I am here to talk to you about a strange and disturbing quality about Breakfast Cereals that I have been noticing lately. Actually, I’ve been noticing these things since I was about seventeen years old and have been keeping the laziest eye on these sinister commercials and their propaganda filled with honeyed oats for many years now. But don’t let me get ahead of myself here. Ladies and gentlemen, fine upstanding readers with inquisitive , probing minds, I must make you all painfully aware of just how much cereal and drugs have in common.
A Crackpot Theory, You Say?
No no, hear me out. One Saturday morning, while watching poor-quality cartoons, I started paying attention to the way advertisers aimed their products at children younger than myself. These commercials are bright, colorful, loud, and seem to flash a lot or have some other manic quality to them. Before that day, my brain would sort of glaze over when they were on, which is probably what they were designed to do. Glazed over minds are open to suggestion, just like the donuts with the same quality. The donut’s hole is like our brain, open and ready to be told what to do. As we whisper commands to the donuts, the advertisers do that to us, too. We are shaped and molded to want, need, and finally demand to have the products. This seems like standard policy for all advertising, but I realized things like food products were being presented in some very strange ways.
Strange… addictive ways.
I haven’t taken the time to notice enough to make it a final sort of factual opinion — but right now at this moment, six seconds after first having the thought, it seems like absolute truth to me: Products aimed at adults are sold by advertising with sex, products for teens prey on their insecurities and wishing to “belong,” and products aimed at children are sold by talking about them as if they were very fine drugs. Particularly morning foods are advertised in the same ways I always imagined drugs would actually be advertised if they weren’t illegal and frowned upon by society at large.
Breakfast Cereals fall into three categories: Unhealthy and Painfully Sweet Cereal, Basic Plain Cereal Aimed At Kids and Adults, and Healthy Cereal Aimed Primarily at Adult Colons. This last type doesn’t really apply to my topic but it may be worthy of its own article someday. We will cast it aside and focus on those aimed at the children, the future cereal addicts and lifetime consumers with hardcore devotions to whatever product gets to them first. I have found that while the sugar-coated bad-for-you cereals seem like they would be closer to actual drugs because of the resulting sugar-rush and sugar addiction, when it comes to commercials, things like Corn Pops® and Frosted Flakes® hint at more hardcore addicting qualities.
Because I haven’t actually been conducting serious research, I don’t have actual undeniable findings for all of them. This article is meant as more of an eye-opener, anyway to get everyone looking. This is not a final analysis, kids. This is just the beginning!
Dig This Cold, Hard Evidence Made of Clustered Oats and Marshmallow Bits
I don’t really know how to put this, so I’ll just come out and say it. Cereal commercials are truly fashioned after drug addictions. Wait, have I been saying that the entire time already? It doesn’t matter — because it’s TRUE and I can’t overstate it enough! If the strange cereal mascots aren’t being depicted as hopeless addicts trying to steal from friends and strangers, they are seen as guides showing you how to obtain these much-coveted whole-grain artificially flavored sugar coated O’s filled with a satisfying crack-cocaine crunch!
While sugar DOES have an addictive quality all its own, to my knowledge, cereal really isn’t actually dipped in drugs. Although I am sure the cereal companies wish they could use such devious means to get large amounts of children hooked on their products; it’s just not good business. So they’ve decided to advertise in ways that may encourage some sort of subconscious psychological dependence. I don’t think it is an unbelievable possibility. I mean, it seems to get the job done. We’ve all had cravings for certain foods at one time or another, and when we compare the definition of a craving with the definition for addiction… Well, we see that they pretty much the same thing. In fact, when you read the section on Honeycomb®, you will find that the website has defined craving quite nicely. Originally, that section was going to be next, but I have a better idea. If you are that impatient, you can skip around, for all I care. I don’t give a flip!
