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It's not just that faux-creaminess and the many ritual ways to eat it (scoop out the filling first?; eat it like an ear of corn or like a hot dog?). It's the deeply useful metaphor of "Twinkies," a word describing something foolish and empty-calorie inconsequential. Then there is the "Twinkie defense," a weird footnote in American jurisprudence. In his murder trial, Dan White, the former San Francisco supervisor who shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and fellow Supervisor Harvey Milk, argued that he wasn't guilty of outright murder because he was suffering from diminished capacity; he was depressed. And evidence of that depression? That he, a former cop and health-conscious guy, was eating junk food, including Twinkies, and so was a victim of diminished capacity.
We need the Twinkie. And getting back those 18,000 jobs lost when Hostess management shuttered the company would be nice too.
Above: A customer fills his shopping cart with Hostess snacks in Chicago on Dec. 11.