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March 8, 2005

Dept. of What Were They Thinking. The mere idea that someone thought this was an effective anti-drug message is enough to make me want to seek out and “do” many a drug. <Facepalm>, as the LJ kids say.

Maybe it’s just me. But I suspect not. [07:09 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Dept. of What Were They Thinking.:

Keith ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 07:38 PM:

I can't count the number of times I've had to decide bewteen Indian crafts and smoking a joint. I finally solved the problem by beading myself a nice, traditional peace pipe.

Zed ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 07:39 PM:

In Christopher Buckley's Thank You for Smoking, our hero is the spokesman for a thinly fictionalized Tobacco Institute. At one point, he makes some public pledge about buying ads to discourage underage smoking. So he instructs the same ad agency they use for everything else to do a campaign but "it's got to gobble."

They came up with the slogan "Everything your parents tell you about smoking is true."

I've always imagined a similar process generated Tobacco is whacko... if you're a teen.

But I'm at a loss to explain that anti-drug ad.

Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 08:02 PM:

3 hours a day
1000 beads
4 generations of pride
0 chances of huffing things to get high

... and I am so fucking bored!

Bizarre.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 08:23 PM:

Well, I suspect the point is that if you have something absorbing that you enjoy doing you might not turn to drugs out of boredom. Which may or may not be true but probably most people aren't going to find Indian beading all that absorbing. (Completely discounting that, of course, boredom is the only, or even primary, reason for people to ingest illegal substances.)

MKK

Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 08:47 PM:

I frequently bead more than three hours a day, but not in the Native American tradition, which is clearly where the ad is aimed -- at Native American kids in Maine. Maybe they *will* want to do something traditional.

On the other hand, a fair number of the beaders I know at least do pot.

TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 09:03 PM:

Aw, c'mon, Patrick, I'm sure you've seen the Knitter's Trance* often enough to know that beading is just a gateway to the hard stuff.


*Just one more row, honest, I can stop whenever I want.

Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 09:07 PM:

Message: We respect Native American traditions. Uh, except the ones that involve the use of drugs.

John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 09:31 PM:

Maybe the BLM found that some pot growers are sitting on top of a uranium mine in South Dakota?

The Bureau of Doper Affairs. It's a perfectly logical step for this crowd, when you think about it.

Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 10:01 PM:

By using the term "huffing", I suspect they're more likely talking about sniffing things like cooking spray or gasoline, not marijuana. Kids sniffing gas fumes is a major social problem in the Innu communities in Labrador and northern Quebec -- I wouldn't know if anything similar is happening in the native communities in Maine.

John Rowat ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 10:19 PM:

It reminds me strongly of the "Tobacco is Whacko! (if you're a teen)" ads paid for by the tobacco companies.

You know, the ones where the attractive, young, happy-looking people were intimidated into not smoking by the dour, sour-faced ugly old people, or fat, unstylish young people.

The ones with the totally lame slogan.

The ones with the logos meant to inspire a "Reefer Madness" vibe - meaning, to keep the cigarette prominently in the front of the mind, to inspire the collection of smoking kitsch, and to give, as a whole, the message "Nobody cool wants you to stop smoking."

Those ones. It reminds me of those.

Except I don't think Phillip Morris is making billions selling bags of gasoline on reservations.

Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 10:49 PM:

Actually, I didn't hate the ad as much as you all seem to. I can imagine my students' reaction -- first they'd be all cynical about the message, but the lasting impression would be the stuff about heritage, and the other stuff. I have no idea whether they would add it up on the not-huffing side of the scale -- yes, huffing is not smoking dope, it's sniffing glue or gasoline or gasoline additives, and it's really really bad, and some of the kids think that because it's not taking a drug it's not so bad, and other kids know how bad it is and think it's better because of it.

Corniness is not necessarily a bad thing in communicating with teens. It's okay for them to feel slightly superior to the mesage and the messenger -- it's being lied to that is bad for them.

PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 11:28 PM:

As a kid, I don't think this ad would have affected me much one way or the other, but then I wasn't the target demographic. (And I was a paranoid hypochondriac of a child. Drugs were bad, mmmkay.)

