America's assault on alcoholic energy drink Four Loko has been accepted with a surprising amount of maturity by Phusion Projects, the drink's manufacturer. Instead of firing back with truth bombs like “Loko doesn't kill people, people kill people” and “The fun of the many shan't be outweighed by the 'tardation of the few” and, uh, “It's a free country” — like the thousands of Lokoholics who protested in (fruitless) online unison — Phusion has folded to pretty much every fun-crushing request the government has thought to throw down. However, it appears they're not giving in…

… without a small dose of subversive payback. A friend recently notified us that the true feelings of the three bros who started the company are splattered all over a new Four Loko billboard at Venice and Overland:

In which a "Channel 4" news anchor gets pwned/pearl-necklaced by Phusion Projects.; Credit: Simone Wilson

In which a “Channel 4” news anchor gets pwned/pearl-necklaced by Phusion Projects.; Credit: Simone Wilson

(Excuse us for the fuzzy photo evidence. We spilled some vintage Loke straight into the robot guts of our supremely cracked iPhone 3G last weekend, and we're not about to upgrade to today's 4GS bonerkill.)

Anyway — the billboard appears to be part of an ad campaign for the new bottled line of Four Lokos, which contain only 8 percent alcohol instead of 12 percent, like the company's much-hated/adored jumbo cans.

We admit, we're still not entirely sure what this all means. (Phusion Projects has been contacted for comment.) But our best guess is it's a jab at all the nauseatingly dramatic TV news reportage that has come of the repeated government strikes. Toupeed “Anchorman” types are intolerable enough as it is; give them a hip teen trend to trill on, and things get downright silly.

Case in point: “Four Loko Sickened Students, Not Rape Drugs,” as reported by NBC (which actually is Channel 4, the network depicted by the billboard, in L.A.).

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The FDA can have their caffeine, guarana and taurine back. The FEC can have it's prominent “This can [or bottle] has as much alcohol as regular beers” warning label, blighting all that camo beauty. The governors of America (including California's) can have their symbolic alcopop bans that don't actually do anything because Phusion already removed the freaky shit, if that's what makes them happy.

But these bros aren't going down without a hearty personal joke to confuse the righteous dorks — looming over one of the fattest intersections in Culver City, like a good billboard do.


LA Weekly