What do the inevitable demise of capitalism, Mayan calendar interpretations of dubious veracity, and yellow American journalism have in common? They’re all topics I’m quite fascinated by and would love to shoot my mouth off about here at BNV. You can imagine how excited I was when a friend hipped me to a story that’s got all of these elements rolled into one.
You may have heard that the nation of Bolivia is planning to ban Coca-Cola products on December 21st, 2012, ostensibly the day that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle, aligning the planets for the first time in 26,000 years. But they’re not predicting the end of civilization or humanity or the world as a whole as most people do when they invoke that date; they’re talking about a fresh start. They’re talking about the end of capitalism.
More likely than not, you heard about this story thanks to an American corporate-controlled media outlet or an amateur blog that does little more than regurgitate the contents of those media outlets. After some Googling, I deduced that there was a whole lot of self-serving American spin at play. Bolivian officials were quick to confront it, saying that their remarks had been taken out of context. What they really said was that the new lunar cycle is an opportunity for Bolivia and other nations to renew their economic and cultural autonomy, to choose their own goods which they cultivated for themselves over goods imposed on them by descendents of the European imperialists who decimated their true culture to begin with, to take their destinies back into their own hands.
There are no official plans to ban Coca-Cola on December 21st. The iconic brand was used as a symbol of capitalistic free trade run amok, of Eurocentric economic powers taking everyone else hostage, and of the inhumane values intrinsic to such practices. But don’t expect our news sources to put that together. It figures that they would reduce such a declaration to a cute and quixotic little soundbite, perhaps in an attempt to deny legitimacy to the perfectly reasonable grievances of a historically stomped-upon population. It’s a convenient smoke-screen behind which to hide the ugly realities of our divide-and-conquer economics. Even if we gave our newsmakers the benefit of the doubt and didn’t accuse them of all that, the only conclusion we’d be left with is that they’re too stupid to identify such basic literary devices as metaphor and symbolism.
I have no idea if any of this is true or not. Nor do I care. I just love any opportunity to talk trash about white capitalist pigs.
Oh, by the way, don’t forget that the conquistadors destroyed most of the Mayan documents, making it impossible to know what’s really happening with that 2012 business. If we’re still alive after December 21st, I’ll shoot my mouth about it some more.