Aren't they worried about all the kids who will be sniffing craft glue though?

John Emerson ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2005, 11:46 PM:

The thing that bothers me is the 4 generations part. Does that mean that they haven't really been here all that long after all?

Glue sniffing etc. really are awful, but I agree that the ad probably won't hit the target.

DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 12:08 AM:

By using the term "huffing", I suspect they're more likely talking about sniffing things like cooking spray or gasoline, not marijuana.

Ah! That explains why my latest can of generic Pam-a-like is non-aerosol. Some kids must be desparate for something to get high on.

Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 12:57 AM:

Corniness is not necessarily a bad thing in communicating with teens. It's okay for them to feel slightly superior to the mesage and the messenger -- it's being lied to that is bad for them.

I think this is very smart.

I'm dubious the people who came up with the ad are actually as smart as that, but I think you are right nevertheless, so I guess I'm happy they were lucky enough to do something that might accidentally work.

Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 01:29 AM:

It seems that this ad is part of a series of ads - -and I'm hoping that the campaign as a whole isn't quite as lame as this single iteration viewed outside that context.

hamletta ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 03:03 AM:

This is part of a whole campaign. I've seen several TV spots where kids talk about their interests—basketball, dancing, whatever—and that's their "anti-drug."

Here's the page. I think it's connected to this federal campaign, but the kids' page doesn't have any kind of "About Us" type info that I can find.

Sam Dodsworth ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 04:25 AM:

Some kids must be desparate for something to get high on.

My own youthful experience, and that of my friends at the time was... yes. If you're bored enough and don't have any money then really pretty much anything will do. Nutmeg. Tipp-Ex thinners. Coffee overdose. Poppy seeds. Peanut skins.

(Note the first: Hey kidz! Drugs are totally uncool! Also, some of those don't work, and the ones that do aren't worth the effort. Start the Revolution instead.)

(Note the second: No, it wasn't me who tried smoking peanut skins.)

Alan Fleming ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 05:05 AM:

Hmm - someone's having a bit of fun here, I think. Apart from the fact it's a terrible ad, the font and positioning is wrong on that "0 chances of..." line.

I think someone's been away editing the pdf after the ad's original creation.

Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 06:54 AM:

3 hours a day
1000 beads
4 generations of pride
0 chances of huffing things to get high

Making an ad that creates this much discussion: Priceless

...er, wait...

David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 10:35 AM:

Makes me want to buy coke so that poor Peruvians and Colombians don't have to spend their days making gewgaws for the tourists.

Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 11:23 AM:

"0 chances of huffing things to get high" is just a stupid thing to say. Phrased this way, it sounds like a bad thing: "My mom's gonna be there, dude, so there is like, zero chance of huffing things to get high."

And if you do your beading in your kitchen, you have as much of an opportunity to do "wip-its" as with any other activity.

This whole series of ads seems to be pushing the idea that you're cooler if you don't do drugs, and then backing it up with one classic nerd activity after another. What ever happened to good old fashioned "this is your brain/this is your brain on drugs" scare tactics?

As for the "tobacco is whacko, but only if you're a teen" pitch, well, since teenagers never would dream of prematurely engaging in adult behaviors, that's gotta have been effective.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 11:35 AM:

The tobacco is whacko if you're a teen ads are the tobacco industry's way of getting cigarette ads back on TV, in my opinion.

The Truth ads are the real thing. Dunno if they work, but they're at least trying.

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 11:45 AM:

I seem to recall that the tobacco leaf in in the state seals of at least one state. [pause for googling]

The Great Seal of Georgia ... other side reads "Agriculture and Commerce 1776", and the image is of the seashore with a ship at anchor near a wharf receiving hogsheads of tobacco and bales of cotton...

"In the ceiling of the Virginia Senate, tobacco leaves entangle the state seal emblems in murals as a tribute to the plant that served as the backbone..."

Kentucky is both the "Hemp State" and the "Tobacco State."

Reminds me of that joke about the customer service phonecall to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms:

"Excuse me, but what wine goes best with a 9 millimeter Glock?"

