Oh, Secure Arkansas, where were you when I was struggling with science class in high school? | Street Jazz

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh, Secure Arkansas, where were you when I was struggling with science class in high school?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

My good friends at Secure Arkansas (yes, I’ll sign up for just about any email list I can see) have sent this nice letter this week about how this is National Dental Awareness Month and the Arkansas Health Department’s plans to run radio ads promoting fluoride in our drinking water.

Secure Arkansas - it sort of sounds like a fortress, doesn’t it? - would like to run radio ads telling the public about all the false information (their words, not mine) that are spread put on Arkansan’s toothbrushes. In the words of Jeannie Burlsworth, SA Chairwoman:

"The truth about fluoride needs to be disseminated to the scientific world, as well as to the public. A serious conflict of interest exists when a public agency is charged with objectively evaluating the safety of a procedure while at the same time endorsing and recommending it. This is exactly the position of the Arkansas Health Department."

Pass along the “truth” to the scientific community? Yeah, I’m right on that one. Right after I disabuse those pesky know-it-all eggheads of all they think they know about evolution, global warming, and the fact that dinosaurs really do still exist in South America. Hey, I saw The Lost World.

Well, we live in a culture in which “Common Sense” - which is hardly common and frequently nonsensical - trumps actual book learning.

Folks like SA would build that actual fortress if they could, protecting us all from knowledge, from treading the path into the 21st century, from contact with those who think differently.

Under ordinary circumstances, I’d say more power to them, and hope they get their money, so they could compete in the marketplace of ideas. But that’s sort of silly, because while I’m not afraid of SA, those who listen to their asinine “There are Klingons coming over the wall!” warnings and accept them without a moment’s hesitation scare the hell out of me.

Nah - I take that back. Let ‘em rant. It’s up to those who know better to be more persuasive, to counter their conspiracy theories.

******

The truth revealed at last! The toothpaste conspiracy - 1968

When I was a kid I used to be addicted to a crazy talk show hosted by Joe Pyne, an irascible man who had some interesting - and sometimes downright weird - guests appear on his show.

At the beginning of his show each week there would be a sort of public segment for about five or ten minutes when audience members would be allowed to come to the microphone and talk. The only instance that ever made an impression on me was when a couple of guys in their 40s got up to denounce the toothpaste industry.

All a person had to do, they said, was wet their finger and run it over their teeth a few times a day.

Sort of like when you are trapped behind enemy lines, I suppose, or camping out?

But all through your life? Even as a kid, I thought, no, that sounded sort of stupid.

I wonder what happened to those guys? I hope they found love - at least with each other. I can’t imagine anyone else wanting to be in close quarters with them, let alone be in the same room.

*****

Toothpaste for an election year

Back when I was I was barely an embryo, there was a toothpaste for Vote Toothpaste, "The ADULT Toothpaste in the plastic tube.”

Gosh, who just couldn’t wait to grow up, just to be able to use that?

****

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The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. - Patrick Young

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