Friday, September 8, 2017

Can Samoas-flavored pina colada mix be far behind?




     Boys Scouts have an oath. Girl Scouts have a promise. As both organizations were forged more than a century ago—Boy Scouts in 1910, Girl Scouts, two years later—it is not surprising that a fine mist of Victorian notions about youth clings to both groups, despite their sometimes frantic efforts to stay current. 
     The Boy Scouts, for instance, vow to stay "morally straight" and obey a law demanding they remain "clean."  The girls' morality, meanwhile, is assumed, as is their cleanliness. No vows necessary. The boys are, in a subtle way, being warned away from traps that boys are expected to be tempted by, if not fall into.  The girls, well, not so much an issue. Rude to even mention, really. They're girls. The "good" is implied.
     That's why the Boy Scouts' gradual transformation into a hate group was so jarring. They were supposed to be moral, while being blinded to what morality now meant, thanks to the shrinking in significance of what you do with other people and an increase in what you do to them. 
     Girl Scouts, well, they sold cookies. Who doesn't love cookies?
    Yet, despite this chasm in pretensions to morality, one still has high moral expectations for Girl Scouts, perhaps even more than the Boy Scouts, since they didn't have to struggle for decades deciding which kind of kid to bar at the door. Girls who liked girls, well ... let's just say, years before the military initiated "Don't Ask/ Don't Tell" the Girl Scouts were already there. You're a girl? Great, start making potholders.
     So I was a little disappointed to see this box of Girl Scouts Thin Mints breakfast cereal at the Evanston Jewel Thursday night. Really? Everyone has a bottom line, and brand extension is all the thing, but cookies for breakfast?  The Girl Scouts of America is not only endorsing cookies for breakfast, but making a buck in the process? Does that "make the world a better place," to quote one of the imperatives from the Girl Scout Law. Does that help the girls who snarf it back be "strong"? Is the girl who breakfasts on Thin Mints really, truly, "Doing her best?" 
     I imagine General Mills didn't steal the Thin Mints brand, but are sharing their cut with the Girl Scouts. So the organization gets paid something. But what are the Girl Scouts giving up in return? I have to wonder whether they thought this through. I'm all for marijuana legalization, but somehow, when the Girl Scouts offer a merit badge in cannabis cultivation, it will still be a sad day. If the Girl Scouts don't take their own program seriously, who will? 


25 comments:

  1. The Big Secret Girl Scouts don't want you to know: Keebler Grasshoppers are identical to Thin Mints & are available all year round.
    Even better, that taxing bitch Preckwinkle can't tax them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't find them identical, but the Keebler ones are a pretty close substitute and will do when Thin Mints aren't available. (When they are available, I often have to freeze a couple of boxes because it's usually Lent!) I've heard Keebler's Coconut Dreams are very like Samoas but haven't tried them yet.

      Delete
    2. Far be it from me to be the voice of propriety or political correctness, but don't you think that the reference to "that taxing b---h Preckwinkle" is remarkably distasteful for a thoughtful blog like this?

      On a more positive note, Neil Steinberg has a remarkable touch as a photographer. The photos at the top of the page are always beautifully composed and stimulating.

      Delete
    3. It's not distasteful at all, as it's a perfect description of her.
      Hypocrite & liar are simply too mild to describe a fraud like her.
      Your comment reminds me of something in "Spy Magazine" years ago. Spy had an occasional column called "Letters to the Editor of the New Yorker", because the New Yorker didn't have a letters column at that time. It was about something the magazine had published, but with the proviso that there were things it left out because they were too disgusting to tell. But as Spy pointed out, that same issue had printed an article with every four, eight & twelve letter word you could think of, uncensored, so what would be more disgusting than that?

