Thursday, December 3, 2009

Illegal Drugs, "Obama's Will", Etc.

(Lately, this type of thing is all I post here.  Oh well.  Better than nothing, I guess.)

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Someone on Twitter linked to this story:

"Obama Ecstasy pills hit the streets".

A traffic stop in south Texas led to the discovery of some unusual drugs-- Ecstasy pills made in the likeness of Obama, of all things. 

Ecstasy is known for a sense of elation, diminished feelings of fear and anxiety, and ability to induce a sense of intimacy with others.

Perhaps a good Election Day strategy to get out the vote?

. . .

Police in Palmview detained a driver after finding black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills in the back of his car.
 My first thought when I saw the drugs. . .

. . .was, "Those look like the old Flintstones vitamins I took as a kid!"

And sure enough, the article mentions that the police spokesman also noted a certain resemblance to children's vitamins.  (Always good to have your hunches backed up like that, right?) 

The police also found Ecstasy pills made to look like Homer Simpson and the Smurfs.

. . . So, where to begin?

Point #1:
Why are this type of drugs so often made in the shape of cartoon characters?  To make them appealing to kids?  I've never been completely clear on whether or not there is truth in the stories of drug dealers giving drugs to kids to get them hooked at an early age.  I guess it makes sense (from a business point of view) if they're slightly older kids, but you'd think only really young kids would be drawn in by cartoon characters, and a really young child won't have money to buy more drugs.  It just doesn't make sense to me (again, from a purely practical point of view-- obviously it could never make sense morally).

Maybe the cartoon characters make the pills look harmless-- a way to soothe the jitters of potential new users.  "Look, they've got the Smurfs on them.  How dangerous can they be?"

Could the "kid's-vitamins-look" be camouflage, in case someone sees them who shouldn't?  (It's a pretty weak defense, but these are druggies we're talking about here.) 

Or are they merely trying to appeal to their market?  Maybe drug users are inexplicably drawn to random cartoon characters (oh, and rock-star politicians).

 Incidentally, when was the last time the Smurfs were really popular?  I had tennis shoes with Smurfs on them in Kindergarten, I think, and my best friend in elementary school had eyeglasses with tiny portraits of Smurfette on the arms.  Of course, I also turned thirty this year.  It could be that the drug users of my generation are enjoying a little trip (ha ha) down memory lane. 

 Point #2:
Am I wrong in assuming that this is the first time a U.S. president's face has been used as a tool for selling illegal drugs?  Certainly I can't see Reagan or either of the Bushes on Ecstasy pills.

It must be so flattering for the President to know that these drug makers/dealers think he's cool.

Point #3:
I wonder who made the mold for these things.  His mouth (and those smile lines around the mouth) are a bit much. 

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This ad was on the same page as the I story linked to above:

It's not the first time I've seen it, and I imagine you've seen it, too.  It's been everywhere-- almost as much as those irritating "Lose Belly Fat!!" and "Whiten Your Teeth!!" ads.  "Obama wants Moms to go back to school!"  Really?  I don't remember hearing anything about that. . . Why, exactly?  To take some of the pressure off the job market?  Certainly there doesn't seem to be a huge demand for more highly educated mothers, at the moment.  There are more workers than places to put them!

(I looked it up.  Apparently there's some sort of scholarship program for single mothers.  Ok, ok, so maybe it's not a ridiculous idea to go to college-- even if the economy's bad right now-- not that I necessarily jump for joy at the thought that the rest of us are financing this at such a time.  {Note to the world:  Pay your own way.}  The real reason for my annoyance?  Read on!) 

The thing I dislike about this ad is the use of "Obama's Will" as a selling point.  When I see this type of ad, I wonder if moms are supposed to be inspired to go back to school based solely on the (supposed) fact that Obama wants or asks them to do so.  I'm not a mom, so maybe I'm simply not capable of seeing the appeal ;o), but I don't feel a warm glow of "Oh, Mr. President wants me to go back to school?  His wish is my command!"  Instead, tell me Pres. Obama wants me to do something and I want to know why, in detail.  I'll look at the reasoning with fierce skepticism (purely the result of experience, dear reader) and make my decision deliberately.  (I admit it-- a "yes" will probably only be given grudgingly.)  But until then, by golly, my gut reaction is as follows: "NO, and mind your own darn business, won't you?"  I won't feel obliged to do something just because this president-- or any president asks it.

(I probably come across as such an awful, willful person, sometimes-- on this blog particularly.  Oh well.  I'm certainly not in a docile, lamblike mood when it comes to those ads.)

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After illegal drugs and politicians, I come to a final bit of happier news--  a snake in the grass!  ;o)

On a walk last week, I suddenly paused, thought "Did I just see what I thought I saw?" and backtracked a step or two.  Yes, I had just stepped over a (very small) snake.  It was a young kingsnake, so it was a pleasure to see him.  (We found him in the first trail back from your yard, Granny and Grandpa.) 

We've also been seeing some type of large bird of prey on our walks-- maybe a red-tailed hawk.  One time after we startled it, it made that raspy call you always hear in TV shows and movies.  It's always exciting to see a large bird that isn't vulture (which are pretty common).  (g)

Otherwise, lots of deer tracks on the trails-- and we've seen the deer themselves a time or two, recently.