I don't think a TV ad is good evidence for a "dominant idea" in the U.S. or anywhere else. As for "the quantity of uppers consumed" - could we have some figures, please. Most ordinary people I meet are neither consumed by melancholy nor obsessed with pumping up their enthusiasm - nor consuming quantities of uppers. But then, I live in an ordinary neighborhood populated with ordinary people. Most writers and intellectuals hang with other writers and intellectuals and project their parochial outlook onto the rest of society. That explains why so much that is written is such a bummer...At least I think this is true of many of our 'elites' of today. It sure seems like it, at any rate. I would include many people in the news industry in this group, by the way.
For that matter, I think it's time for an encore for this commentary by John McWhorter. It's related. Sort of. Kinda. Maybe.
hat tip: Phil at Brandywine Books