If you believe marketing, business and even some 80s retro blogs legend of this blip in pop culture history, you are inclined to believe that the whole country hated New Coke from the minute it appeared on the market and it quickly disappeared from store shelves in favor of Coca-Cola Classic. To an extent, I thought that was true myself, except for one detail...I preferred New Coke to Coca-Cola Classic. Personally, my heart belongs to Pepsi, because I always thought Coke had a sour taste to it. However, I like soda of any kind, so when push comes to shove I will drink Coke. I love soda so much I can drink whatever is available at that moment. Does that make me ambidextrous? Needless to say, I was kind of disappointed when the New Coke, that I loved, was yanked from the market in favor of Coca-Cola Classic, which I didn't care for.
Of course, in typical fashion, every time I said I liked the New Coke, I got ripped a new anus by classmates and adults in Lebanon, Mo.
In researching New Coke, I learned something I that we are never told in the popular version of this story. New Coke was a success in major markets and on both coast. There was an overwhelming positive response in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
The backlash came from (You guest it) the South and Midwest. Before Coca-Cola Classic was rolled out, there were stories of hording of "old" Coke, in the same way people in these same parts of the country have been hording Twinkies, guns and ammunition in recent years. I'm sure somewhere there is news video of a redneck saying, "Coke is an in-steetoooshun in Murica. Thee Foundin Fathers say'd in the Con-steetooshun that ya ain't suppoz'd to change Coke. The Bible saize ya suppoz'd to change Coke. It is un-Murican to change Coke."
Another thing I found out, New Coke was not officially discontinued until 1998. At one point in the early 90s, it was sold in the areas where it was popular under the name Coke 2. I'm sure some Republican idiot in the Missouri legislature made a law against the sale of it here in Missouri (Remember that in the late 80s, some in the Missouri legislature want to make it illegal for teenagers to buy tapes and CDs).
The way I see it, President Ronald Reagan should have declared Marshall Law in Georgia (Headquarters of Coca-Cola), Texas (You know my feelings about Texans) and the other states where there was a huge amount of public outcry against the New Coke. He should have said, "Look, you stupid hillbillies are going to drink the New Coke, if I have to order federal troops to hold your nose and pour it down your throat." Sadly, he didn't.
I guess there are several things about this moment of pop culture that bothers me. The people who complain about political correctness ruining America are the very ones who were responsible for Coca-Cola backing down and celebrate it as a great thing. You have to wonder about people, who feel no shame in their racism, antisemitism, homophobia and even hatred of children and teens. They also get angry if a talk radio show host or public figure is forced to apologize for saying something that is racist, antisemitic or homophobic, yet those same people will demand an apology over something like changing the taste of a soda or a TV news station reporting on gay or African-American people or a new movie version of The Lone Ranger (Which I liked and highly recommend).
I also think that if something is successful in major markets on the East and West Coast, then middle America and Dixie should be FORCED TO LIKE IT TOO. I hate the "We ain't gonna allow none of that here in the Ozarks" attitude. It is just as bad in other states in the Mid-West and the South. Besides the mid-West and the South has the WORST TASTE IN POP CULTURE!
I believe Coca-Cola made a big mistake caving in to pressure and set an unhealthy precedent. Of course, my opinions are the reason why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!