      Delete
    4. I think Toni Preckwinkle deserves a better defense than I can give her, but suffice it to say that President Preckwinkle rolls off my tongue while I still can't bring myself to pronounce that awful combination: P.........t T.....p. I'm not sure it would have helped, but I think the soul stirring commercials about the poor kids destined for obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes should have preceded the appeal for money to cover a budget shortfall.

      john

      Delete
    5. I can't bring myself to refer to Trump as "our president", so I just refer to him as "our Trump". It's somehow more appropriate. More clownish.

      Delete
  2. Hmm...how dare Girl Scouts venture outside of their niche, because that's not the feminine thing to do? Really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh no, it would be pretty much the health/hypocrisy argument. So Wendy, you're basically offering up the Right Wing's ignore-the-point-and-pretend-something-stupid-was-stated-instead tack? Really?

      Delete
    2. Perhaps your point isn't as clear as you think it is? I had no idea if this piece was satire or not, what with the riffs on perceived gender roles and morality, and didn't even get to a health-and-hypocrisy conclusion -- I assumed you were upset that they licensed their name to a business. Because surely you know they aren't really advocating cookies for breakfast. It is cereal that (allegedly) tastes like the cookies. Whether the cereal is actually "healthy", who knows? I suspect it isn't, but given everything you say on morality and money-making and marijuana, a "health/hypocrisy argument" seems pretty well-hidden, and maybe your readers can be forgiven for not finding it without being accused of "offering up the Right Wing's ignore-the-point-and-pretend-something-stupid-was-stated-instead tack".

      Delete
    3. The health/hypocrisy argument was clear as a bell to me.

      Which is not to say I agree with it. Sugared cereals that are the nutritional equivalent of eating cookies for breakfast have been around for decades, and while they may be deplorable, they're not going away. I don't know that the Girl Scouts have ever been about nutritional fanaticism, and if they can make what is probably a needed buck out of this deal, personally I don't see much harm.

      Delete
  3. That's a great photo at the top. A few birch, maple, Norway pine, and an over abundance of jack pine. An old mostly sand logging road, blue reflectors on trees to warn snowmobilers, an amusingly out of place road sign. Looks like Yooper country, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Ontonagan. And I can't wait to get there.

      Delete
    2. Beautiful. I was at Black River Harbor last month. Going back in October. Fall is da best up dere, eh?

      Delete
    3. Thanks. Ontonagan. And I can't wait to get there.

      Delete
    4. When you get there, look for Maple Creme Cookies, made by "Dare", a Canadian company. The best cookies you can buy in a box, and they wisely haven't turned them into breakfast cereal.

      Delete
    5. oh my! Neil , I thought based on historical context your point was pretty clear and that you weren't stating your opinion but document the sexist opinions of others, the Boy Scouts of people who are different and weirdos who seethe Girl Scouts promotion of feminine purity as acceptable. cookies for breakfast? yay!

      Delete
  4. One would think an all volunteer organization like the Girl Scouts of America could get by on selling cookies to fund various activities like field trips. Think again, they are incurring extraneous expenses like paying for lawyers to defend against lawsuits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lawyers aren't allowed to sell cookies, so they have to file lawsuits to get even.

      john

      Delete
    2. Lawyers and their clients can't be bothered to do anything pro bono. And why bother if you can force hundreds of thousands of them to slave away (ha! after all they are merely unpaid volunteers, get it?) selling cookies for your benefit. Those kids can just check their little girl privilege at the courtroom door.

      Delete
  5. Once heard a nunutritionis say 99.99% of cold cereal is basically sugar coated sugar. Cracked me up. And yes, the Girl Scouts has corporate ideals, too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think the Girl Scouts are risking the specialness of the brand. The cookies are expensive but have a sentimental value for folks, and selling them only once per year adds an element of scarcity that increases the value. Better buy them now!
    Could change them from a special treat that people recall selling when they were kids to just a small box of cookies for four bucks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The irony behind this thin mint "made from whole grain" cereal is that plenty of folks I know were already eating the genuine Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies for breakfast; no need to even come up with a fake, disingenuously "healthy" product. Though I'm sure people fall for it.

    ReplyDelete