FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s All Part of a Vast Conspiracy

As one of the few men able to successfully fake a sexual orgasm, I have no problem with improvisation, fabrication, or outright deceit. Outright lying doesn’t really bother me. In truth, isn’t the Art of Deception a big part of life? Indeed, isn’t being lied to our face the very foundation of our political system?

And in the world of commerce, don’t most advertisements—particularly TV commercials—exaggerate, overstate and misrepresent the virtues of their products? That’s why the time-honored dictum of “Buyer beware!” resonates with us. Not everything we hear in an advertisement is going to be true. In fact, most of it is going to be intentionally misleading.

But I draw the line at subliminal advertising. Why? Because subliminal advertising, by definition, is insidious and sneaky. It’s one thing for, say, a wrinkle-removing cream to boldly claim to remove facial wrinkles (when it actually can’t and won’t), but it’s a whole other deal for that wrinkle commercial to sneak in an image for a mere one-hundredth of a second that is intended to implant in our brain a negative response to a competitor. An image designed to have us scorn a competing wrinkle cream.

What if a Pepsi commercial were to flash, for one-hundredth of a second, an image of a horribly disfigured person drinking a can of Coke? An image so grotesque that our brains register a profoundly negative reaction to Coke. Mind you, that image isn’t on the screen long enough to be noticed by the conscious mind, but it’s there long enough to be noticed by the unconscious mind, hence the term “subliminal.”

If Pepsi had flashed that image enough times during the Super Bowl, they might have gotten away with some impressive results. With a reported 114 million people having watched the game, if even one-percent of the audience were to “get” the message they transmitted, it could mean that more than a million people stopped drinking Coca-Cola and switched over to Pepsi.

The reason I mention this is because I think I may have been exposed to one of those subliminal ads. Prior to the Super Bowl, one of my favorite snack foods was pork rinds. Prior to the Super Bowl I positively loved pork rinds. In fact, I couldn’t get enough of them. But after watching the game, I found myself nauseated at the very thought of them.

Clearly, something happened to me during those three and a half hours. Pork rinds not only no longer appealed to me, they lost their meaning. They made no sense to me. Is it possible that a competing snack food manufacturer had run some ads during that game, ones intended to subliminally turn me against pork rinds? I’ll have to do some research.

David Macaray, a playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd edition), was a former labor union rep. He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail