Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Man beats lover to death
when she disparages
the size of his penis.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think that American culture has become in my lifetime more and more crude, vulgar, and disgusting, especially with respect to television and movies, but probably also with the printed word as well. I don’t think of myself as particularly prudish or squeamish but perhaps I am overly so. I confess I do not like what I see on television these days, when it comes to advertising, that is. For example, I do not want to hear about people’s hemorrhoids, nor do I want to hear about their gooey, sticky, oozy dental adhesives or look into their mouths at their teeth, healthy or rotten. I also don’t enjoy watching people gargle, brush their teeth, or blow their noses. If people have trouble with pimples and acne I wish they would keep it between themselves and their doctors. If there are new discoveries in the way of tampons or maxi-pads or whatever, I do not want to hear about it. Intestinal, digestive, and colon problems I believe should be private matters, and certainly do not warrant illustrations on the television screen. Bowel movements hold absolutely no fascination for me. Corns, bunions, flat feet and rising arches are minor matters that are better left unsaid, along with athlete’s foot, and the whitening of teeth. Particularly disgusting are ads for catheters, piles, and colonoscopies, to say nothing of enemas and colon cleansings in general. Above all, men with erectile dysfunctions should certainly keep it between themselves and their doctors, and if they have organs they believe are not large enough they should keep it a secret. I think it is truly wonderful there are treatments for these disorders, but I don’t see why they should be inflicted on the general public on a daily basis. Whatever happened to the old fashioned custom of consulting your doctor when you have an ailment or problem? It seems that nowadays you are supposed to ask the doctor if you have any of these problems just in case either you or he/she missed them.

The problem of advertising has also insidiously invaded the pharmaceutical industry, thus explaining the obscenely inflated cost of the drugs we are constantly urged to ask our doctor about and preferably consume. Here again, drugs are being advertised for just about everything that exists and, I suspect, for things the pharmaceuticals just invented so they could produce yet another drug. Unfortunately, if you do ask your doctor about one or more of these drugs, you will probably get information from the pharmaceutical industry rather than your doctor, because that is where the doctor gets his information. There may be some doctors who carefully review all these claims from pharmaceuticals and try to honestly prescribe something that might work, but all too often they merely prescribe what the pharmaceuticals tell them is the latest thing. And the latest thing is probably not entirely proven effective and may, in fact, have really deleterious effects. As you are no doubt aware this happens with some frequency as apparently drugs can be put on the market before they have been adequately tested, and even if they were tested they were probably tested by the same company that manufactured them. Public health is not as important as profits. It is not only prescription drugs that are a problem, even over-the-counter drugs are often little more than placebos or outright scams. Unless you have a really conscientious doctor or pharmacist you often have no idea what you are taking and if it should be taken with anything else or not. Over-the-counter drugs and the burgeoning Health Food industry will provide you with pills for most anything. Sometimes these work and sometimes they don’t. Frankly, I’m surprised that no one as yet as devised a pill they claim will prevent mothers-in-law from visiting. There is a real problem nowadays with pain pills in particular because doctors are not completely at liberty to prescribe them as they might wish. I know of cases where doctors admitted a patient needed stronger doses than they prescribed but were afraid to prescribe them because they are monitored so carefully (it just doesn’t do to think someone might actually get high on something). This is precisely why the drug policies should be left to the medical profession rather than the politicians, and our ridiculous “war on drugs” should be abandoned.

Yes, Rachel Maddow has exposed Republicans as the most obvious and obnoxious of hypocrites. And yes, Dick Cheney is a war criminal. And yes, nuclear plants are not a solution to our energy needs, Iran is not making a nuclear bomb, Israel is the single biggest problem to peace in the Middle East, and we should certainly have a public option. It is my impression that no one really cares very much about any of these things. I do hope I am wrong.

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.
George Orwell

The short-tailed weasel is sometimes called ermine when its fur is white and stoat when it is brown.

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