Chipotle Cups are Publishing’s New Porn

It used to be the pornographers who pioneered innovative ways to distribute their product, from the banal (like matchbooks and playing cards) to the once-cutting edge province of the Interweb. In the mid-90s, the Federal Communications Law Journal published an essay by attorney Peter Johnson that’succinctly captured porn’s opportunistic exploitation of media:

“Throughout the history of new media, from vernacular speech to movable type, to photography, to paperback books, to videotape, to cable and pay-TV, to ‘900’ phone lines, to the French Minitel, to the Internet, to CD-ROMs and laser discs, pornography has shown technology the way.”

Porn has a way of filling every crevice of medium it encounters, with a particular emphasis on novelty. Until now, the only thing porn hadn’t filled, it seemed, was Chipotle cups (the container used in the cultural low of ?two girls one cup? was unbranded). However, it failed to fill this final frontier — instead Chipotle cups runneth over with literature, thanks to author Jonathan Safran Foer.

Five Authors, Five Cups

Thanks to an appeal made by Foer to Chipolte’s CEO Steve Ells, publishing is taking the big gulp and printing original works by the author and a cherry picked roster that also includes Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders and Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Lewis, who’s site, VF Daily, broke the story.

?I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles,? VF Daily quotes Foer?I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.?

And now they’re also disposable.

Perhaps porn will have its day at Chipotle when the chain serves adult beverages. Until then, as Ohioan Steve Elbert protested to the Chicago Tribune when a local adult video store was bulldozed for a McDonald’s, ?We think fast food is equivalent to pornography, nutritionally speaking.? Raise your cup to that.

About Daedalus Howell

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