Today I ran errands over my lunch break and I was like “well maybe I should check out Target’s mini-deli prior to my departure.” This was so I could try something new other than one of the random sandwiches we have in our work market, or a traditional Lunchable (my choice approximately 6/10 times).
The featured photo is the lunchable box (I took this after I ate most of it, so the hardboiled egg is long gone).
Honestly, I sort of missed the regular, generally disgusting old Lunchables that I usually reluctantly consume at my desk over my lunch break. Maybe I am addicted to plastic. Who knows. But, I have a few actual issues that could be addressed strategically that would improve this product that I am clearly the target market for.
- Maybe make it so that the crackers can fit along with the cheese and salami. The mini flax seed corn chips would be a lot better as a regular size flax seed corn chip in order to cradle the salami and mozzarella as we have become accustomed to while eating lunchables since we were in the early elementary days.
- Possibly pick a different thing other than a peeled hard-boiled egg for the side fun thing. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it! Or, that I don’t enjoy hard-boiled eggs! It just seemed like it tasted like nothing when I opened it which was alarming bc it was an egg wrapped in plastic.
- Either make it so there is the same amount of salami and mozz or state on the box that theoretically you should be putting 2 pieces of salami per peice of mozz or you will end up with a bunch of stray salami that you will have to eat like chips, or adding to your already chewed up flax seed mini-crackers in your mouth because you cannot place the meat on top of them.
All and all I generally feel more nourished than when I eat the plastic lunchables that are made for children. But the possibly artificial food found within them is much more efficiant than the adult version. Maybe dried fruit instead of hard-boiled egg? I don’t know, whatever.
no (wait wtf thats what sierra mist is called now?)
no dammit I want a lime soda
Ashley got me into this stuff. It’s amazing both for the songs genetically engineered in a laboratory to be perfectly catchy, and for the absolute mastery of marketing.
So, there’s a few like big talent agencies that run the whole operation. I don’t know all of them but one of the biggest is JYP, named for Jin-Young Park who used to be a big time pop star himself in the 90s but now he is a producer and mogul. So what they do is make these all-boy or all-girl groups, in the vein of like your Backstreet Boys or N’Sync. BUT they are also reminiscent of like the Spice Girls, in that each of the group’s members has their own persona and style.
That’s TWICE, I actually can not stop listening to them, for real.
As you can see they also often load the roster up with as many performers as possible. Which is GENIUS. Because there’s no pretense of this being like a little garage band that all knew each other and dreamed of making it big together. You know how in the US they always have to push some kind of narrative like that? Or else the focus is on like, the one big name (like your T Swifts or your Biebers or whatever). The ONE exception maybe is like One Direction, which reads almost as a throwback to the 90s-00s boy band era in the US and which is now sort of falling apart I think?
Cause the thing with K Pop is, they have distilled the essence of the pop group down into its individual elements, and it works PERFECTLY, like a well oiled machine. There is no pretense or narrative: these groups are openly constructed piecemeal by recording executives, or in some cases, like that of TWICE, by reality show contest. They don’t even pretend the group members are songwriters: they’re entertainers. Every group will throw in like: the pretty face, the dancer, the rapper, the badass. Or some slight variations depending on how many people are in the group. The songs, as I mentioned before, are basically constructed by committee to appeal to everyone.
So, you put a bunch of young, attractive people in a group together, give them songs that are guaranteed to be hits, and watch the money roll in. THEN, as if that’s not enough, you can watch fan reactions to gauge which members are the most popular and spin them off into lucrative solo careers. And since they signed long term contracts with you in hopes of getting their big break, you own all that new content too! This is what happened to Hyuna, who got her start in Wonder Girls before going solo. She is also the lady with the pool balls shirt in the Gangnam Style video. Her song “Bubble Pop” is amazing.
And THEN you can just fill Hyuna’s old spot in Wonder Girls with someone else and it’s totally OK! Nobody pretends to be mad about authenticity because it’s just accepted that these are pop songs and they don’t work that way, and it’s totally ok. It’s a much more efficient way to do things, I feel.
The other genius thing they do, is release more than one type of music video. When the song first drops, they do a big production-number kind of music video to promote it, with costumes and set pieces and whatnot. But then, they KEEP releasing videos. The big songs all have choreographed dances to them, so you have to watch the dance studio video to learn how to do it. Then you have to watch the dance studio variant where they’re all in school uniforms. And then the remix dance video! FOREVER! I think this makes it so you don’t get sick of it as quickly. You’re still getting the hook drilled into your head, but it feels fresh and so you get a lot more life out of it.
OK, one more thing that exists in this crazy pop culture universe is Fan Chants. During live performances, the audience chant/sings along to the song with like accompanying lyrics, that are designed to supplement the song without interrupting it, and which often feature the names of band members.
I’m not really clear on this but I’m pretty sure fans make these up on their own and then they get adopted like unofficially-officially.
OH yeah the real last thing is that you don’t pick a favorite within a group, the correct term is ‘bias.’ I don’t know why, it just is. For example, in TWICE, my bias is Chaeyoung. Because she is badass and wears good coats.
In conclusion, I will link to Itaewon Freedom, which features JYP himself and is funny.
Hey! How Stuff Works did a podcast about the stuff we talked about a few weeks ago. It’s right here.
I am trying to make this as cryptic as possible basically bc you know he has Google Alerts set up.
CreatedInvented a certain Kangaroo shaped frosting cookie 90s snack food phenom
2. Invented a certain variety of chips on a certain brand that are actually not as greasy as the normal kind because they are cooked differently. He actually learned a lot about how to engineer this product perfectly for years and invented a machine to achieve this which is pretty amazing.
3. BFF with the lead artist (sculptor) of a certain brand of collectible big eyed religious children made out of ceramic material. (He illustrated his children’s book that he wrote and published which I will get to in no.4)
4. Wrote a piece of literature for young humans that facilitates them learning how to interpret data in the form of letters in a different way than has been engineered by past teachers. It did well. Once, on Amazon, a lady commented and said that her autistic son had not spoken once in his 20 years of life and after he read the book he started speaking.
5. Did one of those speeches that are really expensive to attend but actually you can watch them on the internet for free.