We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. Maybe when you were fourteen you cheated on your math final. Maybe back in college you walked in on your roommate making out with your sister. Whatever it is, you’ve sectioned off that portion of history in your brain. As far as you or anyone else is involved, it didn’t happen, and we can all move on with our lives. Well, it turns out that individuals aren’t the only ones that do that. Corporations, religions, even whole nations do it!
On a hot summer day, there is nothing quite so refreshing as an ice cold, coca-cola. Is there anything so wholesome, so indicative of the innocence of youth? Don’t do drugs, kids, have a nice frosty coke. Of course, there was a time when you could kill two birds with one stone. Yeah, back in the old days, coke got a little extra kick from our friend the coca leaf, better known as the raw ingredient for cocaine. No WONDER it got so popular. Couple that with the fact that they only threw kola nuts in the mix to get the caffeine out of them and you’ve got that wholesome slice of americana starting out life as a stimulant cocktail, and the iconic coca-cola company rising to power as a drug cartel. But hey, at least they weren’t pushing it as a non-addictive alternative to something else. No, it was Bayer that did that. See, the Bayer company felt bad, because all of these vets were getting hooked on morphine. So they got their chemists hard at work on something that wouldn’t quite ruin so many lives. It didn’t take long to produce a concoction that had all the pain killing power and none of the addictive side effects as far as they knew. It was such a heroic substance, they went ahead and named it Heroin. Whoopsie! Not even a Norman Rockwell ad campaign should have been able to wipe that little mistake out, but somehow Bayer managed a pretty effective mindwipe on the world.
Okay, so the companies like to turn a blind eye to their past foibles, but religions are better than that, I think we can all agree. We can probably also agree that the current fundamentalist factions are bad apples, what with all of the jihad business and the like. You don’t see Christianity going on any holy wars, do you? At least, not anymore. There’s the little matter of the crusades, but there was only one or two of those. Or Nine. Hardly worth mentioning. I was pretty sure that there was the Jewish sanctioned stalking and killing of the people who wiped out their olympic team or something, but typing in “Jewished Sanctioned Assassinations” opens up the floodgates to the crazy part of the internet, so I think I’ll just leave that one alone. Besides, that was sort of a state sanctioned sports revenge war, not so much a holy one.
Well, religions and companies might try to sweep the bad patches of their history under the carpet, but a nation could never do that. Granted, Germany has a rule that says you can’t show off a swastika in any non-documentary materials. That is a little bit like attempting to apply selective amnesia on the current generation, I guess. They had a case of genocide in their history. It is important that you don’t ignore that sort of thing. We certainly wouldn’t do that here in America. Unless you count the Native Americans. We kinda sorta annihilated them, didn’t we? But that’s different. We did it with disease and superior weaponry, and COWBOYS! That’s much more romantic than poison gas.
Boy… I seem to have depressed myself. The world is full of drug dealer companies, hypocritical religions, and genocidal superpowers, all trying to blot the bad bits out of their legacy. But you know what? It isn’t all bad, and I’ll tell you why. Because I’m willing to bet most of you already knew about all of that stuff. And if you didn’t, you do now! We’ve finally produced a world where even a know-nothing dope with a website and a free afternoon can dig up the dirty little secrets of the world. And that’s pretty good… just so long as that picture of me with the Vaseline and the goat never shows up…