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My poor English – ashamed of College of San Mateo and now SFSU who are not letting me learn!

on October 20, 2012

CONSTRUCTING PURITY: BOTTLED WATER AND THE COMMODIFICATION OF NATURE,

THE TITLE is italic to emphasize that is the one choose to be analyzed.  It was written by Opel, Andy, Journal of American Culture (01911813), 01911813, Winter99, Vol. 22, Issue 4.  It is contained in 14pages as download and printed from http://0-web.ebscohost.com.opac.sfsu/edu/ehost/detail?vid=7&hid=1… The article is intended for people that range between the ages of 16 and older.  Starts talking going back into our precious memories: “Growing up in the ‘70s, I remember the dusty gallon jugs of water in the produce section of the supermarket.”   (Constructing Purity, p. 1) Throughout the article the authors highlight the words water, bottled water, corporations, nature, commodification, and it looks like is done with an intention.  Even though the authors throughout the article highlighted “literally speaking” the cause, effects and main disasters causes through it and the big amount of profitable earning; definitively their sole intention are not so.  Based on this analysis you can tell that the sole intention of the remarked highlighted words are trying to put that in the mind of the millions of people that are paying $8.00 per gallon vs. .50 cents or $6.50 per individual bottle in restaurants.  The real sole intention is to make the readers to wish and carry a bottled of water that is profitable for the corporations who are behind the target and were the ones who made our precious water through fake labels images and through the use of text that “brings back our memories.”  They used the mask images that connect the human ideal activities through the dream places as they were 100 of years ago.  The places mostly used by the elite people, or used for nice sport activities, that in actual fact might not exist or might be totally ruined and destroy but present through images of nature, or water, peaks frozen mountains isolated from the effects of the modern industrialized world.  Hiding the destruction and devastation cause as they are cutting through time and space and as they played back our memories not exactly in reality or actual time, but in the actuality show that they are scheming or crafting through words or images.  

            As Opel, Andy, Journal of American Culture wrote

“Twenty-five years later, stores have entire aisles of bottled water with shiny labels,

six-pack, “fresh,” “natural,” “spring.” Again I find myself wondering, why are people buying water from the store? And now, today, people are not paying 50 cents a gallon for a milk jug of distilled water, they are paying a dollar a pint, or $8.00 a gallon.” (Constructing Purity, p. 1)   

They cleverly gained their goal as they even mentioned “Water and air, more urgently necessary for life, have remained relatively absent from the ever-expanding commercial market place until recently.” (Constructing Purity, p. 2)

 It was also suggested by “Marx” as they mentioned

“How these elements become commodified and the impact of this commodification

pose powerful questions for the larger society.  What is the condition of our democratic society when corporations become the guardian of something as essential as water and access to that water becomes a matter of free-market capitalism?” “The political economy behind the growth of bottled waters reveals a major incentive to market something so simple, yet so essential as water: profit.  In 1981, bottled water consumption represented 1.8% of the U. S. Liquid Consumption Trends and by 1997, that number rose to 6.9%. This translates to 3.9 billion dollars in bottled water sales in 1997 (Bottled).” (Constructing Purity, p. 2)    

Many grammatical errors are carried with the sole intention to work our memories in a “clever way using basis computer knowledge of mind and body computer: “commodified vs. commodities or commoditized; yet so vs. yet as; or 1997, that vs. 1997 that or 1997, which.  The image reflected in our eyes does not see the errors, but our sophisticated mind and body computer does see it and reject the information.  The errors are red or green highlighted on the screen, they cannot see the sole intention of this article and just grasp what is part of our beautiful memories that do not hesitate and purchase and pay just thinking to go back to it or to show the pride of it or to be part of the great place where elite people goes and have fun and entertain as they see the vital item in their memories with the black bolded highlighted letters Water, Bottled Water having a nice image and containing the precious life element that of course do not have price.

