Saturday, August 30, 2014

This is your brain on better PSAs...

Mix Bakeshop
Hibiscus Tea

It's a hopping downtown Saturday night, and I'm trying to think what I want to blog about... Alright, then...

Public Service Announcements, it shall be!

I remember when they introduced the "This is your brain on drugs..." PSA in earnest.  I think, even then, I knew it was ripe for mockery.  Oh, and the classic, "I learned it from watching you!"  I've never done drugs, but I never thought either of those would be a compelling argument to convince someone to stop, or never begin, doing drugs.  So what would?

How about show all the deplorable things the drug trade has caused, culminating with the flood of refugee children pouring across our southern border.  And then remind that middle-class, suburban, white kid (not exclusively, of course) that that shit only happens because they are paying for it.  People are dying and worse, governments have collapsed, all because Americans are willing to buy the drugs that these vicious cartels are pushing.  Put that in someone's face everyday - make that the decision they have to make.  Not, do they indulge in this taboo thing that they think feels great, or listen to people smacking an egg around, saying, "Drugs are bad, mmkay."  But, do they participate in this system that destroys whole countries and murders even children.

Maybe throw in some numbers for some hotlines at the end for help quitting, or help with depression, or social services in your area to address whatever real crap might be driving you towards the escape of drug use.  Just not something else that insults our intelligence.

It's not that I want to see more "downer" PSAs.  All those starving kid commercials, and abused animal commercials - they just make me uncomfortable and depressed and angry about being poor.  Here's what I would like to see...

Instead of showing little brown kids with flies scooping up nasty water with plastic buckets, start in an American city.  In some busy downtown setting, set up a series of stalls like a mini artisans market.  Put up a sign at the beginning that reads "Things you can buy for $20" and have real people walk through...

The first stall looks empty, until you spy the two movie ticket stubs on a little stool.  In the second one is a cup-carrier full with four drinks, and maybe a dollar in a tip jar next to it.  A few more stalls with single or few items, maybe half items, a single shoe...  And then they reach the last stall - and it's full.  A packed larder, stacks of sacks of rice... or maybe just a month's worth of bowls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And finally a sign with the organization's name, and a reminder that there's a lot of things you can do with $20, but not all of them can end someone's hunger for a month.

That would be a lot easier to digest.

I guess that's all for tonight folks.  Please, offer up PSA ideas that might actually get you to donate, to stop smoking, to "go green," whatever...  Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment