Thanks to the deterioration of our democracy and political landscape the line between fact and fiction has officially evaporated. It's all a blur and anything goes.
We've all been taken in and mislead by major campaigns of marketing and propaganda.
But any historian will tell you that the feeling seems new, but it has long been a successful practice since the dawn of time.
We live in a world of lies. Politics, entertainment, food, fitness, education... there is no end to the amount purposefully mishandled or manipulated information.
Redditoru/AdEducational7137wanted to hear about the marketing efforts that surprisingly, got us, by asking:
What is the most successful propaganda effort in history?
I for one am tired of heading about how fitness releases endorphins, therefore I'll super happy and thrilled once I'm on a treadmill. I have never enjoyed one second on a treadmill. So Beach Body... you can shove it!
AvoidanceFriends Moving GIFGiphy
"That fat is the thing to avoid in foods taking away the spotlight from sugar."
Not so rare...
"De Beers diamond campaign. Idk if propaganda, but was the best advertising campaign of all time."
"Diamonds can actually burn with enough oxygen and heat. They also degrade back to graphite on their own (over a billion years, but still) or much more rapidly if the proper energy source is used (say a high energy laser). The real propaganda is that diamonds are very rare. They are not, just highly controlled by De Beers, who are known to buy any competing mines. Of all the precious stones, diamonds are the most common."
"The McDonald's coffee lawsuit. The lawyers made it out to be frivolous but the lady just wanted her medical bills payed after the coffee was so hot (they overheated it so people would go for less free refills) that she burned her lap and had her labia fused to her thighs."
"Not wartime propaganda. A notational error. "As the story goes, in 1870, a German chemist named Erich von Wolf was researching the nutritional benefits of spinach. In his notes, he accidentally printed the decimal point in the vegetable's iron content in the wrong spot. Wolf accidentally increased the vegetable's iron level to 10 times the actual amount — 3.5 grams of iron suddenly became 35 grams, an extremely high amount of iron."
Just for Bugs...bugs bunny wtf GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"Myth of carrots being good for eyesight coming from WW2 to hide RAF victories against the german flyers coming from the use of radar."
"It's a myth but it's still true. Carrots are high in lutein and beta carotene which are both good for eye health…"
I've always loved carrots just because I love them. My eyesight is good but I think that's thanks to God. And I have always found McDonald's coffee to be lukewarm at best. So no lawsuit for me.
Worry Now!Climate Change Earth GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
"Small personal changes will prevent climate change. Until things change at the industrial and corporate level the planet is screwed."
"Vietnam was probably one of the most successful ones."
"It's strange that we invaded Vietnam and decades later we now make movies about how sad soldiers were while invading and killing the Vietnamese. It's the equivalent of a burglar making a film about how sad they are breaking into someone's home and beating them up."
"Recycling plastics. Something like only 9-10% of recycled plastic is actually… recycled. Plastics that we all recycle are sent to a recycling center where they are melded/smashed into big cubes. Plastic using companies, say Coca Cola, have to then buy these cubes to use for their bottling."
"It typically is more labor intensive and expensive to use these recycled cubes than to just use new plastic. Therefore, after some time, these cubes are discarded by recycling companies just like normal trash is. Big oil pushed recycling propaganda HARD to make people feel better about using plastics when they switched over from glass."
Anne & Jane
"Pretty much anything about Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. All historical evidence shows Anne as a sweet, kind, generous woman who genuinely loved Henry (they were together for around a decade), whilst all contemporary accounts show Jane to be nasty, conniving and abusive to her maids."
"Anne's reputation was initially smeared because Henry's advisors disliked how much money (that they wanted spent on them/their projects) she gave to charity. They started a mass smear campaign, and executed her based on trumped up charges that most historians agree were utterly false. The propaganda continued after her execution to ensure that Henry didn't look bad."
"Jane Seymour only has a positive reputation because she was paraded around as a sort of angelic type, in large part to justify Henry's relationship with her to the public (who contrary to popular fiction, were fond of Anne due to her charity and advocacy work) so as to prevent unrest. This reputation continued after her death and was intentionally emphasised to further enhance/legitimise Edward's claim over Mary and Elizabeth's."
The Best 'Actually, You're Speaking To The Boss' Experience | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Being a BruncherGay Want GIFGiphy
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nice little marketing campaign by major breakfast food manufacturers to increase sales."
The Real Succubus...
"I'm gonna pick out a much less recent one than a lot of people... hey, turns out Cleopatra was actually pretty average-looking! What she WAS was a really intelligent and sharp political operator who terrified the Romans. They ran a very good smear campaign, painting her as a succubus to disguise that."
Not so Rare
"Diamonds are forever. super successful commercial, made it the go-to engagement stone. Die ewige Juden - spreading anti jewish propaganda for maybe a decade has inflamed hatred/violence in he mid east to this day. It wasn't a picnic before, but it's gotten a lot worse."
"Diamonds also are not even rare, the whole industry is just manufactured scarcity."
Sunny No!Saturday Night Live Nbc GIF by HULUGiphy
"Sunny delight was healthy."
"Keep America beautiful" still has people believing that it's the job of the end consumer to clean up "littered waste" instead of forcing companies to stop high waste practices for higher profits."
"Recycling of plastic was devised as a way to take the burden of the environment impact of the plastic industry and put in on the consumer. When in reality, we should just not be using single-use plastic for most things."
"Installing universal healthcare in America will "bankrupt" the country. Several countries have, successfully, had some form of a universal healthcare system for over a century and their economies aren't hurting b/c of it."
"Lost Cause mythology convinced 5 generations that the dirty traitors fighting to enslave children were the GOOD GUYS."
"The worst part of Lost Cause revisionism is that the Confederate leaders thoroughly documented why they seceded. It was so overwhelmingly about slavery that they couldn't shut up about how much it was about slavery."
Shot UpPresident Biden Politics GIF by NowThisGiphy
"That vaccines cause autism and other harm. Not everyone believes, but those that do will die (literally) on that hill."
We really will believe anything. Won't we? Or maybe that's what we're manipulated to believe? Who knows.
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There are some things I just won't say no to. Food, for one. I just love to eat. Bonus points if we're going to go somewhere. Eating can be a very intimate and communal experience.
It's the best, okay? Chinese? Indian? Want a burger? Why don't we hit up a pub somewhere and sit down for a pint and see where our stomachs lead us?
Yeah, my wallet doesn't always like it, but you know what, food is what makes life worth living.
There are plenty of other things out there that people are equally as passionate about. We heard all about them after Redditor fistbump101 asked the online community,
"What is something you can never say NO to?"
"Well, I wouldn't say no to it, but I'd need some pretty darn concrete assurances that it was actually free. People rarely just give away money with no strings attached."
In our time of rampant economic inequality, there are countless people out there who would looove some free money.
"Food. I never say no when offered free food."
To be fair, I think I'd draw the line at a stranger offering me candy...
"Staying in over going out."
You know, even as someone who is pretty much an extrovert... the occasional moment when I've had plans get canceled is a level of joy that I really enjoy experiencing.
"In that order."
"Money, weed, ice cream, sexy times. In that order."
I'm pretty sure Lil Wayne has a song about that.
"Walking in the woods..."
"Walking in the woods when the weather is pristine."
A lovely feeling. Want to feel at peace? Take a nice stroll in the woods. Just make sure to stay on the path.
"My mother's Sunday roast."
"My mothers Sunday roast. And I mean a PROPER. English Sunday roast. With actual gravy, not the American stuff. Roast potatoes, roast leg of lamb, carrots, peas, Yorkshire puddings."
"Especially on a cold, wet, rainy Irish winter day after you’ve just come in from the cold and changed into sweatpants and a warm hoodie. Very particular but amazing."
