Essays & Rants:
by Audrey Schwartz
Hi, Guys! I'm now a certified Stigma Stomper.
I was at a strip shopping center
getting some computer stuff and I saw a Color Tile next
door which had an advertising poster "Perello
Mania" promoting some Perello [sp] product. After I
made my computer purchase, I walked into the Color Tile
and asked to see the manager. An older employer emerged
from the back and said he wasn't the manager but could
her help me. He was wearing a bright green vest that had
"Perello Mania" on the front pocket area and a
big MANIA across the back.
I asked him if that statement
was to promote a product. He began to tell me about
whatever this wonderful stuff was and I cut him out. I
said, "How come you don't promote it as Perello
Alzheimer's Disease or Perello Diabetes?"
"Huh" he said.
"I have an illness called
manic-depression. I get that illness mania that you are
using as a humorous advertising slogan. Why don't you use
other illnesses such as Dementia, Alzheimer's,
Schzophrenia, Diabetes, or Cancer? These are all
biological illnesses, and it isn't funny to use them as
an advertising come-on.
"Yes, 'mania' means 'crazy'
to some folks, like ad executives," I continued.
"But it is not a bit funny to people who have this
illness. Millions of Americans suffer from mania and it
disrupts their lives and the lives of their families and
their careers. Mania and depression can be fatal illness
through suicide. And it is not a stigma. People like
Patty Duke, Art Buchwald, advisors to several Presidents,
have this illness."
I told him I was angry at him or
anything, but I that I was offended by that sign. I asked
him to please inform management that Perello Mania wasn't
politically correct....the M word.
As I left, several big burly
guys (one look like OJ) came out of the back room and
gathered around the customer service area where I was
leaving. They said, "Now be sure you tell the
management, Jim, about this offense." Yes, they
probably were laughing at the "crazy" person,
and yes they probably sent out the heavy guns to stop any
manic reactions, but I felt very good about it. I like
the word Offensive. I think I will use that and
discriminatory when I attempt Stigma Stomping again!!!
As an old advertising/marketing
person, I really don't get too upset when the words
"Madness" and "Crazy" are used for an
event. They are after all perfectly good words and
describe someone who is "doing odd things."
I've even used it myself, before I new better in another
life, for our mall's Moonlight Madness sale. So, I kind
of let that go by. Mania is demeaning the illness, and I
find that Offensive!
Yours in Stigma Stompin'
Modified December 11, 2002