Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'd like to give the world a Coke

Metaphors are tricky things, dangerous in the wrong hands. Which leads us to Indra Nooyi, president and CFO of PepsiCo. In an address to the graduating class of Columbia Business School, Ms. Nooyi spun out an elaborate metaphor contending that the nations of the world resemble the fingers of a hand, with the U.S. being — can you guess? — the middle finger. Explained the lady: “This is how the rest of the world looks at the U.S. right now. Not as part of the hand . . . but instead scratching our nose and sending a far different signal.” Ah, the Ugly American! Blundering and insulting, the loose cannon among nations, stirring up strife and discord! We must be gentler, more sensitive — then they won’t hate us so much! But who, actually, hates us? Not, presumably, the untold millions who watch our movies and buy our soft drinks. Foreigners could, if they wished, stop watching and stop buying. A lot of European and Third World intellectuals hate us, we know, because their brains are so addled with crackpot ideologies as to make them useless for employment in modern commerce. Who else hates us? Just a few guilt-crazed wealthy elites like . . . well, like the president and CFO of PepsiCo.
--Hat tip to the June 20th edition of National Review, "The Week."


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