Revolution Diary

As I grow older (I am nearly 27), there are days in which the appeal of this revolutionist’s life palls. Month follows month, and it is always the same: the hassle of kidnapping, the tedium of hostage-keeping, the dullness of cocoa production. Even small-scale massacres have begun to lose their thrill.

In my jungle fastness, I am surrounded by people with no conversation. Child soldiers as clumsy with a witticism as they are with a Kalashnikov. Hostages (millionaires, police captains, politicians) who are by turns sullen and psychoanalytic: “Why do you think you mutilate people?” The worst of all are the Stockholm Syndrome sufferers, like Ingrid B., who spend all their time tattling on their fellow captives; tale-bearing is a very one-sided exercise in egotism, and it wears on me.

But worst of all, I have to admit, are my comrades. They talk only of forced collectivization blah blah agrarian land reform whine whine. Is it any wonder I am on the lookout for hostages? For a week or so, their talk is novel, the edgy banter of the well nourished. And then of course after two weeks in the cage, their conversation loses much of its spice, their wit much of its piquancy.

So I become bored. And, to speak plainly, depressed. But just when my despair is darkest, I am jolted back into remembrance of why I do what I do. I am braced by the deathless words of the revolutionist’s anthem, words that have meant more to me than the words of Trotsky, or Engels:

Don’t go unnoticed. Don’t blend in. Don’t be ordinary, boring or bland. In other words, don’t be so mayo. We are our own unique one of a kind flavor. We are Miracle Whip and we will not tone it down.

And I realize, with a shiver of recognition, that this anthem is speaking to me, the revolutionary, the rebel, the renegade. After years of toil and danger and violence, my work has been recognized by one of the great food conglomerates on the planet: I exist as a target market.

After stopping convoys of trucks and abducting the drivers and chaining them to trees, our search of the various shipments have not turned up a single container of Miracle Whip. Still, I will not rest until I have sampled the insurgent dressing in the ways the company suggests:

We will not be quiet. We will not try to blend in, disappear in the background, play second fiddle. When we’re in a sandwich, or a salad, a panini or crostini, you’ll know it. We’re not like the others. We won’t ever try to be. We are our own mixed-up blend of one-of-a-kind spices. We are Miracle Whip. And we will not tone it down.

That victory is near is certain. Even General Motors — that hotbed of capitalist hegemony and severe brand mismanagement — has declared its flagship marque to be “an American Revolution.” And indeed many of its cars have come to emulate that great triumph of the great Soviet revolutionary system, the Volga.

As the marketers know, loyalty is the virtue above all among rebel forces, and when a brand speaks to us, we are brand loyal to the point of violence. Let me give you an example: If I can choose between kidnapping a tourist with a Nikon D3000 or one with a Canon Eos Digital Rebel XT around his neck, you know which way I go. And when I expropriate a motorcycle, I prefer to expropriate a Honda Rebel — unless of course a BMW is on offer.