February 3, 2014

“Coke’s Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ Ad Draws Fire”

Predictably, GOP establishment scions like Lisa Murkowski — and the academic and political leftwing scolds always on the lookout for dog whistled “racism” and “xenophobia” – were thrilled by the vacuous “inclusiveness” of the call to celebrating tribalism, balkanization, and the deterioration of a national identity of the kind that has kept the US the most tolerant country on earth, and away from situations seen in the UK or Paris or Kosovo, etc., and were quick to demonize those who were put off by the ad, in which we’re supposed to have our heart strings tugged by idealized polyglot treacle.

You can go back and read my decades’ long posts on identity politics, multiculturalism, and the left’s obsession with what liberal icon Arthur Schlessinger Jr called the cult of ethnicity to see exactly why I believe it part of a concerted and long war on the US from within, seeking as it does to deconstruct the very idea of individualism while leaving in its wake the poison of  political correctness, stifled speech, and perpetual victimization, which brings with it the profiteers in the form of the grievance industry.

The ad was as superficial as any political pander to ethic tribalism, and while it disturbed me, I’m used to being inundated with such forced propaganda, so I didn’t really pay it much mind, except to make a comment to my wife, who also thought it contrived and a bit unsettling, from the perspective of American heritage.

The reality is, the left wants an apartheid state so that it can fight constantly against the evils of a divided people it helped create.   That is, they need to create devils in order to paint themselves as avenging angels.  And of course, one need look no further than their hatred of Israel and concomitant silence over regimes that won’t even allow members of its own nationality and ethnicity to practice other religions, to see just how perverse and disingenuous they are.

And yet here we are, with dopes like Lisa Murkowski pretending to “get goosebumps” over such maudlin marketing, thinking in this way she’ll show herself as cosmopolitan and not “racisty” like the fringe wingers (eg., Allen West, who simply must be an inauthentic black, given that liberal whites don’t like that he doesn’t follow the model they’ve helped design to signal real blackness) — and not even realizing that she is literally celebrating the disuniting of America and the reduction of individuals into group identities laid out along ethnic lines.

Par for the course, really.   When you have no principles, it’s easy to adopt any that sound good on the surface, particularly if you believe it expedient to do so.

And that’s the GOP in a nutshell.

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:33am
88 comments | Trackback

Comments (88)

  1. Cokes been at this for a long time, few really notice I assume, just the ones wanting to make a thing out of it.

  2. When I saw the commercial, my first thought was “Wonderful. All these diverse ‘lovers’ of America can’t take the time to learn the song in its original language.”

    Off topic: How did your son do over the weekend?

  3. now the Axe ad. . .

  4. “New Coke,” after being, dropped as a product, migrated from being a Pepsi clone product to being a Pepsi-clone-ad campaign.

  5. Hey, but they did have the references to anal sex and threesomes in the candy commercial though.

  6. I thought it was a little bit cool, and that it sort of meshed with families who are recent immigrants, some of whose family members still speak the language they learned as kids in the home.

    But the use of Hindi and Tagalog over Mandarin, Korean, and a host of other languages that are almost certainly in more common usage here was mystifying.

    All in all, I found it to be clever, but not overly so, and also not particularly annoying.

  7. It would have been a better commercial if it had been sung in English with different accents. Not that I care that much. It’s just an Irving Berlin song. And frankly America was starting to lose it’s looks from all the drugs and partying. Er, I mean taxes, corruption, rent seeking,welfare state building, and regulations.

  8. I’d like to teach the world to sing
    In the language that is mine
    I’d like to buy the world a Diet Dr Pepper
    And not Twizzlers but Red Vines

  9. Barry Rubin left us an open access to some of his books, one of which we find there is Hating American: A History, the sixth chapter of which is entitled “Cold War and Coca-Cola“. It’s a thing – both for us, and for Coke, and this is in part, I assume, how they propose to deal with it. Do they know they’re only asking for more of it? Possibly not.

  10. I have to look at the Bob Dylan commercial again. It seemed to be saying, “This is America and we build cars, dammit”

    I never thought I would see Dylan doing a commercial. The time they are a changing.

  11. Hmmm, it had always seemed to me that Bob Dylan is a non-stop commercial for Bob Dylan. But then, perhaps I was just grown cynical early.

  12. “I’d like to buy the world a Diet Dr Pepper”

    I’d like to buy the world an RC and a Moon Pie($0.10) so they could see how low the budget snack standards were in the heyday of greatest generation. A Monster Fish Taco on a dark rye tortilla and a caramel macchiato? WTF is that? ($8)

  13. I still can’t believe that’s an R. Crumb thing. It must suck being the first alt-pop-culture hipster perv and having nothing to kick and rail against but the 50′s.

  14. “Cattle flavored snack cakes”? I don’t remember those at all.

  15. i didn’t get goosebumps but also I wasn’t particularly annoyed really

    I didn’t have any real emotional connection to the commercial at all actually

    a lot of it though I didn’t understand cause I had no idea what they were saying

  16. I wasn’t watching when it aired, apparently, and I haven’t been so driven to see/hear it that I would go looking for it. In some ways Super Bowl ads are like the first episodes of new fall TV series were back in the day: overhyped, occasionally up to the hype, but always setting the stage for disappointment as the theme is developed in later episodes/commercials.

  17. it is so “hope and changey” and unicorn farts but mostly farts

  18. Don’t forget the guy dropping the yogurt onto his lap.

  19. i thought the bear had the yogurt?

  20. John Stamos was eating yogurt and a girl was licking it off.

  21. what was the bear doing destroying the store? i had the sound off i was listening to aaron klein.

  22. Then you missed some classic Dylan.

  23. thank you

  24. Does anyone have a list of Coca Cola products and related companies? I know it won’t matter to the Piss Water Giant, but I’ll feel better if I can avoid supporting it as much as possible.

  25. Smoke, you’re stuck unless they sell RC cola or the like where you live. Pepsi is also a huge O! donor.

    Check out their logo, ferinsance. They changed it when the Wahn was running the first time.

  26. nr, the bear was getting a Chobani yogurt cup.

  27. Coca Cola owns:

    Fanta (a brand of drink invented so coca-cola could do business with the Germany during WW2 without bad publicity attaching to the coca cola brand itself)

    Tab, the saccharine flavored cola

    Sprite

    Powerade

    Minute Maid / Simply Orange

    They own part of Nestea along with Nestle,

    Barq’s

    Fuze

    Lots of others.

  28. Link to all things Coca-Cola.

  29. my favorite right now is Coke Zero

    the Fuze stuff has all been on closeout at Ralph’s so we picked up the banana colada and tried it with pineapple vodka

    this was not a particularly successful libationary experience

    nope

    but what I have learned recently is if you need to get rid of some old tequila – whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff

    just do the following

    buy some creme de cassis – or just cassis – either way

    do two parts tequila one part cassis and splash some orange juice or 7 up or ginger ale or what have you on top and padazzle you has a tasty summery beverage you can enjoy any time of the year

  30. Didn’t bother me at all.

    You can look at it as all the nations of the world singing America’s praises, in their own tongues.

    Because we rule that much.

    It’s another iteration of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” which was as harmless as it was vapid.

    Besides, you can go anywhere on this planet and ask for a Coca-Cola and they know what you’re saying, even if they don’t have any.

  31. Also, I have suddenly developed a taste for diet Pepsi after a lifetime of disliking colas.

    Dunno why. Maybe because the other diet offerings at work were Mt. Dew, Fresca, and Root Beer, and I was utterly sick and tired of them, so any port in a storm.

    Pepsi has a lighter taste than diet Coke, is why.

  32. is good to mix it up every couple decades or so

  33. My suspicion was always that “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” was really “Stop pissing off the Russians and let them have their way, or they’ll blow us all up and it’ll be your fault.”

    To me this sounded an awful lot like ” We made this to piss off racist tea baggers because only evil rich white males want to US to have a border and wanting a border and an immigration policy is a form of racist violence against all these nice people. We also made this to congratulate ourselves on not being racist tea baggers because making this proves that we are not racist tea baggers, who could NEVER make this.”

