After the big Chick-Fil-A debacle of this summer, in which right wingers around the country stood firmly in support of a large restaurant chain’s First Amendment right to support the execution of gay people in Uganda. Now, the tables have turned, and a different corporation has done something equally vile and despicable, something that strikes at the very moral fiber of the American soul.
I’m kidding, of course. Dr. Pepper made reference to evolution in a recent ad, and some people on the right have lost their shit.
Dr. Pepper isn’t exactly my favorite soft drink on the market right now, anyway. Well, technically, it is my favorite soft drink, taste-wise, but its douchetastic Dr. Pepper 10 marketing scheme is still stuck in my craw. How fragile is the whole concept of masculinity if a separate drink is required for dudes, with a mere ten calories that have to be separately categorized as “manly”? I can drink Diet Dr. Pepper and Coke Zero without it affecting my gender identity.
Back to the evolution ad, “Evolution of Flavor.” It’s not even a very good ad. Also, I don’t think the backlash is quite as profound as that faced by Chick-Fil-A (and deservedly so.) As Robert T. Gonzalez puts it at io9:
There’s an important distinction separating Dr Pepper from Kraft and Chick-Fil-A: the soda company’s tongue is planted so firmly in its cheek here that it’s practically poking through the other side. This is not about Dr Pepper pronouncing its pro-evolutionary stance, it’s about selling soda with some high-concept ad-design. This shit’s not even scientifically accurate, for crying out loud; conflating this ad with a pro-evolutionary agenda is insulting to actual concepts surrounding human evolution.
If that analysis seems obvious to you, congratulations. You are capable of dissecting the subtleties of an ad campaign (which, let’s face it, really aren’t that subtle) that has thrown a considerable segment of the internet into one of the dumbest shouting matches in recent memory.
I’m going to skip the actual shouting match, because it’s pretty one-sided and entirely stupid.
Besides, everyone knows that evolution played out like this: