Setanka's day at the Fair
Is it Fair
Many of us remember the news regarding a ban on large soft drinks in New York City. The Media as expected defined the issue as a fundamental struggle between conservative and liberal ideologies: Freedom of choice vs. state imposed ideas on health and welfare: Capitalism vs. Socialism. This bourgeois assault on the hapless Proletariat began in 1980 with 7-11's introduction of the Big Gulp. This 20 ounce soda fountain wonderment was well received by a thirsty public and grew into the 64 ounce monstrosity that some apparently fear today. But what is the real issue?
Last Fall I took my daughter to our local county fair. She enjoys anything concerning horses, and I enjoy the fair's concessions. True for many fairs I suspect, the encroachment of civilization has devolved the fair from an enjoyable cultural event into an overly commercialized venue focused on profit. Fewer local interests participate, there are fewer animals, and even the option to pay for better parking has been abandoned. What was most disturbing in my mind however, was the absence of concession stands that offered fountain beverages.
Their had always been vendors that offered canned or bottled(plastic) beverages, but the good ones always had soda fountains; however this year there were none to be found. Sadly most people at the fair sheepishly bought the tainted soda in plastic bottles and went on to rejoin the heard. Far more concerned, and to my daughter's displeasure I looked into the upsetting dilemma.
Ultimately I ended up at the fair's management office and learned that the fair's Commission had simply decided not to allow the use of soda fountains. "What new madness is this" I proclaimed. "Why would you deny people the choice of fresh mixed sodas and compel them to drink from toxic plastic containers". "How can you justify this" I continued, but my protests fell on deaf ears. In the end it was about social conformity and better profit regulation but its not really Fair is it? At least New Yorkers can still get their sodas from a fountain.