"Depends. What are you smoking?"

Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 11:46 AM:

Dagnabbit. Now I feel all twitchy, almost as if I NEED MORE BEADS.

fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 12:00 PM:

JVP, Tennessee also has a tobacco plant on the state seal. Many were shocked when the state legislature broke down and made the state office buildings non-smoking spaces--after all, the tobacco lobby was opposed to it!

Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 12:57 PM:

On the basis of my household teenager's preferred activities, I'm waiting for the arrival of an ad that says: "Texting, the anti-drug." Or maybe "Sims, the anti-drug."

John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 02:31 PM:

Grand Theft Auto, the Anti-Drug.

Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 02:40 PM:

This reminds me eerily of a local (Scottish) anti-drug campaign, launched by the government about 8 years ago. The campaigning organization went on the road with the message "drugs are uncool", and even went so far as to drag in some hapless politicians, such as the late Donald Dewar (First Minister of Scotland) to explain that they were actually not entirely fossilized -- indeed, DD confessed that he had a collection of records by Status Quo.

The name of this campaign was: Scotland Against Drugs. Yes, you're right, it appears that nobody under the age of 40 was asked to comment on the backformed acronym. Or alternatively ...

Anti-drug campaigns directed at The Yoof Of Today always try to imply that drugs are uncool, while setting new benchmarks for coolness-deficiency. (Beadwork, Status Quo ... see the connection?) Somehow or other all these campaigns seem to fall victim to a bizarre form of cultural autism that fails to engage with the people they're talking at, because the anti-drugs campaigners don't understand (or aren't allowed to admit they understand) why people take drugs in the first place. At risk of over-generalizing, I suspect those of the campaigners who used to use illegal substances themselves feel somewhat guilty about the hypocrisy implied by participating in these schemes: and those who haven't ever smoked a spliff are so uncool they're unaware of it. But whatever the cause, they're doomed to fail until and unless they come to grips with a key problem of campaigning against drugs -- drugs are fun.

Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 02:49 PM:

The four generations is four generations of that kind of beadwork and dancing, and it's about right, since the kid seems to be from Maine. Those things are mostly originally Plains things which have been adopted, adapted, and made their own pretty much all across the continent.

I think the "0 chances of" means "No way in hell are you going to catch me huffing" rather than "somebody's going to stop me" -- which I would expect to be expressed as "0 chances for"

I just can't get exercised about it. You have a series of ads showing a diverse lot of working-class teens doing a bunch of things they actually in real life like to do. It doesn't even matter what the words are. The pictures by themselves express that the kids are doing something worth doing and are living lives worth preserving, which is the point.

Kids who sniff "octivo" (gasoline additives) do it because they don't think they have anything better to do and because they don't think their own lives are worth preserving. A series of pictures of kids who are not preppy ski bunnies, doing activities which are in their own reach and in their own neighborhoods, is just a cool thing. And if the slogans are a little clunky -- they'll stick in the kids' minds, because they'll be repeating them to mock them.

Propaganda is a subtle thing.

Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 03:04 PM:

...indeed, DD confessed that he had a collection of records by Status Quo.

[blink] Well, there you go. I look upon the late lamented Mr Dewar in a whole new way, now. A bemused way, mostly, but...

John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 06:42 PM:

Indian Gaming, the Anti-Drug.

Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 06:57 PM:

Piscus, Native American beadwork doesn't use glue. Everything is sewn except the Huichol masks and they use a blend of beeswax and pine resin to stick the beads on.

Julie L., I feel that way often, but I already have more seed beads than all the local bead stores put together. When I go to Minicon in a couple of weeks, I'm going to be buying more from my friend Sandi in Mpls. I have her ship them home, they make the luggage too heavy.

(I'm primarily a seed beader, not a stringer.)

Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2005, 10:14 PM:

..indeed, DD confessed that he had a collection of records by Status Quo.

