Carrie McLaren founded Stay Free!, an online magazine, as a compendium and critique of consumer culture. It also became the source for the book Ad Nauseam, edited by McLaren and Jason Torchinsky, a collection of essays that includes quizzes on the wacky, the weird and the downright scary to be found in our consumer culture.
Here are some sample questions.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor
1. Early in the 20th century, when Bayer owned the trademark to Heroin, the drug was promoted for relief of which of the following?
b. Respiratory ailments
2. Which of the following practices are regularly used in police investigations but primarily for public relations — i.e., because citizens educated by cop shows expect it?
a. Dust for fingerprints
b. Show the victim mug shots
c. Show the victim lineups of potential culprits
d. All of the above
3. According to Western International Media's "Nag Factor" report, which type of parents are most common?
a. Indulgers, who give their kids everything they want
b. Kids' Pals, who want to have fun like their offspring
c. Conflicted, who buy out of guilt and contain a high proportion of single or divorced parents
d. Bare Necessities, who have the highest median household income, yet are least likely to give in to kids' pleas
4. Which of the following sales points have NOT appeared in ads for Navegar TEC-9 and other assault weapons?
a. "Excellent resistance to fingerprints"
b. Silencers are easy to attach
c. An image featuring the smoking target of a human being shot dozens of times in the heart and head
d. Slogans including "Only your imagination limits your fun" and "As tough as your toughest customer."
e. None of the above
5. In 2003, employees at Wal-Mart and McDonald's with limited-benefit health insurance paid how much annually for a maximum of $1,000 coverage per year?
a. At least $100
b. at least $275
c. At least $400
d. At least $500
6. True or false: In 2005, Toyota opted to build a new plant in Canada instead of the United States because American workers are too uneducated and illiterate.
Answers: 1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. e; 5. d; 6. True