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Was this the BEST Idea?

September 10th, 2010 . by Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)


Day 10

So I’m in the doctor’s office the other day (don’t worry, I’m fine, I was just having my enlarged ego looked at…doctors say it’s inoperable) and I saw this poster:

Can’t see it? Well that’s because I did not get a very good shot with my cell phone camera. So I found a larger version on the interwebs:

Alright…I get the point. It starts off with the misconception and then as you read further down the page it gets to the truth. But let’s be real. If there’s somebody out there who still believes the top line…what are the odds that they have the desire/patience to read all of that? I know the truth, I’m writing a blog about it and I still didn’t read the whole thing! So I goptta believe that Joe-Blow McHomophobe just walks by, reads the top line and says, “I knew it,” and keeps walking.

Plus the writing gets smaller and smaller as it goes. It’s kind of like a horribly inappropriate eye chart?


“If you think only gays and Haitians get AIDS, then I’m afraid you need glasses”

I gotta wonder what ideas got turned DOWN before they came up with this one:
“AIDS kills faggots. (Just kidding, it kills everyone.”

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5 Responses to “Was this the BEST Idea?”

  1. Mysterious Matt (TANcast's #1 Mysterious Fan) Says:

    I actually think that it’s a pretty good ad, but that your point is valid. The truth is that the type of person with a fixed “AIDS=gay” view will either pull out as soon as they realise that that is the message (few would not realise upon reading the first line) or read on a little to see what “rubbish” the ad was going to spin to make it’s point. Some might take on a little of the message, if only as a “look what the gays have caused”. But perhaps it’ll at least make them remember that other people are affected. Many, as with those who turn away, will ignore the massage.
    For those convinced in the other direction (AIDS threatens all), they will read the ad, and it will have no effect on their opinion. It will bring it back to mind, and perhaps that will be helpful in some way for a small percentage of them.
    So basically, it’s the wide range of people between “only gays *really* need to worry about AIDS” and “AIDS is a big problem, but I’m probably safe, because I’m me, not one of the many at-risk groups” that ad has any hope of changing attitudes in. For them, I think it’s pretty good. The top line creates some interest by being clearly (depending on people’s perspective) not PC or not true/obviously not the real message of the ad. Then the ad progresses people through a graded series of steps (even *within* the last quote) to accepting that it is a risk for all. (An old uni preofessor of mine mentioned that there was a joke he heard in the US in the 80s: “What’s the hardest thing about getting AIDS? A: Trying to convince your parents that you’re from Haiti”; drug users and blood recipients were acknowledged as at risk pretty much as soon as AIDS started getting media airtime; bisexuals and prostitutes require no logical leap from there (Asian women… I don’t know… perhaps this is a link to sex tourism ideas? Not a stereotype that I’m that familar with), the next one introduces other categories that people might know through one-off examples or through logical steps from the previous categories, and finally that is built on to make it clear that everyone is at risk).
    What’s the purpose of the ad? It might reduce some prejudice and make people less judgemental, but I don’t think that that is its main aim. I think that the aim is to drop a little bit more information into people’s brains so that when they’re thinking “I think I’ve got somoene ‘up for it’, but I don’t have a condom: do I take the time the time to get one and run the risk that I’ll lose this opportunity by not taking advantage of it ASAP, or do I go ahead and take a chance?”, that last option will seem less safe.

    Errm… but, y’know… like… whatever.

  2. Mysterious Matt (TANcast's #1 Mysterious Fan) Says:

    Oh yeah, and the getting smaller thing emphasises how many more categories there are as you think about it more deeply. (“There’s so much to fit in!”)

  3. Geoff Says:

    “So I gotta believe that Joe-Blow McHomophobe just walks by, reads the top line and says, “I knew it,” and keeps walking.” – This is possibly one of the funniest things you have ever said. Seriously, I am dying of laughter right now!

  4. Rick Reed/DJ Technoid (TANcast's No.1 Themesong Creator Fan)_ Says:

    Strange too, that if you take out all the ONLYs, it kinda shows the diseases’ progression, at least as far as the media covered it. Terrible plague of our age.

  5. Sean Says:

    I agree, it should not be in an office of anyone who is a doctor of some sort, That it starts out every time with the gay man gets AIDS is sort of jamming it over and over into your head.

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