Duuuuuuude! Love that phased guitar sound on "Pictures of Matchstick Men"....(Yes, I'm aware of their cult status in the UK.)

mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 10:43 AM:

There's this radio anti-drug ad currently playing around here that always makes me switch channels -- I think it bothers me and I guess that means it's effective.
It has three teen voices saying, one after the other: "I got high, and nothing bad happened." The third teen breaks off at "nothi--" and you hear a frantic call: "Mrs _, it's Emily! Should I call 911? She was fine, and some of my friends came over, and--" and the mom on the other end of the phone trying to stay calm repeating "Tell me what's happened."
It bothers me as a parent, but I don't know how effective it is for kids.

Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 11:04 AM:

That's effective, and it's almost true, but it comes too close to the "all drugs are always all bad all the time" lie. It could skirt that lie by inserting a line indicating excess, or the use of some of those drugs that have no safe dose. Like "I go high and nothing happened. And I went for another hit and nothing happened. Nothing will happen if I go for another."

Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 12:23 PM:

There's a phrase from the late 1960s that I remember as:

"Two thirds of a fatal dose of ANYTHING will get you high."

However, there is no known fatal dose of marijuana, phramacokinetically speaking.

Ulrika ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 01:31 PM:

Oh, yeah, that's great, promoting one addiction to substitute for another.

(Says the girl who spent more on beads than books at Potlatch.)

HP ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 03:05 PM:

I liked the anti-marijuana PSA from a few years back where you see this hip, 30-something guy hanging out in a nice little basement room with a TV and a stereo and games, and he takes a big drag off a joint and hands it to a much younger friend. And he say, "Man, they say pot is a gateway drug? Lemme tell you. I've been getting high for years, and nothin' ever happened to me."

And then you hear, off-screen, a voice like fingernails on a blackboard: "Jiiiimmy, did you fold the laundry like I asked?"

"Yeah, Mom," says our protagonist, and starts frantically folding clothes.

"And did you even look for a job today?"

"I'll look tomorrow, Mom."

I do believe I know that stoner.

Michael ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 03:20 PM:

there is no known fatal dose of marijuana, phramacokinetically speaking.

I recall a study done some time ago (no idea what the reference was) which suggested that, in order to acheive a lethal dose of THC, you would have to smoke about 1 olympic-sized swimming pool of median-potency pot per minute for about 15 minutes. You would of course (a) die of asphyxiation and (b) explode before you got there, but that's besides the point.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 05:32 PM:

HP: "When you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed/That's too long."

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 09:20 PM:

The best anti-smoking ad would tell the Youth of Today that if they didn't smoke some Totally Hot Person of Appropriate Gender to Their Fantasy Life would jump their bones.

There was, back in the early 'Seventies, a Navy training film called "Man From LOX" which implied that if you complied with all of the Navy's safety procedures for Liquid Oxygen Safety that a Hot Babe would arrive who wouldn't take 'no' for an answer.

They probably got rid of that one in the post-Tailhook environment. But that one was an Eagerly Appreciated Training Film, let me tell you. (Lots better than "Deadly Shipmate" (on the dangers of 120 volt AC ship's service power) or "Trial By Fire" (fires at sea suck for everyone).)

Mel ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2005, 11:26 PM:

It might be effective for the particular target group, maybe (although the last line is awkwardly worded). It would be worthless for the entire teenage population of the US as a whole.

Oh, and I kind of like the idea of promoting "nerd" activities, if by "nerd" we mean "activities requiring thought and creativity, rather than just sitting around playing video games all day."

(Lest I sound like a bitter middle-aged person going "kids these days...", I am a "kid these days." Still in college, still doing "nerd activities".)

Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2005, 12:26 PM:

Personally I like the "truth" ad that shows the lady who's bald from chemo. Really there are only a very few reasons for not smoking, with "it's dangerous" being at the top of the list (and "it's unbelievably expensive" being the next one). "It's uncool" - well, that's just not true. Anything that's dangerous and that your parents don't want you to do is, by definition, cool. But since the tobacco companies are making the ads, they're not going to say "smoking might cause you to die horribly."

Imagine an equivalent series of ads about that had the message "it's not particularly cool to drive drunk" instead of "drunk driving kills!"

