Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Totalitarianizmas Klizmas

Via Zach the Smith of Weiners, this gem, available on Taco Bell's confirmed YouTube channel, suggesting that it's part of a legitimate ad campaign.

True or false: when I purchase a product, it's probably fair to say that my sale contributes to the entire corpus of my trading partner. I'm not just buying a flaccid burrito, I'm supporting an accounting department, supply chain managers, packaging, and in this specific case, advertising.

On the one hand, I am genuinely grateful to live in a world of such plenty, such color, diversity, and vibrancy that the grim, dark warnings of George Orwell can end up as fodder for corporate pissing contests. It suggests that the mass exterminations of the Soviet Union and Nazi Europe are now quaint artifacts of a Whig history, now long overcome. On the other hand, I have actual relatives (in-laws, to be specific) who had to hide buried in outhouse shit to escape Red Army rape squads. So fuck you, Taco Bell I guess is what I'm saying.

Twelve million human lives were fed into the slaughterhouse that was 20th century totalitarianism. Twelve million people, or at least their descendants, might still walk the earth today were it not for the horrors inflicted by the governments whose imagery Taco Bell ad execs felt comfortable deploying in ads for their diarrhea factory slop.

This is not a euvoluntary exchange. This is wretched cultural pollution. I can forgive a foolish college student for wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. Kids are stupid. I have a much harder time forgiving Yum! Brands, a Fortune 500 company, for committing the same egregious breach of decorum.

But take heart, I'll still go to the barricades for your right to produce disgusting advertising garbage much the same way I'll go to the barricades to defend your right to produce disgusting faux Mexican culinary garbage. It's a free country, after all.


  1. Honest question: is this different in degree or kind from the famous Apple 1984 commercial? Are you as offended by that one?

    1. The '84 Apple spot was deliberately invoking the film adaptation of 1984 (the one starring John Hurt as Winston). The specific references to a work of fiction give it more of a pass. This drek is just Soviet/Fascist iconography expropriated to hawk stoner food.

      Also, I was ten when the Apple commercial first aired. I didn't know about Stalin's horrors at the time, and it's tough to muster outrage thirty years after the fact. I won't remark here on Apple's social proclivities, but when one lies down with fleas, one expects to get up itchy.

  2. Also - the kid in the che shirt is stupid, but he also is glorifying che. As nauseous as I find the commercial, at least tb sets itself against totalitarianism. But I agree overall with your disgust.


Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?