Good morning readers and non-readers alike. Drinking my coffee, gathering my wits, I allow The Weather Channel to drone on about Bill (the latest Hurricane “event”) and my local on the eights. Fantastic background noise. I hear a commercial for a new pharmaceutical, apparently named “Align.” Align assists with digestive issues–as I swill day-old coffee, mind you–and the tag line at the end of the spot is, to the effect, “Try Align, for your digestive health.” Being that I wasn’t paying attention to the TV, I completely misinterpreted what the man said. What I heard, and where my brain took it, was, “Try a line, for your digestive health.” Now, as a man who previously dabbled in the white arts, I took this as a suggestion that doing a “line” would calm down the GI system. But as any dabbler knows, often the mere thought of a line could cause one to feel the need to use the toilet. Must be all the baby laxative that is used to “cut” the product. Regardless, that is where my mind went upon hearing this commercial.
Please don’t call me paranoid, but I sincerely believe that there are many hidden suggestions throughout mass-media intended to steer observers toward the goals of the “advertisers.” I am not embracing an all-encompassing conspiracy to enslave the human race. Not yet, at least. What I am saying is that here and there, I have noticed things that seem too obvious to have any other explanation. Case-in-point: The Philadelphia Daily News has the better sports section in the area, if for no other reason than having the west coast scores the day after the games (whereas the Inquirer goes to press sufficiently early and misses the late-game results). Sports is conveniently located at the back of the tabloid-style rag. I happened to be reading one day in my teen years when I had browsed through the entire sports section. Placed between Sports and Entertainment are the Classified section, advertisements, and other buyer-beware type announcements. Many of the ads here are for “gentleman’s clubs” and the out-of-town talent coming to town to relieve local men of their superfluous singles. Not to mention the names of these women are rather creative i.e. Brianna Bombs. Classic. What teen boy isn’t mesmerized by the possibilities? I was scanning the ads when I came across an ad for rugs that were used. It looked like this–USED RUGS. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to see the subliminal message here. If you don’t get it, say it aloud right now, “used rugs.” Sounds like an order to me. Take into account the fact that the accepted reading level of the Daily News is around 4th grade, it would come as little shock that someone might target these folks. Now, I’m not saying that 4th graders are being targeted. Just consider Philly for a moment. A large portion of its population does not have access to excellent education. Drugs have long-fueled the violence that plagues the city streets. Not much more needs to be pointed out here. Much of the Daily News’ readership are poorly-educated inner-city adults who happen to have a lot of free time. If someone wanted to plant a suggestive seed in the mind of a potential customer, a subliminal ad in the local tabloid might be a great tactic to consider. It’s what advertisers get paid to do: Identify the target, where they can be reached, and deliver the message to ensure maximum exposure; their jobs are secured by increased sales. In no place is the increased sale of drugs more evident than the inner-city streets of Philadelphia.
Are there really subliminal messages placed in local newspapers designed to ensnare an ingnorant population within a sticky web of poverty and drug use? Who can say? It may be precisely because I read the “USED RUGS” ad that I am able to tell the above story about Align. I blame the Daily News and its masters for planting the seed. OK, now you may call me paranoid.
More rantings to come…