Red or Blue: Which One Are You?
The buzz during much of this holiday break has been how politics, once the off-year bastion of genuine geeks, has become the stuff of cultural obsession. We have seen the geeks and they are us. Certainly the viewership ratings and circulation figures of various media support the contention. Fixation is up on both sides of the aisle, as it were: Fox News to MSNBC, BreitBart to The New York Times.
Where goeth the culture can consumer brands be far behind?
Will we soon see Oreos with red or blue filling, rather than the traditional white?
Will we soon get to choose coffee containers at the gas station kitted out in left- or right-leaning slogans? Popcorn buckets at the movies?
Can paper towel and toilet paper designs be far behind?
There is a basic logic to it: The profound polarization of the electorate coupled with our increasing unwillingness to discuss and debate divergent viewpoints, preferring rather to say in the safe house of like-minded friendship and self-referential agreement, something will have to give, right? Something as at once tacit and yet declarative as the color choice of our packaged cookie’s innards may be the last bastion of calm discourse.
It may also provide a new polling mechanism, assessing mood shifts in swing states on a weekly shopping list basis. Hey! What’s the point of living in a consumer culture if we can’t make our choices matter? That is, matter more.