Today's news that Hostess was going under came with the sting of a bitter filling: the realization that I haven't eaten a Twinkie in years. As such, guilty logic held that my own neglect had helped bring about the collapse of this iconic brand. We all felt that way, we few, we happy few, we band of Twinkie-philes.
Riding on a fit of nostalgia -- and collegial coercion -- I opened the flimsy plastic of the retriever-blonde confection. The wrapper sounded with the crinkle of memory, and the soggy sponge cake glommed onto each digit as I raised the dessert to my mouth -- the residue of ruin, of lost childhood, of American entrepreneurial failings. The Twinkie is iconic, wrapped in mythology -- the epic shelf life, the war-time sustainability. But the product, and the larger Hostess brand, is now a reminder that brand names must constantly be airbrushed, promoted, made relevant, lest they wither away into saccharine obsolescence.