In 1985, Coca-Cola unleashed New Coke on an unsuspecting world. It didn't go well, the kind of not well that still gets taught as a cautionary tale to MBA students. To their credit, the Coca-Cola Company learned from that debacle and quickly buried New Coke under the basement, never to be tasted again. Until now.

New Coke is now for sale as part of the "New Coke and Stranger Things 1985 Limited Edition Collectors Pack" at cokestore.com for the conspicuous price of $19.85.

Coca-Cola's advertising budget is the stuff of legends. They support everything from little leagues to summer blockbusters. They're so powerful, they practically created Santa Claus just to sell more soda. That they would work with the popular Netflix Stranger Things streaming show is no aberration. But that they are willing to revisit the worst decision in their business history to do so... that takes a special level of masochism you won't find in your average multi-national corporation. It's admirable, in a twisted sort of way.

I just hope the decision doesn't come back to bite them. There are two generations of Americans who have never had the misfortune to taste New Coke who might now try to catch the nostalgic wave. That can't go well. Kids these days drink fewer soft drinks than my generation did, so it might not be a good idea to give them another reason to walk away from a Coke machine.

Take my word for it, kids. New Coke tastes bad. Enjoy it ironically, if you must, but for your own sake, do so from a distance. Not all oldies are golden.

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Spoiler warning: I like movies.

58. (1497.) Trafic (1971)
While not as charming as Tati's earlier works — a result of fewer characters and the more anonymous "modern" setting — his commentary on the transportation industry of the early 70s has plenty of well-earned chuckles.

60. (1499.) Happy Death Day (2017)
The only genre of horror film that I enjoy is the old-fashioned, gore-filled slasher flick, especially ones where the hero gets in the last licks. Happy Death Day delivers all that plus some great character development and romance (with an overt nod and wink to the classic Groundhog Day). It figures that it was written by an established comic book author. It's a lot of fun.

61. (1500.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
I remember reviewers panning this film for being a shallow example of style over substance. That's true. But there's plenty of room in the market for stylish spy movies in the mold of the Sean Connery James Bond films of the 60s. (Not coincidentally, Ian Fleming played a role in the creation of the original U.N.C.L.E. television series.) I liked it.

62. (1501.) It Started with a Kiss (1959)
The highlight of this silly romantic comedy is the prominence of the Lincoln Futura, the concept car that Chuck Barris would repaint into the 1966 Batmobile. Awesome to see it rolling through Europe.

63. (1502.) Sing (2016)
I thought this movie would be a crass exercise in corporate synergy, Universal using its movie arm to promote its music catalog... and I was right. It's okay, but ultimately hollow and unsatisfying bit of pop music fluff (especially because most songs are limited to short snippets).

66. (1505.) Lady Street Fighter (1981)
I watched this whole thing, and I can't tell you what it was all about. I can say that the title is very literal: some woman with a bad accent got into a lot of fights on streets. So bad it's good. Man, I love TCM Underground.

More to come.

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Poodles are dog topiaries

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I have featured Grumpy Cat not once but twice on this here blog. This will mark the third, and very likely last, time. Grumpy, aka Tardar Sauce died Friday at the tender age of 7.

Cats don't belong in Heaven

Wired.com has an article on how Grumpy's passing marks the end of the "Joyful Internet." I'd say it's the period on the sentence.

As a web developer, I'm keenly aware that gone are the days of HomestarRunner and Flash games. Everything has to fit on a smartphone screen now, and most of what is left that can be called "content" is driven by a small number of corporate behemoths (mostly Facebook and Google). The contemporary Internet is the 21st century equivalent of a shopping mall in too many ways. In 25 years, we'll probably be paving it over to make a parking lot for whatever comes next.

You can't fight progress.

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Perhaps I might have enjoyed the Aquaman movie if it had been more grounded in reality like the comic books.

You should see what he can do with a watermelon
from "Aquaman Duels the Animal-Master!" Adventure Comics #261 (1959)

Oh. Nevermind.

(In the following issue, he also has control of seagulls. First fish, then mammals, then birds. I'm sure that hydrocephalic babies are next. Logically, that's called a slippery slope argument. Aquaman probably controls that, too.)

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I helped a friend do some work around his house last week, and I spotted this, the tumbler he uses to hold his 6-year-old daughter's juice.

Put your lips on this

Normally, when I see this sort of thing, I'm left wondering what the owner could be thinking. However, I've known Randy long enough to know that this isn't a thoughtless accident. He probably gets a kick out of watching his little girl suck shit.

I suppose if you have a child, you get to decide what to do with it. Kids are just pets that can talk!

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To be continued...

 

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