May the Brands Be With You

Corporations annexing your humanity sucks shit

Look at this fucking tweet.

Marinate in it. Think about the layers of marketing peons and social media managers this tweet probably had to go through. Someone likely had to convince multiple people to "take a chance" on using a well-trod tweet format in an effort to make people like Chase Bank—Chase Fucking Bank—more. The dumbass tweet was immediately ratio'd into the sun, and whatever person they're paying $75,000 a year to tweet (while probably still charging minorities greater fees and interest rates on mortgages) deleted it.

I can't stop thinking about this monumentally awful tweet, though. You might think that's an overreaction, and you might even be right—there are a lot of other, more pressing problems in the world. But can we talk for a second about what makes it so appalling?

There is of course the immediate disgust at a bank that received a $12 billion bailout in 2008 taking everyday people to task for not saving enough. The level of awfulness just below this one is that the tweet is taking everyday people to task for not saving enough because Chase Bank wants access to more of your money. That is, after all, how Chase Bank makes its money; you store your money with them, and they use it to make money they generally keep all to themselves. JPMorgan Chase also made a record amount of money last year, thanks in part to not having to pay as much in taxes on the money it makes.

The rot goes deeper still. Dialogue tweets typically reveal something about human nature; the format generally shines a light on some form of cognitive dissonance or another in a way that is both relatable and funny. It's comforting, in this shit world, to relate to a human being who also struggles with intrusive thoughts, or has trouble budgeting. Chase Bank is not a human being. Neither is Wendy's. Nor is fucking Netflix.

It was bad enough that the U.S. government decided corporations are people, and had the inalienable right to buy politicians. Most Americans could probably have continued to ignore this corporate personhood in their daily lives. Then the marketing people at these corporations realized that in a world in which Americans are marketed to every moment of the day, they could "break through the noise" by pretending to be people on social media. Depressed people. Horny people. "Look, mom, the brand thinks it's people!"  

To then use that mask of personhood to berate the very people it is oppressing, though—that was a new one. That is the sickening gestalt of the Chase Bank tweet: a faceless corporation that chews up poor people for its lifeblood decided to annex the one part of its consumers’ lives it had yet to touch: their humanity. 

Hugs and puppies,