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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Stop the Pinkberry cult

    The UA has seen a litany of special events in its long history, including hosting U.S. presidents. But it was perplexing to see last week’s two-day celebration of a frozen yogurt shop opening. Pinkberry’s first day in the Student Union Memorial Center was met with fanfare and hysteria.

    In its home state of California, the shop has a following as cultish as a midnight movie or an underground band. That, however, raises an unsettling question. Is the madness of Pinkberry going to spread its tendrils into the fabric of our quiet university? And are we already too far gone to prevent it?

    The signs are not especially encouraging. Those from the East Coast may recall with dread the terrifying reign of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, when it seemed Americans watched with constant vigilance for the “hot” light to shine. Starbucks retains a similar following, though it has shrunk a bit since its popularity peaked. The UA — that monolith of college consumerism — now has the newest craze: Pinkberry.

    California is already dotted with Pinkberrys, and this particular brand of yogurt is even found internationally. The Middle East has an inexplicably large number of Pinkberrys, including staid Saudi Arabia. If even the denizens of a hyper-conservative Muslim monarchy are not immune to Pinkberry’s wiles, then surely UA’s population is doomed to succumb.

    Unlike most cults, the folks who crave this California-style frozen treat put their obsession out on the Internet. There is a dark corner of Pinkberry’s website devoted to groupies, which targets fanatics. There are profiles, a blog, polls to take, and stories to read and share. There’s even a contest to have a room in one’s house designed by the Pinkberry team. Apparently the indoctrination is so deep that the greatest reward for the faithful is to have their home changed so they may live eternally in the presence of their beloved Pinkberry.

    Not since the fascist regimes of the mid-20th century or the “Twilight” saga has an institution been so geared toward a fandom this unwavering. Risking the alienation of doomsayers and devoted Pinkberry fans alike, this yogurt shop will eventually fade from the spotlight.

    Those same East-Coasters who flocked to Krispy Kremes at the bidding of the “hot” light may remember that the honeymoon ended eventually. Even Starbucks, though still popular, has become the butt of seemingly every joke about invasive consumerism. Sooner or later, that Pinkberry will be little more than a tired fad. That’s not to say, however, that a little good-natured fad worship won’t be enjoyable in the future.

    So when UA students watch “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or swap Phish recordings — as they surely will for a long time to come — there’s sure to be one among them with a Pinkberry in their hand.

    — Andrew J. Conlogue is a junior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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