Can a gesture be a meme?
In their 30 or 60 second narratives of woe and weal, a surprisingly large number of pharmaceutical companies’ TV commercials—Symbicort, Celebrex, and Xerelto come immediately to mind—feature men pointing off into the distance. These men, always in company, most often with their wives, clamber across rope bridges or stand on desert cliffs or immerse themselves in seaside surf or amble along a beach or take a winter stroll or unleash their dog for a dog park romp—and off they point. At what we do not know.
What we do know is that they are in charge, curating the gaze of others, gesturing at what should be regarded, defining what needs heeding, what counts as attention-worthy. And, of course that makes them attention-worthy. They were, pre-medication, maladied, uninspired and uninspiring; now, post-medication, they are reinvigorated, rejuvenated, inspirited, and blessed not just with the power of discernment, but also the power to compel discernment. Out goes that index finger, that pointer finger, that trigger finger. They are men in full, testosteroned, their y-chromosomes rave-party rioting.
Miracle drugs, indeed.