Saturday, December 06, 2008

Taco Bell "Supreme"

I ate breakfast this afternoon at 1 PM at a Taco Bell. This kind of eating is not uncommon among comedians; it's probably why the average comic rarely lives past his mid 30s.

After I ordered, the person waiting on me asked "regular" or "supreme". I asked what the difference was, she said: "Supreme is the same taco except with sour cream."

I'm sure you already knew this, but I want you to think about it: according to the people who run Taco Bell, the only difference between an ordinary something and a supreme something is sour cream.

Here's what Webster's has to say about the word supreme:

"Supreme (adjective)

1. highest in rank, power, authority, etc.; dominant
2. highest in quality, achievement, performance, etc.; most excellent
3. highest in degree; utmost
4. final; ultimate"

Or... sour cream.

I realize that it's just some stupid sour cream, but I think this might be a big reason why our country has been slipping a bit in recent decades; the devaluation of our superlatives. For instance, "awesome" used to be a word that was once reserved for acts of god; now it's routinely used to describe pizza.

Advertising plays a large part in this. When you're trying to sell, you can't be reasonable. You can't say: "Mop and Glo: it'll make your floors temporarily less dirty." You have to say "Mop and Glo: It's so unbelievably awesome and astounding, it will literally knock the shit right out of your colon" or some such.

Eventually, all the good words get co-opted for silly things. You do this enough and the good words don't mean anything anymore. How can you give someone a compliment that has any kind of real resonance?

"Dr. Jonas Salk will forever be remembered for his supreme accomplishment: curing Polio."

It's not unreasonable for the average kid to think that all Salk did was take Polio and pour some sour cream on it.

1 comment:

Meg said...

I am constantly amazed at your ability to express your thoughts so well and with such humor.

My "man meat" and I were talking about this the other day. Not exactly in the same context but whatever. We were talking about that damn Macys commercial were they say Macys at least 100 times and the over usage makes the word feel like it has no meaning. Its a bizarre feeling really. But it lead us to talking about the word awesome and how so many people feel that its a childs word now, and if your over the age of 12 it should never come out of your mouth. When did this happen?!!?!?!? The word is in the bible, the word as been said and written by so many great influential people all over the world. When did it become a childish word? When? When?

Probably the same way supreme as come to mean w/sour cream. What is the world coming to?

Pardon any crazy spelling, lack of sleep is getting to me.