Spring break is winding down here at UM, and I’ve used the free time to cram for my prelims (exams to become a candidate, finally). So that means it’s Saturday night and I’m watching TV…
And So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) is on, and it’s got the all you could possibly ask from the mid-1990s: San Francisco, Mike Myers, yuppies, the Spin Doctors, etc. After a classy mid-1990s one-night stand, Myers is just going to town on this bowl of Froot Loops, and it struck me – CEREAL HASN’T CHANGED IN 20 YEARS. To the right here is a box of Froot Loops from probably before the early 1990s (lacks blue-dyed froot loops; according to the Internet, this amazing cereal was born in 1963, and didn’t include the classic green, blue and purple we’re all used to until the 1990s.). Look at the box! Children were impressed and sufficiently amused by holograms. HOLOGRAMS! Pitiful.
But then you think about it – how many other children’s cereals we all know and love are any different now from when we were kids? One of the most popular breakfast cereals (indeed, it is to cereal what Cats is to Broadway), Cheerios was introduced when the US entered World War II. Rice Krispies presaged the Great Depression.
Why has there been such stasis in the development of children’s cereal? Grown-ups’ cereals have burgeoned in the mean time. Anyway. Once there was a time you were a kid and you ate Froot Loops and had fun on the weekends. But now you eat steel cut oats – if you eat breakfast at all – and Saturday night is spent working and watching sweet movies. Which I guess isn’t all that bad a tradeoff.