Monday, August 20, 2007

Junkies on Junk

The average person in the United States watches 28 hours of television per week. That is FOUR hours EVERY day. I wonder if that has anything to do with why the United States ranks 18th in mathematical literacy.

I assert it's good we rank rather low on the per capita Jehovah’s Witness list. I was not aware that such a ranking existed and will not attempt to interpret the semantics. I await the ranking of nations on per capita miniature chihuahuas to launch my analytical acumen.

So what are we watching for four solid hours every day? Ranked by number of viewers:

1. America’s Got Talent (10.8 million) stupidity
2. 60 Minutes (10.2 million) crime
3. CSI (9.8 million) crime
4. Without a Trace (9.2 million) crime
5. Singing Bee (9.1 million) stupidity
6. Two and a Half Men (9.0 million) stupidity
7. Hell’s Kitchen (8.9 million) stupidity
8. Criminal Minds (8.7 million) crime
9. CSI NY (8.5 million) crime
10. Dateline NBC (7.9 million) crime and stupidity combined

But wait, the shows all feature 15 to 20 percent of their content with advertisements that are selling what? Pharmaceutical companies have increased marketing expenditures from $11 billion (yes, billion) in 1997 to over $30 billion last year.

I like the ad that shows people having eaten greasy, horrible food, but not to worry, that’s what Tums are for, so go ahead, eat whatever you want. Pepcid, a pill that starts working ahead of time, allows one to plan to eat horrible food. Horrible food over time might damage your esophagus, a serious medical condition, so perhaps you need the purple pill, which has been shown to heal wounded esophagi.

And here’s to men! That is, men who don’t like to pee too often. There’s also a pill for women who pee too much, but that’s not due to an enlarged prostrate, so they take a different pill. Then, of course, even though one is eating correctly, because of Uncle Earnie, one’s cholesterol might be too high and require a daily statin. Better check that blood pressure.

Prescription Drug expenditures:
1990: $40 billion
1995: $61 billion
2001: $141 billion
2005: $207 billion

In other words, in 2006 the industry spent almost as much marketing drugs as the entire country spent on drugs in 1990. Now, men who have high cholesterol and blood pressure may also have other issues, but not to be alarmed, Cialis gives a guy 36 hours to woo his mate in case the kids interrupt a romantic escalation. If afterwards one finds it difficult to fall asleep, see your doctor to determine if Ambien is right for you. Dreams missing you? Try Rozerum and boost receptivity to melatonin. Do not take Rozerum with melatonin unless you know what it means.

While we eat garbage and park our fat butts in front of the tube, some of us might notice that our legs start to itch. See your doctor to determine if you have "restless leg syndrome." Yeah, we have a pill for that. My suggestion would be to put on some running shoes and jog that fat butt ten or twelve miles. I can promise that after heaving that massive arse all over town, one’s legs won’t be restless.

The most prescribed medications, even more than the statins, which almost everyone takes, are anti-depressants. We’re all depressed. How can you not be depressed if all you do is eat garbage, have heartburn, can’t have sex or sleep, pee too much, and park your butt to watch hours of crime and stupidity while you scratch your itchy legs?

At least we’ve outlawed marijuana and resolved that dangerous substance abuse issue.

At least none of us are so completely drugged up and out of it that while text messaging we walk in front of an oncoming train. Oh, wait.


Anonymous the doctor said...

Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!


You missed your calling as a comedian, x4mr. The part about the "massive arse all over town"

Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!
Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!

and the "Jehovah's witness index"

Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!
Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!

I don't know how you find this stuff.

A guy stepping in front of a train while text messaging

Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!
Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah! Hah!

Oh god. Now my wife has entered the room. She has that "You're reading that blog again aren't you?" look.

8/20/2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Eli Blake said...

What's more, if you grow your own medicine, it's a federal felony.

8/20/2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Pure gold. You should try selling this entry to Salon or something. Seriously.

8/21/2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous The Navigator said...

Rozerem and melatonin?

How much of each?

8/21/2007 6:32 PM  
Anonymous dustin said...

I've always wondered why there are drug ads on my TV. Wouldn't my doctor know what is best to prescribe? Such ads are predatory, sucking in the munchausens (probably spelled wrong)/hypochondriacs out there. Sadly, for me TV is the only place I can go. Having a baby rules out any activity that requires serious concentration. I miss reading. Much of TV's content is fairly banal, but there are also some worthwhile shows.

8/22/2007 10:17 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

The advertising of prescription drugs is pathological and illegal in every country on the planet except for the United States and New Zealand, and New Zealand is considering a ban as we speak.

I don't know history, but I smell Reagan. It also used to be the case the attorneys and medical care providers of any kind could not advertise. Faith in the market in such areas is insane.

Don't expect change. The corruption has probably passed the tipping point. Corporate boards may not elect Congress, but they can certainly alter the odds that give them what they want overall.

We have returned to the days of the late 1800's when Robber Barons ruled. Who knows how long it will last?

8/24/2007 3:25 PM  

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