I Wanna Be a Pepsi Whore

Sharon July 7th, 2010

This blog needs some content – it has been sadly neglected since I started at science blogs, and now it gets my whole attention.  I’m back, and I have an evil plan.  When don’t I?

If you haven’t seen why I left you can find out the story of the kerfuffle about the fact that “Science Blogs” is now “If you’ve got a few billion, you can buy scientific credibility blogs.”  I’ve suspended posting there, and as much as I hate to do it (since I like my colleagues) I discourage my readers from visiting any science blog until/unless they clearly demarcate the lines between “corporate whore” and “independent writer.”

All this ballyhoo has made some media attention – The Guardian picked us up and  rumor has it we’re going to make Daily Kos.  We’ve already lost several of my colleagues, however and frankly, that sucks – I think this is a crappy way to get attention.

Now it might seem like I’m taking the moral high road abandoning a paid blogging position (I think I guesstimated they pay 75cents an hour, and they are three months behind in sending out checks, but hey, it is theoretically money ;-)) to go back to my old digs, but I feel that I can trust you all, since we know each other so well, and you would never betray me, so I’ll tell you what I’m really up to.  I want the Pepsi money for myself.

You see, the outcome of all of this is pretty much preordained – eventually the Pepsi blog is doomed.  The reason is this – one of two things will happen.  Either my fellow science bloggers and readers will complain enough that they eventually get rid of it, or if the need for corporate bucks is so bad, what will happen is most of the good writers will decamp for less polluted ground and more and more “advertisement blogs” will appear.  Eventually no one will read science blogs and Pepsi will pull out, leaving only corporations who are so lame they can’t afford to leave.  Wait until the new blog on toilet paper softening science comes out.  Bet folks will be lining up for that one!

Either way, Pepsi is headed out, and it has to go somewhere. After all, Pepsi has to convince someone that slightly lower salt Doritos are the same as sustainable food.  My suggestion is this – come to me.  You see, it is only on my blog that I play sea-green incorruptable Sharon who cares about sustainable food.

In real life, I’m just as much convinced that like everyone else in America, my real destiny is to be rich..  If I’m selling my soul to the devil, I want a fair price.  I know what this makes me – as George Bernard Shaw put it “Madam, we have confirmed what you are, and now we are only quibbling over price.”  But hey, it is a big quibble – I may be a whore, but I’m not a cheap, skanky one like Seed Media assumes – I want to be a high priced media whore.

And this is the future of advertising - discretely corporate-owned journalists and bloggers who will just ever-so-slightly alter their edgy message to accomodate their new masters.  I volunteer to be the first of the breed – I’ll take those Pepsi dollars (I’m expecting at least a million bucks) and I’ll be just delighted to create a narrative of sustainable food systems that definitely do include Pepsi (although Coke is fair game, of course) and low salt Doritos.   I see community gardens with Pepsi sponsorship, and local organic Pepsi being made with recycled sewage…

Just think how brilliantly this goes with the peak oil narrative – as the oil runs out, we have to prioritize what really matters, and develop sustainable food systems.  Think about the possibilities for discreet product placement in my writing, the “we can’t save everything, but we can all work together to save Pepsi” story.  I can help them strategize to be the “doomer drink” that everyone takes with them into the apocalypse.  Maybe I can help get poor people in the third world to drink more Pepsi.  The possibilities are endless – they just have to meet my price.

I don’t understand why they haven’t approached me already.  I’m here.  I’m ready.  I’m bending and spreading!  I want to be a Pepsi whore!

Sharon

37 Responses to “I Wanna Be a Pepsi Whore”

  1. darwinsdog says:

    Good for you Sharon. I was coming to pretty much dislike ScienceBlogs anyway. Seed Media definitely has an agenda. The blogs that are actually about science are okay but the less about science they are, the more popular with assholes & syncophants they seem to be. Myers in particular but others also. Stick to your principles.

  2. The Pepsi money is mine! All mine!

  3. abbie says:

    Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t heard. I’ve been staging my own little boycott of Pepsi after seeing the movie “Flow” and learning about their actions in developing countries. I would hate to have to boyott reading your writing, since you’re pretty much the opposite of what I’m opposed to, and you’re a pretty great role model of what I would like for my own life.

    Re-read and it sounds like I wrote I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU. Guess it’s true…

    And PS, I just learned that a local group is starting a book club and Independence Days is their first book!