Oh, you're definitely speaking my language. I love all of that and it's one of my favorite things whenever I'm in Ireland or the UK!
"The best I've done..."
"Buying a pet I want. The best I've done is wait three days but we went back and got the rats."
I hope those rats are doing well!
"Cinnamon rolls and almost anything from Taco Bell that doesn't have beans potatoes or gravy."
You had me until you got into all your Taco Bell stipulations! How dare you, sir or madam! How dare you!
"A big piece..."
"Cutting myself a big piece of chocolate cake."
You had me in the first half, I'm not going to lie.
"A new Xeno game..."
"A new Xeno game from Tetsuya Takahashi and his team."
Ah, I see that you, too, are a person of culture.
Admit it, you have weaknesses too! There is something out there that is your kryptonite!
Have some suggestions of your own to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Nothing is forever. It's a grim reality but no matter how hard we try and ignore it, our inevitable demise looms ahead on the horizon.
And while we individually have our unknown expiration dates, the fate of the human race is an unfathomable mystery that will continue to elude us.
Hopefully, the fateful event is thousands of years beyond our lifetime.
Curious to hear people's predictions, Redditor Nuggl3s7 asked:
"What will be the reason for human extinction?"
Redditors had their sci-fi theories.
Remember Pixar's WALL-E?
"Im gonna have to go with the WALL-E theory that we will turn our planet into a giant waste basket."
We Are Not Alone
"Something from space probably, there is some scary stuff in the void."
An AI Revolution
"We merge with AI end become a different species, thus ending homo sapiens."
It might take one huge impact.
We Would Never See This Coming
"Either a massive space object colliding with Earth, or Mother Nature finally gets tired of our sh*t and concocts a virus 10 times more contagious than COVID and several times more fatal than Ebola."
A Big Bang Theory
"A Coca-Cola truck hits a Mentos truck."
"Every human simultaneously stubs their toe at the same time. R.I.P."
Some speculate the big disaster will be one of our own making.
"Generous of you to assume it will be error. Right now there's a large percentage of the decision makers in the world operating by 'This will have catastrophic effects if everyone does it, but it will be profitable if I do it. So everyone else needs to stop, but I'm not going to, and also I'll be dead by the time the really bad consequences happen so f'k all y'all I guess.'"
"For realz tho…no big catastrophe….just a slow drip of f'k you gimme your money while I ruin the world and whattya gonna do about it brah? Nothing, that’s what. If you can’t stop me I’m gonna do it indefinitely. Big fish eat the little fish. Then eventually no little fish left and big fish go bye bye 👋"
There's A Sad Pattern
"Considering how poorly humanity as a whole dealt with this time's pandemic, and how much we overestimated their intelligence, yeah. 5 centuries is a generous amount of time, I give it 3 centuries."
"This, I think it will be our fault and only our fault."
Growing Lack Of Intelligence
"Gross stupidity. In less than 500 years max."
Many Redditors speculated our own shortcomings would inevitably be the end of us instead of a meteor shower or a hostile takeover of extra-terrestrials.
It says a lot about our lack of humanity, doncha think?
There is little more important than a good night's sleep.
But getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy to come by.
As a result, many people have an important ritual or method which helps them fall asleep easily and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
So much so, that if they attempt to sleep without this method or helping hand, they might find themselves staying awake all night.
Redditor AdministrativeFox784 was curious to hear the things which were necessary for people to have a peaceful night's sleep, leading them to ask:
"What is something you absolutely cannot fall asleep without?"
"Apparently hours of sleep deprivation."- RaphaelSoloTired Stewie Griffin GIF by Family GuyGiphy
Give Your Knees The Support They Need
A pillow between my legs."- frann_ie
A Cool Dark Room
"A fan running and complete darkness."- Dangerous_Effort3355
"My fan on, I'll wake up immediately if it turns off."- keznaa
"Darkness."- MekkoLStar Night GIF by TRTGiphy
"I started wearing them when my wife started snoring like a buzz saw."