The "my anti-drug" ads are doing something similar - trying to show that drugs aren't as cool as other things young people do, rather than focusing on the risks of using drugs. Possibly because they want to say that all drugs (except alcohol, of course) are equally bad, and talking about consequences makes that impossible. The problem is that most of the activities they present don't actually preclude doing drugs. "Music...my anti-drug" for example. So the ads provide some self-esteem reinforcement for kids who've already decided to spend their time in other ways, but they don't make a strong case for shunning drugs in general. IMHO anyway.

Keith ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2005, 03:41 PM:

Possibly because they want to say that all drugs (except alcohol, of course) are equally bad, and talking about consequences makes that impossible.

Also, if yo started talking about the variable side effects of these drugs, they start to sound like pharmaceutical commercials and we can't have next years Viox and Prilosec poppers making negative associations with "Good" Drugs.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2005, 04:30 PM:

Digressing madly... Mel, I want to take issue with "activities requiring thought and creativity, rather than just sitting around playing video games all day." Sewing is cool, as is beading, and I've just spent multiple hours today knotting plastic laces because it appears that having skill in plastic lace-knotting (known, unfathomably, as Scooby Doo in the playgrounds of London) is a good way for eight year olds to raise their social stock.

And all of those activities, which presumably count as 'requiring thought and creativity', hit exactly the same brain receptors, for me, as the 'more mindless' sort of video games. You know, get in the flow state, happily knot plastic laces for a bit, think about what comes next, happily zap aliens for a bit, that sort of thing. The less mindless sort of video games engage my brain on the same sort of level as, say, Photoshop or cooking.

People are forever dissing video games, to the extent that we must presume that if I sit around this evening playing Monopoly with my family we're having a warm bonding experience, but if the four of us play Mario Kart Double Dash together it's the end of civilisation as we know it. The only thing wrong with spending hours playing video games is, you know, spending hours; it's no worse than spending hours noodling on guitar or watching telly or beading or whatever.

I'm not sure what any of this has to do with drugs, because of course the chattering classes don't have anything to do with that sort of thing. Whoops, we seem to have finished another bottle of red wine. Shall I get another one out of the cellar or do you fancy a G&T?

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2005, 05:02 PM:

Alison: Civilisation as we know it ended some time ago, nor is this a bad thing. More wine please; I've had really bad luck mixing wine and gin.

MKK

Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2005, 09:02 PM:

I see nothing wrong with mixing wine and gin. Not if the wine is vermouth, anyway.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2005, 09:23 PM:

Oddly enough, that's exactly what I was drinking when I read the above comment. Cheers!

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2005, 10:34 PM:

My tongue is stuck out in both your directions. Yes, it is.

MKK

Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2005, 12:49 AM:

The phrase was pommes, poires et des Scooby Doo from a song popular not quite 50 years ago. I wondered why the plastic lace was purely decorative rather than say lanyards for a whistle or a Scout compass.

Resarch does imply the most likely to stay addicted and use to the point of destruction are the children for whom drugs are the sole and only pleasure in life. I don't think any research has invalidated the crack - when you think of television's awesome power to educate aren't you glad it doesn't?

Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2005, 10:28 PM:

Some popular drugs (including alcohol) tend to be inimical to doing good beadwork, which requires a long attention-span, a high level of muscular dexterity, and (if you're beading a whole Fancy Dance Outfit) an enormous amount of time. Pretty much the same goes for Indian Dancing -- lotsa practice, excellent muscular coordination, intense concentration, & considerable stamina are necessary if one is to achieve excellence -- and extensive recreational-drug use tends to interfere with some or all of these qualities. On the other hand, much of the best Plains Indian beadwork is to be found on ritual items made by and for members of the Native American Church, some of whom regularly consume large amounts of Peyote -- and still manage to produce a large amount of superb beadwork.

Dan S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2005, 01:26 AM:

It's gotten so I can almost immediately tell which 'anti-smoking' ads are sponsored by tobacco companies, as compared to actual anti-smoking ads sponsored by states, etc. A lot of them tell parents that if they constantly nag their kids about smoking, everything will be ok . . .

