The New York Times' resident food scaremonger, Mark Bittman, has pushed the boundaries of even his own world-class level of absurd hyperbole while discussing celebrities advertising fizzy drinks. Disgust over the Sandy Hook school shooting seems to have been too good an opportunity for Bittman to resist.
Beyoncé Knowles would presumably refuse to take part in an ad campaign that showed her carrying a semiautomatic rifle. But she’s eager, evidently, to have the Pepsi logo painted on her lips and have a limited-edition Pepsi can bearing her likeness.Because drinking a Pepsi is as lethal as being shot in the face by a Bushmaster .223, obviously. I'm surprised the comparison has never occurred to you before, aren't we lucky that there are people like Bittman around to remind us? It's well past time for a Scarface remake with Al Pacino announcing "say hello to my little friend" as he throws a couple of two litre Dr Peppers at the front door.
I wonder how Bittman came to believe that insensitive and wildly exaggerated hyperbole like this is acceptable? I mean, where could he have possibly learned such tricks?
Knowles is renting her image to a product that may one day be ranked with cigarettes as a killer we were too slow to rein in.I think that may be a clue, don't you?
Of course, this example of 'anything-to-scare' tactics isn't at all new. As I've mentioned before, prohibitionists have always been keen to shamelessly ride the populist wave and piggy-back their prejudices on whatever disaster, moral panic, or ugly mindset is prevalent at any particular time. What's more, The Art of Suppression illustrates that the New York Times have been purveyors of the genre for nearly a century.
Although blacks tended to prefer cocaine to opiates, both drugs were disproportionately used by whites. Wright and his fellow travellers nevertheless focused on alleged acts of rape and violence committed by “cocaine-crazed negroes”. According to Wright, cocaine was the “creator of criminals” which drove “the humbler negroes all over the country to abnormal crimes.” Evidence of these crimes was anecdotal at best and it was patently untrue to claim, as the New York Times did, that cocaine made blacks impervious to bullets, or that “most of the attacks upon white women in the South are the direct result of the cocaine-crazed Negro brain.” These tales were so similar to the contemporary scare about liquor-soaked blacks on the rampage in the Deep South that it is fair to assume that one set of prohibitionists was borrowing from the other.So you could say that Bittman is a bit of a traditionalist, proudly flying a flag for the long history of insane obsessives building a succession of ever-taller skyscrapers out of health molehills.
It's too much for this particular blogger to bear, though. Goodbye cruel world! I'm off to end it all by blowing my brains out with a Sprite.
* I can't find the link, anyone care to provide it?