The cosmic room of American Capitalism
The entire world will now learn from the Hürriyet Daily News regarding the news piece I am about to pen down.
The management board of Coca–Cola Company held its last meeting in its Atlanta office in the United States on Oct. 18 and 19. The board gave a historic mandate to its president Muhtar Kent.
With this decision, Coca-Cola’s confidential formula that had been protected until this day as a secret will now be transferred from the safe where it is currently kept in the Sun Trust Bank to a location accessible to everyone.
It’s new location has also been disclosed. The secret formula will be transferred to a safe in Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola, the company’s entertainment park.
As such, the nearly one million people who visit every year will be able to view the safe, where this formula that aroused all the world’s curiosity, is located.
Muhtar Kent, the head of the company’s management board, divulged this historic decision to me in his Atlanta office.
HAS ANY OTHER JOURNALIST ENTERED THIS ARCHIVE UNTIL THIS DAY?
Muhtar Kent did me yet another favor.
He opened Coca Cola’s 125 year old archives. I spent around three hours there. “Has any other journalist entered these archives until this day?” I asked. “Not as far as we can remember,” replied Phil Mooney, the magnificent person in charge of those archives.
The company’s 125 year old archives are located in one of the lower floors of the general headquarters’ first building. Promotion of these archives was made on Coca Cola’s website some time around the start of this year.
You might wonder what sort of interesting things there may be in a company’s archives.
Coca Cola’s archives also represent a history of American pop culture.
MY GOD! I AM ENTERING THE SECRET ARCHIVES OF IMPERIALISM
Memories of my youth flare up as I enter through that narrow gate. Two brands would spring up in our minds when we heard the term “imperialism.” Coca Cola and IBM.
As you might imagine, I was entering the “archives of American imperialism.” Would you not feel excitement as a former revolutionary who still gets the jitters when looking at a photograph of Che Guevera, if you saw a box with the label “Turkey” on it?
A room appears before you once you enter through the small gate. Red colored Coca Cola wares lie all around, little toys, plaques and souvenirs.
A long corridor lies to the left. One of the corridor’s walls is full of objects. On the opposite side, there are corridor shaped compartments that cut at a right angle. These are opened by means of an electronic system.
I HEAR ANDY WARHOL’S FOOTSTEPS IN THE CORRIDOR
In the first corridor are those calendars, billboards and posters with women and flowers that I find so adorable from the 1930s.
Norman Rockwell’s lines have turned into pretty paintings that speak of the birth of modern American art.
The originals are kept in drawers and between transparent panes. One of them hangs on Muhtar Kent’s office wall.
In another section, there are promotion materials distributed to consumers during the 1930s and the 1940s. The trays in particular attract my attention among these.
My favorite section is the one that contains Coca Cola ads that belong to the 1950s, back when rock ’n’ roll culture was coming into being. Incredible drawings that open up West Side Story sexuality, with high heels, long pale legs, shorts that generously expose the full bottoms, shirts tied over the belly button and that flung the breasts out, superb drawings of pretty women that seem reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe.
As you might guess, I spent quite a lot of time in that section.
I felt as if I heard Andy Warhol’s footsteps as I was wandering through these sections.
Ertuğrul Özkök is a columnist for the daily Hürriyet in which this piece appeared on Nov. 20. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff