A Truth Not Told
O. B. Smedley, the Bay’s cynical media critic, has come up with a new cause: a class action lawsuit against booze, beer, and wine vendors and their advertising agencies. Smedley is asking all citizens to join him in his lawsuit that he claims will – if successful – transform our society. This newspaper has obtained a copy of his legal filing, and recites his brief as follows:
“Beer, booze, and wine commercials on TV: Every stinking one of them portrays that all the guzzlers are young and happy, all good dancers, and all are having a ball, full of joyous companionship. They high five and they laugh long and loud as they swill the liquids in fancy bottles or suck down brownish or clear fluids splashed into high ball glasses. Every party-goer is seen as being very cool and popular, surrounded by a horde of other adoring beautiful people like himself. And all these are blended in with cuddly dogs, peppy musicians, and even heroic horses. “IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!” is the theme imparted.
The seductive message these advertisers are proclaiming is quite clear: drinking booze is the key to living “the good life.” And this, dear friends, is an absolute lie! Here is the untold truth about drinking any alcoholic beverage:
First of all, all those beautiful people seen in these booze commercials are not actually drinking. They are sober actors who could not behave as depicted if they were under the influence. If they were, their dancing would be clumsy and their lines would be slurred. They would trip over their partner’s feet, fall off their stools, drool down their chins, and behave as total losers. And after a very short time, the room would be filled with shouting, cursing, and scuffling.
Secondly, if these actors were drinking, you could count on approximately three, maybe four out of twenty of them developing alcohol dependency (addiction) sometime in their life. Some of them would become binge drinkers. Some would be arrested for drunk driving. Others for abusing their families. More than 10 percent of U. S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems according to a 2012 study. More would experience serious health problems. 49% of deaths from cirrhosis of the liver are alcohol related. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. 30% of all traffic deaths involved alcohol in 2005. Alcohol is the third leading cause of death in the age group 15-24. More than 40% of violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol.
But wait! There’s more! ‘Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many problems, including car crashes, falls, burns, drownings; intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assaults, domestic violence; increased family problems, broken relationships; alcohol poisoning; high blood pressure, strokes, and other heart-related diseases; liver damage; nerve problems; sexual problems; permanent damage to the brain; ulcers; cancer of the mouth, liver, and esophagus.’ (Drug Free World Facts).
Clearly, the one truth not told by these booze sellers and advertisers is that alcohol is a dangerous drug that can and does cause enormous harm to its users, to their families, and to our society. Tell me when you have heard on these commercials, that booze can be ‘injurious to your health and well-being’. Never. This truth remains untold and this is not right.
What to do? Our nation is not up to prohibition, so shutting this industry down is not the answer. People insist on their “pleasures” and please don’t get in their way. However, we had a similar problem with tobacco in that when all the facts were in, we learned that using it lead to many problems, such as lung cancer, and high rates of premature death. Finally, the false representations by the tobacco producers and their advertising agencies – which praised the joys and benefits of smoking – were taken down and warnings were broadcasted. Millions of folks have heeded these warnings and avoided preventable, hideous cancer, liver, and diseased heart deaths.
Should not this same responsibility to be truthful about the incredible dangers inherent to users of alcohol be a major part of the booze sellers’ and their ad agencies’ message? Unfortunately, these folks do not accept this idea, so it is up to us to make it happen. It worked against the tobacco cartel and it will work here. Join me, Smedley, by calling “NO MORE LIES.” (666-673-5437)