Thursday, February 12, 2009

Better Living Through Chemistry?

It came to me tonight, as I was watching the CBS, NBC, & ABC evening newscasts. Call it an epiphany. It is subtle in nature and it grows. It festers and it swirls around the collective psyche of a nation. Others visit here, are exposed and become carriers. They spread this vile and nightmarish contaminant upon return to their homelands. I am referring to the pharmaceutical companies, their commercials and the ultimate pursuit of world domination.

They have taken over the television networks. I mention the nightly newscasts, because they have allocated almost all of the available advertisement time to them. Like you, perhaps, I wouldn't have noticed this because of the way the commercials are constructed. They lull you into a dreamlike state with their filtered lenses and movie like production. When you awaken, the last few utterances of the warning concludes " medical assistance immediately". You've been exposed to a triple dose of the tiny purple people eaters. Your subconscious has endured three full length advertisements.

It used to be called subliminal seduction in advertising. Books have been written about it. The topic was all the rage in the late seventies. Then in the dawn of the Reagan era, it disappeared. Health topics in general faded and were replaced with the only topic allowed, Money. But the new methods are just as effective. It's quite logical. The fact of the matter is, the evening news is so utterly negative and disgusting, that when the commercials come, the viewer responds overwhelmingly to any offer of comfort.

By the end of the newscast, you have been programmed to consult your doctor. Not the one who used to come into the office smiling and carrying a stethoscope. They no longer exist. They've been replaced by prescription pad toting clones. You get seven minutes of their time, but only after you've navigated past the throng of pharmaceutical reps pacing around in black fuck-me pumps with their rolling luggage carts. The sight is enough to bring a tear to the eye of a schoolyard dope peddler.

Like some twisted horror film where the protagonist wises up just before his demise, I noticed. Everything became clear. I would hone and trust my instincts. Balance would return. It was time to get up and make some noise. Then, my tongue swelled, throat closed and I couldn't regain my breath. I started to panic, but then I remembered. These were only side effects. And while possible, rarely does death occur.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting take on the medical/pharmaceutical industry and a very American one. In the Uk at least, not sure about the rest of Europe, Pharmaceurtical advertising, beyond that for over the counter painkillers of cold cures really doesnt exist.

    We still suffer from the same Big Pharma lobbying syndrome though. Companies using patient support groups to push their newest products, lobbying government agencies to approve their latest creation and then charging the "Customer" being it the insurance companies, private individuals or public health bodies through the nose for them.

    To paraphrase Dr Cox "Your drug is just so damn you good went ahead and put a 600% markup on it."