BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Have to talk something that’s really been bothering me lately…

THE MAN.

(THE MAN is everywhere nowadays, isn’t he? I wonder how that happened?)

THE MAN PART I

“NY’s finest” are now under pressure to “generate funds” ie to write more tickets. (This news comes from a friend of mine who happens to be a New York City cop.) The economy is in the shitter, the city is strapped for cash, funds are drying up, so…you get the idea. The cops have been “told” to write tickets in situations where they might normally use “personal discretion.”

This is scary for many obvious reasons. Believe it or not, a cop has a big book of reasons to stop you, pull you over and ticket you…even if you think you’re “not doing anything.”

Beware.

THE MAN PART II

Here’s a neat little controversy in Washington. “Someone” at the Smithsonian moved a photo exhibit of Alaska’s (incredibly controversial) Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to a dark corner of the museum AND trimmed the captions/descriptions from the photos.

“Why’d they do that?”
Gee, I wonder.

You know ANWR; it’s a giant chunk of land that the Bushies would just love to rip up, and an area that environmentalists desperately wish to preserve. (“Good luck!”)

A few Democrats on the Senate Rules Committee (most notably Dick Durbin) have cried “foul” and accused Smithsonian officials of acquiescing to conservative pressure to hide the exhibit. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, praised museum officials for “being astute enough to recognize (political) advocacy when they saw it,” and for trimming the (liberal) captions from the photos.

No one wants to rip ANWR up more than Senator Ted, ‘cepting for the folks at BushCo.

(Should we really worry about a fucking “orange alert” if the Dems and Repubs in the Senate have time to worry about the Smithsonian exhibit?)

THE MAN PART III

What happened to the soda can? Where did it go? Yes, you can still find six-packs of Coke at your local grocer. However, most of my area convenience stores and vending machines have been pushing the 20 oz plastic bottle…hard…and that freaks me out.

I recently strolled into the Circle K on the corner of Vermont & Beverly to buy a can of Barq’s Root Beer. I was shocked (and awed) to find myself staring at a refrigerated wall of 20 oz bottles. No cans. Just a wall of 20 oz plastic bottles.

“Why is this,” I asked the attendant.
“Mumble, mumble. Whir, click.”

Translation - profit, baby. Pure profit. The good old days? 12 oz can, 50-75 cents. Today? 20 oz bottle, $1-1.25. See how easy it is? Economics for dummies.

Trust me, that “extra” eight ounces doesn’t cost THE MAN a thing.

“But I don’t want 20 ounces of cola. I’m trying to lose weight.”
“Hit the button for the diet one.”
“Oh. Right.”

(Pause)

“Wait, won’t the Nutrasweet in the diet one give me brain cancer?”
“Haven’t heard that.”
“Right.”
Clink, clink…
“The machine takes dollars, man.”
“Cool.”

Hey, the 20 oz bottle is a party for kids, teens and adult males 18-35. They love the pretty bottles, and they love the extra eight ounces.

“But, sir, Research has been concerned about the alarming rate of obesity and diabetes among those groups. We might be at fa – “
“Research? Alarming?! Fuck those dorks! The quarterly report comes out tomorrow and I’m on my way to Aspen!”
“But, sir, we have a responsibility —“
“To our shareholders, fuck you!”
“Sir-“
“Security!”
“Urgh!”

The snack industry has been doing the same thing. You can’t find the little (2 oz) bags of chips anymore. Just bigger bags, like Dorito’s 5 oz “Mega Grab” bag. “Mega” meaning…it’s a step up from the 3.5 oz “Big Grab” bag…which replaced the 2 oz bag years ago. Mega meaning…five ounces of hardcore saturated fat. A sixteen year old dude will plow through that “Mega Grab” bag before you can say, “Hey, take it easy, kid. There are five servings of chips in that one bag.”

“Ugga bugga?”

Oh, forget it.

More later.








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