August 10, 2004

(Full Article) Stay Free's Carrie McLaren brings up an amazing 2 year old historical relic: the Ad Council's post-9/11 PSA's that tried to inspire patriotism by showing 1984-style scenarios (library visitors tracked by secret police, people arrested for expressing dissent) and culminating with the tagline, "What if America Wasn't America?"
Two years later, you're living in an America that isn't America.
(my first post. please don't kill me. thank you.)
  • Good find.
  • Thanks, I never saw these PSAs on tv. It's puzzling that they came out post 9/11, post-Patriot Act. All that's missing is one with a Nordic-looking deli counter employee being carted off to ? for having taped a post card of the Seattle Space Needle to the cash register. The video links for the "Youth" and "Ummm" ones didn't work for me, but the others mentioned in that Stayfree article struck me as vaguely Shyamalanesque in sound and tone.
  • Outstanding.
  • Ouch! Ashcroft's boot is on my neck! Yeah, right. Grow up, people--this isn't 1984, Bush is not Hitler, and Ashcroft isn't Evil.
  • Ashcroft isn't evil, he's just bitter about losing an election to a corpse and is taking it out on the entire country. I can't say that I blame him, though. I'd be pissed if people thought a dead body would be a better leader than me.
  • *kills Silky Slim, grows up*
  • Ashcroft is indeed not evil, but not for lack of trying. Thankfully, he and the rest of BushCo are too inept to be truly evil. So, uh dave, your admonition that we grow up, we'll take it under advisement. But by that same token, may I suggest you stop drinking the Kool-Aid as well?
  • great, interesting story. The irony is painful. Evil is a hard concept; it tends to evoke extreme comparisons (uh, Hitler. Bush is not Hitler, you are completely right, and I do wish people would not say he is -- it makes reasoned conversation almost impossible). But a most common evil [a dangerous and destructive force] is extreme, willful idiocy combined with a dogged determination to be right, damn the cost or consequences. I cannot help but see these tendencies in many members of the Bush administration. An example being Ashcroft's decision that information on proceedures regarding the return of seized property is dangerous and potentially seditious information. When juxtaposed with the PSA, it becomes surreal.
  • Great update on just how prescient these ads were—I described these ads many times over to friends around the time they came out. Bob Garfield, in a column for Advertising Age, lauded the campaign while expressing disappointment that ads like these were deemed necessary at all. "What's next, a campaign for sunshine?" he asked.
  • I exist merely to taunt John Hardy.
  • Grow up, people--this isn't 1984 Have you been paying attention to real world news for the last 3 years? Or are you one of those people that was actually suckered by the misnaming of the "Patriot" Act and missed all of its ramifications? 1984, but 20 years late Most of the technologies required to monitor the population are already in place, according to an article in the New York Times [free registration required]. "The civilian population has willingly embraced the technical prerequisites for a national surveillance system that Pentagon planners are calling Total Information Awareness." - December 25, 2002 The name was changed (very important for fooling some of the people, some of the time) to Terrorism Information Awareness. Did you miss Ashcroft's request of the library associations for the removal of books last week? Does he have to burn them in the street for you to find it objectionable? Read a newspaper, man!
  • Ouch! Ashcroft's boot is on my neck! Yeah, right. Grow up, people--this isn't 1984, Bush is not Hitler, and Ashcroft isn't Evil. Bush and Ashcroft may not be evil, but this is as close to 1984 as I want to get. Carnivore, free speech zones, people being harrassed for taking pictures of bridges, enemy combatants, American citizens being held in custody for more than 2 years without being charged, increasing numbers of cameras, libraries can be forced to turn over the records of what people have checked out,trying to write hate into the constitution, the FCC attempting to regulate morality. That doesn't sound like the America I want to live in.
  • A very nice first post, Slim. Thanks and welcome.
  • Well, this just found, the ALA and perhaps other peeps' pressure has made DOJ rescind its attempt to remove public records. Thank goodness. American citizens being held in custody for more than 2 years without being charged That and the wrangling to paint clearly illegal acts of torture with a patina of legal legitimacy reeks of the musty odor of Orwellian wannabes. *Hands jccalhoun a free market, unregulated banana
  • Good first post, Slim, and welcome. I long for the day when all this will be behind us.
  • I can't imagine labelling Ashcroft as anything other than evil. While I (as an agnostic) don't necessarily agree with the concept of a spiritual or religious evil, my dictionary tells me (first entry, too) that evil means 'morally reprehensible'. As jccalhoun pointed out, many of Ashcroft's actions are evil, and that is what we have to judge him on. I was born and lived in the U.S. for over 45 years, and it was partly the vicious acts of this administration (and the threat of more misery to follow) that made me and my family emigrate.
  • Ashcroft is evil, I tell you. Can't you see it in his actions?