Drowning in a sea of propaganda

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2001

They ain't hardly a dime's worth of difference between publicity and propaganda.

Especially is this so when it comes to promoting certain products.

If you don't believe it, just try to suffer through some of the teevee programs that you really want to see.

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To sentence someone to watch and listen to such a program for two hours without using the mute button is close kin to forcing that person to serve time in solitary confinement.

To be compelled to listen to such as June Allison waxing rhapsodical about the outstanding qualities of diapers for elderly women makes one's flesh crawl, like it did in school when a classmate scraped his fingernails across the blackboard.

Another good example of this durance vile would be to subject one to hear all the agonizingly suggestive features reposed in the various other products that have to do with feminine hygiene.

For that matter, there are many producs of similar ilk for those of the male persuasion, who may suffer from jock itch, psoriasis or that other malady that requires applications of Preparation-H.

And through many of those commercials strolls that improbable pink rabbit, banging on the old drums.

The programming of television itself has sunk to such a low now that many of the productions would cause the editors of National Enquirer to blush.

Television producers have sought and have successfully reached the nadir in creativity of the weird, the ungodly and the eerie.

Slime, maggot-infested bodies, blood and guts all over the place and rapid-fire slaughter have inundated the airwaves.

TV has, for the nonce, captured the advertising dollar, but we dare suggest this will not, cannot, be a non-ending continuum.

We long for the days we have never experienced-those of the ancients, the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the Persians, cuneiform was the order of the day, communication-wise.

Those people had not the least inkling of what it was to make up an ad or commercial, to be dinned into the heads of the folks of that long-gone era.

But, back to the reality of publicity and propaganda.

While publicity is simply the art of disseminating public information to gain public interest, propaganda is very similar, but it also can (and does) lay claim to being the art of persuading others to believe in what you, yourself, don't believe in.

I'll take the dime for the slight difference, if you please.

Now, all I need to do is find a slot that'll accept the dime, if there's such a slot in the inflated economy of this so-called "good-times" era.