While out the other day, I noticed a streetside advertising banner. It was touting yet another version of diet cola, “Pepsi MAX ”. Seen from a distance, I could recognize the Pepsi corporate logo, but somehow on first glance I misread the additional printed text
“ZERO CALORIES” as saying instead “2380 CALORIES”!
I immediately flashed on the Cory Doctorow novel, Makers, I had recently read and thought “It’s diet soda for Fatkins*!” And it certainly gives a different meaning to the “MAX” than intended!
*In the novel, the “fatkins” treatment is a biological hack that resets the metabolism of the morbidly obese to make them uniformly thin and muscular while tweaking the body’s metabolic systems to require ten thousand calories a day. As the treatments catch on, the fatkins become one of the nations' dominant cultures, with their own restaurants, dating styles, and demographic box. And, as Makers is a satiric cautionary tale, “fatkins” also ultimately proves not a miracle cure but a death sentence of organ failure and osteoporosis.
a couple reviews of Doctorow’s novel:http://io9.com/5411121/as-silicon-valley-crumbles-the-makers-will-inherit-the-earthhttp://newhumanist.org.uk/2146/makers-by-cory-doctorow
entire novel online serialized and illustrated here:http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/07/cory-doctorows-lemgmakerslemg-index