Détournement, Coca-Cola, Greenpeace and More Dead Birds on the Sand

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell

In the book, Beautiful Trouble: A Cookbook for a Revolution, one tactic used to re-appropriate common cultural artefacts the intended audience are already familiar with (such as Cola-Cola or Pantene), then injecting them with radical connotations, is called ‘détournement‘, which roughly translates from French to ‘derailment’ or ‘overturning’. This tactic, used in the creation of ‘re-configuered’ advertisements creates new connotations for the audience, forcing them to think about their choices and the role they play in enacting the consequences of them:

KNOW YOUR CULTURAL TERRAIN: As an act of semiotic sabotage, détournement requires the user to have fluency in the signs and symbols of contemporary culture. The better you know a culture, the easier it is to shift, repurpose, or disrupt it. To be successful, the media artifact chosen for détournement must be recognizable to its intended audience. Further, the saboteur must be familiar with the subtleties of the artefact’s original meaning in order to effectively create a new, critical meaning.”

But not only that, it works subversively by bypassing mental filters because people are already familiar with the cultural symbols and urban mythology presented, which then, disrupted by imagery and symbolism, present the truth, which often comes as a shock to some because it sits at odds with their beliefs, ideas and what they think they know. However, once you know the truth, you cannot unknown it!

“Advertisements start to feel less like batteringrams of consumerism and more like the raw materials for art and critical reflection.”

It can be used to disrupt the narrative flow of popular media, pillaging it of corporate power, especially in regards to environmental issues such as the irresponsibility of Coca-Cola and the Australian bird population that are chocking to death on plastic.

The Latest Greenpeace Petition: Sign This to Stop Coke Trashing Australia (It will only take 30 seconds of your life.)

Classic Hoax Methodology: Dow Chemical apologizes for Bhopal Disaster

Citation: Beautiful Trouble (Beautiful Trouble, various authors) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The Labyrinth: Dead Birds on the Sand

The Labyrinth: Dead Birds on the Sand and the Bystander Effect

Dead birds, possibly starved to death with stomachs full of plastic

Dead birds, possibly starved to death with full stomachs full of plastic

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

The Story of a Spoon

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life… Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

A recent Greenpeace blog post, titled, The Story of a Spoon, written by Arin de Hoog, elaborates on the other, besides ‘being owned by all your shit’, consequence of owning too much stuff: the wear and tear on our planet, our resources and the sustainability factor. A plastic spoon seems innocuous enough except:

“The Story of a Spoon is an appeal for people to stop racing down the aisles. To slow down. To take a moment to think about how the stuff we buy came into existence and what happens to that stuff when we no longer have use for it.

It’s about asking ourselves, when you consider the history and future of a thing, is there a more sustainable alternative? It’s about understanding our inter-dependency with the natural environment and changing the way we consume for the better.”

Now I know many of you probably don’t use plastic utensils but on the off chance that some of you do use them, I think you may be interested in watching this video, The Story of a Spoon, below. And for those of you who don’t use plastic to devour your food, this is just another reason why, yes, you’re (inadvertently!) on the right path!

“We’re starting to get it. Change is already underway. We’re doing more reducing, more reusing and more recycling. More grocery stores won’t give you a plastic bag and more of us are exchanging our clothes or passing them on to people who need them.”

Personally, when I take my lunch to school or travelling or appointments, I have a plastic reusable spoon and fork kit that I take with me. It’s BPA free, pink and glittery… Now how could anyone resist using that? And at home, we have only stainless steel knives and forks. However, I do remember (before, when I used to be able to go to group gatherings (Where people sprayed their bodies and hair with industrial solvents, toxic fragrances and petrochemicals before arriving.) and the norm was to have a heap of plastic utensils to save on washing up, and, yes, I remember how they’d just get swept into the rubbish afterwards. Crazy, hey?When people, myself included, become sensitive to chemicals they are forced to look at their consumption of products from a different angle. Like not only asking themselves, Oh, where did this come from? but, Will this have an impact on my environment? and they must learn (adapt) quickly to this new way of living cautiously if they want to thrive or, just survive, even.

When you look at the big picture and society as a whole and what is needed to protect our planet, then human beings becoming sensitive to chemicals is not such a bad thing.

Your thoughts… ?


Heather Awen: How MCS May Be Saving Humankind from Itself

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Europe’s Pesticide Addiction

How Industrial Agriculture Damages our Environment

From Greenpeace International on ISSUU:

“Europe’s dependency on chemical pesticides is nothing short of an addiction. Crops are routinely doused with a variety of chemicals, usually applied multiple times to single crops throughout the whole growing season. Industrial agriculture, with its heavy use of chemical pesticides, pollutes our water and soil and leads to loss of habitats and biodiversity.”

Greenpeace International.org have made recommendations to fix this serious problem; such as:

Only by reducing pesticide use and ultimately converting farming systems to ecological farming practices will it be possible to address the ecological and economic problems that agriculture currently faces…


Overhauling regulatory controls for pesticide risk assessment.
In particular, investigating and monitoring the effects that the exposure to cocktails of chemicals can have on human health and the environment. The specific pesticide formulations used in the field should also be subject to testing and rigorous scientific assessment rather than the active ingredients alone. In addition, all available independent scientific literature should be taken into account as part of risk assessment processes, and all studies and data used in the assessment should be made publicly available. Once an authorisation has been granted, if scientific evidence emerges bringing additional information that could put into question the conclusions of the risk assessment process a re-evaluation of the active substance and the formulations should immediately take place.

The report also reviews existing scientific literature on the use of synthetic chemical pesticides in agriculture:

Those pesticides pose a major threat to biodiversity either endangering species directly, by poisoning and eventually killing them, or indirectly, by disrupting ecosystems, e.g. through a collapse of the foodweb. ‘Cocktails’ of several pesticides commonly contaminate the environment, but the effects of such chemical mixtures are not routinely assessed as part of the EU pesticides’ authorisation process. In addition, pesticides are assessed by active ingredients, instead of examining the impacts of the actual marketed product used in the field. The EU process also fails to properly assess the long-term effects of exposure to low doses of pesticides, as it mainly focuses on their acute toxicity.

Non-chemical alternatives to pest management are already available to farmers but need the necessary political and financial support to go mainstream, and fulfil the promise of Ecological Farming, which combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity.


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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