I always imagine some poor ad exec going 'Use the _second_ ad?! But that was the one that made kids *want* to *smoke . . oh . . ."

Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2005, 03:20 AM:

Yeahbut, you don't huff the same way you take peyote. You take peyote in a ritual setting, and when the ritual is over, so's the peyote. Huffing is ritualized, but it's a persistent high and physically destructive and the kids who do it will do it at any time they can arrange it. So it interferes with other activities more.

I hope the "anti-drug" campaign also has posters of lowriders, lowrider-artists, "Azteca" dancers, and so on. Guys who airbrush half-naked ladies onto vans.

Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2005, 06:44 AM:

How times have changed. Just short years ago, Jocelyn Elders was more or less crucified for suggesting beading as a substitute for teen sex, and... what's that? She actually said what?

Oh. Never mind.

Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2005, 10:36 AM:

Research does imply the most likely to stay addicted and use to the point of destruction are the children for whom drugs are the sole and only pleasure in life.

That's one reason I'm in favor of teenagers being taught to use condoms, given access to free and effective birth control, and actually encouraged to have sex (with one another, not with exploitive adults). I bet the teenage pregnancy and STD rates, in addition to the addiction and suicide rates, would drop precipitously.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2005, 01:34 PM:

Ah! Yes, it is scoubidous. Should have thought of that. Scoubiland appear to be an official source, though all ours are no-name Chinese ones from the pound shop.

Rob ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2005, 04:56 PM:

Has anyone even CONSIDERED the meth-heads? Fuck, they'd spend all night beading quite happily.

Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2005, 02:52 PM:

Spotting the anti-smoking ads made by the tobacco companies is just a matter of looking at what the anti-smoking kids are wearing. If they're hopelessly geeky clothes that no halfway fashion-conscious teen would have been caught dead wearing even three years ago when the were marginally in style (meaning, being sold at OSH Kosh and Mervyns), then they're from the tobacco companies. The one with the black kid who couldn't dance (or, who more likely could, because no one dances that geekily without formal training in what not to do) was a calculated touch to show the utter-lameness of the non-smoking teens.

Of course, when I was in high school, not only did we have the "Just Say No" campaign (thank you, Nancy Reagan {not}), but we had some ill conceived business where kids were give ribbons printed with "Drug Free Celebration," not realizing that with scissors and a bit of tape, this became "Free Drug Celebration." What was even better were the pencils printed with "DARE TO NOT DO DRUGS" which, when used, ground down to the ever-popular "DO DRUGS" pencils.

Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2005, 08:01 PM:

I am reduced to one-liners.

Magister Luudi

The Hopi Way

Any questions?

Hope I see you at Lunacon.

Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2005, 08:09 PM:

Lucy Kemnitzer: Yeahbut, you don't huff the same way you take peyote. You take peyote in a ritual setting, and when the ritual is over, so's the peyote....

Splutter, gulp, blush, um, .... Oh, I get it. You mean they take peyote in a ritual setting.

Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2005, 12:09 AM:

Continuing to think this over, I'd suggest that, yeah, that ad might be effective for Indian kids. Dancing and active participation in the culture of which it's a part seems to be (for both Indian & White kids, out here in Southern California) a reasonably effective substitute for The Drug Culture, at least when it comes from the kids themselves rather than from their parents' nagging. Mind you, Dancing Indian (&, for some, doing beadwork or featherwork) can be as addictive as any drug, as expensive as most, and might be viewed as a waste of time, but at least it's physically beneficial.

Lucy's sorta right about the Native American Church use of Peyote being ritualized, but some Church people consider it a Soverign Remedy and consume an infusion of it frequently & almost casually. The ones I know who've done this for decades all seem to be upstanding and well-respected members of their community, however, so it apparently isn't harmful. They and the other NAC people I know are strongly opposed to the use of any drugs (usually including tobacco) for pleasure, holding (as nearly as I can figure it out) that any Altered State of Consciousness is a Religious Experience, and should be treated with the Respect that any contact with the Supernatural deserves.