Not Good For the Jews

21 May
Jonathan Safron Foer (photo:Robert Birnbaum)

Jonathan Safron Foer (photo:Robert Birnbaum)

A friend apprised me of New Yorker “20 under 40” annointee Jonathan Safron Foer’s crusade to save literature via a collaboration with corporate fast food dispensary Chipotles. A casual search-engining will bring you numerous citations of this noble campaign, I accessed Vanity Fair:

Jonathan Safran Foer was chowing down at a Chipotle one day, when he realized that without a book or magazine or a smartphone, he had nothing to do while munching on his burrito. “I really just wanted to die with frustration.” Surviving this terminal frustration, he was impelled into action and he contacted Chipotle’s C.E.O.:

“I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text,’‘Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service?’

Chipotle Cups

Chipotle Cups

Thus was born the bold initiative, Cultivating Thought. The gist of which is that various Chipotles’s containers are festooned with original texts by Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Michael Lewis,Sara Silverman, Sheri Fink and Judd Apatow.

Now this cutting-edge scheme has garnered some grousing and opprobrium some of which can be traced to Foer’s unerring ability to piss people off. Why a successful, well-meaning young author seems to raise hackles remains a small mystery. Because he’s a graduate of snooty Princeton? A Jewish person? Because he wrote a quasi vegetarian manifesto Eating Animals? Because other than Princeton’s Toni Morrison, there are mostly white boys included in this clique of genre pioneers (this no doubt will be corrected in the near future).

If you want to read further on this kerfluffle

Wall Street Journal

Chipotle’s press release




A Chipotles burrito

A Chipotles burrito

I am partial to this note to be found at The Concourse:

So fuck you, Chipotle. Fuck you and your overpriced diarrhea torpedoes and the overly earnest fart-sniffers you hired to pimp them out. Next time, just put a maze on the bag.


Currently reading Natchez Burning by Greg Ilses (Morrow)

One Response to “Not Good For the Jews”

  1. Lisa Alvarez July 1, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    Check out our FB page: Cultivating Invisibility: Chipotle’s Missing Mexicans

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