Can Pepsi Cans Save Protesters?

- - Nelson Lewis

Pepsi can can save protestsMay first is my birthday.  The presents are always a plus, but the older I get the more I realize it’s just another uneventful day.  Despite their badass new stadium, Sunset Park, It’s long enough into baseball season that we can agree that the Braves will have yet another bad year, and the most we can do is wait for football season to start (go dawgs!).  Yet for socialists such as Comrade Bernie and the barista at my local coffee shop, it marks “May Day”, a protest day meant to celebrate the rights of workers.  Because liberals seem to be looking for a new thing to protest every week since November, this year’s May Day sure enough turned out to be a bigger protest than we thought.  

I can hardly go on my Facebook news feed anymore without hearing about a different march; for immigrants, for women, for science, the list goes on and on.  A lot of protesters are actually paid, and when asked what they’re protesting, a lot of them don’t even know!  Yet as protest becomes hip, companies have been trying to pander to liberals with “progressive” advertising; I could hardly get through a Super Bowl commercial break this year without seeing some commercial meant to look political.  One that really stuck out to me was a Budweiser commercial that told the highly fictionalized early years of Budweiser, portraying Adolphus Busch as a friendless young immigrant who came to this country alone and penniless with a vision to brew a new brand of beer.  In reality, Busch came from a wealthy family, arrived in America with his three brothers and didn’t even come up with the idea for Budweiser beer; a friend of his developed it based off of a Czech recipe (and honestly the Czech version tastes a lot better).

But that’s peanuts compared to the now-legendary Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner that was somehow able to touch on everything wrong with modern advertising and pop culture.  In this hilarious snafu, a major, publicly traded company released a commercial where Kendall Jenner, a member of a family that’s famous for no discernible reason, leaves a modeling shoot to take part in a vague protest, and then diffuses a tense standoff between protesters and the police by offering a cop a can of Pepsi.  I’m not kidding.  Just as quickly as it was released, the commercial drew plenty of backlash for being out-of-touch, and just like that the liberal youth that Pepsi wanted to win over became avowed Coca-Cola drinkers (at least they got something right).  

Yet I guess the “soda jerk” Pepsi was right about one thing; my more liberal peers have gotten a real zeal for protest these days.  The May Day “demonstrations” this year became particularly heated.  Across the country, protesters took pictures of themselves handing cops cans of Pepsi, most of whom didn’t accept.  In Portland, one protest was threatening to get ugly as the cops were called in.  But then everything got better, because some young folks, remembering the wisdom passed onto them by a major corporation’s ill-advised commercial, got some cans of the soft drink out of their poncho pockets and handed them to the police.  The police of course accepted the cans, then everybody started passing around joints and everything was groovy.  Remember that part?

I don’t either.  I instead remember the part where masked demonstrators started throwing smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails while unfurling banners of Stalin and Lenin (just kidding about that last part, but honestly would you be that surprised?).  The situation turned into a riot, filled with looting and smashed windows, and at least three people were arrested.  

The moral of this story is, of course, to drink Georgia’s own Coca-Cola.  

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