The Re-Rock

After speaking with an American I know, I realize that the term “re-rock”, which I used in my post on Friday, may not be familiar to everyone.

Heck, I even Googled it and realized it’s apparently not easy to find. And yet the subject came to my mind due to the ROM chocolate bar shenanigans over the past month.

I’ve always been fascinated with the business of drug dealing, as in those people who manufacture, transport and then sell illegal narcotics. The entire subject fascinates me particularly because it’s a form of “pure” capitalism. There are no government regulations, standards, taxes or mandatory business practices.

It is a kind of “battle of the fittest” and in actual human terms it is an ongoing form of genocide. But looking at it purely abstractly, it is a fascinating insight into its bastard cousin, the “legitimate” economy of legal businesses, including the red-and-white giant mentioned on Friday.

There is no way I’m going to get into more detail about some of the people I’ve met over the course of my relatively short life, but suffice it to say that it’s quite an interesting lifestyle even if it is generally short, painful and ultimately quite violent.

If you grew up in Romania or somewhere else where the world of drug dealing, including very well organized drug dealing on a massive scale is largely unfamiliar to you, I cannot recommend enough that you watch the television show The Wire.

To “re-rock” is a term from the drug-dealing world and refers to cocaine. When sold in bulk, cocaine comes in a kind of pressed, flaky chunk or block (or “rock”) that looks something like a block of (table) salt.

This is always “cut” or diluted with a variety of other substances, especially those which physically look like (pure) cocaine. But to do this mixing, the cocaine “brick” (or “rock”) must be smashed and partly turned into powder.

The consumer buying powder therefore knows the product has been mixed with a dilutant and is therefore not pure.

The “solution” (for the seller) therefore is to mix pure cocaine with dilutant and make it seem like its pure – therefore it is compressed back into “brick” or “rock” form and sold (more or less) as pure product.

Again, please understand that this is a purely aesthetic move that nets the dealer a lot more money (per weight). A kilo of “re-rock” is sold for just a little less than a kilo of “pure” and therefore the “re-rock” dealer has the best price per weight.

You might wonder how this works more than once (or twice) because any savvy customer is going to realize that the “re-rock” product is not actually pure and is in fact heavily diluted. And therefore supposedly this savvy customer will avoid “re-rock” product and instead spend more money to get the pure.

No. Let’s take this out of the (very real) world of drug dealing and look at this principle in action in the “legitimate”, legal world of business.

I already mentioned how Tutti Frutti has been “re-rocked” to become Frutti Fresh. Although the ingredients haven’t changed (I’m assuming), the fact remains that adding the word “Fresh” implies it is, in fact, “fresh” or pure juice.

A quick look at the label, however, reveals that it’s only 10% pure (juice) and the rest is just sugar water with bubbles. But the price per weight (volume) is far less than it would be if it truly were pure product. Hopa!

I’ll never forget the day a few years ago when I walked into the kitchen and saw a (Romanian) friend of mine eating some kind of chocolate, frosted “flakes” of cereal. I asked her when she started eating chocolate for breakfast and she told me no, she was eating it because it was health food.

Wha? She pointed at the back of the bag where it said “With vitamins added” blah blah blah. Simply because the wrapper of the product said “good for you” and say, raw slices of cucumber, tomato and onions have no wrapper, she believed that the product was good.

We saw the same thing with the ROM chocolate bar, which “re-rocked” their product by re-inforcing their supposed high level of “pure” Romanian “patriotism”. As one of the commenters noted, the company is foreign-owned so the only thing “Romanian” about it is in their paid for commercial advertisements.

As you look around you, what other examples of “re-rock” do you see? British Petroleum becoming “BP” and then becoming “Beyond Petroleum”? Kentucky Fried Chicken becoming just “KFC”? Or a logo streamlined and “modernized”? Or so on and so forth, as I’m sure a million examples can come into your mind.

I’ll leave Schife to finish this post off:

Re-rock baby, that’s my whole new game.
Wrap it back up like it’s a whole new thang.


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