This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Twinkie Dies in the Wreck of Innocence

The product was born innocently in the 1930s as a snack cake with a banana filling, but as Hostess grew beyond humble origins, the Twinkie matured from a niche bakery product into a mass consumable.

This was an age -- the 1940s and 1950s -- when consumers trusted industry more or less completely. Our homes, our food, our clothes were all cheaply manufactured. Out of what? Who knew? The decisions over materials were made well out of the public eye and rarely, if ever examined.

As a result, many products became a physical form of fiction: the hot dog made to resemble sausage, polyester clothes made to resemble expensive natural materials like silk.

This culture saw industry as a key to a brighter future. Man-made products were better than natural products. The Twinkie fit in perfectly, it's alien shape and mysterious ingredients only making it that much more attractive.

Hostess brilliantly saw how to feed our adoration of this man-made future, advertising its Twinkies in the pages of serial superhero comic books like the Fantastic Four, Green Lantern and The Flash. (You can see a small collection of these ads at geekosystem.com.)

But since then, the tide has turned against the Twinkie. The rise of the environmental movement in the 1960s made us begin to question how products are made, where the materials come from.

That process of questioning has not abated in the last 50 years. If anything, it has escalated. The 2004 film Super Size Me is only the latest, most public display of this growing cultural suspicion of mass production -- a suspicion that has successfully pressured the film's target, stalwart American junk food icon McDonald's (MCD), to be more upfront about the contents of its goods, as reported in 2004 by MSNBC.

In short, the Twinkie was representative of our faith in industry, our trust in the assembly line and in the promise of the artificial. Eating Twinkies was like eating the host at Catholic mass: a sign of belief, of giving ourselves to the system that supported us, protected us, a sign of our yearning to become one with the creator.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs