Sunday, February 03, 2008

LSD, television westerns, and literary "sex and sadism"

From The Marketing Mode by Theodore Levitt, copyright 1969.

In such a world, combined with generic-product standardization and far-above-subsistence living, it is not surprising that man responds eagerly to the fascinating shock of the unexpected. The enormous attractions of marijuana, LSD, television westerns, and literary "sex and sadism" are understandable. They provide man with escape--not escape from reality but escape back to reality. He wants to escape from the artificiality that the machine has imposed on his life and return to a more primitive involvement of his senses with nature in the raw. The only reason teen-agers and college students are greater consumers of LSD and marijuana than adults is simply that adults have greater obligations to the machine. They cannot "drop out" because they are too deeply in. They are prisoners of the world they made.

This accounts for the intensity of the adult furor over LSD. It represents less adults' concern about the health and happiness of their children than the fact that they are envious of their children's freedom. The young people who take LSD trips or smoke pot need it least because they are already so much less thoroughly bound to society's rigid routines. The people who need most to escape, who are most firmly imprisoned by the world from which LSD is an escape and who have the greatest need to drop out, are the adults. They are understandably unhappy about the liberated behaviour of their children.

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