Although my number of FB contacts is growing at a moderate pace, the number of posts to my home page seems to be growing exponentially. Even so, it is taking moiself less time these days to do my read/nod/skim (of the posts) and say, move along. The number of political posts re Cadet Bone Spurs and his band of (Global) Village Idiots…. I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. For. Very. Long.
I’m trusting (a hard thing for me to do, trust me  ) the FBI and investigative journalists (both here and internationally) to do their respective jobs. When I despair, I try to remember Watergate, and how long it took to detect, understand, and expose the Nixon administration’s tangled web of deceit, criminality and paranoia. In one of life’s many nasty paradoxes, it often seems to take only months for greed, incompetence, criminality, racism, misogyny, and treason to slime their way to the top, yet years to bring the purveyors of such to justice.
* * *
A Blast From The Olympic Past
Dateline: Friday, February 23, NY Times sports section. My attention was captured by the following headline, for a story about a Public Address system announcer at the Winter Olympics being told to stop using French pronunciations for some of the Canadian hockey players:
Kerfuffle Erupts In Canada Over French Pronunciations
My first thought was, What a great name for a band! I need a bit of help – not only am I wavering between just what music genre/kind of band would be most suitable, but the name itself…there are so many opportunities:
The Erupting Kerfuffles
They Might Be Erupting Kefuffles
The Artist Formerly Known as Kerfuffle Erupts
Bruce And the E- Street Kerfuffles
Stand by Your Erupting Kerfuffles
The Kerfuffle Family Eruptions
Please, somebody, stop me.
* * *
Department Of Fuck You, Coca-Cola 
I know it’s nutritional rubbish, moiself would often acknowledge, even as I engaged in my longtime diet cola habit. I justified it because I didn’t have one every day, and when I did it was (usually, only) one a day, at lunch (if I was out for lunch, which I often was during the week and almost always on Saturday and Sunday). Besides, I liked it. “Sodas” were a rare treat when I was growing up. I loved the taste, and especially the bubbles, the carbonation – and the flavor of mineral water  is, to moiself, what I imagine licking the sidewalk would taste like.
And the diet products…I justified them with, at least I’m not getting the over NINE TEASPOONS of sugar that’s in an average can of Pepsi or Coke. Then came the mounting evidence against diet sodas, which indicates that people who drink them are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome – the latter of which is responsible for the seeming conundrum which is that consumption of diet drinks is linked to increased weight gain.
Yep, Evidence reared its fearsome head.
Knowledge is both power and willpower for me (even if it takes a while to sink in, when it comes to altering longtime habits). It is difficult for me to not know something once I know it. The clincher for me, in my successful swearing off of the Soda Habit, was the Ick Factor ® realization that came with recent revelations: every time I consume a Diet Coke or its rival equivalent(s), I am supporting the soft drink beverage companies’ morally reprehensible – and disastrous, to public health – campaign of obfuscation and deception.
These revelations include that the Coca-Cola company, as far back as fifty years ago, began a campaign to hire scientists to attempt to shift the blame/public attention for increasing obesity and type 2 diabetes rates away from sugar consumption by blaming dietary fat. Their scheme to divert attention from the mounting evidence linking soda consumption with weight gain and poor health included funding the Global Energy Balance Network, an “astroturfing”  organization purporting to research diabetes but whose employees were actually being paid to promote the idea that insufficient exercise, not bad nutrition, was the primary cause of weight gain. 
The evidence is out and, like diet soda drinkers’ waistlines, it is increasing. Whether due to health concerns, or the encroachment of beverages other than sodas into the market (or some combination of those and other factors), soda pop consumption in the US has been gradually declining…leading the soda beverage industry with a marketing challenge: How, in the face of increasing awareness that their products are a health sinkhole, can they keep pushing the young happy healthy looking people have even more fun drinking our fizzy stuff images?
Of course, beverage corporations are not the first to deal with this issue. Tobacco companies can no longer (directly) market their death-by-stick products as part of a carefree or even healthful lifestyle – they can’t even market them at all, in certain venues.
But they can still, through print ads and entertainment placement – and with the unwitting  cooperation of music and movie stars and other celebrities – try to play the Bad Ass Cool Card ®. The ultra hip Rebel, defiant of convention and evidence, does what he wants to do simply because he wants to do it, his lungs (and your and my) air quality be damned.
Taking a page from the tobacco industry’s vile playbook is what likely spawned the insidious Diet Coke commercial which ran during NBC’s telecast of the Olympic Games. Did you see it? I was slack-jawed at the ad’s blatant yeah, so what?-ism  – and by its tacit acknowledgement that drinking a Diet Coke is not a good thing to do, but c’mon, you know you want it (and the company really wants you to want it). It was a basic, up yours to health: have a Diet Coke because you can.
Here’s the thing about Diet Coke; it’s delicious. It makes me feel good.
Life is short; if you want to live in a yurt, yurt it up…
(from the Diet Coke ad,” ‘Because I Can’ Featuring Gillian Jacobs”)
I like it; it makes me feel good. Protested every junkie, ever.
Oh, and the equating of “living in a yurt” with not falling for corporate propaganda and acting upon information and actually caring about what you put in your body? The ad’s cynicism and anti-intellectualism is so transparent…and, sadly, it’s also probably effective.
The attractive, mildly-sarcastic-enough-to-be-cool-young-woman ® all but blurts out that she knows she’s putting liquid shit in her body, but she wants to do so, so there – an attitude which appeals to the 13 year old in all of us who wants to give a Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah to whatever authority is telling us to do (or not do) something. Nice touch, Coke marketing douchebags. 
The ad is titled, “The Diet Coke Ad ‘Because I Can’ Featuring Gillian Jacobs. This leads me to assume I’m supposed to know who Gillian Jacobs is, other than the latest Pretty Young Thing Prostituting Herself for Her Ten Minutes of Fame Making A Buck Shilling A Product.
She’s most likely an actor…of some kind…appearing in some thing. I’ll waste neither precious time nor keyboard strokes Googling her.
I will, however, venture to waste keystrokes and do a cringe-worthy thing here: make a plea to y’all to stop buying and consuming the crap Coca-Cola et al are selling. I’m talking baby steps here (at least, at first). If you are a soda junkie aficionado, please consider, maybe, giving it up when you dine out?  Water is the beverage our bodies need – order tea and/or coffee,  if you need to dress it up or just can’t imagine having “just water” with you meal. 
Or, speaking of just, just do the math yourself: look up those reports I cited. After that, ask yourself why would you want to continue rewarding such atrocious behavior?
* * *
Department Of I Guess Someone Was Running On Autopilot
Dateline: Sunday afternoon, at a grocery store’s express checkout line. It’s a busy day and the line is slow (express line?! Fail); thus, I have a chance to observe the young checker-man. With every new customer, Young Checker-Man symmetrically and oh-so-briefly raises the corners of his mouth, like some AI approximation of a smile, as he asks them variations on the same questions (what kind of bag do they want, if they didn’t set their own in front of him, and do they play the store’s Monopoly game) before he dismisses them with Have a nice day. I had only two bottles of sparkling juice, and when it was my turn I quickly and kindly told YC-M that I didn’t need a bag and did not play the store’s monopoly game, thank you. In the three seconds it took me to look down at my purse and extract my wallet I found that YC-M had double-bagged my items and given me three of the store’s Monopoly game tokens.
As the line was long behind me, I decided not to bring YC-M’s ignoring of my instructions to his attention. Still, I couldn’t resist one more test to his attentiveness. As YC-M cheerlessly instructed me to Have A Nice Day I chirped, “No thanks, I have other plans.”
He didn’t even blink.
* * *
May you always have other plans;
May you develop a (non-life-threatening) allergy – ethical or physical – to soda pop;
May you appreciate a kerfuffle worthy of the Olympic games;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Methinks I need to rephrase that.
 and PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper/Snapple and….
 Often suggested by friends and acquaintances as an alternative to soft drinks.
 Astroturfing is “…the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by a grassroots participant(s). It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection.”
 And we now know it’s the other way around – you can’t out-exercise a poor diet.
 I’m sorry to imply there is any association with any variation of the word wit with the word celebrities.
 But really, I shouldn’t have been.
 The Los Angeles office of the ad agency Anomaly and Ogilvy & Mather.
 Dining out is, according to one doctor I talked to years ago, when most people consume sodas. I’m not sure that this is true anymore (maybe it never was)…but it would be a start, to quit association soda consumption with the “treat” of going out to eat.
 Or, of course, a yummy Oregon Pinor Noir.
 The beverage and restaurant industries have worked for years to insure we feel somehow inadequate for having “only” water with our meals.