Thursday, December 11, 2008

Slave to Love

I love Mickey Rourke, or maybe I used to love Mickey Rourke, or maybe I love to watch Mickey Rourke, that would be it. His recent interviews have been a spooky patchwork of artifice, dissembling, and resignation, much like his recent face. It would appear to be a case of what is on the outside reflecting what's within. I miss seeing his handsome face, but more I'll miss seeing that expression in his eyes that says he knows what you want better than you do, and that he feels the sadness and the beauty alike of that knowledge.

That's called acting, and he's doing a different kind now. They're talking Oscar for The Wrestler, which if babysitters are forthcoming, we might actually see, even though it's directed by the catastrophist Darren Aronofsky--"try heroin and you'll end up in the hands of a big (black, of course, come on, Darren! much more likely she'd be condemned to a short life as an independent operator) pimp with your arm rotting off in a southern jail and the refrigerator chasing you around!" Subtlety is not the boy's strong point, but, hell, subtlety isn't everything.

What's kind of funny is that I ran into this article on Amy Tuteur's The Skeptical OB blog about the nicely funded anti-meth ad campaign just not working up in Montana. I always like her take on skewering scientific and medical studies and statistics when warranted. And doing anti-drug and other social improvement ads is one of the most interesting challenges you can get in the business (and there's good money in it, too. The bright boys at Crispin Porter Bogusky partially made their name on the anti-tobacco Truth campaign, in part because they had the cash cushion to do kid focus groups and play the ideas out for a while). But unfortunately, the Montana anti-meth campaign's super-scary, alarmist tactics aren't doing the job of discouraging potential or present users. Who's one of the big-name directors brought in to execute the Montana ads? Darren Aronofsky.

I'm certain all involved had the best intentions. One of the commenters on Tuteur's blog, who says he used to work with Gay Men's Health Crisis, says the problem is that the people creating the ads are a million miles removed from the audiences they're trying to reach. Plus, the pitch to people in poverty, near-poverty and tribal cultures in Montana is going to be way different from a pitch to a gay man in NYC.

I'm reminded of a very long ago conversation with Jill Matrix, in which she said the most effective anti-drug ad she'd seen was the one with the tagline: If you smoke pot, nothing will happen.

So: "If you do meth, the Man wins," how's that sound? Trouble is, for too many, the Man wins no matter what, so why not rot yourself away? A problem that can't be solved through better advertising.

Back to love. The acoustic version of Hey Ya finally caught up with me. This song moves me anyhow, but add a big guy with an acoustic guitar and it tears me up.

Photo: Week 7 of 9 1/2, I believe.

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