dangerous swagger

Some thoughts on Kick-Butts Day from Moe of SHIFT Minnesota

Today is March 16, 2012. This spring, with a Minnesota winter that’s been mild (that’s not how it’s supposed to be!), I’ve been thinking — how did the world get here?

This past week, I’ve been reading up on some history of corporate tobacco in the United States. I have been involved with SHIFT for the past three months and I am trying to do my homework. I know that part of figuring out where to go from here is to hold the histories of how I got here.

I came across this webpage from NPR.

Where did he come from? This white man with saunter, swagger, and a cigarette propped up at his lips.

Yes, there is the sex appeal. Yes, he represents white masculinity and messages about hard work and class. All these ideas are being sold.
What did the Marlboro man make hopeful for his audience?

There’s a game to play with capitalism. You have to sell an idea with your products. For sure, the Marlboro man sells something toxic — whether it be carcinogens or a prizing of white masculinity.

There’s another layer. Yes, there is the idea of being alone, but not lonely.

How desperately do youth today need to believe there is something beyond loneliness?


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