Monday, April 10, 2017

Democracy dies in darkness, but did it have to take the Peeps Diorama contest with it?

What with Easter coming up, an old lady’s fancy quite naturally turns to Peeps. After all, if there’s anything that says spring has sprung, it’s biting the head off of a Peep. Even though Peeps are now available year round, and for every imaginable holiday, my preference is for the original yellow chicks. Nothing like a fresh Peep. Yum!

Peeps are not, of course, just for the eating. For a number of years, the Washington Post has run a Peeps diorama contest. I wasn’t wild about last year’s winner – a cross-cut of Donald Trump’s brain. Or something. (I posted about the 2016 contest here.) But Trump aside – if putting Trump aside is actually a possibility; he sure does seem to ruin everything, doesn’t he? what a killjoy – there have been some spectacular entrants over the years. If you doubt my word, just take a look at In Your Easter Bonnet, With All the Peeps Upon It.Peep-Twinkie-B

That was the year (2013) when the grand prize winner was a tableau depicting a funeral for the Twinkie. But that was in kinder, gentler times, when we could laugh at things like the death of the Twinkie. Fortunately, Twinkies have risen from the dead and are available once again, if you’re inclined to eat one. Me? I think they’re better placed in a casket in a Peeps diorama. (On the other hand, a Hostess Cupcake: now you’re talking…)

But we have now entered the national no-fun zone. And – alas and alack - WaPo has decided to put away childish, or at least Peepish, things. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that. This year they pulled out of the Peeps Diorama business.

I absolutely agree that it’s really important to have good, strong investigative journalism. I read the Washington Post every day, and I say keep at it. But why can’t we still have Peeps? Surely Post owner Jeff Bezos understands the American psyche better than anyone else, and, thus, should recognize that, while we like serious stuff, we also crave both the impulse buy and the flat-out ridiculous. (Sometimes they’re one and the same.)

Of all the dire predictions I made in my head after the election, the Post’s doing a Peep-drop on their diorama contest wasn’t one of them. If there’s anything that’s better with DJT in charge, I’ve yet to figure it out.

Another outfit has picked up the slack and is running a diorama contest. It’s the National Harbor, which is a destination/marketplace/whatever on the Potomac. In Maryland.

But, alas and alack, National Harbor seems to be more interested in getting you to show up at the National Harbor to look aPeep-diorama-1-editedt the dioramas than they are interested in showing them to you online. All I could come up with was this diorama, which seemed more intent on showcasing the National Harbor experience than showcasing what might or might not be in Donald Trump’s head. Or a Twinkie funeral. Or any of the other swell tableaux that creatives have submitted over the years.

National Harbor – which is home to a mega-Peeps store – also sponsored a Peeps-eating contest on Saturday.

Much as I like that first bite of a Peep head, there are few things that sound more disgusting than a Peeps-eating contest. (This year’s winner, by the way, managed to stoke down 255 Peeps in 5 minutes – Peeps that could have been put to far better use, IMHO, in a diorama.)

I am exceedingly disappointed that the Washington Post is no longer sponsoring the Peeps Diorama contest.

Keeping democracy from dying in darkness – (“Democracy dies in darkness” are the words now displayed beneath the Washington Post masthead) – is obviously more important and serious than, say, the bread and circus task of running the Peeps Diorama contest. But why can’t we have both?

Easter won’t be the same this year. I might just have to bite the head off of two Peeps.



1 comment:

Rick T. said...

Has the Post blamed Putin and Russian hackers yet for this change?

Don't know why this should be different than anything else they write about these days.