Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Politics of Cola

I've often thought of the world of cola and its parallel relationship to the major political parties. Why do I often think about stuff like this? Aside from being a dork I have no other explanation.
You can't start a conversation about cola of any kind without first talking about the cola that's in charge of this country. Yes, I'm talking about Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is the old standby. Like the Democrat party of today it is a shadow of its former self. When the party was founded it was led by the likes of Thomas Jefferson who would today be a libertarian. The cola when it was founded was promoted as healthful and invigorating and in many cases did contain cocaine. The company denies this is true much like the Democrats today deny that there's any value in the small government envisioned by Jefferson.
Whenever you're done talking about Coke, you can then move on to Pepsi. There are people who love Pepsi and people who hate it, but you'll never find many that think it's just okay. It is a polarizing, yet very popular cola.
Pepsi is always reinventing itself. Every decade it has to tell you that it is the soft drink of a new generation. They change the logo and trot out some new angle on why you should like it. They know that if you're simply not paying attention, you'll just ignore them all together. Pepsi has been the number one soft drink at one time in history only. This was when "New Coke" came out. I like to think of the New Coke era. Pepsi became number one because of a monumental screw up by Coke. This explains Ronald Reagan in many ways and even more accurately does it describe Jimmy Carter. You have to look at foreign countries that use real cane sugar to find Pepsi in a form that anyone over 40 would remember.
Once you're done talking about the big two colas, you then get down to the minor colas. You know who they are...or at least you try to remember because they're not around much anymore. It's as if the big two have conspired to keep the little colas down. Moxie, Jones, and Shasta remain active in only small pockets of popularity. But everyone remembers...
Royal Crown Cola (aka RC) is the big cola of the 3rd Party colas. Everyone has tried it once or thinks they have at one time or another. They remember it tasted okay but can't really remember what it tasted like. They remember it fondly but admit they can't find it at any store where they currently shop. RC is the Libertarian Party of Colas.
For fun I've tried looking for RC in grocery stores I frequent and have yet to find it. It looks like it is crossed off my shopping list in the same manner my party has been eliminated from my state's ballot.
My preference in cola has gone the way of party preferences. I just want someone to come out with a cola that uses real sugar, is fizzy and not too sweet, and reminds me of why I used to love it so much as a kid. This time though...I'll drink responsibly.


chenchy said...

Great post....I appreciate when anyone 'breaks it down' so neatly.

BTW...I think Safeways in California still sell RC cola.

lynda said...

> just give me a tab.
>> tab? i can't give you a tab unless you order something!
> alright, just give me a pepsi free.
>> if you want a pepsi pal, you're gonna have to pay for it!
> just give me something without sugar!

berburbaby said...

MMMMM...high fructose corn syrup.

Gino said...

RC actually was an intended competitor to pepsi and coke, unlike the regionals. dont how it went so wrong.

remember late 70's?: King Cola came out and tried to make a play for the national market, taking on coke, pepsi and RC.
didnt work.

Dave Johnson said...

Then what the hell is Ralph Nader? Mr. Pibb?

P.S. - The verification word I had to type in was "boneryoc." Heh... "boner."

Esther said...

That's an awesome post. I vaguely remember RC cola. Very vaguely. In MI we had some other -- very popular in MI -- random brands that I have never seen anywhere else. Perhaps that parallels the strange voting patterns of the once great state of MI.

I thought Mr. Pibb was a Coke product?

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