There Are Two Kinds of Mascots In This World…
The ones who try to steal the goods, and the ones who try to keep their goods from getting stolen. Actually, there aren’t only two kinds, there are more like four. But I always liked dividing things into opposites like that. It always sounds so serious and true. SO DRAMATIC. Anyway, I think most of these commercials were thought of while on the mean streets of life. You watch that silly rabbit trying to score some Trix® over and over again, and fond memories of crackheads you’ve known come flooding back. Barney is continually stealing Pebbles® (both fruity and cocoa) from his best friend Fred. I guess, at least, in order to keep thing light-hearted and friendly, by the end, Fred just lets Barney have them at the last minute. But you know that if the commercial were allowed to play out naturally, it would always end with some disturbing torture scene. Or at least, that is how they always end whenever I let my mind wander.
Then we see the poor, paranoid characters trying to keep their merchandise away from crazed, greedy, fiending little children and clumsy cartoon oafs. There is the Rastafarian monkey who sings a little jingle about his Cocoa Krispies®, and how everyone is out to get them. Rather paranoid, don’t you think? What other drug is linked to Jamaica and typically causes paranoia? Hmmm. That leprechaun for Lucky Charms® is continually getting messed with, as most leprechauns are. Perhaps those Lucky Charms® commercials are more of a reflection on society’s hatred for the Irish than they are a metaphor for LSD. It’s always hard to guess what those depraved commercial writers are up to. I haven’t watched television commercials with any regularity for like ten or fifteen years by the way, so I hope some of these have changed. But I’m fairly sure they absolutely have not. Just putting that in here to let you know and get back to me on it, if you’d like.
Also found are those characters who take samples of the product in question and hit the roof and freak out, to show the consumers just how “groovy” and “cool” the reaction is that you get from taking it. Besides that Honeycomb® “Craver,” which will be discussed more in-depth a little later, as the Post Cereal’s website is actually useful and easily navigated, as opposed to that infernal Kelloggs site (circa 2006, I’m not bothering to look in 2018 oh my god it’s 2018) — the character which immediately pops into my mind is Sonny, or possibly Sunny, the Coo Coo Bird who “goes coo coo for Coco Puffs®.” He appears to have been created in the late 1960s or ’70s, with long hair-feathers and an addiction for “puffs” — just like all of the youths of that generation. He was probably one of the first cereal mascots kids could really identify with, man. And there he was, totally tripping out when he took just one bite of this foodstuff. Kids of the day knew instinctively that the Coco Puffs were “good shit.”
More commonly, though, we see the mascots who act as a guide and friend to children, showing them the way. Cap’n Crunch is fairly sinister in nature when I think of him… an old sailor who kids willingly hang out with. And he provides them with “crunchberries.” And he also does stuff to impress children, like destroy public museums with his strange land-ship and rescues the bored little monsters from “educational experiences.” Toucan Sam, the South American bird, urges children to “follow [their] nose[s].” I don’t know about you, but when I think of South America and noses, I think of following a line or lines of cocaine with a nose — not necessarily my own. Tony the Tiger seems to be on the up and up, usually. Except that he boasts that his cereal is a “taste adults have grown to love,” which hints at a very addictive substance, indeed. Perhaps Frosted Flakes® are not unlike cheap vodka and whiskey. I just drew that parallel just now.
Me Want PCP — I Mean.. Honeycomb®
I went to the Post Cereal Food Site in 2006 and found these nice little quotes for us to read. Are they still there now? It doesn’t matter!
“This sweetened corn and oat cereal has a unique honeycomb shape and a honey-sweet taste that kids have been craving for more than 30 years.”
I find that to be very telling. Their intentions were laid out for the world to see right there. They also went a step further and defined craving better than I ever could have. They made my point for me.
Definition: An intense, urgent, desire or hunger.
Craver Fun Facts: Hobbies: Crunching, gulping, slurping, slamming bowls of sweet and crunchy Honeycomb®, etc., etc., etc.
Favorite Foods: Honeycomb® cereal with milk, Honeycomb® out of box, Honeycomb® with box, although cardboard gives him gas.
