The question we must ask today is this: From what source does the myth of poisoned candy draw its impressive and lasting power? It has a long history; it's with us even today (a day in the 21st century); and it seems there's nothing in the future that will prevent its return. Yes, on social media, you will find a buttload of memes that mock the very idea of poisoned or doctored candy.

But the laughter only returned because there were a large number of Americans who take this candy stuff seriously. If this were not the case, the memes (and so many of them), would have no oomph.

And so, what makes this myth tick? It is an aspect of American culture that often goes unchecked, by even the left. It is in blockbuster movies like Batman, or thrillers that feature serial killers or cannibals like Hannibal. In these works, and also in a Seattle Times story like, "Delridge Deli Mart owner paid a price when defending her store against a shoplifter," there is, in the world we live, just evil as is and nothing more or less. There are good people, and there are people who just can't help it, who must do all manner of evil things: explode bombs at popular events, rob and brutalize store owners, press razors into candy bars. 

The good people need protection from the police (or superheroes—which are often seen as one and the same), and the evil people need to be behind bars. This order of meaning, sparked by the live wire of its binary system, works well only in a world or community where there is such a thing as evil in the sense of its purity, perfection, and eternal power. This is why many can imagine a person plotting to put razors in candy bars. This person in the shadows lives purely by their imagination. They can only imagine the harm they inflict. They laugh satanically as they press the razor into the chocolate.

But in reality, which in our situation (or moment) is capitalist, and so about a social order that is determined by the social power of money, this is what actually happens:

The fatal incident occurred in 1974 after a Texas man by the name of Ronald Clark O'Bryan poisoned his 8-year-old son with a potassium cyanide-laced pixie stick shortly after he took out insurance claims on his children. O’Bryan had reportedly given poisoned pixie sticks to his daughter and three other neighborhood children in Deer Park, but the candy had not been consumed.