Monday, April 10, 2006

The Medium is the Meth Age

I got weirded out a few days ago when I saw a segment on Nightline about the blunt ad campaign being waged in Montana to combat the methamphetamine abuse epidemic amongst the state's youth. These commercials (you can see them here - viewer discretion is advised) make Requiem for a Dream look like Up in Smoke.

The campaign was sponsored by a Montanian billionaire and is being pitched at saturation levels - print ads, radio, television and billboards all across the state. Young girls selling their souls, blood pooling in sinks and down shower drains, close-ups of absessed skin; the ads are designed to scare the shit out of anyone considering doing crystal meth, but these ads are so hellish they might talk a young person out of doing anything at all.

The ads are the equivalent of the pictures of cancerous sores that are displayed on cigarette packs, except those images are only posted on the actual pack of smokes you're about to buy, not beamed several times a day into your house or slapped up on billboards. Imagine being constantly talked out of doing crystal meth by being exposed to horrible consequential imagery everywhere you go. It makes for a twice-blighted landscape to have to navigate.

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