Mobsters are known for breaking kneecaps to bend people to their will. Marketers break into heads with repetitive and manipulative advertising, images, and narratives. Mobsters of the mind, they are.
I thought of this after watching all those repetitive (and largely interchangeable) ads for “legal” prescription drugs. Rarely do they show the often serious conditions they allegedly treat. Instead it’s image after image of people enjoying life, whether at amusement parks, the beach, dancing, or what-have-you. It’s as if drug companies are selling happiness pills whose only side effect is experiencing the best day of your life. Meanwhile, as images spill into your head of eternal bliss, a narrator quietly intones about potential serious side effects, even possible death in the case of one drug I’ve seen advertised.
Drug ads are the worst. People wonder why Americans take so many illegal drugs and why we have so many drug addictions — well, just look at all the ads for legal drugs, and how they’re advertised as making people incandescently happy. It’s all about the messaging: the repetition of powerful feel-good imagery, with drugs as panaceas.
Speaking of repetition, something similar is true of political manipulation. To cite one example: Russia. Has there ever been a worse “drug” with more serious side effects than Russia? Russia keeps hacking our elections! Russia is led by war criminals! Russia is raping Ukraine! Over and over again, the mainstream media encourages us to hate Russia and Vladimir Putin. Is this truly all we need to know about Russia? As Sting sang, don’t the Russians love their children too? (Back in the 1980s, the media didn’t go easy on Sting for his alleged naïveté and pro-Russian sentiments.)
Whether it’s drug advertisers, the mainstream media, or the U.S. government for that matter, America is infested with various “ministries of truth” that are driven by a mobster-like mentality. They may not break your kneecaps, but they nevertheless find ways to break into your mind.
Now you’ll excuse me while I pop a few pills while denouncing Russia. And China too, perhaps?
My sentiments exactly. Good article Bill and will be linking it today @https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/
Seems to me almost 75% of the ads on tel-lie-vision and radio are drug commercials any more. They also have a drug for every possible ill and ailment form toe fungus to bent penises. They have drugs to take with the drugs you are already taking to help if thet aren't working good enough. Figure that one out. If they aren't working good enough why is someone taking it and how did it get approved if it doesn't work?
And finally abour evey 6 months a new drug comes out to replace another one for the same condition. What the previous one doesn't work anymore? The whole pharma thing is a racket and no one does a thing about it. Trump was going to cut Medicare drug costs, Biden was going to cut Medicare drug costs. Funny, I have seen nothing but prices go up over the past few years!!!
Couldn't agree with you more, Bill. Russophobia, along with Sinophobia, is deeply and thoroughly entrenched in the DNA in US culture and consciousness. Perhaps the best example of this was the fact that the only way to successfully discredit and undermine Trump was to smear him with the allegation that he is a puppet of Putin and that Russia was responsible for his election. Trump's racism, misogyny, sexism, lying, corruption, etc.---none of it was enough to bring him down. The only epithet that stuck was "Trump is a puppet of Putin." Soon, given the now off-the-charts Russophobia due to the proxy war underway in Ukraine, we may all soon have to attend 2-minute hate sessions (thank you, George Orwell) where we can vent our existential anguish and personal hatreds against Putin. Step-by-step, our world more closely resembles the dystopia of Orwell's 1984.