About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    WHAT? MY SUN CHIPS ARE MAKING ME DEAF or, Mackenzie’s Shame

    By kyle | August 18, 2010

    A classic Wall Street Journal story (a funny one, or a-hed) investigates the (KRRRUNCH!) saga of the newfangled (RRRRIP!), enviro-friendly, rapidly biodegradable but unfortunately “louder than my cockpit” new packaging for Sun Chips. Amusing as the story is (it includes the story of an embarrassed fourth grader in Alaska whose snacking caused her teacher to admonish her, “Please try to open your bag more quietly, Mackenzie”), it’s also an important one. Why? Because Sun Chip sales are falling. Says one 44-year-old woman, “you want to snack quietly and you don’t want everyone in the house to know you are eating chips.” If sales keep falling (despite a lame attempt to make the bug a feature with shelf signs reading, “This is what change sounds like”), the biodegradable bag is going to be sent to the great landfill of disastrous marketing ideas.
    So this story underlines what ought to be obvious: Americans don’t want cap-and-trade. They don’t want Pigouvian taxes. They don’t want to pay for windmills and solar if they cost more than coal and gas. They don’t even want a chip bag that crinkles. They may tell the pollsters they’re devout members of the Church of Green, but when the collection plate comes around they find they have nothing in their pockets but lint. Policymakers would do well to heed the lesson: Talk green all you want. Don’t expect anyone to pay for it.

    Topics: Advertising | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “WHAT? MY SUN CHIPS ARE MAKING ME DEAF or, Mackenzie’s Shame”

    1. blackhawk12151 Says:
      August 19th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      This is an excellent illustration of the disconnect between the idea and the reality. Ideas are free, and they make people feel good. Reality is expensive, and if the annoyance of an extra crinkly chip bag is enough to cause people to abandon a snack (Sun Chips are pretty good) then Cap & Trade and the enviro-leeches that want to suck down the filthy lucre that will be thrown at every scam with the words “green” and “sustainable” attached to them are done for.

    2. blackhawk12151 Says:
      August 19th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      Please insert an “and” between Cap & Trade and “the” and my last sentence will cease being unreadable and just be clunky and awkward.