Sunday, 1 September 2013

*Tranquilliser, Amphetamine, Narcotic

I had to laugh out loud at a line of T-Shirts, featuring the brand names of some increasingly used drugs on the back. The advert is topped by the tagline, "Just what the doctor ordered".

The shirts, styled a bit like American football shirts with numbers on the back. Featured across the top one of the following; "Xanax, Adderall or Vicodin."

I got the point.

Apparently, this is sacrilege. It 'trivializes', note how that's often a harbinger of wrong-headedness, and glamourizes (equally nausea inducing), drug mis-use. According to a couple of hypocritically po-faced drug representatives who wish to sue the firm making these items.

When its clear, overly enthusiastic prescription does that. And not for the first time. Moreso marketing. Familiarity breeds indifference. You cannot be in a permanent state of shock about things you keep seeing.

That the designer didn't seem to realise these are brand names is indicative of the power of marketing to distance us from what things really are. Which is what said T-shirt maker was picking up on. Its typical of drug company reps to be twisting social justice activism to its own ends.

I have no issue with extent of sensitivity surrounding this particular issue. I don't think it's useful or productive, but that's for others to work out. What irks me is it suppresses a discussion the very people suppressing it clearly need to have.

These subterranean feelings turn up where there's little pressure. Projected onto a more expendable whipping crew. A bit like the real undercurrent of addiction transfer now I come to think of it.

By the time you get to the tortilla chip as a unit of 'addictiveness', mentally enslaving, via the efforts of sinister wo/men performing shadowy alchemy in laboratories. As opposed to say the equivalent of making your signature dish(es) tastier and tastier over time, then you have to know you are no longer talking about food. This increasing paranoia means you need to stop trying to run away from what's really on your mind.

For others, it reflects a need to reexamine the basis of belief that delivered them there. Which is of course, calorie restriction must be the answer, so when it obviously isn't, instead of adjusting to that, you go to, the food must have some bad maaagiccck.


Industrial food is bound to throw in dubious chemicals to achieve the same as any good cook you know does working on a dish over time, making it better. That's what they do, cut corners to maximize profits. The real problem is they don't give a shit about food, apart from making it look good enough to pass and okay tasting enough not to make everyone hurl. I'm not excusing this, but it is no voodoo prowess.

Nor is it a good idea to be telling people it is, because erm, that's how voodoo works. Diets fail because they disregard our design, not because our minds have been taken over by Mexican snack overlords.

You cannot affect unconcern about increasing narcotic, barbiturate and amphetamine use on the one hand. Yet be using this kind of language and framing to be talking about chemicals that are being ingested.

* Apologies.

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