January 25, 2015

Corporations!

Oh, deary me. A better man would not laugh but unlike Captain Mal, I'm not even all right. A work associate -- kind young lady with an infant son -- posts this on Facebook today with the single word comment: "Shit."

19 Brands Owned by Giant Corporations

3. Kashi

The fact that Kellogg's owns Kashi isn't the only reason to stop buying it. Read more here about why you should avoid Kashi at all costs. [Update: Kashi is in the process of becoming Non-GMO Project Verified. Don't jump the gun though! Until a product bears the official Non-GMO logo, it's most likely still chock-full of genetically modified ingredients. And keep in mind that they're still owned by Kellogg's who supports the GMO industry big-time.]


She can't help it: young Mom in Boulder and all... Nor can I help laughing and weeping. I did learn one thing: Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox® -- definitely better branding than "Clorox Lip Balm."

From the other side Posted by John Kranz at January 25, 2015 10:27 AM

And yet they post this on Facebook, a medium provided by An Evil Corporation, using a computer manufactured by An Evil Corporation... I could go on all week by the benefits this woman uses daily provided by Evil Corporations.

Big corporations make possible the pooling of capital and the economies of scale necessary for innovation and wealth production. I understand the unreasoning fear and loathing of corporations, but the bulk of this is fueled by paranoia and envy.

Let's take Burt's Bees, or Kashi, two products originally provided by a small business manufacturer. They became respected and popular among people like your young, idealistic (but slightly misguided) work associate, because they are wholesome, healthsome, and Not Manufactured By A Soulless Evil Corporation. At some point, someone in one of those S.E.C.s noticed them and said "hey, this guy's making a great product, turning a decent profit, and would make a great fit in our product line."

The S.E.C. then approaches the owner with a steamer trunk full of cash, and offers to buy his little company. Maybe he'll use the cash to fund a well-earned retirement; maybe he'll stay on to manage the company; maybe he'll use the cash to market an entirely different product. Do any of these make him evil? I submit that they do not; he didn't market his product out of altruistic desire to do something wholesome for humanity. He went into business to make a living and hopefully turn a profit, by providing something wholesome for humanity.

Now Kashi's cereal and Burt's lip balm are manufactured by the S.E.C. Does your work associate provide any evidence that the S.E.C. changed the recipes, or made a single alteration to the product?

No?

Then how is it that the products are tainted, if they're no different from when the little guy made them? The product is likely now manufactured at a lower production cost, and definitely now marketed to a larger buying audience, because Kellogg's and Clorox can bring them to markets worldwide, and in sufficient quantity to meet the buying public's needs.

And -- since you opened the Firefly can of worms -- I'm going to continue it, and stay on topic. Go back to your Firefly and Serenity DVDs and take a look at the labels River tears off the food cans, the shirt Jayne is wearing that she slices with a kitchen knife, and the Fruity Oaty Bars commercial. See if you can identify what they all have in common; it's not random. There's a common trigger that sets River's subconscious gears in motion.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 26, 2015 1:47 PM

Just a wild-assed guess here: Blue Sun?

Hmmm, re-reading the comments I see I guessed correctly. Or else, perhaps, my subconscious has a better memory than my conscious.

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2015 2:58 PM

You've got a good memory - I'd forgotten we had that discussion.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 26, 2015 3:10 PM

[NAME DROP ALERT!] I once had a fun thread with Dan Henninger at the WSJ Ed Page on this. He assured me that all New York City assemblies to get the people together to bring down the S.E.C.s -- always meet at Starbucks. Attendees complain, but without the hook of a nice Frappuccino before, they've learned that their numbers are always way down.

My blog brother asks me to incise a rational argument into a place not its natural habitat. Surely young Boulder moms watch South Park -- it just doesn't stick. Corporations are evil unto themselves, although she and I work for a -- oh nevermind! GMOs! GMOs!

RE: Blue Sun. I might make enemies here, but I've always considered the silver lining of Firefly's too-short tenure that Whedon was unable to develop the Blue Sun story arc. I expect it would have ended badly. Burn the heretic if you must.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2015 3:16 PM

I might ask, "What is the dividing line between "giant corporations" (S.E.C.) and, what, "friendly" corporations? Or "soulful" or "caring" corporations? You know, how many filthy dollars in profit must they make to become soulless and evil?

"My motive is pure - I simply want to stop supporting SEC's." ;)

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2015 3:22 PM

I do enjoy the sweet irony of anti-corporation people being dependent on, yes addicted to, Evil Corporations, and Starbucks figures prominently.

And I have long agreed on the Blue Sun question; another season might have shown us that Blue Sun was Halliburton. Joss' politics might have shown through; I'm told that he never understood how his space series became a clarion to small-government libertarians. You prolly both already know this, then, too: in the pilot episode, Sgt. Reynolds uses an Alliance anti-aircraft weapons against an Alliance attack ship. In the targeting display screen, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation logo figures prominently. Big Corp was slated to be the eminence gris behind Big Gov, from the very beginning.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 26, 2015 3:29 PM

"They" are very good at that. My sister-in-law was visiting and refused to go to the Wal-Mart near my home. Needing something, we drove ten miles to shop at K-Mart. Both locations are closed now and I've moved but I have never stopped saying "Whaaaa?" Oh, it's efficient supply chain management and logistics that offends you -- got it.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2015 3:31 PM

And following jgs' link (ain't I a stinker?) I see I made the point with the corroborating evidence of the S.E.C. Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse.

Posted by: jk at January 26, 2015 3:37 PM

Maybe she just has a thing for blue lights?

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2015 4:45 PM | What do you think? [9]