The Anti-Masker Appeal For Fun & Profit!
Like me, you might be a big, hairy, anti-masking man. I’ve been thinking things through. And I want to talk to you about a power we may be missing out on.
This power can change lives, make former enemies love us, and give us the ultimate power of persuasion in getting our fellow Americans to believe we’re helping to change the world, even if we’re not.
We’re talking about appealing to the Placebo Effect.
You and I know the pro-maskers are falling victim to nefarious forces determined to control our brains and democracy for the sinister creep of global socialism and crappy health care.
If you’ve ever read about Mary Mallon, she believed something equally nefarious was at work when she was told that she had highly contagious typhoid, and she should take herself out of circulation as a cook inside people’s homes.
Typhoid Mary knew better, of course. She was no fool. She infected only 53 people, and only three of those people died. Everyone else enjoyed her mad skills at corned beef and cabbage casserole.
She’s so famous as a denier, she's even got her own Wikipedia page. But let’s forget about Mary for the moment.
Instead, let’s look at the power of the brain to make people feel better.
The Placebo Effect is all the rage right now. You’ve certainly heard about the legendary sugar pill used in Big Pharma medical studies.
(Just by the way, Big Pharma does not rule the world, despite what highly reliable sources are telling you on highly reliable social media channels in between adorable videos of kittens with sidearms and photos of Bernie wearing mittens made of recycled plastic bottles.)
It turns out that merely participating in a pharmaceutical study, being told what the study drug should do, then being given a sugar pill is potent.
It can fool your brain into creating the intended effect of the actual drug. This is placebo in action.
Placebo Effect switches on the brain’s neurotransmitters, bringing good feelings about the sugar pill, and lulls the subject into the poetic complacency of actual wellness.
This sugar pill makes your migraine melt away!
Seriously. This is actual, medical science stuff.
People are stupid enough to be fooled into believing a sugar pill is effective medicine and they feel better.
That’s the classic situation.
There’s a new and exciting placebo for big, hairy fat people like me. You’re not going to believe this one. Ready?
Think yourself thin!
A new study shows that people who merely imagine themselves exercising are actually in better shape than people who don’t.
Have you wanted a Peleton, but the bike is on backorder or otherwise too close to the cost of three mortgage payments for you to feel good about buying it instead of just going running and doing pushups or riding that actual bike that’s already in the garage?
Forget about it!
Now, I can just think about my husband giving me a Peleton, and I, too, can become an object of interwebs scorn and derision for welcoming inferred fat shaming from my spouse AND be better toned in the process!
Actual exercise be gone!
Anyway, despite centuries worth of supposed evidence both clinical and anecdotal, going as far back as the rollicking good times of The Black Plague, we all know the mask is a pointless exercise in preventing the transmission of a potentially deadly disease.
The surgeon who cuts us open is wearing that surgical mask only as malpractice suit prevention because in court you can’t say with 100% assuredness the guy on the stand is the same guy who had the scalpel.
Kill all the lawyers!
But I digress.
Let’s forget that. Let’s go placebo!
Think of the potent national thought storm that would erupt from sea to shining sea if everyone came together and became unified under the same N95 mask.
People’s neurotransmitters would start going crazy!
Everyone’s brains would light up and say, “Hell, yeah! We can kick this COVID crap to the curb!”
All those at-risk people who are afraid to leave the house would suddenly feel less at-risk--as if maybe there’s some actual hope.
Imagine the domino effect!
The entire nation could fool itself into eliminating a disease. All those feel-good endorphins and all that dopamine would get busy inside everyone’s system and make stuff happen.
And then, the United States would be like weeny little New Zealand, where months ago, millions of people fooled themselves into believing this nonsense and are now running around in shopping malls and hanging out in bars and breathing in each other’s faces like there’s no tomorrow.
All that dopamine and all those endorphins go rushing around in our heads and create better moods and more positive emotional reactions and (ready for this?) enhanced self-awareness.
Think how thoughtful you might become!
Like me, you could win friends and influence people and might even have career potential for the highly profitable diplomatic corps. Because when we start thinking tactically, like “Oh, maybe maskless me has been scaring that old fat man with diabetes and that mother who just went through chemo. I don’t want them thinking I’m Typhoid Mary, even though Mary never wore a headdress like this one made of racoon pelts and buffalo horns,” everyone feels better about things.
(I’m now hanging my headdress over the fireplace.)
Think about how this impacts the Super Bowl.
If everyone gets on the Placebo Effect bandwagon by wearing a mask, Budweiser could turn around and take that five and a half million bucks they’re channeling into COVID-awareness advertising and put it back into a Super Bowl commercial where it belongs.
Then, big, hairy anti-masking men like me can get all blubbery over a 30-second story about Clydesdale horses once again making the world safe for puppies and democracy.
Placebos. Emotions. Brain chemicals. Moods. Cooperation. Happiness.
Happy cooperation has happened before. Americans used cooperation to make this nation great enough to get through World War II. It can work again on this new war. Or I’m not an American.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.