Age: Unknown for sure, but rumored to be somewhere between 6 and 16.
Favorite Music: Anything that can be slurped to.
Favorite Quote: “Me want Honeycomb®!”
Wish: For everyone on the planet to forget their differences and dive into a bowl of Honeycomb® together.
When we view commercials for this sweet honeyed cereal, one of my childhood favorites, actually, we see that when ordinary children slurp and slam bowls of this product, they are subjected to amazing transformations. Their eyes dilate, their speech patterns reduce to toddler levels, they spin and jump around the kitchen or park, effing ess up and raising all kinds of heckadoodles. That’s just the thing Honeycomb encourages, it seems.
Let us compare:
PCP’s effects on the brain inhibit the user’s ability to concentrate, to think logically, and to articulate. Dramatic changes in perception, thought, and mood occur. While some users experience mild to intense euphoria, others feel threatened and because of fear, anxiety, or panic — can behave violently. The drug may also release hidden emotional or mental problems.
At this point, are you even surprised anymore?
Corn Pops®: Apparently the Most Terrifyingly Addictive Substance on Earth
“Sweetened, puffed-up corn cereal.” That’s how the Kelloggs page chooses to define those little unassuming yellow round cereal bits that teens in commercials have nearly broken down and killed for. The ingredients do not list crack-cocaine or heroin, so it is a mystery as to how Corn Pops®, possibly the most boring-looking of all cereals, has had the most violent deaths linked to its name.
Just watch a commercial. They all pretty much follow the same formula. A happy-go-lucky teen or “tween” discovers that he or she (usually he) is kind of hungry — for his favorite food in all the world, of course. So he walks into the kitchen, community park, garage, swamp, school cafeteria, stranger’s property, and begins searching for the Corn Pops®. Then his mom, best friend, principal, elderly person, witch doctor, preacher, absolute stranger says something like, “Don’t bother looking for those Corn Pops® — they are all gone from here.” The main character pales. No Corn Pops®? What is he to do? A frightening inner monologue begins at this point, where the hero becomes more and more panicked, angered, murderous until he is nearly at the breaking point. At this moment, he slams his fists onto the table, or turns around suddenly, as if searching for the nearest sharp object. However, before the real violence begins, the adult or friend either finds a new box, or some leftover in the old box, some incredibly aged Corn Pops® half-chewed near a mouse hole. The situation is resolved, and our unstable youth is shown munching cheerfully and thinking, “I gotta have my Pops.”
Does that not seem like a terribly disturbing way to sell a product?
I think I have a very easy way to show you guys just how much the effects of Corn Pops® resemble that of crack-cocaine. When you read this, it will speak for itself. I just took a passage describing crack, and just replaced the drug with descriptions of the cereal. When I originally did this, I was shocked beyond all recognition.
“High doses of Corn Pops® and/or prolonged use can trigger paranoia. Eating the sweetened puffed-up corn cereal can produce a particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users. When addicted individuals stop using “the Pops,” as they are known on the street, they often become depressed. This also may lead to further consumption of Corn Pops® use to alleviate depression, at any cost.”
I Think I Just Did More Investigation for This Article Than I Ever Have For Any School Research Paper
Well, there you have it. Undeniable proof that breakfast cereals are far more sinister in nature than we ever realized before. I encourage you all to keep an eye on those advertisements, and feel free to leave a comment about any other pieces of startling evidence that you notice. As mentioned, I really haven’t been watching enough television lately to be on top of the current devious trends in addicting children to breakfast food. I still keep hearing people blaming society’s ills on video games and movies, but perhaps we should be casting an accusing eye on children’s cereals and the world of advertising? Or absolutely don’t do that because that’s ridiculous, too.
Regardless, all of this writing about cereal has given me an incredible hunger for it, as well as fear of my childhood memories of putting five whole spoonfuls of sugar on top of already-insanely sugary cereal, creating sugarmilk sludge which I then ate without even for a second thinking about health. Those were the days. Mmmm.