Spaketh the meme:
If you’ve ever been on the Internet, you’ve seen some variation of this.
For me, the statement in the meme is true. But let me explain.
It has to do with the fact that oatmeal raisin cookies are delicious. If you don’t believe so, it’s a very good chance you’ve been eating the wrong ones. Get the kind that are really oat-y with plenty of cinnamon: they smell great, they have a very nice texture, and even if they induce a diabetic coma (oatmeal raisin cookies can be pretty sweet, Sugartooth!), they are made of oatmeal and raisins, which are a real foods, so you can trick yourself what you’re eating is not entirely unhealthy for you. I don’t really know what more you can ask of a dessert food.
The oatmeal raisin cookie has become such a byword for yuckiness and sadness that last week Tor published this article where they are made the defining feature of a post-apocalyptic dystopia.
No, nothing is wrong with a chocolate chip cookie, especially if the chunks are huge and gooey. But there’s about a billion cookies to which oatmeal raisin is far superior, regardless of what marketing campaigns tell you.
(Oreos. I am looking at you, Oreos. The cream filling tastes like the Elmer’s paste they give to kindergartners: “safe to swallow” more than “edible.” And that’s the good part! Do you have any desire to put the rest of the cookie in your mouth without soaking it in milk first? No, you do not. If you gauge what people think of Oreos by how they eat them instead of what commercials have taught them to say, you must conclude those are disgusting cookies.
But the Internet would have you believe that oatmeal raisin is the greatest trick the devil ever pulled. That’s a lie: it’s convincing the world it would ever prefer Oreo cookie crust instead of graham cracker. Made with the part people throw out! Whereas graham cracker is practically perfect as is.
Once the Internet gets an idea into its hivemind, it feels like nothing will ever jog it loose again, even if it is obviously wrong. Then you have a choice to make: either hold your peace, or spend the rest of your life enduring the condescending pity of the entire world.
You can say to yourself, “Who cares? That’s just more oatmeal cookies for me.” But let’s be honest: it matters what other people think. When we get a pushback every time we express an opinion, it affects our happiness. And every time we refrain from expressing an opinion, from fear or even just out of fatigue, something is taken from us. Deep down, we desire the freedom to be ourselves regardless of context. Does the fact I like oatmeal raisin take a chocolate chip out of anyone’s hand? If anything, the opposite. For some reason, people whose opinions enjoy the consensus bitch the most if on some occasion someone questions their judgment.
Eventually you ask yourself, is it really worth it? Does the positive satisfaction of enjoying raisins in oatmeal really surpass the negative pleasure of not getting shit on by the wildly-misinformed chocolate chip majority? Do I really value the momentary absence of pain more than any pleasure? There is no doubt that sometimes I do. On the other hand, every time that happens, I erode a little piece of my identity, the essential bits that make me uniquely me. And I also know this: that the erosion of my identity is the most painful thing I can endure.
(In the long term, I mean. Once I accidentally jammed a wood burner a half way into my thumb. I’ll gladly keep my peace about all sorts of inane crap before I do that again.)
But where do I draw the public line of my identity: before or after oatmeal raisins? The fact is, there is no easy answer.
It’s not only the reason I do not trust others, but sometimes why I do not trust myself. Because very often I draw the line in the wrong place.
(Psst. This post wasn’t really about raisins.)
(Also, fuck the Oreo. Seriously, you can do better. I invite you to feel the love here until you are strong enough to love yourself.)
What’s a thing on the Internet that everyone thinks they know but are tragically in error about? This is a judgment free zone please. Er, unless it gets completely out of hand. Please use your judgment.