Sunday, March 20, 2011


Naturally, when I came across this bit of news about MeatWater, I was very excited. What a delightful idea!

Imagine my consternation, followed by bark-out-loud delight, when I discovered MeatWater is all an elaborate hoax. With its slick graphic design, self-confident marketing message and strong web presence, MeatWater ( is pretty convincing as a new product for our ridiculous consumer society. The MeatWater illusion is powered and perpetuated by insidious social media advertising and famous folks who seemingly believe - like Chuck Shepard and Jay Leno.

Every detail of MeatWater's presence is tended to with scathing precision. From tag lines, to ingredient lists, to Twitter feeds, I found myself peering at the products, wanting to believe.

Who wouldn't want Fish & Chips in her water dish? 
Even though it comes "Now with extra high Mercury count." 
I wouldn't say no to a liquid Dirty Hot Dog, though the "steroid relish" gives me pause. And I am not really liking the warning "Caution, bottle may contain 3% urine." Is that really what it says?

Check out's exploration of the MeatWater phenomenon including promotional videos and an amusing interview with MeatWater founder Krautkr√§mer. 

I then followed my nose into the world of product displacement - "the removing of trademarked products from primarily visual media." Sometimes the need of TV shows of movies for products - but not pesky real products -  leads to the creation of fictionalized products -- some of which become so popular they become de-fictionalized (made into real products). And so the dog chases her tail.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man wreaked paranormal havoc
in New York City in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters.
Made famous by Ghostbusters! Caffeine replaces paranormal power as the key energy ingredient.
But MeatWater takes it all to a level of performance art that I find sublime. I love that Jay Leno and Chuck Shepard think they are cleverly riffing on a dumb product. Their people clearly didn't look very deeply at their sources  (AOL, Chuck - really? They certainly swallowed MeatWater hook, line and sinker). How easy it is, in these web-wonderful days, to join the yapping pack without pausing to consider if it is even a real squirrel up in the tree. 

VOID for a water product is simply sublime. I love potty humor.
As you may know, I am a great appreciator satire. I am proud to say that my Art Hound contributions are occasionally mistaken as real works of the Masters...if only for a fleeting, online moment. I love the something-for-everyone layers of MeatWater which offsets my disappointment that Cheese Burger or Venison Confit water won't be hitting my dog bowl any time soon. Then again, maybe it will. 

Let the de-fictionalization begin!

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