So there I was yesterday, sipping on a JD and Coke, reading this blog about a guy who bought a costume outfit from a toy shop for his 3-year old daughter, and only later noticed the tiny warning label “CONTAINS LEAD. MAY BE HARMFUL IF EATEN OR CHEWED…” As I finished reading, I glanced over towards the near-full, square bottle containing my evening’s liquid pleasure on the table besides me, and noticed the label “ALCOHOL REDUCES DRIVING ABILITY. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE”
Still in a lucid state, I immediately thought how stupid that warning label was. I simply could not imagine anyone drinking that heavenly liquid saying “OK, I’m going to make a point of not driving after drinking this.” No, those who don’t actually drive after consuming the alcohol, do so simply because they’re shit scared of being caught by the police while under the influence, or are amazingly decent human beings who have made alternative transport arrangements or had no intention of driving at all. I just don’t buy the idea that the warning label influences behaviour in any way.
Take the typical warning label on packs of cigarettes: SMOKING CAUSES LUNG CANCER. I just can’t imagine smokers reading this warning and then bursting out “Oh shit! I’m quitting right now!” Off course, some people may be influenced by the label to eventually quit, but I doubt anyone does it right away. People quit to make lifestyle changes or simply because it becomes too expensive. Personally, I quit not because of the health warnings, but because I had reduced the amount of stress I was experiencing by making a few changes in my life, the chief of which was losing my religion. Anyway, the same government authorities who push for compulsory warning labels, are the same shits who reap a huge tax income from the sale of tobacco products. The savings I now make by not buying cigarettes are ploughed back into the pleasure system, through the purchase of premium alcohol products; inter alia, Johnny Red & Captain Morgan will simply not do.
To really demonstrate the absurdity of warning labels, why don’t we have them on knives for instance. You don’t see “DO NOT TAKE TO SCHOOL, STABBING IS NOT PART OF THE CURRICULUM, JUST YET.” None of our mini-bus taxis are required by law to carry the warning “RIDE AT YOUR PERIL. DEATH AND DESTRUCTION USUALLY FOLLOWS.” And yet, if anything requires a warning label, it should be mini-bus taxis; in fact the label should adorn the entire, invariably un-roadworthy vehicle. And why don’t sub-humans like our politicians come with warning labels such as “VOTE NOW FOR GUARANTEED BROKEN PROMISES.”
Coming back to the case of the kid’s costume outfit which contained lead: this amply demonstrates that warning labels make no sense. The label allows unscrupulous manufacturers to literally get away with murder. They cover their arses by sticking warning labels on shit that should not be sold in the first instance. Warning labels just allow crooked lawyers to ply their trade with ease and also provide government authorities a false air of practicing social responsibility.
Common sense should be a compulsory subject at school. Maybe then we won’t have to put warning labels on stuff.