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ENDORPHIN BRANDING….Via Andrew Sullivan, Newsweek’s Andrew Romano passes along a PR spiel for an innovative new way of selling your candidate to the public:

Endorphin branding is the use of scent as a means of imprinting a highly emotional, positive experience in tandem with a targeted signature scent, which can be reintroduced at a later time to trigger and recreate the desired response. This strategy should be implemented at political events, which are positively charged environments ripe for this type of scent branding.

By coincidence, a few days ago an editor asked me which science fiction book I’d suggest people read before the election. I recommended Fred Pohl’s The Merchant Wars. It probably seemed an odd choice, but here’s an excerpt:

New York, New York!….I saw a miraculously clear stretch of sidewalk….I walked past — and WOWP a blast of sound shook my skull and FLOOP a great supernova flare of light burned my eyes, and I went staggering and reeling as tiny, tiny elf voices shouted like needles in my ear Mokie-Koke, Mokie-Koke, MokieMokieMokie-Koke!

….”I warned ya,” yelled the little old man from a safe distance….He was still waving the signpost, so I staggered closer and blearily managed to deciper the legend under the graffiti:

Warning!
COMMERCIAL ZONE
Enter at Own Risk

….”What’s a ‘Mokie-Coke’?” I asked…..There was a vending machine, just like all the other Mokie-Koke machines I’d been seeing all along, on the Moon, in the spaceport, along the city streets. “Don’t fool with the singles” he advised anxiously. “Go for the six-pack, okay?”….Poor old guy! I felt so sorry for him that I split the six-pack as we headed for the address the Agency had given me. Three shots apiece. He thanked me with tears in his eyes but, all the same, out of the second six-pack I only gave him one.

….”Dr. Mosskristal will review your medical problem for you.” And the tone said bad news….”What you have,” she explained, “is a Campbellian reflex. Named after Dr. H.J. Campbell. Famous pioneering psychologist in the old days, inventor of limbic-pleasure therapy.”….”Let’s just say that you’ve had your limbic areas stimulated; under the influence of that great upwelling of pleasure you’ve become conditioned to associate Mokie-Koke with joy, and there’s nothing to be done about it.”

Doesn’t seem quite so much like science fiction after reading about endorphin branding, does it?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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