Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pro Choice

One workday a week or so ago, my stomach was feeling a bit queasy, and so I headed off to one of the mini-markets on campus to buy a can of ginger ale. After searching all the refrigerated beverage cases, I was pissed off dismayed to discover that the University's new marketing agreement with Pepsi means no more ginger ale can be sold on campus! Until then I had been under the (false) impression that only the vending machines and dining units were beholden to PepsiCo. (I'm thinking I could make a little money on the side selling black-market Coca-Cola and Canada Dry products in the parking lot at lunch time.)

This morning I heard of another blow to freedom of choice: It turns out that Michael Jordan's son Marcus chose to play his first university baskeball game wearing a pair if his dad's Nike Air Jordan shoes. No problem here in the land of the free, right? Wrong. Marcus Jordan's action was a violation of UCF's contract with adidas who, unmoved by such acts of sentimentality has said it will terminate the $3-million/year agreement with UCF.

What's the point of sending thousands of troops overseas to defend our freedoms if the Corporate States of America are going to deny us the right to choose what to drink and wear?


  1. Freedom is now the freedom to consume. Your institution (like mine - and I'm genuinely in danger of being sacked for putting my views on the web) is now a mechanism for gathering consumers to purchase a restricted set of products, to be marketed to, and to be trained as good little consumers for the rest of their lives. Critical thinking is very much off the curriculum.

  2. Vole, even more cringeworthy is the current trend here to rename our K-12 public schools' top administrators "CEOs" -- it's not going to get any better any time soon!

    I hope your job remains secure ( if not, the union is behind you, right?) And should the worst come to pass, you can always find corporate sponsorship for your blog, and have more time to devote to your writing!

  3. The real pity of the Pepsico type thing is that the schools really don't get that much money for it. Depending on the size of the campus, as little as $10,000 per year. I don't believe the $3 million figure at UCF. Who the hell watches them? But your point is well taken as regards loss of freedom.
    The capitalist market economy is driven by the lowest common denominator and soon the big dog controls everything. It's also a definition of Democracy.

  4. I am completely with you on this. However, this is not a new thing. This has been going on for a very long time. With the advent of high-speed internet access, we've just become more aware of these shenanigans, I think.

    I long ago came to the conclusion that the simple fact is, we ain't in control...even of our alluded to by Plashing Vole.

    An aside, sort of...I find your K-12 idea in your county one that is beyond revolting. It makes me want to puke. Where the hell are we going with this corporate crap?

    These are the kinds of reports, along with the political situation of the last few years, which have turned me into a cynic's cynic.

  5. It's the Corporate States of America that keep the wars moving. Call me a cynic...

    In other news, it's Friday!!! Yeah!!!


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