Okay so this was going to be in response to GrumpyMutt's post from below, but it got too long. Although they are indeed not for the faint of heart, the commercials from that post are fascinating (http://www.montanameth.org/View_Ads/index.php), especially in the context of Infinite Jest, and I would recommend everyone watch them. Okay so here's my reaction: first of all, these advertisements reminded me immediately of Requiem For a Dream. Like the film, they were effective not so much in staving off drug use (I didn't plan to start using meth or heroin anyway) but rather in burning an incredibly disturbing imprint into my mind. After viewing them, I showed the website to a friend, and when she began to watch the videos I just could not pull myself away from the screen. Given the bullshit level of most anti-drug campaigns (Music is my anti-drug - are you kidding me?), on some level I appreciate the attempt to get away from that paradigm. But the underlying problem remains, namely, that both methods are so unabashedly paternalistic: regardless of their respective explicitness, the ____ is my anti-drug and not even once campaigns both presuppose the inherent iniquity of drug use. Notwithstanding many example of double standards that could be evoked here (e.g. alcohol consumption, or as GrumpyMutt pointed out, Super Mario World, are perfectly acceptable), at base, these ads have no substantive content. The "choice" about whether to use or not has been made for you before the ad even comes on. Now the question is whether you're going to comply with the ideological powers that be. The two biggest problems with this model is that a) it marginalizes drug use and therefore justifies inhumane treatment of addicts and drug-laden communities. The "addict" has been constructed, through ads like not even once, as deplorable but not really pitiable; after all, in each commercial the young person's volition is completely in tact, connoting that addicts remain in their sub-par states willingly, or at least because of past poor decisions. How do we come to the point, societally that is, when it becomes legitimate to treat the people in these commercials with anything but compassion, or at least to give them the realistic chance to clean up? If meth really is addictive after +/- 1 use, to me that seems to make a stronger case for compassion. Our culture, though, and this is the second major problem, seems to think that "every one makes choices and choices have consequences," or some such held-over-from-puritanism nonsense. If many youths are trying meth, might that say something about, I don't know, cultural toxicity, economic alienation, vacuousness of education? If people need this to have fun, maybe the answer is not to encourage other activities to spend one's leisure time doing, but to deconstruct the leisure-work (and public-private) distinctions that found late capitalism. Why, for instance, do people come from work pissed off, ennervated, and in search of something to help cope with the world? Why is work itself not invigorating? Sadly, we've come to internalize the wage-labor structure to such a degree that drudgery is just expected. Why is the Office funny? Because that's life; and if it's not life for us, that's because we're being groomed as the managerial class, but most people are not so fortunate (the degree to which we're fortunate, though, is debatable). In any case, we're so locked into ideologies that bolster this form of life that most people cannot even see how ridiculous this alienating set-up is. The world does not have to be structured this way. Can we even imagine a world where work and leisure would interpenetrate and slip into one another freely? A world where both work and leisure (insofar as these terms mean anything) would entail collaboration with other people? Indeed, another stark message of the not even once campaign seemed to be that even if you're in close contact with other meth users, dealers, etc., you are fundamentally alone in your addiction. Well, shit: most people seem to be fundamentally alone, anyway. I want to see a campaign that depicts a young person entering the corporate world and than flashes to multiple years later when we see him or her overweight, staring at a computer screen with glossed over eyes: "Corporate Capitalism. Not Even Once." I might even support soul-sucking adverstising firms if they produced that kind of stuff.