It’s been one of those days when a magazine article I read last night continues to unsettle me. I can’t let it go.
I got my April 2017 copy of Men’s Fitness magazine yesterday. In it, along with the handy hints for “losing your gut”, is an article extolling the virtues of cannabis in various iterations. Somehow it is the wonder drug for athletic performance. OK. I suppose. But tell that to the couch potato toking on the sofa and hitting the Domino’s number on his speed dial. I strongly suspect this article was produced by the public relations firm lobbying for cannabis legalization and planted in a compliant magazine.
Nearly a hundred years ago, the father of modern American public relations, Edward Bernays, had three women light up cigarettes on Park Ave one Sunday. Photographers were there to cover this manufactured event and photographs of these ladies lighting up appeared in print. Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and he used Freudian psychology in his work. In his Freudian imagination, he decided that a cigarette was a substitute for the penis and the ladies were envious. Since they didn’t have the “genuine article”, a cigarette was as good as ,uh, a pecker. I’m not making this up.
Well, for whatever reason, it worked. Women started smoking, and, ultimately, dying of smoking related illness.
Bernays was quite candid in his assertion that public relations and propaganda were synonymous. We now associate the word propaganda with monsters like Goebbels. To us it is synonymous with falsehood. Public Relations has morphed into “spin”. We are now supposed to believe that marijuana is a benign substance, at the suggestion and urging of the marijuana legalization speculators, advocates, and entrepreneurs.
Nevermind that marijuana can be and is, abused by its users every day. Somebody wants to make big bucks off the misery.