#107: “Exiting the Comfort Zone”

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"This is George. This is the gas that George bought for his SUV. And these are the terrorists who get money from those countries every time George fills up his SUV."

<FireFly_9> So begins a new ad campaign targeted at SUV owners, connecting their use of the gas-guzzling vehicles with the increased consumption of oil, the revenues of which provide funds vital for the maintenance of many "terrorist" states. They are patterned after the anti-drug ads which attempted to tie drug use to the subsidization of terrorism.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Amazingly, while most people mindlessly tolerate the latter ads, the former ads have been called "too controversial" for TV and only air on a few stations, despite the logic behind them being virtually identical to that of the anti-drug ads.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Why is one set of ads "too hot" for TV, and the other set not? I submit to you that it all has to do with leaving the "comfort zone" of the average person.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> The average person believes that drugs are done by "other people" on the fringes of society, outside the closed circle of friends and family. The problem, and thus its consequences, are far enough from home that ads talking about it can be "tolerated" because someone else is causing the problem and the ads are aimed at them. Those scummy wrongdoers and their illicit substances.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> But Oil, on the other hand, is not illicit. Everyone uses it in some way or another. It helps provide our electricity, provides needed raw materials for plastics, and of course, fuels our ubiquitous automobiles.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> It is a "vice" enjoyed by all. And when this very public vice, and the darker consequences that flow from its adoption are made blatantly public-- hammered "home", as it were... the comfort zone most of us choose to live in is suddenly burst. Suddenly, *we* have a hand in the malfeasance. Suddenly our hands our not so clean anymore-- it's not the "other guy out there" doing things, it's us.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> And a lot of people can't handle the realization that our comfort and convenience is purchased at the cost of our environment, our health, and even our very security. And so, when these unfortunate truths come at them, they balk at it.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> But I think, instead of running away from the problem like an Ostrich seeking a convenient hole in the sand, we should face the problem head on. Oil is a non-renewable resource. Instead of fighting wars over what is a 20-year supply at best, we should put our massive national power behind the aggressive development of more efficient systems utilizing wind, hydro, and solar power. We should work on more efficient hybrid cars until we can get off the "texas tea" addiction once and for all. If we don't, it doesn't matter if we conquer / co-opt the entire mid-east... there simply won't be anything left to use and the lights will go out forever.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Until then, though, I think the ads should remain. We should not shoot messengers bearing uncomfortable truths, for if we do, on that fateful day when the lie we live finally comes to an end, we will be woefully unprepared for the reality that will face us.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Oh, a footnote on anti-propaganda techniques: Did you notice in the linked article, how the issue of the ads was conflated with the activities of the dangerous domestic terrorists who are going around blowing up SUVs? They did not stupidly link that tidbit in because the ads targeted SUVs as an example of blatant wastefulness. they did it so readers would develop a negative mindset about anything anti-SUV (subconsciously) due to the criminal acts of the ELF... *then* they swtich topics back to the merits of the ads where they quote the conflicting studies which oppose the logic of the ads. If they were not trying to conflate them, they would have completed the Ad analysis first and then talked about the ELF. But by mixing the two, they have effectively clouded the issue-- not for everyone, of course, but for some. This is a common technique to watch out for.
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> But I just wanna race around with the world with my Ferrari and not have to worry about any of this stuff!
<// J_Daito //> Fear not, for when I have conquered the world, all inconvenient truths will be ruthlessly crushed. You'll be able to drive around in complete peace.
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> All hail Big Brother!
<// J_Daito //> I don't like that look in your eye. As world leader, I arbitrarily decree you an enemy of the state. Please report to the Electric Chair. If you cannot report to the Electric chair, one will be electrified for you.
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> This Big Brother thing isn't quite as convenient as I thought it would be..
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