The Best (Or Worst) Anti-Drug PSAs
I have always been of the mind that according to our society's standards, it's cool to be a drug addict or a drunk as long as you're rich, sexy, and don't kill yourself in the process. But even then if you kill yourself you become a golden god.
That's why anti-drug public service announcements have always been hilarious to me, especially the celebrity-starring ones, ordered into production by a judge to punish Johnny Rock Star for overdosing on a hotel room floor, or killing the drummer from Hanoi Rocks.
Raise your hand if you thought Reefer Madness was funnier if you watched it stoned or drunk?
Am I right?
I grew up when the D.A.R.E. anti-drug campaign was in full effect. Most of the literature we studied in those middle school classes did more to educate us on how to do drugs rather than steer away from them. Most of the kids in my class had drank their first beer by the time we hit sixth grade, me included. I already knew too much cough syrup was sometimes a good thing.
In early-'90s middle school, it was funny to joke about people doing coke or crack, until you actually tried it at a party years later and your mind changed and there's so many things happening you wanna change and people you need to talk to about it and you just wish they were there and can I borrow your cellphone for a second this is a good song.
The government and the entertainment industry started a line of PSA clips after First Lady Nancy Reagan took aim at drugs with her "Just Say No" campaign. Some were more effective at getting lodged into the pop culture lexicon and creating catchphrases than stopping someone from rolling a joint or popping some of your mom's pills.
The generation that grew up watching the first wave of PSA spots is now the one that supports decriminalizing marijuana and drinks Bud Light like it's Coca-Cola. We're also the same people who turned April 20th into an unofficial national holiday and still long for a lost weekend binging on chemicals--like Hunter S. Thompson in Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas.
At the end of the day, the best way to warn your kids about the dangers of drugs is to show them Requiem For A Dream. Drugs will make you lose your arm, think the refrigerator is screaming at you, be Jared Leto, and land you in a sordid, nightly sex match with a double-sided dildo for dope money.
"No One Ever Says..."
No one ever says, "I wanna steal paper plates from my parent's house while I am visiting them on Christmas vacation."
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
"I'm not a chicken, you're a turkey."