Culture: The problem with the Coke ad: You don’t get to invent your own definition of America

by: Sarah Barnes on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 published at CainTV.com

Everything means whatever, so nothing means anything.

I did not watch the “big game” because I just don’t care which body part the name-of-the-week celebrity decides to shake in between half-second clips of football. But I did notice the long stream of articles related to the Coke commercial on Facebook today. I wasn’t going to watch it, which is what I always tell myself. I promised myself I was absolutely, no-way-no-how, going to watch that stupid commercial.

But six hours into an unexpected day of being snowed-in, I caved. Having seen it, I noticed that a lot of people clearly had a problem with the ad, but many struggled to put their fingers on exactly what the problem was.

That’s ironic, because failure to communicate is exactly the problem with this ad. We no longer communicate if communicating means defining anything. Nothing has a definition because everyone now invents their own definition for everything. And that’s what Coke did in this ad: It invented a new definition for America.

That’s a problem, because America actually has a real definition connected to its founding and history. And we need the America of that definition. The real one.

This is not about the different languages used in the ad. It’s about something more.

I had a dear friend e-mail me seeking my opinion after she viewed the commercial. She has dedicated a large portion of her life to raising awareness and funds for orphans in countries all over the globe, but she felt the need to precede her comments with clarifying that she is not racist. She travels to orphanages and holds children of every ethnicity by the hand. She works to become engrained in their lives as well as engraining them in hers.

Why did she feel the need to say she isn’t racist? I know that she is far from racist. Everyone who knows her knows that to be true. She felt the need because racism is no longer known by its original definition, or almost any definition at all. It’s a catch-all for: “I’m not going to take the energy to listen to you or think about what you are saying to me.”

The goal of communists and socialists is to destroy our ideals from the inside out. Redefining words is child’s play. They have moved beyond that. To take a word and assign it another definition would still make that word usable. It would leave us with the ability to communicate effectively, allow us to hold on to our culture, heritage, ideals and goals.

What the left has very slowly done is not to redefine words, but to un-define them. Important words we use to structure the very basis for our society have become useless. What is a structure without sound building blocks? We live in a society where father is replaced by words like child-support payment, sperm donor, male role model. Disagree is replaced by hate, loathing, anger. The word different becomes devalue, belittle, diminish. Americans are never sure which word has which meaning and when, so Americans have stopped saying anything. The fear of rejection has caused us to keep our mouths shut. Go with the flow. Keep our heads down. The word family could have an endless combination of players: mother, stepmother, egg donor, birth mother, birth father, male role model, two fathers, three fathers.

No wonder kids don’t respect their parents anymore. What is a parent anyway? Nobody is really sure! We can’t even agree on what a baby is or when it is alive. To take it a step further, we don’t even know when a living baby is considered a human being, or when it is not OK to kill one!

The problem? The unease? What is it? American culture is something children grow up to love. They feel faithful to a country that has sacrificed to provide freedom and liberty. Lives were lost to establish safety for our bodies and our minds. We are grateful! We are willing to die to protect the gift! We send our best, the very best we have to offer, to the front lines of life or death because we believe so strongly in our ideals. We believe so strongly in the culture we have painstakingly built, using building blocks of the lives lost by our best!

It is a part of every single true American. Why then is Coke not glorifying the culture that began this great nation, the spirit that is struggling to stay alive today? Why does Coke need to tell us that those building blocks aren’t good enough anymore? In just over a minute they told us that multiculturalism, political correctness, and forced equality should replace our time-honored culture and heritage.

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6 thoughts on “Culture: The problem with the Coke ad: You don’t get to invent your own definition of America

  1. I think your point about definitions is interesting. I believe there is so much talking that no one is being heard. If you don’t think Coke defined America correctly then how would you define it? Like you said, America was built on people who came here from somewhere else and worked to create a life, and I personally thought that’s who was shown in the ad. How is Coke’s definition different than yours?

    • I think the author is expressing her concerns about words and culture being redefined and this paragraph says it best:

      “Why then is Coke not glorifying the culture that began this great nation, the spirit that is struggling to stay alive today? Why does Coke need to tell us that those building blocks aren’t good enough anymore? In just over a minute they told us that multiculturalism, political correctness, and forced equality should replace our time-honored culture and heritage.”

      • It seems as though it is the same building blocks as before, but instead of English immigrants, they showed Filipino ones. What’s the difference?

        I really hope this doesn’t come across as combative, I really am just trying to understand. These comments can spiral into negativity so fast, and I hope my questions are reading as questions and not challenges or arguments.

  2. Your comments are not combative, however, I didn’t write the article so I’m a little hesitant to try and speak for the author Sarah Barnes http://www.caintv.com/authors/sbarnes. I posted the article because I agree with her take on the ad and what may have been the agenda it’s promoting. My own take on the ad is that it is in fact trying to redefine America and I think that it’s mostly an older demographic that took issue with it. My 21 year old son wasn’t bothered by the ad and he and I had a very “animated” discussion about it that night. It’s good to discuss and this advertisement seems to have become a catalyst for lots of discussion!

  3. Accepting other cultures does not erase your own. This country was build by immigrants and for far too long our pop culture has shown only one American viewpoint – that of privileged whites. I don’t understand the rationale that allowing other cultures a place in our pop culture will negate the existence of whites. We need to embrace this and realize that giving others a seat at the table does not mean ours is taken away. Our values and opinions are not shared by all the diverse groups that make up our country and they, as citizens, have every right to have their voices heard (in whatever language they speak). If you’re upset because you didn’t see a person with a skin color you can identify in one ad, think of how it must feel to be a person of color when literally millions of ads over the years have been full of nothing but white people. You do not lose your identity because others are depicted as having a voice in our culture. I hope your sense of identity is really not that frail.
    When people talk about the effects of change in society has on children, I feel they are more speaking from a place of fear for themselves. I hear people talk about gay marriage, saying “But what will I tell my children?” Well, your children are much more resilient and accepting than you are, before they have years of socialization. I think when people say these things, they are really more scared of having to adapt to changes themselves. Oh and btw, the goal of socialism and communism is not to destroy ideals, but to seek justice and equality for all human beings.

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