Just so you'll understand where i'm coming from, let me explain for a minute about urinals.

Pretty much any urinal you'll come across has this plastic mesh thing sitting on the drain, usually with a funky largish tablet thing caged inside it. It acts as a disinfectant. In Texas and probably several surrounding states, there is one single company named "SWISHER" that has a pretty serious lock on on the market. So the majority of the plastic urinal things in public restrooms around here are exactly the same; a kind of thickish red plastic mesh with, in the center, the "SWISHER" logo and a 1-800 number. There's one other thing printed on the mesh; big, commanding block letters saying:

SAY NO TO DRUGS

Now think about this.

This chunk of plastic is probably the most quintessentially american thing in the entire universe; overbearing, righteous, inexplicably proud, and totally, totally mindless.

This chunk of plastic is, when it comes right down to it, what the state of the entire anti-drug movement has become; a soulless voice shouting out commands, assuming they will be obeyed just because of its own moral sureness, not giving any kind of thought whatsoever as to justification. No thought seems to be left at anywhere in the process; they are so sure of themselves, feel their own rightness so strongly, they don't stop and ask the question if the people hearing our commands agree with us, why are we commanding them; if they do not agree with us, why will our commands cause them in any way to change?

It was different when it was, say, that big screen in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game that flashed up saying "WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS!" while the machine waiting for someone to insert coin; there, at least, whether we agreed with it or not, whether we changed the way we thought or not, there was at least a purpose; there, it wasn't a command, it was an argument, and it was coming from someone we respected; it was coming from the people who made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, people with a fairly large degree of artistic and programming skills, people who had done something, created something impressive. Ignoring for now the inherent irony in this (do you have any idea how much pot must have been ingested in the development of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?? I mean, come on!) it at least makes sense; someone who had proven themselves to us were saying "if we can get by whole without drugs, doesn't that mean you can too?"

But this isn't like that. This isn't someone we respect. This is the fucking company that makes the little plastic things that go at the bottom of urinals!! This is the complete and total BOTTOM of the craftsmanship food chain! Why would they think ANYONE would listen to, respect, or take life-changing advice from the company that makes the little plastic things that go at the bottoms of urinals? Are they just totally in denial about who they are? I mean, look, they seem to be proud of what they do-- they put a logo and a 1-800 number on their product, for chrissakes. That isn't a product you should draw attention to yourself over, especially if your company has a name like "SWISHER". And they DEFINITELY have no place making god-like unjustified pronouncements to the people using their products. I mean, it would be different if they said "(Pot|heroin|cocaine) will harm you, this is what it will do to you, this is why you shouldn't take it, these are the risks, here is the proof"; but they don't. They just command, authoritatively, with no basis for that authority, from the bottom of a urinal. What were they thinking???
Well, i know the answer to that one; they weren't.

But one thing that i know they weren't thinking about, one very interesting side-effect that i know will never occur to them..

As a direct result of their efforts, almost every time that a man uses a public restroom in Texas, he is literally pissing on the idea of "say no to drugs".

> Why would they think ANYONE would listen to, respect, or take life-changing advice from
> the company that makes the little plastic things that go at the bottoms of urinals?


I heard it was Hitler that said, "Tell a person a lie enough times and they will believe it." I'm not encouraging drug use (I don't use 'em, I swear), but The War on Drugs is the same kind of campaign of demonizing people, but instead of going after Jews for ruining the economy, Orrin Hatch et. al, go after people who like to get stoned by portraying them as mindless, godless, sex-crazy, masturbating zombies. And the idea of drilling these ideas into everybody's heads is the same: tell them enough and they will believe it.

And you know what? It works.

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