Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shock of the Century: Anti-drug ads don’t work!

Read the article here.

When I was in a Health Class back in high school, we received a brief test where we had to identify all the illegal drugs we had done. We didn’t have to attach our names to it, they just wanted to know how bad the problem was.

A little mischievous gleam entered my eye (one that I could see in quite a few other people in that classroom), and I started writing the most outrageously long list with every chemical substance I could possibly think of. I even wrote a few words that were meaningless but sounded malevolent, like “Chicken McNuggets.”

Being an H.G. Wells fan, I even put down “Recreational Cavorite.”

Apparently, Anti-Drug ads don’t work. Wow, what a shocker, eh? It seems to me they’ve amped up the scare tactics and unintentionally hilarious histrionics in recent times. I suppose they’re trying to get the Hannah Montana generation good and freaked, because mine is absolutely lost to them. In elementary school, we got buttons that said “I’ll Never Do Drugs” and we discovered almost immediately we could make a hilarious souvenir by whiting-out the “Never.”

Protip, guys: if you want something even resembling credibility, quit saying pot is as bad as crack.

I had an epiphany when I realized that anti-drug ads aren’t aimed at anyone that’s ever done drugs, or might do drugs. Rather, the ads are to give straight edgers and teetotalers a smug sense of superiority. They’re feel-good propaganda for the pasty virgins that go on “Teens Encounter Christ” bus trips. Your tax dollars at work!

The histrionic "say no to drugs" nonsense dovetails pretty nicely into a common experience that the children of boomers have: the way our terrorized parents gve us a sense that EVERYTHING CAN KILL YOU. This panicky overprotectiveness is one of the first things most of us remember rejecting when we reached our teens.

There was one anti-drug PSA that actually did look effective. Cannabis didn’t make you kill someone or smack a cute kid with a car or murder your parents. They did, however, make you sit around the house all the time, hang out with loser stoners, eat bugles, and watch "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." They left the part out about heading to the Taco Bell drive-thru at one in the morning.

Now there’s a painfully, tragically true anti-drug ad that I could get behind.


Anonymous said...

you've made nostalgic for some cheesy Nancy Reagan 80s "Just Say No" commercials.

As for fake drugs for an questionarie, I would have gone with a list of fictional drugs like Spark (from the GIJoe anti-drug episode "the greatest evil"), crytal twist (from an episode of the cartoon COPS), and rapture (from the Marvel 2099 comics.)

Julian Perez said...

I never saw a drug episode on GI Joe called "The Greatest Evil," but that histrionic title just speaks for itself, doesn't it?

"The Greatest Evil." AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

And apparently, they were too chickenshit to use real drugs - I guess because they don't make you KILL YOUR PARENTS.

jade said...

But the problem has taken on a troubling new dimension. In the past, you could just look at the labeling and packaging and know if it was counterfeit.

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