"(Dan Goubert) credits 'the coolness of ’90s retro commercials' with fueling the creation of his blog Cerealously.net, where he reviews cereals and Pop-Tarts, as well as reports on the latest cereal news. More recently Goubert has started co-hosting The Empty Bowl, a “meditative podcast on cereal.” Goubert says the ritual of eating a bowl of cereal — 'the scientific balance [of] the milk in the cereal consistency, and the clanking of the spoon on the bowl' — can be an exercise in thinking deeply, even for non-cereal-obsessives. The Empty Bowl has a devoted following, including Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who praised the podcast on Twitter, while the Cerealously blog has garnered mentions in Forbes and amassed more than 17,000 followers on Instagram."
In a week where stock market meltdowns and a spreading global pandemic have most of us feeling queasier than the thought of a "cheesy mashed potato or pot roast cereal," we could all do with an emotional palate-cleanser in the form of a story about cereal box collectors. Cereal boxes, those riotously colored totems of childhood nostalgia, are serious business for those who have built YouTube and podcast audiences around. So who'd ever imagine this cartoon-festooned subculture has a nasty underbelly of animosity that dates back to the 1980s collectibles show circuit? Of threatened lawsuits and snotty letters written on Kellogg’s Corn Flakes stationery? Accusations of driving up prices and competing fanzines?
We could all use a Proustian experience that takes us back to a sweeter time with the tale of Gabe Fonseca, who traveled all the way from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to visit the General Mills archives in search of his white whale, a box of Buñuelitos. But when the object of your obsession – breakfast cereal – has origins as a dubious cure for masturbation, maybe things were always destined to get a little odd.