to play the multicultural understanding card. But in their ploy, they will undercut those very colors as subordinate to the white chip. "The original white chip offers the same substance for less cost, implying inflation patterned corn chip pricing for colored chips means less substance for the same value." Sound like anything you might have read about in your Civil Rights history book?

Isn't the fair market value of a product determined by its customers? If they choose a bag of red corn chips over its less expensive alternative, the bag of white or yellow corn chips, it demonstrates an openness to variation, to the acceptance of immigrant chips in our social market.

To not be swayed by the outward appearance of the chip is indeed reflective of our own beginnings, where the founders claimed that every chip is created equal and endowed by their creators to certain inalienable qualities, that among these are Taste, Crunchiness, and the pursuit of Carne Con Queso.

Not only do colored chips offer much needed spectral variation in the grocery aisle, but they also provide taste differences as well. Disney wasn't wrong with the hit song, "It's a Small World After All" and it's nowhere more in evidence than in the chip section. Tostitos now grace a wide-band spectrum of flavors, from guacamole to lime and jalapeno, to the old standby, fried corn.

This isn't just white corn chip guilt coming into play either. Some people genuinely enjoy the alternative taste experience multicolored tortilla chips offer.

The White Chips Only signs should have been left behind years ago. Put your blinders on, and dip freely, using whatever chip first touches your fingers. Yellow, white, red, or blue--it doesn't matter... in the dark.

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