The pharmaceutical advertisement must surely be the exemplar of American culture: this product is a wonderful thing if it doesn’t kill you.
As caveat the pharmaceutical advertisement is a masterwork of satire. It stands as artful metaphor for every political speech, every plank in a platform, every crafty dodge, every piece of tricky legislation cobbled by lobbyists and their elected stooges.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up