(Listening notes: Dr. John, The Clash, The Neutral Milk Hotel, Kris Kristoffersonâ€™s â€œSunday Morning Coming Downâ€ performed by Johnny Cash, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Saints, Israel Kamakawiwo’oleâ€™s version of â€œOver the Rainbowâ€)
I had a friend over this evening, and he said something that hit me. He asked what I had to drink. Needless to say I had beer, but that wasnâ€™t the thing for him, so I offered Diet Coke, which he initially accepted. Upon spying a Sprite he said, “Iâ€™ll take a Sprite instead.” I remarked about his love of Caffeine and he said, utterly devoid of irony:
Diet Coke? Without the rich full taste of real Coke it just isnâ€™t the same.
Is it any wonder I love this man? Now I love Coke, and it occurred to me that Coke is unappreciated. Obviously people love Coke, possibly the single most successful consumer product of all time. I mean something different though. Usually mass produced, consumed and popular products are considered bad, or possibly just OK. I would contend that Coke is not only good, if it were not in existence and someone invented it and served it a restaurant, charged a lot for it as a unique item it would be considered a standard bearer of excellence. It has a rich, complex taste. Unlike many soft drinks it is not cloyingly sweet.
They have this drink, they call it Cola! It is amazing, and they even use it cocktails. Just add Rum or some Bourbon, you have to try it.
Put a snobby European accent on it and I can see the crowds of trendy foodies storming the place. Not only that, but it is not only the best selling soft drink, it is the best, the standard bearer, inspiring a loyalty only approached by that small hardy group of Dr. Pepper fanatics. The best of its kind and the biggest selling, a rare thing.
So I need your help, my friend and I are looking for examples of other products that are massively popular, but also are fine things in and of themselves. The arts are the easiest, see the Beatles and many other bands that were not only tremendously successful but exemplars of their genre. Food seems tougher. Let me know.
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