Link of the Day: smartwater

Listen, I don’t want to put Jennifer Aniston down. Not because I don’t want to be mean or because I think she’s a good person, but because I don’t get why anyone ought to be saying anything about her at all in 2010, however positive or negative. It frightens and confuses me that she’s still as famous as she is, and I really don’t think we should do anything to perpetuate that any further.

I mean, Friends was a pretty good show, but then what? A string of mediocre movies in which she’s always played a variation of that one spastic, superficial character she does? A relationship that’s still being deconstructed on magazine covers even though it ended about five years ago? A weird feeling that she was in Sex and the City even though we all know she wasn’t? Is that all there is to Jennifer Aniston in this day and age?

Evidently not, because now she’s also doing ads for smartwater, a brand of “enhanced water” whose website is so insufferably pretentious that you’ll wish it had a face and children so you could just punch it in its smug, stupid face again and again in front of its kids.

The water itself is clear, bland, tepid, and completely unnecessary. So yeah, I guess the Aniston endorsement deal is a match made in heaven. It’s right up there with hiring David Schwimmer to pitch a product called “Uh…”

And if you want to sell a product that’s literally just a few electrolytes away from what you can readily get from the tap, then you’re going to have to brand it as a lifestyle in itself. That’s why smartwater is being marketed as Jennifer Aniston’s “idea of good taste,” “workout partner,” and “secret revealed.”

And to be fair, I’m willing to bet that it really is an important part of her lifestyle, since she’s probably not allowed to drink anyone else’s water as long as she’s under contract, and people need water to live. I’m guessing “I have to drink this or I’ll die” was just too grim a slogan.

Here’s the thing, though. Buying bottled water – any brand of bottled water, however “enhanced” – is one of the most environmentally ignorant things an everyday person can possibly do. I mean, driving is bad for the planet, but it’s not one of those things that we can just immediately stop doing as a culture. Automotive travel, for better or worse, is a pretty important part of our way of life.

But if you live in a town with clean drinking water, or even Brita filters if you want to be a dainty little princess about it, you can totally go without bottled water for the rest of your life without suffering even a bit of inconvenience. And considering the huge amount of damage those bottles due to the environment, I think it’s the right thing to do.

Now, I’m not saying that you’re necessarily an asshole if you buy bottled water. I’m not even saying that Jennifer Aniston is an asshole for pitching it. But I’m absolutely saying that she’s an asshole for pitching it as something that will make you more like her. Especially since I’m still not really sure why anyone would want to be more like her, or what she’s done in the past five years to make anyone want to be more like her, or even where she gets off thinking she can tell people what to do. And again, I wouldn’t even mind as much if the point of this ridiculous ego trip wasn’t to sell a destructive and unnecessary product.

Look, we’ve all had a difficult week, and maybe I’m just looking to unload on an easy target. But on the one hand, there are millions of people on this planet who don’t have easy access to clean water – even the ordinary kind that doesn’t come with a spokesperson. And on the other hand, there’s a huge amount of money that could literally make a significant difference in those people’s lives, if it weren’t already going into the pockets of a bunch of people whose job it is to keep Jennifer Aniston famous.

That amount of money may not be a billion damned dollars, but it definitely ought to be enough to make us reevaluate our priorities. And none of this is Jennifer Aniston’s fault, of course, but I still think it ought to be more than enough to keep her from sleeping at night.

Now, I may be a self-righteous prick for pointing that out. But I also happen to be a hundred percent right. And that hardly ever happens, so you’d figure I’d at least be able to enjoy it. Instead, I’ve taken what was meant to be a two-paragraph post and dragged it out to the point of losing faith in myself, you, and the whole of civilization. Is this what you wanted, Rachel? Are you satisfied?

Posted in Link of the Day

3 Responses to “Link of the Day: smartwater”

  1. Sofi loves you says:

    Sometimes I think that Matt Blair is the best. And you often prove me right. Like just right now.

  2. Megan says:

    I will love this post until the end of time – thank you.

  3. Matt says:

    Thanks, guys. To be honest, I was worried that the only point I had succeeded in making is that my “workout partner” and “secret revealed” is a little more angrybeer than smartwater.

    One thing I didn’t do is include much in the way of actual information on water and what we can do about it – and there’s a lot of great information out there, so maybe I’ll follow up.

    I suppose I could take a couple of knocks at Lisa Kudrow in the process, if it’d help the medicine go down.