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March 27, 2007

When Having Everything Just Isn’t Enough

Havidol Picking up on something Faith mentioned earlier:

Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder, or DSACDAD, is sweeping across America. Did you know over 50% of people over age 18 may be suffering from some form of DSACDAD? And DSACDAD is a progressive condition that may get worse over time. The good news is there's now a solution. HavidolMild side effects include: impulsivity induced consumption, inter-species communication and terminal smile.

Yeah right.

It seems congratulations are in order for Australian artist Justine Cooper, who took her frustration with big pharmaceutical companies that market ad nauseum drugs for non-deadly conditions, and turned that frustration into a witty example of artistic satire. That's right, Ms. Cooper designed both the disease, DSACDAD, and its cure, Havidol. Say it aloud and you'll catch the meaning in her tag line, "When more is not enough."

The website and the gallery exhibit, which just closed, are catching a little bit of heat. They offer a two-pronged critique of culture. One part is the critique of society's constant pressure, as an article in The Scientist describes: "our sense of never being good enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, or successful enough." And of course, there's the critique of the pharmaceutical companies who are marketing such drugs, with the net effect that  "everyday life is pathologized and then can be medicalized." 

Hats off to Ms. Cooper, who used her creativity to provide a provocative critique of an aspect of modern culture that many of us have just come to accept as normal.

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