The Trouble With Burritos

Lately, I've felt especially annoyed by the ubiquity of Americanized burrito purveyors that plague this city block by block. This is a lamentation for which a pithy tweet would have sufficed. But after seeing that Matt Seaton's "The trouble with cupcakes," a railing invective against cupcakes and their deleterious effect on women's empowerment, was the most viewed article on The Guardian, I thought I'd be all Zeitgeist-y and needlessly project a personal grievance upon lazily derived assumptions about the opposite sex.

Everyday at around 1:15 p.m., my olfactory senses are assaulted by the midday rewards of dozens of men who have, for the third day in a row, capitulated to the pseudo-Mexican monolith and sauntered back into the office -- chests apuff -- with their epicurean ExtenZe. (To the same extent men couldn't possibly enjoy cupcakes, nor can women appreciate Latin fare.) At best, the 15 minutes it takes them to stuff these chode-y vessels of cultural appropriation into their faces offer a reprieve from their volunteering of every thought or opinion that occurs to them. At worst, burritos are a sad attempt to regain control in a world increasingly influenced by women.

In keeping with Seaton's near-declaration that women's self-worth corresponds to carb intake...

You know what cupcakes really are? - butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women's insecurity about their looks and identity, and offer a completely false and self-defeating solace of temporary gratification, almost certainly followed by remorse and disgust.

... I'll admit that as a presumed calorie-conscious young woman, I am not part of the burrito's most committed demographic. But I'm still allowed to hate them. Like cupcakes -- whose elite status and precious adornments exempt them from health considerations -- the man's lunch burrito is seemingly unimpeachable. It is substantial but not gluttonous. Its price implies neither frivolity nor poverty. However, to the discerning, black bean-fatigued eye, these cushions of rice, beans and meat actually constitute a matrix of male oppression -- a distillation of the white man's rejection of modernity.

It's rough out there for men. Women boss them around, making enough money to shell out $3-4 for a cupcake basically all the time. Customized burritos offer a rare opportunity for men to exert agency in a city where women are way better than them. When "make me a sandwich" falls on deaf ears at home, "light on the rice" is always obliged. The burrito bar gives a man the space to be a man -- what he says goes. I bet they eat burritos every day at Yahoo.

Seaton's totally right about one thing -- I don't know any woman who was introduced to a cupcake before Sex and the City. So I can only assume men just saw burritos on The Wire or Entourage or something. But, just as women were led to believe the price tag, aesthetic value and celebratory nature of the gourmet cupcake rendered their dietary value negligible, men fail to recognize the abrogating effect of the self-made burrito on their masculinity. Chipotle's insistence on naturally-raised meat and organic produce belies the reckless hedonism characteristic of a real man. You think Don Draper gave a shit about grass-fed beef? Walter White lived in New Mexico and for five seasons of Breaking Bad, and you never once saw him with a burrito. The democratization of health and participatory approach to eating is, in actuality, the mark of a common man. Real men eat paninis that are brought to them.

To the same extent a woman could never lean in properly with the "sticky slime between [their] fingers" that Seaton pronounces as an unavoidable consequence of cupcake indulgence, what serious, self-respecting adult man could deliver a killer presentation or seduce a woman after inhaling this halitosis-inducing phallus of self-mockery?

In the end, women eat with their eyes. Men eat with their loins. If it is permissible to employ women's insecurity as an argumentative device, I can only assume men who eat burritos are compensating for something.

Is it possible that burritos, like cupcakes, just taste awesome irrespective of the chromosomal make up of their consumers? Probably. I'm just a little annoyed they don't have a gluten-free wrap.