  34. I’d like to disarm the USA
    So Russia could be our friend
    I’d salute them as they marched right up
    And offer them your rear end!

    I wonder why I’m on this train
    To Alaska’s frozen plain
    I’m sure when my Comrades hear of this
    They’ll send me back home again!

    I haven’t had a soda pop
    For thirty goddamned years.
    I’m blind in one eye, my toes won’t bend,
    And the frostbite took my ears.

  35. America the open-doored
    Stands ever leftward bound
    The strikes and mobs
    Who long for jobs
    Are very widely found.
    America, America
    God’s turned his back to thee
    You cursed his name
    And carved thy shame
    From vain iniquity.

  36. I thought the commercial would have been better if they all tried to sing it in their broken English.
    But I realized Coke was trying to make apolitical statement.

  37. The Kind of Coke the rich folks drink
    Hecho en Mexico
    No wonder then that some folks might think
    That coke might want to show
    That borders suck from north to south
    And cheap labor must flow
    And ain’t it sweet if wingnuts bleat
    They’re racists don’tcha know!

  38. palaeomerus says February 4, 2014 at 4:30 am

    hear hear!

  39. For Chrysler to suggest that American cars exist in the same realm of quality as German beer and Swiss watches is to declare total war on sanity. There cannot be a single sentient being on the planet that would believe this.

  40. Thanks, leigh.

  41. And thanks to you too, paleo.

  42. To me this sounded an awful lot like ” We made this to piss off racist tea baggers because only evil rich white males want to US to have a border and wanting a border and an immigration policy is a form of racist violence against all these nice people. We also made this to congratulate ourselves on not being racist tea baggers because making this proves that we are not racist tea baggers, who could NEVER make this.”

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    But if you go with your interpretation, mission accomplished.

  43. Sometimes PR messaging/propaganda is PR Messaging/propaganda. But keeping our cool about the culture war has served us AWFULLY well so far. Why the “Republicans want to kill big bird” chant practically debunks itself. Right?

  44. “Woman Who Can’t Afford Her Own Birth Control Scrapes Up Money For Congressional Run”

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2014/woman-who-cant-afford-her-own-birth-control-scrapes-up-money-to-file-for-congressional-run/

  45. Sometimes PR messaging/propaganda is PR Messaging/propaganda. But keeping our cool about the culture war has served us AWFULLY well so far. Why the “Republicans want to kill big bird” chant practically debunks itself. Right?

    That was slightly different. If you buy your interpretation, that means you’re being trolled, and that said trolling was effective in that it got the response they were looking for.

    Which is not to say that we don’t enjoy spanking the troll from time to time.

  46. “Woman Who Can’t Afford Her Own Birth Control Scrapes Up Money For Congressional Run”

    Academy award for most unfortunate use of the word “scrapes” goes to…

  47. “If you buy your interpretation, that means you’re being trolled, and that said trolling was effective in that it got the response they were looking for. ”

    It’s ‘have you stopped beating your wife yet creep?’ style trolling. So not reacting is a moral victory? Points awarded? Sounds strategerescent.

  48. If some random moron on the internet asks me if I’ve stopped beating my wife yet, of what value is the question? He does not know me or my wife.

    Though the temptation would exist to reply, “Yeah. Your wife enjoys it more.”

  49. It’s ‘have you stopped beating your wife yet creep?’ style trolling.

    I don’t see the equivalence. Coke makes a commercial and no one reacts; no accusation made and no offense to be taken by anyone. People reacting to it, with outrage, is where the trolling wins.

    Of course, any reaction at all being equated to racism is not logical. Who could have expected the left to indulge in illogic?

  50. I like that mattwalshblog link. He’s making some really good points.

    Contrived firestorm, looks like.

  51. “If some random moron on the internet asks me if I’ve stopped beating my wife yet, of what value is the question? ”

    The random moron was Coca-Cola , the wife was ‘feriners, beating them is bein’ agin’ ‘em crossin’ the border whenever they have a mind ta’, and the internet is the Superbowl.

    “I don’t see the equivalence. Coke makes a commercial and no one reacts; no accusation made and no offense to be taken by anyone.”

    Somehow, against all that, Twitter and blogs are agog with people anticipating a reaction, the actual reactions, explanations of the reactions, twisting of the reactions into much worse reactions, and sneering about who would hate the commercial.

    But I have an active imagination it seems.

  52. “Out of nowhere, graphic depictions of other cultures and skin colors infested my TV screen. There was a brown one and, like, a Mexican guy or something.”

    Matt Walsh is asking if like maybe I could just beat my wife with bare knuckles instead of using fireplace logs and try to keep the impacts on the arms and legs instead of the neck and face because…because Matt like CARES. Like those fuckin’ plastic rainbow bears that people had when he was a kid. That’s how much he cares for what happens out here on the Flat Jesus Scarred faith based earth we tubbily stamp around on. Because I’m not worried about the law and jobs and national security. I just don’t like brown people what sound funny. And Matt does. This week. He’s not afraid of people who are different than him, because SCIENCE! Also fuck that shit heel homophobe Duck Commander fuck!

  53. Okay, I read the second half of Matt Walsh’s thing. Okay. I was wrong about him.

    Maybe.

  54. Conservative reactions to it included, and were possibly confined to: Michael Patrick Leahy, Todd Starnes, and Allen West.

    Not racist, but a touch xenophobic. If you’re being xenophobic and people ping you for being racist, that’s only a bit of a stretch. If you’re being xenophobic and people ping everyone that votes the way you do, that’s a stretch.

    America is composed of diverse cultures. Some of those cultures tend to be insular for a while. Anyone who is surprised or shocked by this insularity needs to get out more.

  55. America is composed of diverse cultures.

    The question of material and form jumps straight out. Not least, since the men of the formation weren’t specifically committed to a thing called culture. But whatever.

  56. So where was the backlash? If people are lashing back at things, I want in. I’m always up for a good backlash, but I just couldn’t find it.

    Aw, man!

    There I go, cheating myself out of a backlash again.

  57. No not even xenophobic. No one is objecting to foreigners, foreign visitors, immigrants, or foreign languages. It’s Coke telling us that we need to hear ‘America the Beautiful’ sung in multiple languages to know that America is diverse and welcomes immigrants. The very idea that the country needs Coke to tell them that after generations of being told that, is a sort xenophobia against many of the people in the country.

    Being told that when people want to grant amnesty to illegal entrants, and the second language is Spanish places it in the realm of cynical place setting for the upcoming debate and push through.

  58. The question of material and form jumps straight out. Not least, since the men of the formation weren’t specifically committed to a thing called culture. But whatever.

    Sorry, I can’t figure out what you are saying, here.

    If you’re saying that immigrants have to leave all connections to their culture of origin at the border, I have to disagree.

  59. It’s Coke telling us that we need to hear ‘America the Beautiful’ sung in multiple languages to know that America is diverse and welcomes immigrants.

    Really? Coke told us that? I missed that part of the commercial.

    But maybe it’s because I wasn’t looking for something to be offended by.

  60. a sort xenophobia against many of the people in the country.

    Isn’t that what someone cleverly thought they would name ‘oikophobia‘ — ‘homey-fear’, I guess.

  61. This is all remarkably echo-chamberish. All of us agreeing with each other like this is just unhealthy.

  62. “all connections”

    Really dude? Leave all connections to their culture of origin at the border = not singing America the Beautiful in another language in a Coke commercial at the Superbowl?

  63. “But maybe it’s because I wasn’t looking for something to be offended by. ”

    Maybe. Who can say.

  64. Material and form are simple parts of the definition of things. ‘What is America?’, being the question to define. We can say America is these and these people put together. Or, we can say ‘America is a peculiar form of republican-democracy’. But culture, as I said, wasn’t so much a concern of the men who made the peculiar republican-democracy. They talked instead about stuff like justice and injustice, power and its distribution with a view to avoiding tyranny, and other political matters such as these.

