ISSUE 11

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  When nation-states break down—and according to the Mayan prophecies they will by 2012… so any day now—the international companies will become how we define ourselves. Coke supporters will be about more than the cavities. Chipotle legions will chase more than double-of-everything, three-pound burritos. Prius drivers will believe in more than gas efficiency, Uber rides, and accidently running over people in the Prius’ electric mode.
  The Coke-Pepsi wars will consume much of the first corporate nation-state years, which will be interesting because Coke’s mascot is a giant, easy-going polar bear and Pepsi’s is a red, white, and blue circle… thing. Uh, what exactly is Pepsi’s logo supposed to be? Is it a beach ball? The new one looks like a yin yang sign that’s had too much to drink.
  This is why Pepsi is doomed. No one can figure out why they should fight for a beach ball or how increased awareness of beach sports is supposed to help the average Pepsian pay rent. Everyone can get behind a polar bear though. Polar bears are awesome.
  Coke-Pepsi will be the first war, but not the last, as identical products will either destroy each other or merge. Chipotle versus Qdoba will be next, and considering Chipotle’s corporate mascot is a free-range, locally-grown, organic Mexican, and Qdoba’s is a white college student who undercooks rice, you know who wins there.   
  The Starbuck’s Empire will be untouchable, a jittery place where everything is done twice as fast and where conversations are practically unintelligible. Everyone is dehydrated all of the time, and everyone has to go to the bathroom all of the time. Besides those two things, the only significant drawback of Starbuck’s Empire is that it rains three hundred and forty-five days of the year and the other eleven days a giant siren comes on shore, lulls people to sleep, and then eats them. Not a good weather pattern in other words.  
  As far as beer goes, well, don’t go to Budweiser Land. Ever. Not even for a fun weekend. You go to Budweiser Land one day, the next you’re a seventy-year-old alcoholic sitting on the front porch with a twelve-gauge waiting for the next greenie from Whole Foods to ask where the organic farmer’s market is. 
  General Mills and Kellogg’s will form one massive breakfast conglomerate where everyone is happy but also incredibly sad, mainly because they haven’t eaten a well-rounded meal for sixty-five years and their children are all AC/DC, a new acronym for a child that has gone absolutely ape shit.    
   
  General Kellogg Nation will also design a tree on which Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Flakes can grow, a tree with a virus that will kill off the oak, maple, ash, and, funnily enough, poison ivy. People from REI will be mad, refuse to export overpriced jackets and dehydrated survival food to General Kellogg Nation, and start a conservation fund for tree orphans, which will do marvelously—though what qualifies as a tree orphan will be a matter for great debate. Several types of rock will be supported on the program.
  Those company-states are pretty inconsequential, however. Apple will control most of the world, and Microsoft won’t. This will be mainly food related as a computer bug will assure that Microsoft grocery stores are stocked with computer hardware, and most of Microsoft’s citizens will die before IT issues a fix that replaces grocery stores with giant cinder blocks. The food situation in Apple is… better? Malnourished would be a better word. Apples with one bite out of them are available for twenty-two dollars apiece.
   But the real nation to join is Costco, mostly for the free samples and the fact that you can get six pounds of gummi bears for twelve dollars. This means that while maybe possibly skyrocketing your blood sugar levels to catastrophic levels, you can feed a family of four for a week solely on gummi bears. Ever had a gummi steak? Now this sickening, incredibly chewy proposition can become a reality. Ever tried to make a loaf of bread out of gelatinous sugar? Don’t try it in the bread maker. Bad things happen.   
   In Costco land, they even sell whales. Whales! Can you believe it? It takes twenty minutes to chew enough to swallow and about two pounds of ketchup to make it palatable—but fifty bucks for three hundred thousand pounds of blubber is a steal anywhere you live. Unless you live in Wal-Mart, but that’s not even real whale. It’s just plastic.
   Truly, it’ll be an interesting world. The Mayans had no idea. They were expecting some sort of comet or a giant hole that would swallow up their goat or something. But gummi steaks? A giant marauding polar bear? Rocks on welfare? Yeah right. The next thing you’ll say is Trump will be president.