Tag Archives: PSA

More Mothereffing PSA’s

19 Feb

I already wrote a sick post about PSA’s here. Not that everything on the greatest site in the world isn’t sick. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. Wait, did the greatest site in the world link right back here? Straaange. The internet knows too. What was I talking about? Right, mothereffing public service announcements.

The latest batch of “The more you know” brand of PSA’s really makes an impact. I think it’s because I watch shows on demand, where the commercials repeat themselves in the same exact order when you go through a season of shows. The result being that what was originally just a slight annoyance becomes a full blown hatred of whichever minor celebrity is trying to pretend their lives have value.

I started to watch this stupidly entertaining show called Grimm because when you’re scraping the barrel, anything salvageable becomes terrific. Anyhow, this commercial comes on every time they break: Try not to punch the computer screen please. Granted, not as vomit-inducing as this smiley, singing douchebag, but enough to make me curse under my breath at the tv after enough viewings (not hyperbole).

I don’t understand why they can’t make PSA’s that are just informative without being manipulative. Just tell me whatever obvious thing I already know, like punching children is not appropriate behavior, and that’s it. Why must you put in a totally unqualified, self-congratulatory actor/asshole to smile while delivering me a condescending message? Now I want to punch children even more. Don’t they have professional manipulators at the ad council who know how to make me buy sugar water? Why don’t they put in a drop of effort into these tax-payer funded pieces of shit?

And hulu has officially closed the commercial gap with TV, so there’s absolutely no reason not to download shows anymore. That just needs to be said.


Beating Down The Beaten Down.

14 Jul

So it looks like I made it to being one of the last 3 people in this country who still smokes (not including Virginia, or Lakewood). I just saw a cigarette ad that said, “Itchemeyer, smoking still makes you cool!” (I wonder how much that cost.)

But I understand the desperation, they’re getting killed. Taxes on cigarettes are double or triple the actual selling price. Tobacco companies are required to donate an equal amount of money that they spend on cigarette marketing to anti-smoking ad agencies. Etc. Now the government’s coming out with a new law that requires large graphic images of people with cancer, emphysema, etc. to be printed on every box. Check them out, they’re gruesome. Probably going traumatize me for a month until I get desensitized to it.

I understand why people are pushing for this. Smoking kills, yada yada. But let’s look if this is actually helping. It turns out that it has. Smoking has dropped from 50 to 20% since the government started the anti-smoking campaign. The problem is that the number has stagnated there for a while. All the new tricks aren’t making a dent. The smart thing to do now would be to stop pouring money into failing tactics and reassess the situation. Then they could see what’s causing the problem and devise a solution that combats it.

Of course, this is the government, and as long as they keep pouring money into something, it looks like they’re handling the issue, so they don’t have to reassess shit.

Since we won’t be getting any data to work with soon, let me give you the best I can do. There’s another 20% number in this country- the people who took illegal drugs this year. Interesting, no? Here’s something that the government has not only campaigned against, but made illegal, and locks up thousands of people a year for, and 20% of people still do it. Why?

Well, why do people do any vice they know that’s bad for them? Why do people sleep with dirty hookers, or get baked, or look at porn? Because there are needs that can’t be taken care of in a normal society. For most people, the system works. They get enough of what they want out of it, be it sex, or money or power and don’t need to break the rules. Like the smart kid in class, they’re angry at the other kids cheating on their homework.

Other people aren’t in a position to have their needs met. So they buy sex, or escape through smoking cigarettes or pot where they can lessen the anxiety and feel in control of their lives. But these are empty anyway. They don’t give any actual love or control. And since they don’t mean anything, the feeling of the lack returns right afterwards. To quote Doug Stanhope, every vice is it’s own punishment. Why should the government be punishing you for bad choices that only affect yourself?

You can argue with me if you like, I’m just telling you my own feeling on the subject. But do you honestly think I just don’t understand that huffing on a little chimney every day is bad for me?

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PSA’s And Common Sense Don’t Play Nice

31 May

By now you’ve probably realized that I usually look for the good in everything, but just this once, let me show you how someone else is a moron. I was listening to a public service announcement on the radio about talking to your kids about sex and drugs which touted this statistic: Kids who speak to their parents about drugs are 50% less likely to use them. That’s nice. But it doesn’t justify spending billions of tax dollars on these futile PSA’s. Hear me out.

PSA’s are pointless. This has been proven by independent researchers studying a billion dollar federal campaign against Marijuana. I’m sure that to some people, this seems shocking. Why would the government keep pumping money into a project if the data doesn’t support it? And how could public awareness campaigns using fear, jokes, peer pressure, and every other behavioral tool in the book not have any effect?

The answer to the first question should be fairly obvious. The campaigns are not run by experts, they’re run by bureaucrats diverting public funds into their own projects. The second one is a bit more complicated, but can be best understood with a nice mashal my friend, a Rebbi in an elementary school, gives to explain why “extra credit” is pointless.

If you ever go to a car wash, and look at the cars on line, you’ll notice that they’re generally very clean even before they go in. The reason is because people who take their cars to be washed care about their cars. They spend their time and money making sure they look good. The only one who actually needs the car wash doesn’t care how it looks.

The same thing applies by extra credit. The kids who make the extra effort already care about their performance and have good scores. The ones who need the extra points don’t care to work during the actual class. So why would you possibly think they’re going to work extra on their free time?

Bad, rebellious behavior is the same way. Kids who rebel are rebelling against what authority is telling them what to do. Destructive or nonproductive behavior doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is establishing a personal identity by ensuring that the behavior isn’t a desired result of the controlling, parental figures. So now, some idiot thinks that this behavior being “experimented” with is going to be controlled by putting out more controlling messages?

Similarly, kids who have parents that speak with them probably have a good relationship with them and don’t feel compelled to act out. Kids who have a bad relationship with their parents and don’t speak with them aren’t going to stop doing destructive things because their parent forces them to listen to a lecture.