But how this started? How people were push to purchase the dusty bottled water that for years were purchased just for emergencies. The authors talked about on page two, “In 1993 Milwaukee waterborne outbreak caused 69 deaths and about 400,000 people became sick  with flu-like symptoms crossed referring it to what was written in short by ‘(Kummer 41)’.” And “A year later, in Washington DC, a filtration system failure caused “elevated turbidity” and an increase in diarrhea illness.  These incidents, along with dozens of other scares around the country, appear to have added to a climate of distrust toward our public water supplies.”

They gathered some information and selected the top five leading brands, based on 1997 dollar sales; they mentioned the efforts of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and support their efforts by Carol Browner, the EPA Administrator that as they wrote said, “We want the public to understand that standards set for municipal drinking water supplies are mandatory, and are monitored, and tested more often than for bottled water.” (Constructing Purity, p. 3)  But they did not highlighted the whole comment which would it secure the concerns in the mind of the people consuming the bottled water; they just highlighted again just water and bottled water to emphasize the “conscious” need of water.  They used secondary sources and again highlighted the key words in bolded black highlighted letters.  They did search on prices, cost and earnings that as written on page 4 said “From 6 cents a gallon to 6 dollars a liter is an impressive markup, enough to get the attention of every large food corporation in the world.” (Constructing Purity, p. 4)

The authors make fun of McDonald’s addition of bottled water and Coca-Cola, the supplier of McDonald’s fountain drinks highlighting the contradiction of the fake purity of the vital element and their high . . . genetically engineered potatoes or beef.  They make fun of the rise of neo-liberalism ideas of pop culture during the same period. They certainly mentioned Jean Baudrillard and his theoretical perspective in which he added a third value to Karl Marx commodity values to go over and explain the significance of the images place in the bottles or of the words setting people’s memories geographically as in the case of the Poland Spring bottled of water image that do not exist really in Maine (Constructing Purity, pp. 3-5 &7), but mainly saying “Today it is necessary to produce consumers, to produce demand and this production is infinitely more costly than that of the goods. (Lukes 348).” Citing and giving the Nike/Michael Jordan’s shoes example.  Sadly the value is not symbolically of what you are paying for, but literally they are ripping you off. (Constructing Purity, p. 4)   

The authors just used a well-crafted mind words that used great images to bring back the memories of the audience or the consumer produce that are demanding and purchasing the bottled water that is making corporations richer as they are advertising and training other corporations as well as informing  among themselves and many may wish to write literally what the authors wrote in regards Judith Williamson in Decoding Advertisement comment in which they said “Williamson proposed that when a culture is removed from nature, nature becomes a symbol upon which cultural meanings can be imprinted.  What is socially accepted becomes “natural” and the unaccepted, “unnatural.” In the case of water, corporations are using this ability to imprint their cultural images onto nature (water), constructing new meanings of purity, detached from the nature that at one time provided the purity now re-created through the manufacturing process.”  (Constructing Purity, pp.6-7)

The authors did not use the cross reference found in So Many Ways to Save.  By Cirillo, Jennifer, Beverage World, 00982318, 7/15/2010, Vol. 129, Issue 7 in which Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) is mentioning “The global water use ratio because to produce a liter instead of 1 they must use 1.67of product per unit and the .67 is the piece that is lost in the production process. . . . “(We’ve been striving for a water use ratio of 1.3 by the year 2020.”).”  Their comment is similar to the one written on Water for Sale by Jerry Gabriel in regards to prices analysis and controversy and they also talked about the efforts made in 1993 by the State of North Carolina Department of Agriculture who ordered “Off store shelves for ‘false and deceptive labeling.’ (McCarroll) . . .The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did a review of this issue and concluded by defining “spring water,” as water that is derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.  FDA has also decided to provide that “spring water” may be collected below the earth’s surface through a bore hole. (Food 61).”  (Constructing Purity, pp. 9-10)

