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An exploration of a phenomenon
Hey. In this newsletter, I like to explore various cultural phenomena—it’s just a weird, funny thing about me. In the past, I’ve explored the proliferation of T-Shirts that say “Is that you, bro?” Now, I’m turning my laser sights on another hapless target and boring my rhetorical drill through its limp, soft, ephemeral form. I speak, of course, of the now-forgotten phrase that used to reign supreme:
Come to the Dark Side. We have Cookies.
This shit used to be everywhere, man. You couldn’t even walk down the street in 2013 without being mobbed by an army of Redbubble-clad Nerdist stans… hellish and troubling times, my friends.
What is the whole “thing” of this joke? Is it the humorous juxtaposition of the innocuous cookie with the sinister Lord Vader? Okay—maybe that is the core of the thing, but where did it come from, why did it blow up, and what the fuck is this:
I set out on a quest yesterday to track down some answers. My first stop along the research highway? Quora, of course.
Ah, well, there’s that done and dusted. Thank god the actual inventor of the phrase came out of the woodwork to explain that the origin of the thing. I guess it’s from one session of Everquest in 2001, where this lady Tracy was learning a valuable tradeskill and presented a recruit with a bunch of cookies. She came up with the phrase, it spread around the server, and bing bam boom, there’s that then.
Or is it?
Frumpy Jones on the Straight Dope forums posits that the phrase was around in 1997. At this point, my mind was awhirl. Was Tracy a liar? I decided to dig around in her Quora history to see if she had a pattern of fabrication
No lie here.
Can’t say I’m seeing a lie…
Tracy is right! There is nothing wrong with expanding your horizons.
The more I continued to poke around the Quora history, the more complete a picture of Tracy’s life I started to form. Her husband cheated on her and left; she lives with her son off of food stamps and child support. Trump’s Child Tax Credit was a huge boon to her life and gave her a lot of relief. I began feeling uncomfortable about knowing this much. My mind swirled. Life is hard, life is always hard. We cling to the stories that make us feel big and tell them to ourselves over and over to constantly reaffirm our worth and importance. I sat in the background of an episode of the Chris Gethard show one time and sometimes I go look at it because it’s a kind of acknowledgment in the wider world that I exist.
So you know what, Tracy? I’ll let you have this one. You invented the phrase “Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.” Whoever invented it, this guy is definitely wrong:
I’m on the Adkins Diet……………Cookies all Day 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