Brushing Teeth With Crest or Colgate

flag-machineIn a similar vein, telling people about your own plans to vote can encourage others to do the same.

There’s a science to getting people to vote

If enough money is put behind an advertising campaign to buy Crest toothpaste, there will be a tendency for people to buy Crest toothpaste over other brands of toothpaste. If enough money is put behind an advertising campaign to buy Colgate toothpaste, there will be a tendency for people to buy Colgate toothpaste over other brands of toothpaste. If there are huge advertising campaigns with spending budgets in the 100’s of millions of dollars to buy either Crest or Colgate toothpaste, it does not mean, in the end, that the slim margin of people who buy one or the other brand are buying a better brand of toothpaste.

What is means is that people who buy toothpaste have bought into the trope of advertising campaigns as being truthful: that such campaigns represent truthful states of reality which are represented by the products they offer.

From some of the well-known advertising classics, that would mean such things as:

—Mountain Dew will make you white river rafting with twenty-something year olds

—Cars will hook you up with long-legged, voiceless and sexy women; or turn you into one

—Norelco electric razors are so fun that shaving will feel as though you are sledding on cartoon snow with Snoopy

—Using drugs to give men erections will make couples feel a) monogamous; b) in love while walking around the pastoral circumference of Lake Geneva; heterosexual

Within the matter of purchasing toothpaste, there is the underlying presumption that “brushing your teeth is good for you.” Within this assumption, there is the counter-implication that “not brushing your teeth is bad for you.” So, one underlying advertising assumption is to advertise products that are to be perceived by people as “self-caring” vs. the bane of “self-neglect.”

Drinking sweet fizzy soda, driving a hot car, having a baby-smooth cheek, and a stiff cock for men—all of these are cast as desirable, human norms. All of these go into the shopping cart of both “having” and “living the good life.”

Imagine buying a product sold to you that did absolutely nothing at all, however. You brush your teeth with a paste that is just a clear gel. This gel, whether it is sold by Crest or Colgate, makes for either manufacturer of toothpaste huge profits, millions upon millions of dollars. In fact, all the millions of dollars in advertising put into steering the public that “brushing their teeth is good for them,” is easily and only worth it because this plowback returns to the manufacturers, the stakeholders in the corporation, and that corporation’s shareholders, as a steady if not predictable path of increasing margins of profit over time. So, a public concern, i.e., to have healthy teeth and gums, which is valid, is exploited in this scenario of bogus toothpaste sales solely for the good of private, corporate gain.

If the American Republic actually worked as a democracy, if there actually were anything approximating a democracy, many candidates for president would be available for the voting public, not just Crest and Colgate on the shelf. The other candidates that are? Knock off generic, or small market niche, or cave-dwellers brands, scarcely important.

In the upcoming election, one brand of gel might well be made up of confetti, minced cassette tapes, and arsenic. The other brand might well be made up of pulverized iron, minced brassieres, and gunpowder. Neither is good for you. Should either win, that person representing that party, the stakeholders in that party, and the sycophantic shareholders in that party’s system will all win. They will all profit big time. One, or the other.

While the belief that “brushing you teeth” is one that rings of truth, “voting is a civic duty” is a misleading falsehood. It is, like brushing your teeth drummed into people since early childhood, hard to get over, hard to get past, hard to overcome, hard to disbelieve.

Don’t vote. Don’t vote anymore than you would buy a tube of toothpaste whose use was not just pointless, but bad for you, and bad for everyone you know, and everyone you don’t know. Don’t buy Crest or Colgate, especially this time you think about shopping for toothpaste.

Americans, just say, “No.”

