Addicted to bacon? Blame this guy

This could have been America: FTW Part I

This series of blog posts are intended to make use of all that damn research we did and couldn’t fit into the show itself, and also to give you a little taste of the many varied bodies our shows go through before they’re given their true shape and form. Enjoy!

For awhile, America FTW was going to have recurring characters, and we discussed having a supervillain who was responsible for all the evil bullshit that was going down throughout history. But who could it be? I mean, the Illuminati is cliche, and let’s face it, the unholy trinity of Bush, Dick and Rove is way too obvious. During our research, however, there emerged the brilliantly arrogant father of public relations, Edward Bernays.

Handsome and witty, this man’s mustache could sell anything.

Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew and a bonafide spin doctor. He was so good at propaganda that Goebbels, Hitler’s right-hand man, used Bernays’ book to establish his propaganda campaign against the Jews in Germany. That’s talent. Bernays essentially used all the psychoanalysis his good ol’ uncle Siggy was laying down on him and used it to sway public opinion. For example, it was Bernays who established bacon and eggs as the All-American breakfast. He asked a bunch of physicians if they thought people should eat a hearty breakfast, and when they said yes, he turned around and told all of us that our doctors wanted us to eat a hearty breakfast while showing us a picture of bacon and eggs. No attention is called to the bacon; it’s just there, and that insidious subtlety does the trick. Suddenly, it just ain’t breakfast without bacon.

Or sausage, eggs, pancakes, eggs, toast, cereal, toast, milk and juice.

Now, even though his power of salesmanship got used by the wrong people and even though he made us all way fatter than we would have been, the guy wasn’t all bad. It turns out Bernays had a soft side: he also successfully hosted the very first NAACP convention right here in Atlanta, GA using a campaign that focused the convention on the very useful things black people have done for Southern white people. The NAACP was so impressed that nobody was maimed or beaten up or killed at that convention that they let Bernays handle their PR for years after.
He also really helped out the tobacco industry when he hired a bunch of models to march in the New York City parade and smoke cigarettes. He told the press they were a bunch of suffragettes lighting “Torches of Freedom.” The press ate it up and the taboo of women smoking in public was broken. One glass ceiling down, ladies!

Unfortunately I think all that glass landed in my cigarette. Oh well, whatevs!

Bernays didn’t stop with the tobacco industry, though. He’s a helping kind of guy. When the U.S. government and the United Fruit Company (but you can call me Chiquita Banana) needed help overthrowing the democratically elected president of Guatemala so they could pay laborers nothing to pick bananas day in and day out, Bernays didn’t hesitate. He portrayed Jacobo Arbenz Guzman as a communist and now bananas are cheap, cheap, cheap! And also a part of your complete breakfast.

Though the real mystery is how they managed to make the most phallic fruit in the world into a sexy woman banana.

Seriously. It’s like a cross-dressing penis.


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    […] our last post illustrated, Edward Bernays was just what we were looking for when we were looking for a […]

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