June 10, 2008

Numbing Down The War


That pill does seem almost anthropomorphic, as if the cammo part is a helmet and the pill part is the soldier’s face — our soldiers laid out sideways, and the brand replacing all sensing or self-expression.  But I think the imagery goes beyond that…

Given the difficulty even I’m feeling lately covering Iraq, and the fact that the pharmaceutical industry has largely had its way with the FCC and direct-to-consumer advertising, I’m wondering if this elephant-sized pill doesn’t actually boost the drug ads inside, while helping — given the anesthetizing association and media placebo effect — keep any creeping public reality, pain and guilt of the war even farther away.

America’s Medicated Army (TIME)

(image: illustration by Lon Tweeten and D.W. Pine.  Insets, left to right: Jason Reed/Reuters and Stephan Crasneanscki. June 16, 2008)

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Michael Shaw
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