‘Warning! Warning! Warning!’ To Will Robinson: Lost In Space


I wore my broken heart the way a dog wore its collar. I was owned but I had no master. I pumped iron every other day. It made me jacked and feel taller. Not the soft punk I had been from the wrong neighborhood where like me the houses on the street were decent but smaller. My SATs did not reflect how smart I was but I was trapped by mediocre scores. Had I been a giant with high verbals and high mathematics I could have gone to Harvard. Instead I’m bald and pushing 60 in yoga pants. But, you know, a broken heart is the way to get ‘em. Soft and gentle, yeah, that’s me: Billy. Been stepped on, stepped over, pissed on, and pissed over all my life. It’s been a dozen times. And women, the ones who got stepped on and pissed on, they’re the ones to fall for me like I’m Tom Cruise or some knock-out celebrity. They feel sorry for not who I am but for who I am not. Though I’m not too old to like Radiohead or PJ Harvey. As a CSW, I do good for people. In a coupla more years I’ll be retired. But I still don’t know who the fuck I am. I’m intelligent, sensitive, and kind—until I get pushed into a corner, until you make me feel my open broken heart has been taken advantage of. Then, I know, I become that little pit bull, you know, the neglected, overlooked, looked past one that was feeding on leftover rats on the wrong side of the track. So, sure, I’m sentimental and mixed up with some bitterish chocolate chips. Had I become William, or even Will, I might have had a kid or even a wife. I’m just afraid someone’s gonna clip me with a leash and take me for another walk.

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Potato Chip Man Yoga Retreat

snow & sign & shed

He’d take a little bit of household garbage, the kind that can’t be recycled or the kind that can’t be composted, and crumple it up. Then he’d take that little bit and a little bit more than that and crumple it up, and when he had crumpled up many small bits of garbage and stuffed all the small bits of crumpled up garbage into a medium-sized, empty potato chip bag, he’d put the stuffed bag of garbage filling the potato chip bag by his front door. Later on, when he had to leave the house to drive to town, he’d push the garbage-filled potato chip bag into the public trash barrel that stood outside the grocery store where he went food shopping. That way, he could reduce by many times the trips he would have had to have made to the local dump to throw out a large, 39 gallon trash bag filled with garbage for 6 dollars a bag. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend would take out-of-state trips to Yoga Retreat Centers, big ones with recognizable names in the Northeast. She’d meet wonderful, upper-middle class people there like herself and do poses and stretches and eat high quality vegetarian food and make close new friends, and eligible middle-aged men whose cars were even nicer than hers was. Since she was sterilized, sex was never a problem with people from the get-go, even though it meant everything everybody had it got spread around like a very thin layer of peanut butter that nobody could taste or see but which everybody became infected by. Yes, for sure, no doubt, everybody in her social circles now they were bound to be rich, flexible in body, and totally gung-ho about living life. He, on the other hand, with his beautiful solitary mind, would never again waste a moment. His poverty made him aware of every action; his thinking made him, whenever he talked at all now, which was seldom anymore, aware of his few remaining spoken words.

Happy Trails Donor

sandwich food on plate

I’d given the usual pint of blood every fifty-six days for the usual half-known reasons. It was something I’d done since high school and had forged my father’s signature over for parental permission to do so. And so long as I was nearby a local Red Cross and wasn’t sick or going to be stacking wood later in the day or conducting a symphony in the evening, I’d go. I think what I like about it was the unknown effect of doing something that’s good to do. That’s all. Once I was sent a post card that named the hospital about forty-five miles away from my house where a patient had been helped out by my unit donated, and that made me feel uneasy and squeamish. I’d rather not know if my blood saved the life of a criminal drunk behind a wheel smashed into a tree, or a little baby with a congenital heart defect under surgery. And afterwards, there were the usual snacks and donor chatter at the snack-and-chatter table where people snacked and chatted about cholesterol and their weight and about the new owners of the local meat market in town we all knew. And I didn’t say a word myself to be clever or prescient or knowing much about anything at all. I didn’t even remember to say how I’d been walking down the mountain just two days before and had crossed the path of another hiker going up who’d warned me about a rattlesnake along the trail she’d seen. And in our chatting about what to do and what not to do when faced with natural dangers or dangers in nature, she said, as for mosquitoes, “Big deal. What’s it to me to give a mosquito a drop of my blood? A little itch.” And I’d said back to her, “When that happens, I’m flying!” She laughed, and wandered on. “Happy descent!” she hollered over her shoulder. “Happy ascent!” I hollered back.