Age of Wonders

heroes Good news, fellow Earthicans: Our heroic epoch’s leading minds shall never cease their valiant, world-historic labors to solve the great challenges of the perilous times. According to the latest Advertising Age:

Few people would suspect that what’s inside an unmarked building some 30 miles north of New York could change __(a)__, even the entire __(b)__. But that’s what __(c)__’s ambitious, high-energy __(d)__ are promising.

This unassuming office park houses the __(e)__ Lab, and inside are the results of months of intense research. __(f)__ have been working to chart a new course for a __(g)__ that has endured __(h)__, just behind __(i)__.

Over several weeks early this year, Brad Jakeman, president-__(j)__ officer, has walked key __(k)__ constituents around the lab, talking about ideas and showing off mock-ups of new __(l)__ machines, samples of __(m)__ and new __(n)__ concepts. It’s a world where __(o)__ specifically — and the __(p)__ generally — is __(q)__ again.

He insists it’s not a pipe dream.

Answer key:

live_for_now(a) = the way consumers view a soda brand

(b) = cola category

(c) = Pepsi

(d) = marketers

(e) = Beverage

(f) = Pepsi execs

(g) = brand

(h) = an embarrassing slip to the No. 3 soda

(i) = Diet Coke

(j) = global enjoyment and chief creative

(k) = Pepsi

(l) = new vending and fountain

(m) = licensed products

(n) = marketing

(o) = Pepsi

(p) = cola category

(q) = cool

And some dare question the entrepreneurial system!

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MartinMark LovasMichael DawsonMarla Singer Recent comment authors

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Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Hi Michael, This is a great blog (in case if you still wonder if it matters – it does). I appreciate the quite solid (yet accessible) analysis. As I’m sure you are aware, the biggest question that remains unanswered is how the hell a large enough and sustained enough social counter-action is going to happen? All – literally all – trends point in the exact opposite direction. The mass society is now completely fragmented, trapped in false consciousness, i.e. unable and unwilling to see the fundamental problems with the capitalist society. Where is hope to come from? By the time… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Thanks. Sure, there is always a possibility for hope, delusional or not, better nurture it with all rational means possible… That said, the thought police has been incredibly successful indeed. For example, I find it disturbing that these days the mere mention of Marx somehow constitutes an argument and an insult, or an accusation against people feel the need to defend. A few weeks ago, I wanted to punch Robert Reich in the face – after Bill O’Reily non-chalantly called him a communist who “loves Marx”, the poor chap went out of his way to “fight back”, as if either… Read more »

Mark Lovas
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Michael, do you know about this pretense that Wal Mart is fighting poverty? I was in that coffee shop (yes, the …..) the other day, and saw a brochure or something about WM fighting poverty. I wanted to throw up, but simply turned away, and tried to ignore the outrageousness of it. In fact, there’s so much outrageous stuff out there I cannot keep up…(I mean when I go to the grocery store and there is this obnoxious in-house radio with insincere voices of people who sound like they are high on some sort of happy pill and they start… Read more »

Mark Lovas
Guest

Michael, do you know about this pretense that Wal Mart is fighting poverty? I was in that coffee shop (yes, the …..) the other day, and saw a brochure or something about WM fighting poverty. I wanted to throw up, but simply turned away, and was outraged—How can they get away with that? –Do people really think this is normal (in a normative sense of course!)??

Martin
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Martin

Marla, of course, raises a very central question. 1. Yet the onus of response should go to the blog proprietor – I have my own perspective, but Mr. Dawson has done the brave intellectual work of both writing a book and expanding upon it with this essential blog – becoming this generation’s Vance Packard or Leslie Savan, and then some. 2. Commenters should want to comment, though I have found that on other sites, the proprietor becomes all peevish or censorious when his or her biases are not reflected by the commenting angle – so Common Dreams, Louis Proyect, Paul… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Martin, there are many Marx overviews/textbooks out there that are short but decent, and even some of his own shorter work, other than Capital (e.g. The economic Manuscripts), will do for the basics. I understand the hesitation to dive in (Capital vol. 1 alone is more than 1000 pages!), and it is probably not necessary for most people to work through each and every detail. But the reason Marx is still important today is because he shows, through rigorous analysis (that has not been successfully refuted to date to my knowledge) how and why capitalism is ridden with internal contradictions… Read more »

Mark Lovas
Guest

Michael, It’s a bit odd, you know. We know it’s a lie, but I didn’t have the heart to actually read the thing. By the way, if you forgive me for departing from the specific topic of your post…..I was disheartened to realize (after a couple of years) what exactly is most offensive about The Coffee Shop (a euphemism)…It is a g.d. factory—and this is due to the “drive through” window. There is a lesson in that, though I don’t know quite how to spell it out. It’s not enough that cars do the damage they do (to civility and… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Michael, here are a few anecdotes from my life that you will find relevant: I grew up in a formerly socialist country in Eastern Europe. Having been in the US for 10 years, in a better than average middle class occupation, I have concluded that my quality of life is not much better than it was 20 years ago under a disintegrating communist regime, and in some aspects it is worse. Consider a few details: 1. As a kid and a young adult, it never occured to me that I need more than one pair of pants and 1 pair… Read more »