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A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT

Somewhere there is a human who as part of their day at work once wrote out the following sentence: "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT". That's important to remember. The sentence was not written by a machine as my brain sort of casually imagines might be the case. A thinking breathing living person wrote out that pointless statement for use on the back of a packet of sweets.

Maybe they were a freelance copywriter doing a job for, Wrigleys, the gum upon which this sentence has been printed. Maybe the person in question had a word limit, I hope they added the sentence because they had to be as close to that as possible. In other words, I sincerely hope it was "filler" material and these sentences were printed by machines on an industrial scale simply because of some weird quirky clerical requirement.

Most of the sentences around it are pretty functional and useful legally, particularly the one about how eating too many of these sweets might make you shit your pants. The problems begin just after this sober reminder about the effects of "PHENYLANINE" upon a human bowel system. Maybe that image was what set off the problem. As they imagined an idiot who can't contain himself, eats three or four packets and then sits on the toilet and howls their guts out, perhaps that kicked off the copywriter's need to essentially provide instructions on how to use chewing gum: "CHEW FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES AFTER EATING AND DRINKING".

Their faces will have looked content for a minute. "Good," they might have thought, "that will help a few people out there". Try to imagine the psychology of the person who writes out a sentence like that though. Instructions for the use of chewing gum. It's a marketing person, no doubt about that. The advice exists so they can try to market chewing gum as a form of dental hygiene. What's important is the effect writing out such a sentence has upon the mind of a human being. Words change your consciousness when used. Treating people like idiots tends to bite you in the bum a bit. It means you'll start to believe you inhabit a world of fools. That's where you live if you write out instructions for use on the back of a packet of gum. That's why you might then go on to think, "F--k!, I'd better give these idiots some more of my advice, they'll be f--ked without my help, they can't even use chewing gum for God's sake, what's the world coming to?".

Then you find yourself writing out the plain obvious: "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT". How they managed not to descend further we will never know: "BE NICE TO EACH OTHER, LOVE YOUR FAMILY, ALWAYS CARRY A CLEAN TISSUE IN YOUR POCKET. HELP ME, I'M ALONE AND FRIGHTENED IN A WORLD I CAN'T UNDERSTAND" etc.

That's one scenario.

The other, more likely one, is far worse. There's a fear in my mind that in fact this is the work of something, someone, maybe more than one person, who genuinely gave a little bit of thought to their words.

In that nightmare scenario,where this is the work of many, there was a meeting somewhere with pricks who get paid more than you do to talk s--t about things they do not understand. They hold themselves with an unearned swagger and call themselves things like "Project Manager" or "Team Leader". They care little for the worlds of either grammar or ethics. They add extra "AND" words to sentences while giving pointless advice to people in an attempt to elevate themselves above the little people they find around them. They think you and everyone else in this world is stupid and they believe there's something "good" about lecturing people in common sense.

No one thinks "A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET" is a bad thing. No one thinks "A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE" is not good. And, furthermore, if such people do exist who think "UNHEALTHY" is better or an "EXCESSIVE AND UNBALANCED DIET" might be the way forward they're beyond the reach of the 'wise words' written on the back of a chewing gum packet.

The ONLY real purpose of this advice is to put you in your place. It creates a relationship between you and the chewing gum packet where it knows best and you'd better do as it says. It can only do that if you agree that such a sentence was the correct thing to write upon the back of this packet. In other words, if you read this blog entry and thought to yourself "meh, what's wrong with putting that on a packet of chewing gum?" they've got you already and you're beyond help. Like a nodding dog hypnotised by the rhythem of the road you have been conditioned to think that having the obvious stated to you is good in and of itself. Like saying a prayer, reading helth advice is good for its own sake. Snap out of that trance! "MAY CONTAIN NUTS" on a packet of peanuts is advice fit for fools, it envisages a society fit only for them. It pulls us all down into the mire of idiocy. Treat people as children sooner or later they'll start acting as children.

A machine evolves by becoming more efficient, that is, more foolproof; hence the objective of mechanical progress is a foolproof world--which may or may not mean a world inhabited by fools.

Orwell, Road To Wigan Pier

The cultural machine which produced this sentence about chewing gum would like a world inhabited by fools. Easier to sell product to. Resist.

Particularly if it was your job to write that sentence.

NM

2 comments:

weight loss clinics said...

Nice topic! Still Nothing beats the old tried and true way to weightloss… Healthy , balanced diet and exercise.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy! I just spent a few minutes laughing at the irony of the cut and paste advert/comment at the bottom of this blog entry.

Irony!

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