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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You’re Feeling Sleepy…

posted by on February 27 at 14:05 PM

Anyone else notice the ad in The New Yorker last week for The Moth, the literary/storytelling series? The Moth is emceed by the novelist Jonathan Ames and travels all around the country and, when it came to Town Hall Seattle a while back, featured such notables as Dan Savage telling a story about his one-eyed dog.

There’s a picture of Ames and Mike Daisey and some others on the first page of the ad, and below their pictures it says some fancy-sounding stuff about the series. (“For a decade now, the skillful and eloquent storytellers of The Moth, a not-for-profit arts organization, have enthralled urban audiences in live performances that recall unforgettable moments..”) And then, below that, it reads: “Sponsored by Lunesta.”

In other words, the reading series is sponsored by something that puts you to sleep. Hilarious. Turn the page and there’s an excerpt from a story by Joe Lockhart, Clinton’s old press secretary, that… well, sort of a snooze. Then there’s a page third page—how long is this ad? are you asleep yet?—that depicts a lady resting her head on a pillow and a butterfly landing on her face, and below this, the words: “Peaceful, gentle sleep. Isn’t that what you long for? That’s what Lunesta is all about: helping most people fall asleep quickly…” Again, hilarious.

And then, on the fourth—fourth!—page, there are three columns of small text warning you all about Lunesta’s crazy side effects. Such as:

Sleep medicines may cause a special type of memory loss or “amnesia.” When this occurs, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine… Memory loss can be a problem… when sleep medicines are taken while traveling, such as during an airplane flight and the person wakes up before the effect of the medicine is gone. This has been called “travelers amnesia”…

The warnings go on to say that you may experience “confusion,” “strange behavior,” “hallucinations,” and “suicidal thoughts.” (Hey, that’s usually what I experience at readings!) According to this article, Lunesta is in the same class as Ambien, the drug that people take only to find out later that they, you know, walked out of their house naked in the middle of the night and peed in the street, or ate their weight in mayonnaise, or strangled their favorite cat. “The possible role of Ambien was investigated in connection with well-chronicled transportation disasters in 2003—the crash of the Staten Island Ferry, which killed 11 passengers, and an accident involving a Texas church bus in Tallulah, La., which killed 8 passengers…”

Anyway, it’s odd, right? Lunesta’s sponsorship of a traveling literary show? Don’t the literary arts have enough to worry about? Are auditoriums packed with psychotic amnesiacs really what we need?

RSS icon Comments


It doesn't rob memory, it just borrows it and forgets to tell you where it put it.

Great for bank robbers.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 27, 2007 2:17 PM

I want to get Lunesta to sponsor my band The Luna Moth - not only is that our name, but our songs tend to the long and drony and possibly sleep- (or hallucination-) inducing. Given their tendency for long ads, maybe they could make a 10 minute TV ad using one of our songs. that would be awesome!

Posted by Levislade | February 27, 2007 2:55 PM

I have no clue who Jonathan Ames is, or what poetry is really like, but those emails are the most poetic thing I've ever read.

Posted by jamier | February 27, 2007 6:07 PM

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