Coca-Cola, You Disturb Me

“The Coca-Cola Co, said in a statement, ‘We are very gratified that Magistrate Judge Levy recommended denying class certification as to all monetary damages claims alleged by plaintiffs. We firmly believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and will ultimately be rejected. Vitaminwater is a great tasting, hydrating beverage with essential vitamins and water–and labels clearly showing ingredients and calorie content.'”

Is it just me, or does that quote make you inexplicably angry? Now, if you haven’t read the story, this whole thing is about how Vitamin Water has been labeled by many as a completely bullshit bottled beverage. One side claims that the Coca-Cola Co. misrepresented the multi-colored piss derivative known as Vitamin Water, describing it as all but an elixir-like tonic that, like the sweet Christ’s blood, would take away the sins of the world. Coca-Cola claims that their labels were in no way misleading, and that Vitamin Water is an upstanding citizen in the society of sodas. Hell, Vitamin Water could run for mayor of Drinktown, if it was a sentient being and Drinktown was a real place!

This definitely looks like a police lineup. "They all did it!" "Good work, sir. Thank you."

This definitely looks like a police lineup. “They all did it!” “Good work, sir. Thank you.”

Now, I have plenty of issues with corporations in the first place, most of them tied into the predatory nature of common business practices and the legal definition of a corporation as a single person. But hey, they’re the way they are and there isn’t much I can do about that, except adhere to my personal responsibility to not financially support people who offend me. But Coca-Cola seems to love to take things way further than the average company, to the degree that I almost feel like they’re trolling me.

Looking back at that quote, let’s extract the final sentence and analyze it for a second:

“Vitaminwater is a great tasting, hydrating beverage with essential vitamins and water–and labels clearly showing ingredients and calorie content.”

What in the blue balls of a dying virgin is that sentence doing in a statement regarding a legal case? I’m about 100% sure that taste is completely subjective and can not be proven in a court of law, so this leads me to think that Coca-Cola just decided to rub their dicks in everyone’s faces because settling on a class action suit will cost way less than settling with multiple individuals. And so, since they jumped that hurdle, they decided to act like offended Puritans and pull a “how dare you?!” by reminding the world that Vitamin Water is delicious and hydrating, on top of its status as an in-no-way-fabricated, completely honest brand that looks out for our well-being.

Oh, and speaking of looking out for our well-being, Coca-Cola is also looking forward to being our parents! The thrust of that article is that Coke (and PepsiCo., to be fair) are now looking at releasing vending machines that will let a prospective Coke drinker know that, hey, there are things here without all those pesky calories and such. Maybe you want one of those instead?

This pisses me off way more than their readily apparent obfuscation regarding the healthfulness of Vitamin Water. Here, we have Coca-Cola, with all of their moral authority, telling the consumer to mind their high-fructose corn syrup intake, as if they have some higher ground upon which to preach to the unwashed masses.

“Hey, you like our Coke, right? Well, have you considered Diet Coke? It has way fewer calories…”

“What? I’m not even overweight. I drink a Coke with every meal because my doctor says I need to get 4,000 calories a day or I’ll die. Do you want to kill me, Coke?”

Pause, refresh, keel over and die you fucking piece of shit! We own you, you're our bitch now!

Pause, refresh, keel over and die you fucking piece of shit! We own you, you’re our bitch now!

See, that’s a conversation that can’t even be had with these vending machines. This is Coke imposing its will, making the feelgoods feel bad and the feelbads feel worse. Which, of course, is the whole idea of advertising, right? Implant the desire, emphasize the customer’s emptiness, provide the peg to fit the hole? Sounds accurate to me…

…but wait, isn’t this a company that turned itself into a financial giant from cocaine? Aren’t they still the only company in the United States that’s allowed to acquire coca plants (not that there’s cocaine in Coca-Cola today, to be fair)? This is the shepherd of the flock who will tell us that, “hey, we make this thing, and you want it, and you paid for it, but before you get it we’re going to punish your self-esteem just a little bit while marketing other drinks to you.” I don’t think it should ever be considered “pining for the good ol’ days” when you want to buy a product and get only what you bought, but if Coke gets their way, apparently Coke will get to take your money AND be your moral superior.

This is where it gets so frustrating for me to think of a corporation as a single person. Legally, that’s precisely what they are, and that means a couple of awful things. One, the people who hide behind the Coke puppet and move the mouth & limbs are only held accountable by shareholders, and then it’s only a financial accountability. We all know what these empty calories do to us, and the word’s still out on the safety of the things they put in when they take the calories out, but the people who move the big Coke machine don’t do time or even endure just one good punch to the face when their products destroy people’s lives. And if you don’t think that these things destroy our lives, just do one simple test: if you drink soda, try to go a week without it. You’ll either not be able to do it, feel really sick & lethargic for that week, or you’ll stop drinking the soda and suddenly feel great. Nothing that’s good for you has those effects on the human body. The body needs fuel, not a bunch of bullshit fuel additives.

More than that, though, is yielding to their will and truly embracing the idea that the Coca-Cola Co. is its legal definition, that it is just a single person. Some guy named Coke. Well, if that’s true, then that guy Coke is the biggest dick in the whole world. This guy pushes shit on us that we didn’t know we liked until it was too late to stop liking it, then he badgers us all the time, everywhere we go. He’s a graffiti artist, fucking up everything beautiful by tagging his name wherever he can get away with it. He fakes outrage that someone would call him out when he does something wrong, and then uses the moment of positive, sympathetic currency he might have earned in being partially vindicated to remind us about how what he does is good and how we should all want his honest, forthcoming presence in our lives. Hell, then he even has the nerve to chastise us about our life choices when the only choices we’re making with him revolve around something he does and something else he does. He’s the class president, if the class president is also Patrick Bateman. I’m surprised I haven’t been cleaved in two by a shiny axe with a Coca-Cola logo on it.

What bugs me most about it, though, is that I like soda. My favorite soda in the world is Mr. Pibb, which is a Coca-Cola product. I’m one of their customers. And I don’t need them to bend over backwards to make me happy. All I want is what I want from any product, and especially the products I’m going to use repeatedly, which is that they leave me alone when I’m not using the product. When I want a soda, I’ll think of it, and then I’ll go get the one I want.

In the meantime, I just want my fucking space, Coke. You’re over here all the time and it’s starting to become a real drag. The fact that I sometimes feel like asking you, “if I pay you, will you go away,” and that your answer would be “no,” is making it really hard to keep on liking you. Matter of fact, I pretty much don’t like you any more. If Pepsi wasn’t such a cunt all the time, I’d probably have kicked you out years ago…but Sugar-Free Rockstar is making a much better case for being my pal than you are, Coke. If you’re just a legal, single person like anyone else, you have to know that people aren’t going to want you around when you’re an asshole all the time. Trust me on that.


About xtopherjacques

I'm an unreliable narrator, which is supposed to be the fun of it. I'd imagine it's a lot more fun to be led off a cliff if it feels like a circus until it happens. Oh, I'm an average guy; I respirate and dream. Here, I'll talk a lot about both. There will likely be too much talk about bodily fluids of varying viscosities for one's liking, but I refuse to change that until it bores me. Thankfully, I also have healthy obsessions with foods (it might get weird), body washes and obscure media. I also talk a lot about my house being haunted and possessed, neither being true. All of those things should keep this all interesting enough. I sure hope so.

Posted on 08/02/2013, in The Little Things That Will Eat My Sanity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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