Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Public service messages

My daughter had another one of those anti-drug programs at school last week, the kind where law-enforcement officials stop by and hand out pencils and bumper stickers and book covers urging kids to Just Say No. And as noble an idea as that is, I wonder if there isn't at least some squidgy feeling of inconsistency in delivering those unequivocal anti-drug pep talks in your modern classroom where an appreciable percentage of the student body is already on drugs, albeit the school-friendly anti-ADHD kind. Seems the message should really be, Just Say No to Drugs, Unless the Drugs Will Help You Sit Still for Lectures Like This, In Which Case, the Nurse's Office Is Open! But I guess that won't fit on a pencil.

A little further down the road of good intentions, the Century Council is offering an interactive CD-ROM, Alcohol 101, full of bells and whistles designed to convince college students that drinking and driving, drinking and studying, drinking and fraternizing, and drinking and playing sports are all very, very bad things. There's a personalized reading of how little alcohol will have a negative effect, and an animated trip through the brain so kids can see directly what their brain looks like on Daiquiris. It all sounds like it might appeal more to the kind of kid who stays in the dorm playing computer games than the kind of kid who goes out partying, but parents of the college-aged may want to just go ahead and order their free copy anyway.

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