Monday, February 3, 2014

The Real Thing: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Coca-Cola and Us

God save us. Philip Seymour Hoffman died with a needle in his arm and Coke enflamed the idiocracy on the same night with an ad. I can't help but see two sides of the same coin. The failure of the drug war lies deep within our obsession with escape and the urge to commercialize every square inch of human endeavor. Hoffman, an incredibly talented and empathic artist, felt that obsessive need to escape the hum-drum reality of a world grown increasingly global and flat at the same time. And while America was tuning into the annual celebration of hyper-commercial carnival known as the Super Bowl, Hoffman was dialing into his own demise courtesy of little plastic bags of Ace of Spades. No need for moralizing on the suicidal act -- we all share the guilt. Coke obviously is just another drug, and they sell it by pandering to perhaps an even worse, but equally American instinct, the urge to conformity. While the company was clearly throwing down a marker on behalf of so-called "diversity" with its ad celebrating different languages and races under the banner of "America the Beautiful", one could also be appalled at how trite and colorless the world really seems with Coca-Cola.
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