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Advertising For Freedom

By Cap'n O

Tobacco Should be Treated No Differently Than Any Other Product

Like most well-adjusted adults, I value a moist vagina. And when nature's intimate moisture is lacking, I replace it with an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer called--

Stop screaming. Shocked? Appalled? Disgusted? Well don't blame me. The vaginal moisture I'm talking about is advertised on prime-time TV. Millions of viewers were treated to commercials on intimate wetness during prime viewing time on Memorial Day when who knows how many six-, seven-, eight- and nine-year-old children were watching.

I'm no prude, but I do feel a little uncomfortable watching with friends and relatives a woman rub between her fingers a substance that's just as natural as her own. But since this is America you won't hear me screaming that the commercials should be stopped. I believe in free speech and in the right of companies to advertise their products.

So if the maker of an intimate female lubricant has the right to advertise on TVs across America, why the push to cut back on tobacco and booze advertising?

It's because there's a double standard at work here. Those who say they know better than you are trying to dictate what you can and can't see. The products they approve of--no matter how they might hurt you--can be advertised and purchased freely, while those that they don't like must be banned.

Locally, City Councilor Sam Bregman wants to ban tobacco advertising on outdoor billboards. He says such advertising is targeted at children and that tobacco is bad for them.

He's right. But other things that are bad for us are advertised freely. Take the vaginal moisturizer. Although there are sound medical reasons for women to remain moist, the thrust of the commercial was sex. The underlying message is that moisture is essential to good sex.

Which is true. But what about the millions of kids who were watching? Are we now encouraging them to have sex? And if we are, what about the health and social implications? Sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies, horrible diseases and, worst of all, expectations of long-term commitment.

Think of the thousands of babies who are born to teenagers who have learned from our sex-obsessed culture to think of nothing but skin. They have about as much of a chance for a good, decent life as does a whale in the desert.

Watch the morning soaps and evening comedies and all you see are healthy young men and beautiful young women who want to do nothing but grope each other. The message is that life's greatest achievement is to have wild sex. And how many marriages break up and how many kids are left sobbing because one spouse is angry at the other for not performing like a porno star as mass culture says we should?

I've noted before that Saturday morning TV is full of commercials for sugar-coated cereals that will rot teeth almost instantly. Every Disney movie that comes out is touted as a classic, which of course is a huge lie.

Hamburger chains with their artery-clogging fare are probably responsible for as many medical bills as are the tobacco companies. Yet they get to advertise anywhere they want. More people are killed in cars every year than by guns, yet you'll never see car advertising banned on TV or on billboards.

And with some exceptions, that's the way it should be. Almost anything we do or use can hurt us. The fact is, life is death, and we can't stop every stupid person from hurting themselves or from misusing a product.

But living in a free society requires effort and thought. You can't just buy into every product. Some can hurt you. Nor, though, can we live perfect lives. There's no such thing.

So in the interest of freedom, Bregman should put away his anti-tobacco bill. And in the interest of mass culture, I'm out to buy some moisturizer.

--Cap'n O

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