Whenever you read or hear the word “hook,” what do you think of?
To a fisherman it’s what you lure your prey onto. Fancy up the hook with something bright and tasty — snap! you’ve got yourself dinner. Upon further reflection, this applies to all sorts of other folks too. Advertisers…politicians…movie studios…network studios…televangelists…highway billboards. Notice every hook is simple, short, and uncomplicated by any distracting details like facts or exceptions.
Especially our nightly television commercials for drugs. Sixty-second masterpieces of illusion where the eyes feast on gauzy scenes of happy prescription users rising in the morning to greet another lyrical day in another perfect life. Damn, but I’ve tried many of the same drugs, and never once woke up feeling either lyrical or prefect.
In my imperfect life, the explanation is usually one or more of the 15 side-effects the announcer was mumbling on the speeded up soundtrack. Much of the same happens when any of us wake up the next day of our lives to learn we’re not in Kansas anymore. The promises have faded in the light of another say’s trip that sure ain’t a Yellow Brick Road.
Don’t know about you, but whenever I wake up it’s to more deflating headlines. Take today: The US now has more than 6 million people in jail, more than the USSR had in Stalin’s Gulag days. In New York City 96% of all shooting victims and 90% of all murder victims were racial minorities. And by the way, we lost about $30 billion worth of cellphones last year.
So here’s the thing, fellow fishes. Whenever you see or hear another hook luring you with grand visions of a more perfect life…look around at what you’re swimming in. If the water seems dirty and your prospects look iffy, remember how you got here.
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