The authors also mentioned that “Unlike the term “spring water,” the FDA has failed to define “natural” and instead relies on an ‘informal policy” that relies on standards like “minimal processing” with ‘nothing artificial or synthetic” added (Food 95).  Although some states have adopted more specific standards, most defer to the FDA for consistency and trade reasons.” (Constructing Purity, p. 10)  But could it be clearly established on Water for Sale page 8 “The rub is that this water isn’t appreciably different form the water coming out of or faucets . . . The shocking truth –ready or not-is that some of the water sold in bottles in the grocery store is in fact coming from the same source as the water coming out of our faucets, merely packaged and refrigerated.”  And on page 9 “There is no evidence,” says Avery “based on the research we’ve done, that bottled water is that much purer than municipal water,” Yet it is selling and is currently at a record-breaking per capita consumption high: 18.2 gallons per year.  That might not seem astronomical until it is stacked against milk, beer, and coffee, all of which sell at around 22 gallons per year per capita.” (Gabriel, p. 9)  How many gallons are we wasting per capita and how many dollars can you save in your packet? 

            Another important point which the authors in a way mentioned is that and is also brought up by Fan, Jordan C. on Stop Bottling Water jorcf@yahoo.com as written on page 1 “Bottling water is harmful to our environment and natural resources.  Large amounts of petroleum product and energy are used to make those plastic bottles.  Then to put water into bottles requires electricity and energy for pumping, filtering, filling, capping, packaging, and loading them into trucks.  Distribution of bottled water by trucks, trains, airplanes, or ships requires machine fuel and manpower.  Selling them in shops requires storage space and maintenance.  Buying them and taking them home require gasoline for our cars.  After bottles are emptied, they have to be transported again and disposed of.  Alternately, we can simply use filtered water from water pipes and taps and save our planet.  Next time, before your readers open up a bottle of water, please think of the resources they will waste and the damage they will do to the environment.”  (The Growing Crisis,” in the November-December 2003issue of “The Futurist.”

            Town like Wisconsin had been fighting water bottling because they do not want to lose the tourism and the peace, the real place that still exist not just in their memories which as the ones destroyed and later used by the corporations.  They destroy; they use our resources wrongfully just to make profits.  They residents said “We do not want our way of life changed.” (Wisconsin towns battle water bottling company.  American city & County, 0149337X, Dec2000, Vol. 115, Issue 17)

            This is Constructing Purity: Bottled Water And The Commodification of Nature

“Conclusion” which introduced their real goal, just read in between the lines and you will figure out.  Yes they mentioned the catastrophic things corporations are doing, but their conclusion ends as starts.

Bottled water has become a major influence in the beverage industry.  The availability of safe cold water as an alternative to caffeinated, carbonated, sugary drinks appeals to many consumers for reasons ranging from health to fitness, diet to convenience.  . . . Revealing these images for the advertisements they are is one step toward reclaiming the natural and understanding the commodification process.” (Constructing Purity, pp. 14-15)

            Throughout the text they reference the Industry issues, Bottled Water is a Package Deal, April 1998 and mentioned just Joe Kornick opinions and ideas and they certainly used it on page 6, but his exacts words are said on the above issue but as gather from “Bottled Water” 7 in which the authors did not mentioned what is written there and it is very important “The tasting competition is judged on odor, flavor, mouthfeel, aftertaste and overall impressions.  According to Dr. Robert Henkin, director of the Taste & Smell Clinic, Washington, D. D., distinguishing between a variety of chilled non-carbonated bottled waters is nearly impossible.  Dr. Henkin was one of the judges, and indicated that if the waters had been served chilled, rather than at room temperature, judges would not have been able to distinguish between them.” (Anonymous, Beverage Industry; April 1998; 89, 4; ABI/INFORM Complete Pg. 7)(Beverage Industry, April 1998)

            They used well the information and their goal is being approach with billions of dollars profits and billions of gallons of water wastes.  They did make a good brain washing covered with lies and fakes images that are harming this world as well as many other business that are not profiting from their hard work and good services or products that they are providing for the people.  If anything these critiques wish to make the world think about what we are doing and where are we going?  To get better results this author or critic is trying to spin the authors of this article intention. 

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