Tag Archives: anxiety

Thoughts on “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace – Part 7


V&V’s NoCoat campaign was a case-study in the eschatology of emotional appeals. It towered, a kind of Überad, casting a shaggy shadow back across a whole century of broadcast persuasion. It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase. It just did it way more well than wisely, given the vulnerable psyche of an increasingly hygiene-conscious U.S.A. in those times.

(p. 414)

Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, claimed that American advertising was an inspiration for his propaganda. The goal of propaganda is to create a sense of fear and lure people into accepting an ideology. The more subtle, the more effective.

I had never given too much thought to advertising creating fear and using that fear to sell products. But it makes sense. Advertisements for home security systems are all about the fear of someone breaking into your home. Even just showing a picture of a baby in a high chair waiting to be fed will subconsciously create a fear for parents about the health and well-being of their child.

Media is bombarding us with information all designed to heighten our fear, whether it’s the news, advertising, or memes on social media. The irony is that all this fear-mongering is making me fearful about where our civilization is heading. There is just no way to escape it.


Filed under Literature

Dave Barry on Colonoscopy

It’s 5:00 AM here and I am getting ready for my first colonoscopy. Yikes, right? Well, I talked to friends who had it and they all tell me that drinking the gallon of laxative is the worst part, and I can attest that it is pretty bad. Anyway, yesterday a close friend and colleague suggested I read Dave Barry’s article on getting his first colonoscopy, so I did (click here to read the article). I laughed out loud, and let’s face it, nothing is a better cure for anxiety than laughter. I awoke this morning feeling way less uneasy and frankly, the main thought I have right now is the desire to eat solid food again (I’m thinking BBQ ribs for lunch).

Here’s a bonus. After you read the article, check out the video. 😉


Filed under Non-fiction