Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the Hilltop Address

The finale is growing on me.
Don finds the holy grail he's been seeking since The Forecast in the
ultimate American commodity fetish, an absolutely useless product that
promises infinite satisfaction, etc. "I'd like to teach the world to
sing..." could be the new Gettysburg Address he was trying to write,
tailor-made for the corporate ad agency that has the Coca Cola
account. What do you really want out of your life, your work? A
bottle of Coke. Zizek could write a book about that song, if he hasn't
already, and Coke as the Lacanian "l'objet petit a."
"As we know from Marx, a commodity is a mysterious entity full of
theological caprices, a particular object satisfying a particular
need, but at the same time the promise of 'something more,' of an
unfathomable enjoyment whose true location is fantasy -- all
advertising addresses this fantasmatic space ('if you drink X, it will
not be just a drink, but also...')"
(Zizek in The Puppet and The Dwarf)
I remember being completely offended by that commercial, as disgusted
as Sally Draper would be. John Lennon's Imagine was recorded a few
months after the other song was released on radio, but a few months
before the Coke commercial was aired. John and Yoko said they were
trying to sell Peace as a product. Coke found a way to identify
itself, fantastically, with Peace, or pax americana, and is an
anti-messiah (or anti-John and Yoko) in my reading, an anti-sacrament,
the Unreal Thing. Although delicious and refreshing.


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