Doublethink: “The power to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accept both of them.”
Come to Casino Nova Scotia! (Gambling may become addictive and may lead to broken homes, marriages and minds). Shop at the NSLC! (Drinking is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents and may also lead to broken homes, marriages and minds). Smoke cigarettes! (Cigarettes may cause lung cancer and, as well, may induce sickness in others through secondhand smoke). Our government is the political equivalent of a friend you would never trust. Its purpose is to ensure the well being, the security, the stability and the equality of the public it represents, but too often its actions are propelled by seemingly ulterior, monetary motives. Motives which at times destroy the intangible treasures in life, such as love and friendship, while amounting large amounts of tangible ones, such as money. In 2004, according to our Premier Rodney MacDonald, “(The NSLC) profits contributed $135 million to the general revenues of the province.” Our government is an advocate for both responsible and binge drinking. Two entirely contradictory ideas, but both accepted by the public nonetheless. My proof is an advertisement I found on the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, or NSLC, Bessie. It reads, “Found the remote? Celebrate! Plant still alive? Celebrate!” So the next time you pet your dog or pick up a penny, tie your shoes or pick a scab, “Celebrate Everyday Life,” NSLC encourages, and drink! Long gone are the days of giving yourself a hug or a pat on the back; instead, pour yourself a tall glass of vodka. Nothing improves everyday living better than the comfort of a hangover. And maybe while you are drunk—in celebration of that toenail you clipped this morning—you can drive down to the NSLC and buy some more spirits. Who knows what else might merit celebration? Celebrating everyday life involves a lot of alcohol. Though, we must not forget what else the government advises us to do. Everyday, whether you are tuned into the radio or the television, exploring online or outdoors, Nova Scotians are bombarded with publicity campaigning against irresponsible drinking—publicity that our government had a hand in producing. The sale of cigarettes and the presence of casinos present equally obvious contradictions. Cigarette boxes display mounds of fleshy charcoal, that were lungs at one time, and diseased mouths, yet the cigarettes are sold to amount profits nonetheless. Casino Nova Scotia is responsible for the destruction of too many lives yet the government continues to promote gambling as an amusing and exciting pastime while also warning against gambling addictions. A man walks up to you, offering a bag of cancer. “Would you fancy a bag of cancer?” he asks. “You may get cancer from this bag of cancer,” he explains, “though I do encourage you to buy this bag of cancer. But do not dare blame me if you get cancer from my bag of cancer because I warned you. Twenty-two dollars, please.” You would have been unwise to buy that bag of cancer, but that man was not simply unwise—he was cruel. He is willing to sacrifice your health and, possibly, your life for $22 dollars. Our lives are worth more than a $20 bill and a toonie. I wonder if our government agrees.