The battle for @BangEnergy.CEO's soul
Plus: Fingers go on Chapo!
It’s been about a month and a half since we lost Jack Owoc. I mean, he’s still alive and all, but in mid-March the board of directors of Bang Energy’s parent company, Vital Pharmaceuticals, forced the founder and longtime chief executive to step down as it navigated the billion-dollar energy drink brand through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I reported last month that as part of this effort to make Bang buyable, the board filed an emergency restraining order in South Florida’s federal bankruptcy court to force its former CEO to turn over the logins for the @BangEnergy.CEO handles on Instagram and TikTok, where Owoc’s outrageous antics have racked up cumulative billions of views. Somehow, those ingrates got the crazy idea that Neon Jack’s wild-eyed social media pseudoscience, mercurial management style, and loose-cannon lawsuits might scare off potential buyers — particularly Monster Energy, Owoc’s bitter rival and legal foe. Huh!
You could argue this is a fate worse than death for Neon Jack, and I have. After all, he’s a poster’s poster, and cutting off his access to millions of adoring followers is like cutting off a Bang Energy drinker’s access to more Bang Energy. Or something. For the past couple weeks, it seemed like the board had succeeded in silencing our man, as @BangEnergy.CEO accounts began to post polished, ad-style #content rather than the run-and-gun garbagio that Owoc became famous1 for. Commenters were, ah, not thrilled. A representative sample [all sic]:
There’s no bang energy without Jack!
I love Bang and hostile,swindling, lying take over is bullshit!!!! Commie bastards! You have a lot of nerve!!! What comes around goes around!
You are bang JO @bangenergy.ceo I won’t support this till I know you’re back to running this. Full support form tons of us in Austin brotha.
But you can’t keep a good man down, and you can’t keep our Technicolor MAGA mega-donor down, either. As I was scrolling through @BangEnergy.CEO comments this past Friday night (as one does), I noticed one from the account itself, on its own post:
BAH GAWD, THAT’S JACK’S MUSIC! What I think is happening here is that Owoc still has the logins to @BangEnergy.CEO, and though he’s not allowed to post board-unapproved videos or images to the account according to the terms of the restraining order, I’m guessing that document is a little unclear on whether comments are allowed. So I think our erstwhile poster-in-chief is sending up signal flares to the Bang Army the only semi-legal way he can, letting them know that he’s still in the fight for the soul of @BangEnergy.CEO. Make no mistake, the battle is raging: when I checked the post a few days later, his comment had apparently been deleted.
I realize this all sounds like internecine high-school bullshit. It basically is! But if you can’t see the humor in an energy-drink company that did almost a billion dollars in revenue last year quietly struggle for control of an Instagram page with its unhinged sexagenarian founder, buddy, you’re reading the wrong newsletter.
📬 Good post alert
🎙️ Fingers go on Chapo!
Last week I made my first (and hopefully not last) appearance on Chapo Trap House, a massively popular podcast that has singlehandedly spawned a bajillion Clinton-approved thinkpieces about “the dirtbag left” and “Bernie bros” over its seven-year run. Fun! We spoke at length about the life, times, and concerning pseudoscientific proclivities of—who else?—Jack Owoc. Naturally, we also spoke about the clubhouse leader of the first-ever Fingers Right-Wing Thirst-Trap Gold Rush™️—Ultra Right 100% Woke Free American Beer, a naked grift designed to fleece anti-trans rubes into ditching Bud Light for $20 6pks of a "conservative" alternative that may or may not ever make it past the ".jpeg mock-up" stage. It was a blast all around. The full hour-long episode is paywalled on their Patreon, so you can either buy a subscription, listen to this teaser on Soundcloud, and/or check out this 35min version on YouTube. Thanks to the whole Chapo gang for having me—and of course, welcome to all the new Fingers readers who joined up from there. Glad to have you!