  4. Jennie says:

    Good for you!
    I read on TAE today that you’re joining them in some role. Sounds awesome, keep growing, stick to your guns. As a loyal reader, let me assure you, that in the rain, in a plane, in a box or with a fox; I will read you.
    Although, you becoming a Pepsi whore might be a deal breaker. :-D

    HAhaha, if you ever do get a check from science blogs, it might be recycled Pepsi dollars. :-D Maybe if you can compost those dollars at a hot enough temp it’ll kill the badness…

  5. MaryK says:

    The best thing about the web is that other voices are heard. Being able to hear and read what is NOT corporate shilling and propaganda is a true relief. It is outrageous for a huge corporation like Pepsi to use a platform like Science blog and promote its products which are antithetical to the whole concept of self-sufficiency. Welcome back, Sharon.
    There’s nothing good in fast foods and processed snacks.

  6. Tophe says:

    Pepsi’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.

  7. MaryK says:

    Is that plant the Couch solanum tuberosum?

  8. David King says:

    Sharon! I love it! I work for a non-profit and, like most 501(c)3’s we are really hurting for bucks – I had put out an appeal that I we were going to fold if we didn’t come up with some funding. Several folks responded positively and a young lady full of happy enthusiasm came out to enlist me as part of a group striving for Pepsi money for school gardens (that’s what I do…). I was taken completely aback – my Garden is at the first school in the LA Unified to ban soft drinks on campus and now here they were trying to come in the back gate. I told her I couldn’t, as an educator, accept any money from Pepsi. Yeah, they are Monsanto, but their contribution to epidemic obesity, diabetes, and their involvement with factory corn probably excluded anyone with a sense of moral obligation from being affiliated with them. Not only will I not get any of the money, but now there are folks who were supporters a month ago that think I’m a loony. Maybe it was that last line and I could have been more politic…

    The revolution will die of corporate takeover. Pssst. Wanna buy stock in a revolution? You got yer preferred stock or you got yer common stock. What’s it gonna be – you want a New Concept bond? Insurance on your Kalashnikov? We got it right here at the Pepsi/Monsanto/US Government Complex Mini-Mall! Comes with glazed donuts!

    david

  9. Gabrielle says:

    I’m taken aback by all of this! As someone wrote on the Pepsi blog site–this may not be well received. ;)

    Keep up the good work. I like seeing you here more than Science Blogs anyway.

  10. Shamba says:

    organic Pepsi made from sewage!!! :) and you have an evil plan?! :D Even beter!

    And you’re not mincing words either, but then that’s why I come here and you make me laugh, too!

    I’m sorry this has soured ScienceBlogs for you. I never had the time to spend exploring that site but I read your columns there.

    peace to all, Shamba

  11. risa b says:

    Always liked it much, much, much better here. Put y’feet up, Sharon; after all it’s your table …

    Tea? Maybe some of these organic local cookies?

  12. Susannah says:

    At least I found you through ScienceBlogs. I thank them for that.

    Now, I’ll follow you here. ScienceBlogs is toast.

  13. David says:

    Bless you, Sharon. Morals and a bad-ass sense of humour, all in one package.

    Eff PepsiCo. (Not an order!)

  14. Joseph says:

    ” I can help them strategize to be the “doomer drink” that everyone takes with them into the apocalypse.”

    Priceless! You can write the ad copy. Dont forget the rampaging zombie hordes – Peak Everything meets Thriller.

  15. CW says:

    I’m very pleased to hear your decision, good for you!

  16. ChristineH says:

    Oh Sharon, could I love you more?? Is it possible?? I agree with darwinsdog, the snark and drama on SB was getting tiresome. I’ve always preferred you on here, anyway. Somehow it feels like..home. :)

    In honour of your return I promise to report on my Independence Days goings on like I pledged I would roughly, oh, 800 years ago.

    Rock on, Sharon, rock on.

  17. Brad K. says:

    Sharon,

    About Wait until the new blog on toilet paper softening science comes out.

    While attending East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN, famed hideout for Al Capone), I heard of one grant project they were working on. Studying an efficient process to package hot dogs, meeting all packaging requirements such as percent water, weight deviation, variation in composition and size of each wiener, etc.

    I remember thinking – that might be a serious investigation into original science, but it escapes me at the moment how that would be true.

    Maybe Pepsi is planning on introducing returnable (sustainable, that is) glass containers and clearly labeling high fructose corn sweetener (HFCS – shown to disable the body’s fat-burning mechanism, blamed for my stomach cramps) products. They could be investing in producing all products within 100 miles of the end consumer for local product security and reduced trans-continental transport carbon footprints. They could be working to remove plastics from their packaging, display, and delivery systems, rather than merely re-using existing plastics and calling it “green” (re-using plastic that is handled, transported, processed, produced, transported – conserving material, but playing hob with energy and carbon to transport and handle and process).

