18 April 2004
The mediocrity is the message
So-called "public-service announcements," says Myria, are "a boil on the ass of society paid for mostly by your tax dollars," and it's not hard to see why:
Has there ever been one of these things that wasn't designed specifically to sing to the choir? The anti-smoking ones particularly get me, probably because they're so omnipresent. Yeah, here's a good idea, we'll tax cigarettes and then give that money to modern-day collectivist Puritans so they can tell smokers how bad smoking is for them. Yeah, uh-huh, that makes sense. For starters, is there anyone in the country, anyone, who is under any illusions the potential health effects of smoking? I mean, seriously, is there someone out there who is going to see one of these adverts and go "Holy shit! I didn't know these things were bad for me!" and throw away their Marlboros or whatever? If nothing else, the fact that collectivists have managed to ban smoking just about anywhere save the peak of Mount Everest (and perhaps even there, dunno) should be a big clue (though, for contrarian types that might actually be an incentive to continue smoking, come to think of it). That smoking is perhaps not the greatest thing for your long-term health is hardly a big secret here, but then PSAs tend to thrive on the terminally obvious. Any day now I'm expecting one where someone says "I thought Twinkies were good for me, now look at what a tub-of-lard I amů" with the tagline "Sugar kills, Homey." Then we can move on to fat, caffeine, salt, then maybe move on to warning people that having sex can result in pregnancy.
Not a chance. If we discourage people from having sex, the terrorists have won.
And have you ever noticed that there always seems to be a supply of people who will testify in court that they smoked for thirty, forty years and never had the slightest inkling that sticking burning leaves in their mouths might not actually be good for them?
The FCC gives Brownie points to stations for running these things, which is yet another indication of their contempt for the media they regulate and the audiences those media halfassedly attempt to serve.Posted at 10:23 AM to Almost Yogurt