A couple weeks ago (Sept. 8, issue V2-572, with the dreamy rolled eyes of Interpol on the cover), I recounted a story of finding the enclosed image on a recently-purchased half-gallon carton of Organic Valley one-percent milk. If you missed it, well shucks, it was hilarious. Maybe you can find it on the great big webernets. Maybe not. I know it certainly didn’t make the “Organics In The News” section of the Organic Valley website, which is full of fluff pieces on local co-op farmers and PR-type info on this or that initiative, as it should be. Funny how that works out.
Equally or perhaps even funnier than that is the fact that when I returned to the grocery store to pick up another half-gallon this past week, not having purchased any milk in the interim, I found the shelf space previously occupied by the offending carton to be empty, bereft of containers, surrounded on all sides by full stocks of two-percent, whole and skim milks, half-and-half and heavy creams of all shapes, varieties and quantities. No Organic Valley one-percent milk.
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “There’s no way this guy’s going to be so egomaniacal as to think this company (A:) knows he exists, (B:) read his column and (C:) changed anything about their business practice because of it.”
You bet your ass I am.
I’m pretty sure my column hit the internet and not hours later showed up in the Google Reader of some unfortunate Organic Valley employee, who then had to take the bitter news up to their hard-nosed boss—I’m picturing a bald J. Jonah Jameson kind of guy with a hard-on for compassionate farming practices—fearful for his or her job that said boss might fire them on the spot just for being the messenger. And in this economy!
And when this employee, this poor, hardworking and technically savvy sap, took the print-out up to his or her monument to all bossly stereotypes on the 40th Floor of the Organic Valley Skyscraper, it could only have been met with Zeusian fury, all lightning bolts and bearded bluster. Heads, as they say, rolled.
In less than a day, every carton of Organic Valley one-percent milk was pulled from the shelves of supermarkets, local delis, fancypants food stores and 7-Elevens. It would have been an operation of near-German efficiency—Scandinavian at least—so that by the time I got back to the refrigerator section, they were long, long gone, leaving only the gap which I, not knowing if Stonyfield Organic was acceptable for my milk-choosy wife, stared at for probably way too long before finally abandoning the dairy-purchasing project altogether.
Hey, Organic Valley. If you can read this, next time, just tell me to fuck myself.
Trying to imagine what could lead me to believe the above recall scenario could ever take place as a result of a column I wrote complaining about the drawing on a carton of milk, the only answer I could come up with is the commonly-held perception that liberals—long reputed for being behind organic milk despite Whole Foods’ union-busting conservatism—are weak. That’s what it is. I imagine Organic Valley like the rest of the American left, breaking spine at first criticism for fear of pissing someone off.
I consider myself a liberal, and I’m not going to try and cover that up with the friendlier, more intellectual tag “progressive.” I hold such radical views as equal pay for equal work and that if two dudes or two chicks want to get married it has nothing to do with me. I think they should repeal don’t ask don’t tell and raise taxes on the upper one percent until teachers get paid like movie stars and the heretofore-shit-on unemployed can drive their welfare Mercedes to take their kids for free government-paid medical care. I’m the kind of liberal who thinks Barrack Obama isn’t liberal enough, and the only difference between me and the left-wing is I don’t give a fuck who knows it.
So please, Organic Valley: Help fight the notion that we’re all a bunch of self-important condescending shitbirds and drop me a line to shove the hipster milk carton up my ass. Do us all a favor.