Yesterday, I voiced a gripe on my blog about the inherent design flaws in modern breakfast cereal bags.
Some commenters on the blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Huffington Post and Fark suggested that I'm a neanderthal and that my simian nature led me toward mindlessly ripping into the bag rather than using tools created by our evolved society, such as scissors and knives.
Here's my response to them:
As for cereal bags being a "First World Problem" -- You're goddamn right it is. And here's a tip for those of you unable to comprehend why this matters: if you're reading this right now, YOU LIVE IN THE FIRST WORLD.
Society and humankind have evolved to a point where economics and technology advance to bring us steps (and sometimes leaps) forward in our standards of living. The mere fact that there is a heat-bonding process to seal a cereal bag is itself a marvel of modern technology. When you factor in the logistics that have come into play to merely getting that cereal to a grocery store, or packaging it in cardboard boxes decorated with a four-color printing process, or the trucks that actually haul the cereal, or the massive factories full of wonderful machines that actually process, sort and bag the cereal, or the farms which grow the genetically-modified corn and wheat which is harvested by monstrous tractors...
Well, you get the idea. And my point is this: What if we just stopped advancing at any point in that process, satisfied that we'd reached a place where it was now a First World Problem to continue refining and advancing the logistics, machinery, technology or farming behind all of it?
What if the people behind the wireless remote control were complaining to his family about having to get off the reclining barcolounger (full of advanced mechanisms to swing that footstool out) to switch the dials on the television set (which broadcasts moving pictures through the air or coaxial cable), and they all yelled in unison "FIRST WORLD PROBLEM! You should be so lucky as to have television at all!"
We advance because of discomfort and dissatisfaction with our current state. You're all correct: it IS a First World Problem. Which means we have access to the educated and intelligent members of this First World society who can make the problem less of a problem. They can advance us beyond the inconvenience of ripping the bag holding the cereal by applying the simple zipping mechanism of a Ziploc bag.
Does this cure world hunger? Does this stop AIDS from spreading? Does it feed every man, woman and child in this nation? No, of course not. But it's yet another cog in the vast machine that is our ever-evolving and forward-moving society. And I'd posit that perhaps this advancement in cereal bag technology might actually lead to the next great leap forward in our technological, engineering or medical fields. Why?
Because the great minds leading those charges have to eat breakfast, too. And I guarantee you they're just as fucking annoyed as I am with the cereal bag ripping down the side.
Maybe the Ziploc Cereal Bag saves a cancer researcher a morning's frustration. Maybe they won't get all angry and agitated after opening a bag of Cheerios and spilling it everywhere. This means they won't snap at their spouse over leaving the cap off the toothpaste, causing them to be divorced. And that means they avoid a great misery in their lives forcing them to hit the bottle and get drunk while in the lab, so when they get in their car one fateful evening and drive home tipsy, they don't careen headlong into a bus full of little league baseball players and kill everyone involved, thus preventing them from finding the cure for lymphoma. And society is better for it.
Or, at least, they have a slightly less annoying day. As will you when the cereal people finally install that goddamn Ziploc device. So shut the fuck up.