Chocolatey Experiments in Human Nature

It begins with a giant hershey's kiss. The thing has a calorie content of 900, and has 55 grams of fat. Meg unwraps it to bite off the very tip of it, but the cocaine-like qualities of the delicious Pennsylvania-made chocolate won't let her stop there. Another nibble at the tip turns into a peck off the side, and within minutes, the entire 7 ounce mass is a gooey liquid in her stomach. "Why?" you ask, "Why didn't she stop at one bite?" I'm going to have to write my way to a thesis on this one, because, in all honesty, I have no fracking idea.

You will notice my use of the Battlestar Galactica fake "F-word" there, in place of the actual, which would be censored anyway. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. But more so than nerdiness, the reason I watched it was that I got caught up in the story. Of course I thought the whole Cylons and humans and battle for control of the planetary colonies thing was corny at best. But even though I knew it was stupid, I watched it anyway, because I needed to know what happened. And they kept making more of them.

I managed to stop watching the show 24 at the end of the 6th (?) season (the first season they made it) when the constant adrenaline, nervous music, and time-bomb-ish beeping noises (the ones that played when the window would split into 4 windows and the digital-watch font time popped up on screen) finally got old. It came to a point where the adrenaline was laughable and, at the same time, almost sickening. With the predictable schedule of Jack's once-a-month near-death experience, biweekly outbreaks of Cheney-doctrine "torture the terrorist for national security purposes", and then something new goes wrong every night. And then durning Nielsen rating months, one of the characters would selflessly sacrifice for the good of the nation, agency, or each other. It's no wonder it got old.

In these two TV series, we see the two reasons to stop watching: an end to the show, or boredom. As strange as this all seems, the same can apply to the massive hershey's kiss. Let's say that Meg ate a giant desert, or just finished inhaling whipped cream from the can. She takes a bite, another nibble, and before you know it, half of the kiss is gone. But she stops there, since now she's starting to feel a little queasy from all this sugar. Until she had too much, she didn't stop. I'm sure that you're starting to get a little fed up right now, since I'm babbling about gastrectomy (Mao reference anyone?) and bizarre American television, but there's a really interesting point in all of this: you can never have just enough of a good thing. It's like an equation in which y needs to equal 0, but it's a parabola with the equation y = x^2 + 4, it skips the value you're looking for. Think about the American Psyche; uncanny, eh? 

I could and would go on for hours about how this is the flaw in every economic and political system from suburban capitalism to Siberian utopianism, but it's 12:47 AM, and I have class in the morning, and you probably don't want to here about it anyway. We can't accept the contentedness heralded by Taoism because we always want (as stated in the incredibly apt cartoon "How a Sandwich Makes You it's B*tch in 11 Easy Steps" from Hyperbole and a half.) We need more and more, without reprieve, until we've had too much, and so essentially, we can never be happy with what we have. 

Which makes me wonder how the people who are happy are happy. But I guess that's a question for another time, a time when it's not 12:55 AM. Even in writing this, I can never take just one nibble of the hershey's kiss.

The End

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