  65. Really dude? Leave all connections to their culture of origin at the border = not singing America the Beautiful in another language in a Coke commercial at the Superbowl?

    Do you even hear yourself? It was a fucking commercial.

    If you’re not expecting commercials to be trite and stupid, you’re in for a lifetime of disappointment.

  66. “Do you even hear yourself? It was a fucking commercial.”

    Did you hear the part where you spun ‘material and form’ into leaving all signs of prior culture at the border just so you could pirouette and disagree with it ?

    “trite and stupid”

    Not really my complaint.

  67. If you’re not expecting commercials to be trite and stupid, you’re in for a lifetime of disappointment.
    WHAT??!!?? I’M FUCKING OUTRAGED!!!!

    Also sleepy. Might be time for a nap.

  68. Did you hear the part where you spun ‘material and form’ into leaving all signs of prior culture at the border just so you could pirouette and disagree with it ?

    If you didn’t see a question mark in there, how can I trust you to properly read anything else I say?

    Asking someone did you mean this is NOT in any way equivalent to asserting that they did.

    Hopefully I really don’t need to be explaining this, and it was all just a mistake on your part.

  69. Gah. STUPID HTML!!!!

    @#$%^&*!!!

  70. The puppy and Clydesdale was trite and stupid.

  71. “If you didn’t see a question mark in there, how can I trust you to properly read anything else I say?”

    Oh okay. Well since I might not read it properly I’ll just kind of “miss” it from now on and we’ll avoid any further misunderstanding.

  72. Sorry, there was no question mark. There was a statement that said something like this:

    I don’t understand what you said. If you said X, which is one possible interpretation of your rather terse statement, I disagree.

    Left out, because I tend to be overly terse myself, was a re-request for clarification.

  73. I’ll just kind of “miss” it from now on and we’ll avoid any further misunderstanding.

    Ok, fine. I have to go where there is no Internet for several hours, so it’s just as well.

  74. If you’re saying that immigrants have to leave all connections to their culture of origin at the border, I have to disagree. –

    No, but we’re certainly not doing that, are we? Matter of fact, we’re giving them voting ballots in their native language if that’s what they need. From a story in 2012.

    Effective this week, Hispanics who don’t speak English will be entitled to Spanish-language election material in urban areas of political battleground states including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Utah and Florida. For the first time, people from India will get election material in their native language, in voting precincts in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, due to their fast population growth.

    But certainly a commercial means nothing. We all like ethnic food, and have neighbors from around the world. BUt I don’t care so much for the burka-clad women in Detroit, or the enclaves of ethnicities with are insular and don’t see what’ so great about America.

  75. If confined to the first verse of America the Beautiful [1913], what’s so great about America is plain (not to say ‘the plains’, exactly): it is beautiful. And that beautiful expanse is great. And maybe, too, the possibility that God will hear the invocation to “. . . shed His Grace” on it, and crown the good with brotherhood — from socialist coast to socialist coast.

  76. The random moron was Coca-Cola , the wife was ‘feriners, beating them is bein’ agin’ ‘em crossin’ the border whenever they have a mind ta’, and the internet is the Superbowl.

    Secret meanings defeat the purpose of communication.

  77. Well, mass-communication, sure. Other sorts? Not so much, in conformity with and according to the purpose at hand. In which case, intentional mis-communication is something of an achievement — one at which, we might note, the ClownDisaster seems to be something of a proficient.

  78. Anyway, the reason the jackelopes wanted a backlash to the Coke ad is because the Cheerios ad backfired. Fook’m.

  79. From sea to shining CCCP.

  80. I think it’s politically correct treacly nonsense, like the United Way’s Diversity, It’s What We have in Common nonsequitur of a couple years back.

    If Coke were really out to dish the rubes, they’d have used that Woodie Guthrie ode to communal ownership.

  81. But Ernst! Our strength is in our diversity!!!!1!!!!

  82. Just ask the Habsburgs. They’ll tell you.

  83. Given how well they managed to marry over the centuries, they clearly communicated the language of love.

    Maybe something to do with that lip?

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