Her beauty arrests the eye. Her serenity draws us in. She is a Peace Paramour. A hairdo fresh from the salon frames a face almost stoic in its perfection. Beside her, a sculpted plastic bottle. At first glance, the makings of a shampoo ad. “Reduce stress to keep you calm.” Aromatherapy. “Chamomile blended with L-theanine.” The synthesis of nature and science. Not quite. Neuro Bliss is lightly carbonated. And she has ostensibly imbibed the beverage.
Yet another “smart drink” hits the shelves, indicative of a culture that never seems to quench its thirst for quick fixes. Her expression shifts in context. A vacant stare from an underwater world now appears slightly medicated. Patterns of synchronized swimmers surround her, augmenting an image of insular tranquility with shapes that suggest molecular action. Bliss indeed—for individuals whose overexertion induces gullibility.
Do people who “Drink Smart” really believe that they can find “Happiness in every bottle?” Or has a plethora of advertising in a culture based on consumerism created a hyperbolic landscape where half-truths pass for facts? Our culture grows ever more bizarre. A carnival of images vies with common sense and presents fantasy as immediately obtainable reality. The intoxication doesn’t end with Neuro Bliss. There’s also Neuro Passion (replacing the former NeuroGasm) which claims to “increase drive to do what you love.” How about some Neuro Sun to “feel better so you can shine?” Or at the end of the day, a dose of Neuro Sleep?
Truth be told, these formulas are superfluous to active, healthy lifestyles. And despite the high-tech packaging, such beverages simply continue the dubious tradition of the elixir. The chemicals they contain may activate momentary responses, but they are hardly substitutes let alone procurers of genuine, usually earned states of body and mind. Note that the Neuro product line revolves around perceived deficiencies but is not presented as a mere supplement. Instead, the company sees itself as a solution provider. Older slogans mimicked Apple (“There’s a Neuro for that”) and went further still, proclaiming Neuro as “The Operating System for Life.”
Now Neuro takes a more cerebral approach (“Light it up”) which could also refer to a loosening of the synapses. That’s bliss, Neuro Bliss, beckoning us to be Peace Paramours, or, lovers of peace. But the word paramour has another meaning—adulterer, which introduces the question: Do we love peace or have we in fact betrayed it?