William Burroughs and Cigarettes

1960s: Days of Rage


“Everything counts in small amounts. Everything, everything. Everything, everything. All the minutiae matters. El hombre invisible comes into focus only if you shift through enough details. It has always struck me that Ted Berrigan drank Pepsi, not Coke. He is emphatic on this point. It is one of the ten things he did every day along with eat lunch and make noises. You can tell a lot about a man in observing what he drinks. An alternative to Coca-Cola, Pepsi sales first rose during the Great Depression when marketed as a drink for the price conscious. ‘Twice as much for a nickel, too.’ Drinking Pepsi was a sign of class, economically speaking. In the 1940s, it became a sign of race as well when Pepsi began inroads into the ‘Negro market,’ selling specifically to the previously neglected African American consumer. Coca-Cola was viewed as racist as the company, based in…

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