Taco Bell very seldom appears in Literature, which I think is a shame because Literature definitely owes an enormous debt to tacos, chalupas, and Crunchwraps for providing cheap and readily available sustenance to impoverished young writers. But now there is an entire literary journal devoted to our Fourth Place. Isn’t life marvelous?
The Taco Bell Quarterly actually launched last summer and has just published its second issue. It contains poetry, fiction, and essays with titles like “Thirteen ways of looking at a bean burrito” and “Taco Bells I Have Known.” Over at Vox, Constance Grady has an interview with MM Carrigan, the TBQ’s Editor Grande Supreme, about the whys and wherefores of her publication and why Taco Bell is a much better muse than Chipotle.
“They’ve just always had this cool attitude,” Carrigan explains. “They slather another layer of nacho cheese on their product and call it a new product. There’s something about that that’s similar to writing, metaphorically.”
Taco Bell is not officially involved with the TBQ. A lot of people were telling me, ‘You’re gonna get a cease and desist,’ and I kind of worried about it,” Carrigan says. “But like I’ve said several times, I felt like, ‘Taco Bell’s a friend of mine. They would not betray me in that way.’” And Taco Bell did not. Now Carrigan is trying to convince the chain to set up an arts endowment so that the journal can start paying its writers.
Well, hey, the Renaissance never would have happened if artists hadn’t gotten rich people to support them while they worked. Could Taco Bell be the Medicis of our time?