    It could happen. I won’t be holding my breath, though.

    I would hate to think, though, that Pepsi might have been planning a lacto-fermented cucumber product line, maybe three-bean salad something, and now that you have bailed they had to drop the plans. . .

  18. Karin says:

    I was so pleased to read that you were joining TAE. your talents will be greatly appreciated there.

    As for Science Blogs…phew…I had a hard time keeping up with your content there, checking both blogs on a regular basis.

    Thank goodness for the simple blog:)

  19. Jen says:

    Why am I not surprised? The sad part about this is that it’s just one more example of the corporatism that permeates our society. Glad you back SB was too busy.

  20. Lori Scott says:

    If Pepsi is to become the drink of the doomers, I’m going to have to opt out – never could stand it and couldn’t understand why the brief moment of “new coke” tasted so much like their competitor.

  21. vera says:

    Good to be back, Sharon. I’ve missed this place… :-)

  22. Vasha says:

    I just subscribed to the RSS feed on this site. You’re always worth reading.

  23. skeptifem says:

    Isn’t nuka-cola already the official drink of the apocalypse?

  24. Susan in NJ says:

    Hmmm … I was storing Pepsi in the fallout shelter for its zombie repellant qualities.

  25. Liz says:

    Good for you, Sharon, for sticking to your principles. I’m glad you’re back too.

  26. Lorri says:

    Glad to have you back here. I’ve always preferred this site; the other was too busy. And I do agree with your reasons for leaving.

  27. dewey says:

    SB is also crawling with nasty people who think that personal attacks are a substitute for actually providing evidence to support their beliefs. (Strangely, one of your best posters there was in other contexts one of the meanest thugs on the board. Guess people are complicated.) The atmosphere here is much pleasanter. Glad you’re back!

  28. Ohio Mom says:

    I read you at SB, but really missed the happy vibe of this place. It felt disconnected going back and forth between the two. I missed the positive community here too. Great decison! Thanks for coming back “home”. :)

  29. Sophia Katt says:

    Brian Switek posted on a comment this morning at the “Loom” blog (Discovery Mag) that SB has just removed the Pepsi blog. I doubt they’ll get much value out of the removal, though. The handling of this whole event was the opposite of smart for them. SB’s cred is now pretty much down the drain, I think.

  30. et says:

    And now that pepsi is out of SB what will you do?

  31. I don’t know what it is about science blogs, but I basically stopped reading your stuff while you were on there. Once every few weeks I would maybe check out an article, but something about the layout just made it nearly impossible for me to concentrate on what was written. I’m glad you are back here and I will resume reading everything you write.

  32. Claire says:

    You’ve all commented enough on the corporate-bought aspects of the SB mess that I don’t need to, but I read something on your second to last SB post, in the comments, that stood out. It was in regard to how difficult it is to get funding for science work that isn’t from a corporation.

    I did my graduate work back in the early 1980s, when almost all grad work was still publicly funded. That’s changed very greatly; it seems that corporations fund a high percentage of grad student and professor work these days. There seems to be almost no money out there for any scientific work that isn’t provided by corporations. The Pepsi buy-in to SB is reflective of that, and reflective of the larger dynamic of corporate take-over of the culture in general that really took off in the 1980s.

    I support you in your move back here, but all the same, I’m sorry too that your work won’t retain that higher access to people new to your work. Maybe something else will turn up somewhere else even beyond the opportunity at TAE. In the meantime, we all keep on keeping on, and I’ll keep reading you here and commenting if I think I have something worthwhile to add.

  33. Mark N. says:

    That was a ballsy move. Bravo!

  34. John Powers says:

    I like your stand. et asks a good question though, and I’m happy you put your blog “in suspension” so you can take your time in finding an answer. A different audience has much to be said for it. Either way, I’ll read. You inform, prod and make me smile. Thanks for that!

  35. Susan says:

    That’s why I respect you so much, Sharon. We have that in common — I can and have given up good, secure jobs rather than become a syncophant for whatever politics happens to rule the day, when none of them had the slightest ethical or moral compass.

    Welcome back. I’ve missed this site as well; something about the green margins and clean white text space is just good on the eyes.

  36. Joshua says:

    Great blog. Reminds me of early Joan Rivers talking about diamonds, saying, “I don’t want small but perfect–I want imperfect but big! I want a rock so big that when I walk into a room, people say, ‘bad taste.’”
    Keep up the good work.

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