Understanding Jean Baudrillard with Pumpkin Spice Lattes

In related news, Halloween is every day.

The fact that we welcome the return of pumpkin season just masks the fact that there are no seasons. We could probably ship pumpkins from all around the world to get our pumpkin fix year-round. But even then, it's only the third order of that list above. It's not quite at that next level pure simulacra shit.

Did I mention that there's no pumpkin in your pumpkin spice latte? That delicious sip of fall you just imbibed is actually a pure simulacrum, of that fourth order. Pumpkin spice doesn't conceal the fact that there are no longer seasons, pumpkin spice has no referent in reality, it exists for its own sake. The only thing "pumpkin spice" refers to is itself.

Tags: , , ,

6 Responses:

  1. Ricky says:

    To be clear, "pumpkin spice" refers to the spices often used with pumpkins — cinnamon and nutmeg being the primary ones that come to mind. Pumpkin is an adjective here, modifying spice.

    • jwz says:

      See, I knew this because I actually read the article.

      • Ricky says:

        Mea culpa. I've seen too many people proffering the fact that there is no pumpkin in pumpkin spice as either interesting or outrageous, and reacted mostly to that.

  2. k3ninho says:

    "Those who bake will quickly note that “pumpkin spice” derives from the mixtures of spices (nutmeg, allspice, etc) that go into a pumpkin pie."

    The time of the year where USAnians think about pumpkin pies is Thanksgiving, and therefore pumpkin spiced lattes are a seasonal thing. However, if I have my "Understanding Jean Baudrillard with Pumpkin Spice Lattes" right, the pumpkin spiced latte is a simulacra that appears on the Starbucks menu board to trigger nostalgia about Thanksgiving.