Bleats

'Meth. I'm On It.' Is The Accidental Meme Only Government PSAs Can Create

Imagine how many people had to give this the OK.

There is almost nothing funnier in this world than a serious government ad campaign that becomes a meme. Lest we forget the meme gold that came from the NSW Government’s Stoner Sloth campaign. The internet’s newest target comes from a bit further away though – South Dakota has just launched a campaign called “Meth. We’re On It.” and it’s going about as well as you’d expect.

Stoner Sloth will be funny for the rest of time

The campaign actually has some really good intentions. At the moment, 83% of South Dakota’s court admissions for drugs from this year were meth related, so it’s obviously a massive problem for South Dakotans. 

The campaign website – onmeth.com – says that “South Dakota has a problem. There isn’t a single solution because meth is widespread. But we can approach it from different angles, so it doesn’t take over counties, towns, neighborhoods.” 

And then it all falls apart with the tagline, “Let’s work together. Meth. We’re on it.”

Obviously the internet is losing its mind, it doesn’t take a creative genius to see the jokes that are right there ready to be made. And what makes it even more amusing is that state records show the government paid an advertising agency $448,914 for the ad. That’s $661,058 in Australian dollars.

South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi Noem, reckons that this isn’t a spectacular failure on behalf of the government and advertising agency, but rather a spectacular success.

Yep, massive success

“South Dakota’s anti-meth campaign launch is sparking conversations around the state and the country,” she said in an interview. “The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness – to get people talking about how they can be part of the solution and not just the problem. It is working.”

It’s absolutely possible for a government ad to work and change people’s behaviours. The Speeding: No One Thinks Big Of You campaign is probably the best example of an effective government ad, but I’m not quite sure the same can be said of “Meth. We’re On It.”

Only Four US Presidential Candidates Think That Sex Workers Deserve Safety

You've got to be JF-Kidding.

Sex work is legitimate work, we should all know that by now, and as we close in on the 2020 USA election the topic of decriminalisation is one being raised loudly and clearly. But it turns out that our new potential ~ leaders of the free world ~ aren’t quite as on board with letting sex workers just live their lives as we’d hoped. 

My face while reading these statistics

At the moment, the only state that brothels can legally operate in is Nevada, and even then it’s still illegal if you’re working somewhere that isn’t a brothel. You can be arrested and thrown in jail for it everywhere else.

Clearly this hasn’t stopped anything. You won’t be surprised at all to find out that sex work is still very much happening across the country, but the lack of any legal protection is making the job far more dangerous than it needs to be. One Colorado study estimated that the death rate for active sex workers in the state was 5.9% higher than that of the general population. 

So what are the people who want to be put in charge of the country going to do about this? Disappointingly… not a lot. 

FFS

Buzzfeed asked every single one of the 26 candidates whether or not they were in favour of decriminalising sex work. All but four either said no or dodged the question. 

Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, and Mike Gravel were the ones who said they’d absolutely support decriminalisation of sex work. The fact that I’ve been following the US presidential race relatively closely and still had to Google all of these people doesn’t bode well for my hopes of a President who would stop people arresting sex workers for their job.

Now for the ones you’re more likely to have heard of. 

Elizabeth Warren tweeted that she was “open” to decriminalising sex work. Bernie Sanders says he’ll consider it. Maybe I’m just cynical, but it doesn’t fill be with hope tbh. As for Donald Trump, he didn’t even reply to the question, so there’s your answer.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll see some movement on this. Realistically thought, I’m worried that if the States are still arguing over whether or not the President should have his Twitter account taken away, the safety of sex workers might be forced into the background, like so many other aspects of their lives. 

I’m hoping not.

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