Nothing in the guise of something

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.  Žižek on Coke:

"I want to begin with Coca-cola. It’s no surprise that Coca-cola was first introduced as a medicine. Its strange taste seems to provide no particular satisfaction. It is not directly pleasing, however, it [it has no use, unlike] water, beer or wine, which definitely do quench our thirst. Coke functions as the direct embodiment of "IT", the pure surplus of enjoyment over standard satisfactions.

It is the mysterious and elusive X we are all after in our compulsive consumption. Since Coke doesn’t satisfy any concrete need, we drink it only as a supplement. It is this very superfluous character that makes our thirst for Coke all the more insatiable.

Coke has the paradoxical quality: the more you drink it, the more you get thirsty. So, when the slogan for Coke was "Coke is it!", we should see in it some ambiguity – it’s "it" precisely insofar as it’s never IT, precisely because every consumption opens up the desire for more.

The paradox is thus that Coke is not an ordinary commodity, but a commodity whose very peculiar use itself is already a direct embodiment of the [overwhelming] surplus.

This process is brought to its conclusion in the case of caffeine–free diet Coke. We drink a drink for two reasons: for its nutritional value and for its taste. In the case of caffeine–free diet Coke, its nutritional value is suspended and the caffeine as the key ingredient of its taste is also taken away.

All that remains is pure semblance, an artificial promise of a substance which never materialised.

Is it not that in the case of caffeine–free diet Coke that we almost literally drink nothing in the guise of something?"

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