"Now I can't sleep without em."
"It's almost become a Pavlovian thing where putting them in almost instantly helps me fall asleep."- fartswhenhappy
When Your Mind Is Racing, It Has To Wear Itself Out Eventually...
"An underlying sense of dread and impending existential crisis."- Bigby11
Soft, But Firm...
"A pillow."- NorthernGamer71pillow GIFGiphy
Keeping You Physically And Emotionally Warm...
"A blanket to hug."
"I curl it up and then hug it."
"I love it Soooooo much!"
"I think this is because I grew out of stuffed animals pretty quick, I was allergic to them, they made cough, and I needed something to replace those fuzzy creatures."- plop8624
Stirring The Imagination To Awaken The Dreams
"Either reading a book or watching a relaxing youtube video."- fh3131
It would be nice if we all had on/off buttons which allow us to sleep undisturbed.
But until we do, our own, personal rituals will have to do.
It's very easy to jump to conclusions about a small sniffle... or noticing what looks like the beginning of a rash.
Most of the time, It's easy enough to rub it off as just a cold, or an allergic reaction which might clear up with some lotion, and thus don't feel the need to alert their doctor about it.
Though others might worry that it could be the beginning of something more serious.
But even with that looming possibility, they still avoid seeing a doctor, perhaps afraid to learn that their fears turned out to be true.
Redditor Kith-Kath was curious to hear from people who refused to get confirmation from a doctor that they may be suffering from a specific illness or ailment, leading them to ask:
"What illness do you think you have but aren't willing to get it checked?"
"Probably depression."- Kho-yi-dwags
Hypothermia? Or Chronic Fever?
"I'm always stupid cold."
"Hands and feet especially."- SimplyJustKarma
"My family has a history of cancer."
"I've lately been having a lot of the same symptoms my dad had when he first got diagnosed."- nottherealneal
"I doubt it's full-on schizophrenia, but sometimes I hear things other people don't, or see distinctive things out of the corner of my eyes that aren't really there."
"Idk, one time I was at work and saw a customer in my peripheral, but when I turned to go take their order no one was there."
"Also, I was recently at a park on an overcast day."
"I was chilling on a bench with some friends, and I noticed the mulch moving weirdly."
"We all looked in the same spot at the same time, after I had mentioned it, they wanted to see, and although I saw it happen, they didn't."
"And it wasn't this subtle little movement."
"It looked like tiny little explosions in the mulch."
"At random spots, it would just go flying, like the smallest land mine just went off."
"It was f*cking impossible to miss."
"I have enough mental illnesses as it is, I don't want to lengthen the list." -Reddit
"I think I’m on the spectrum."- TheCanadianRedHood
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
"I already know for a fact I have OCD/Hoarding issues, but I don't have the money or time to deal with it, and honestly, it's not a huge problem."
"But I sh*t you not, watch the show 'Monk' and just imagine the main character is a Black guy in Detroit and you know me backwards and forwards."- ThatGamingAsshole
"OCD and maybe Dyslexia."- UnstableThought
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
"I think I have IBS but don't want to go to the doctor about it."- No-Understanding8583
"Some kind of bowel disease."
"Been having diarrhea chronically."- Reddit
Deafness Or Hearing Loss
"I think I'm going a bit deaf or have some kind of auditory processing disorder."
"My left ear rings and if I am going to understand someone I have to watch them talk to hear them if that makes sense?"
"I have been a bit worried because it has been getting worse."
"I hate having to ask someone to repeat themselves three times before I understand what they are saying."- sfoxx
As we are, hopefully, coming to the end of a global pandemic, it's understandable to jump to worrisome conclusions regarding our health.
But if you think something seems off, and doesn't seem to go away after a day or two, always check in with your doctor.
As it could be the beginning of something much more serious.