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Wet Dream Police

Gentlemen and ladies, thank you for taking time to attend this meeting. We here at the Foundation for American Rectitude Triumphant are well aware that your time is valuable. Why, in the time that it took Jerry to adjust the height on that Aeron chair, his company made more than the GNP of all but three First World nations. So, he’s leaving the tip today! Just kidding, Jer.

We’ve asked you here today for an update from our Moral Panic Division. They’ve been working overtime in recent months and feel like they’re onto something really exciting—a truly inspired take on old-school, race-fueled paranoia as a tool for Social Sculpting.

Oh, you like that? Thanks. It’s a phrase we’ve recently trademarked. We found that it tested better than Social Control in most important demos.

As you know, moral panic has produced some of our greatest hits over the years. It’s the core department upon which our enterprise is constructed. Before there was a Foundation for American Rectitude Triumphant, there were visionaries dedicated to the preservation of the status quo via the profitable demonization of the Other, visionaries who laid the ground in which our mission was cultivated and has flourished. You are aware of this history, but I hope you will indulge me in a quick review.

In 1875, the first legal prohibition of a particular drug, opium, was enacted: a beautifully—if I may say so—subtle piece of legal legerdemain providing the template for many later successes. By seizing upon the hostility of whites toward the growing Asian population, San Francisco lawmakers were able to establish an ordinance criminalizing the smoking of opium, which was the popular means of ingestion among the Chinese residents of that city, while allowing the use of the the same drug in other forms available to Caucasians. The public went along with this plan willingly, as they had been made aware of the great numbers—ahem—of white women and girls who were being led into Chinese-run opium dens and to dissipation and disrepute.

This was brilliant in itself. The 1914 passage of the Harrison Act, which required that any form of opium be distributed only by licensed sellers (i.e., white sellers), was just icing. A similarly effective deployment of red tape and race hate worked wonders with the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937: Mexican bogeymen being every bit as useful as Chinese. This approach yielded amazing results with the criminalization of cocaine; if anything, the scapegoating of “cocainized” African-Americans proved more effective a terror than we could ever have imagined. We rode—and continue to ride—that fear throughout the 20th Century into the 21st!

Not to blow—pardon the pun—our own horns.

Now, granted, there was that Prohibition muddle. We experienced a bit of mission creep on that one, I admit. We did correct it, though. And looking back, we’ve now identified the central flaw in that instance, which brings us, nearly, to the matter at hand. In our ongoing search for tools to add to the toolbox of Social Sculpting, we have relied heavily and effectively on the threat, as we have established it, of drug use in the population at large. This, thanks to the baby boomers—no offense, of course—is an increasingly tenuous strategy, as the generation continues to be one of the most heavily doped on record. From pot to Paxil, Valium to Viagra, you guys consume like Vikings. Which, frankly, alarmed us. The hoi polloi are ever-wiser vis a vis hypocrisy. But we’ve come up with something . . . something inspired, we think.

What was central to the aforementioned panics? Drugs, yes. But more specifically it was the specter of dark-skinned people on drugs. And why is that so fearful? Let me put it this way: “This is a brain. This is a brain on drugs. This is a black brain on drugs. This is a black brain on drugs, on a white woman—on drugs.”

The drugs are only incidental, you see. That’s where we went wrong with Prohibition. The real lever, so to speak, is sexual insecurity. Demonize the Chinese as inscrutable and sexually perverse (Jer, there, has already thumbed through the Manga we’ve provided as examples, I see); the Mexicans as gangbangers of one type or another (help yourself to the Weeds DVDs, Madame Secretary); and as to African-Americans, well . . . We are all looking forward to Tiger’s return. Man’s an incredible athlete.

Gentlemen and ladies, we believe that, with careful planning and PR, supported by strategic legislation, we can build and maintain a Moral Panic regarding private sexuality every bit as profitable and distracting as the War on Drugs. We’re thinking “The Committee to Oversee Intimacy in The United States.” But we’re still working on the branding.

—John Rodat

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