Perhaps you've seen the new Taco Bell TV ads that nod to the Illuminati, the catch-all name for secret societies and special enlightenment that's all the rage with conspiracy theorists. Well, country singer Charlie Daniels has seen them, and he's apparently not thrilled: The musician told the restaurant to chill out with the Illuminati imagery on Monday.
“Hey Taco Bell,” Daniels tweeted, “the Illuminati is not a frivolous subject.” And with that, the internet got woke to the country star best known for his 1979 hit, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” recorded with the Charlie Daniels Band. But why is Mr. Daniels so concerned with the fast food chain's co-opting of tin foil hat terminology to sell some tacos?
Taco Bell launched their, ahem, “Belluminati” campaign late last year, per Adweek. The ads were evidently designed to reacquaint customers with the restaurant's dollar menu. And, as U.S. $1 bills contain the Eye Of Providence on their back side—a visual harbinger for the truther set—the ad agency Deutsch decided to use the coded language of conspiracy theorists to sling Spicy Tostadas and Beefy Fritos Burritos.
“This campaign is coming at an interesting time in the industry where you see a lot of leaders, some competitive restaurants, saying things like, 'Value always seems like a race to the bottom,'” says Taco Bell marketing head Marisa Thalberg of the faux-literato ad run. “And philosophically, I think we’re taking the complete opposite approach.”
As noted by HuffPost, Daniels hasn't commented on the matter after the Illuminati tweet—so, like, we don't even know if the dude was just joking. Maybe the country singer really is concerned with Taco Bell's appropriation of Illuminati-themed symbolism to push tacos on the populous. Should we be worried? What does Charlie Daniels know that we don't? Maybe he could write a modern-day country hit called “The Devil Went Down To Taco Bell.”
Really, though, it looks like Daniels may just be a bit of a conspiracy enthusiast himself. In the past, he's made comments on Facebook concerning a “one world government administered by the elite and their minions,” and even once previously invoked Taco Bell with this polemic: “The whole enchilada is a little too much for me to swallow… I do have some very deep suspicions about people who operate behind the scenes and have undue and unmerited influence in the halls of power of the international political scene.”
What do you think? Is Charlie Daniels onto something? Do board room meetings at Taco Bell headquarters look like the cult ritual scene from Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, or is this just some clever marketing? You decide.
Hey Taco Bell
The Illuminati is not a frivolous subject
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) January 9, 2018
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