"Make it happy!" Coca-Cola's new marketing campaign exhorts. The campaign, introduced during a Super Bowl commercial, is accompanied by a stunt through which Twitter users reply to negative tweets with the hashtag "#MakeItHappy"; Coca-Cola then transforms those tweets into cute ASCII art. "We turned the hate you found into something happy," @CocaCola chirps.
The Twitter stunt poses an interesting hermeneutical question. Below, for example, you will see the official Coca-Cola account tweet "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children."
This, the fourteen-word slogan of white nationalism, seems "off-brand" for Coca-Cola. But there it is, on its Twitter account, plain as day. Even when the text is shaped like a dog, it is disconcerting to see Coca-Cola, the soda company, urge its social-media followers to safeguard the existence and reproduction of white racists. Is Coca-Cola a white nationalist organization? Its Twitter says: Yes.
It's true—we asked Coca-Cola to tweet about its concern for the continuing existence of the white race. But this is not particularly different from asking for a retweet from a brand or a celebrity. If we asked Coca-Cola to retweet, for example, the first four paragraphs of Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf, would it?
As it turns out, yes. Gawker Editorial Labs director Adam Pash built us a bot to tweet the book line-by-line, and then tweet at Coke to #SignalBoost Hitler and #MakeItHappy. Below, read Mein Kampf, as told by the global soft-drink manufacturing and distribution corporation Coca-Cola:
It has turned out fortunate for me to-day that destiny appointed Braunau-on-the-Inn to be my birthplace.
For that little town is situated just on the frontier between those two States the reunion of which seems,
at least to us of the younger generation,
a task to which we should devote our lives and in the pursuit of which every possible means should be employed.
German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland. And not indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever. No, no.
Even if the union were a matter of economic indifference, and even if it were to be disadvantageous from the economic standpoint, still it ought to take place. People of the same blood should be in the same REICH. The German people will have no right to engage in a colonial policy until they shall have brought all their children together in the one State.
When the territory of the REICH embraces all the Germans and finds itself unable to assure them a livelihood,
only then can the moral right arise, from the need of the people to acquire foreign territory. The plough is then the sword; and the tears of war will produce the daily bread for the generations to come.
And so this little frontier town appeared to me as the symbol of a great task. But in another regard also it points to a lesson that is applicable to our day. Over a hundred years ago this sequestered spot was the
scene of a tragic calamity which affected the whole German nation and will be remembered for ever, at least in the annals of German history. At the time of our Fatherland's deepest humiliation a bookseller, Johannes Palm,
uncompromising nationalist and enemy of the French, was put to death here because he had the misfortune to have loved Germany well. He obstinately refused to disclose the names of his associates, or rather the principals who were chiefly responsible for the affair. Just as it happened with Leo Schlageter. The former, like the latter, was denounced to the French by a Government agent. It was a director of police from Augsburg who won an ignoble renown on that occasion and set the example which was to be copied at a later date by the
neo-German officials of the REICH under Herr Severing's regime. In this little town on the Inn, haloed by the memory of a German martyr, a town that was Bavarian by blood but under the rule of the Austrian State, my parents were domiciled towards the end of the last century.
My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duties very conscientiously.
At this point, Coca-Cola stopped responding to our bot. We understand; its point had been made: Coca-Cola had republished a portion of Mein Kampf.
UPDATE: Coca-Cola has suspended its campaign. Read more here.
[Top image by Jim Cooke, source photo via Getty]