General Mills, purveyor of many fine not-quite-foods, has just introduced the world's must unfathomably bizarre anti-consumer legal policy. If it isn't struck down by sane judges, it's going to effectively mean that no one can sue them, ever, for any reason. That is not an exaggeration.
Oh, you think that's just a sensationalist lede meant to bring in more readers? NOPE. General Mills has placed a banner at the top of its website (which I refuse to link to for reasons that will become clear in about two sentences) that announces changes to its legal terms that effectively state that anyone who agrees to said terms cannot sue them, for any reason, ever. Oh, and according to General Mills, here are ways in which you implicitly agree to these policies and forfeit your right to pursue legal action: downloading a coupon from or even simply visiting their website, clicking "like" on anything on their Facebook page, and buying any one of their products. Do me a favor and re-read that sentence a few times. Really take some time to absorb it. Careful to not sit near any reinforced walls: when you start to realize what GM's fuckery ultimately implies, you're going to have the sudden urge to punch something really, really hard. I'm kind of amazed they didn't try for "if you look at a picture of General Mills' logo or even say the words 'General' or 'Mills' in a public space, you lose the right to pursue legal action against the company/you owe the company your first-born child."
Basically, GM is saying that if you buy a box of Franken-Berry, you can't sue them if that box is accidentally filled with radioactive chemicals, because their legal terms say so and you agreed to those terms when you bought the box, so naner naner, no takesies backsies. I wish this was satirical. I WISH I was exaggerating in even the slightest little way.
It's hard to see this holding up in court — or it would be, if we weren't dealing with the same psychotically anti-consumer/anti-sane person SCOTUS that decided Citizens United and Montgomery Burns v. A Malnourished, One-Legged Orphan. It would honestly surprise me more if (assuming the case eventually got there) this court decided in favor of logic and common sense rather than entrenched plutocrats and people who think John Pierpoint Morgan was a man with many fine ideas. But hey, we're supposed to show some respect and decorum towards the fine justices of the US Supreme Court, so it would be wrong of me to label Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas as greed-driven sociopaths who probably hunt disadvantaged children for sport. That would be unfair of me, if I said something like that. Which I most certainly did not — and if they are reading this post, the aforesaid justices have already agreed to my personal legal terms and thus forfeit any right to sue me for libel. Hey, it worked for General Mills.
Is there anyone left who can reasonably doubt that we no longer live in a Democracy but an Oligarchy, as researchers at Princeton and Northwestern recently announced? Because if you still think we're not a nation that serves the needs of the extremely wealthy and says "screw you" to everyone else, I'd love to see how you're going to try to justify GM's absolute horseshit.
Image via Tyler McKay/Shutterstock.