Tag Archives: television

Need to be Cured of Drug Commercials

Leg won’t stop shaking? Here, swallow this pill. Eyelashes not long or thick enough? Here, take a swig of this. Scared to meet new people? No problem, we can fix that. Sex life not quite what it used to be? Believe me, we’ve got you covered.

It seems there is a drug for every possible malady nowadays. There are so many things called “sicknesses,” “disorders,” or “diseases” now that I never even knew existed, and somewhere on the market, there is a drug to cure each and every one of them.

Until I found out what RLS meant, I was wondering why they were drugging the Mormons. Now, thanks to Requip of course, we all know that RLS is an acronym for “Restless Leg Syndrome.” Who knew there was such a thing? I always thought if someone’s leg was shaking, they had to go to the bathroom (of course, there are plenty of drugs to help dampen those urges, too).

I was so shocked the other day to see an advertisement on television for a drug called “Latisse” that actually claims to make eyelashes thicker. I guess this is for the women who do not have the time for mascara. Of course, it comes with a warning about how it might irritate your eyes. It does not seem like it would be worth it to me. Big eyelashes, but red, irritated, watery eyes. What a strange trade.

The social anxiety commercial always makes me laugh. I believe it is for a drug called “Clarocet.” The actor in the advertisement is so happy to be out at a party, finally able to mingle with people again. The funny part is when the side effects are listed. It is totally hilarious.

“May cause diarrhea, incontinence, bladder-control problems, sudden mood swings and/or impotence.” Wow, that is totally amazing. Whoever takes that drug is going to be the life of the party.

They will want to mix and mingle. All their fear of social interaction will be gone. The only problem is going to arise when they wet themselves while going bipolar on the other party guests. Yeah, they will be going out again real soon after that. Seems like they should have just embraced their anxiety.

The whole impotence thing leads us up to my last complaint. What is it with all these Viagra and Cialis commercials? I was watching the American League Championship Series the other night and it seemed like every other commercial was for these two pills. What in the heck is going on? Can’t this go back to being a private matter?

I am so tired of seeing those people in the tub. I wish they would just be clean already. Does Cialis really just make you want to take a really long bath outside while the sun sets? Perhaps these men do not need the drug at all. It is the inordinate amount of time they spend in the bathtub that is causing the problem.

It is time to return to the better days of the past, when I could turn on the T.V. and not be confronted with all these advertisements for drugs. We all need medicine some time. We know where to get it, and our doctor or pharmacist can help us figure out what to get. We do not need the T.V. to tell us.

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The Omnipresent President: T.V. Star or President?

It seems I cannot turn my television on nowadays without the President interrupting my delightful escapist programming with his mind-boggling version of reality and what is best for the country. I cannot even escape him when I go to school.

This guy is everywhere, talking about every thing and yet nothing is getting done. He came on like the second coming itself (and does actually believe he is our “savior,” albeit not a “Christian” one, God forbid), yet he has nothing to show for it.

Maybe, if he would get off my television for a bit, he could get some things accomplished. On second thought, maybe television is right where he should be to keep us all safe from his plans. I can change the channel much easier than I can find $900 billion.

Tonight he was on television again telling us what a great health-care reform plan he has. His plan will not only drive our country further down the path to bankruptcy, but it will allow employers an easy out of paying for their workers’ insurance.

All the stress from our country being in debt, higher taxes, trying to figure out how to participate in the “public” option because our employer dropped our nice, “private” one, is going to kill us all. It will not matter if we have health insurance or not.

We will be dead just from thinking about it. Dead or broke. We will be starving to death, but finally we will all have health insurance, dang it! Ridiculous. This is a crazy joke.

If I am an employer, and suddenly this “public” option is available, why would I continue to pay for my workers’ insurance? I would not. In his effort to insure those who are not currently insured, Obama is going to take away the insurance millions of people have now. The old switcheroo…hope you are paying attention.

Earlier this week, I had to watch him yet again, but this time it was right in the middle of my school day. He did not say any thing new. He did not say any thing controversial. He actually just said what we, as teachers, already say every day. Yet, he somehow believes he just thought of it.

I have to give him credit, though. I have to say he is one shrewd politician. What better way to ensure your reelection in four years?

His main strength was among younger voters. Who better to appeal to then current 14- to 18-year-olds, the very demographic that will be voting for the first time in the next election? This is a brilliant strategy to ensure the young will vote for him. He is indoctrinating them into the cult of Obama.

Good job, Obama. Way to continue to sell yourself; way to continue jamming up the air waves with your omnipresent smirk; way to continue making me find the darn remote. But, I have to say I am sorry, because a long time ago I swore I would not join a cult.

Discovery Channel Spreads Shark Fear

"Chaplin" Swims By, Showing Off. Shark Diving was One of the Greatest Experiences of My Life. Photo by VP

"Chaplin" Swims By, Showing Off. Shark Diving was One of the Greatest Experiences of My Life. Photo by VP

I was shocked and dismayed the other day when I saw the new commercials promoting Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Once again, the television network is misrepresenting this magnificent creature in the name of ratings.

The first short spot did not grab my attention or bother me too much. It showed a guy floating on his back in the ocean with his big belly protruding into the sky. After about nine seconds, he was taken under and the picture switched to a frame that said Shark Week premieres Aug. 2.
 
It is the second clip that infuriated me. You see the hands of a guy removing a lens cap from a camera, as many amateurs do while the film is running. He then says something like “Hey Biv,” to this girl who is in the water, hanging on to the edge of the boat. In a cheerful voice, she says, “Hi. Hello Mom, hello Dad, hello kids at home.” As soon as she gets out that final word, she is violently yanked back into the water and taken under. The screen switches to an underwater view with the words Shark Week oozing blood.
 
Promoting the special Shark Week programming this way shows a complete disregard for the facts by the Discovery Channel. They say the series is meant to help with conservation efforts of sharks, and yet, all the commercials and promotional materials spread illogical and unfounded fear. Who exactly is going to want to save a shark after watching them attack people all week? If people claim to know about sharks based on the misinformation presented by the Discovery Channel, they know nothing.
 
When people seek out the facts for themselves, instead of relying on a network desperate for viewers, the problem of shark attacks proves not so chilling. In a review of the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) as presented on the Ichthyology site of the Florida Museum of Natural History, it is discovered that there were 118 alleged incidents of “shark-human interaction” in all of 2008 worldwide.
 
“Upon review, 59 of these incidents represented confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans,” the ISAF said (1). “Overall, the 1990’s had the highest attack total of any decade and the first decade of the 21st century will exceed that total. The growth in shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the rate of shark attack, rather it most likely is reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between the two affected parties.”
 
Out of the millions of people participating in recreational activities in the ocean, the number of unprovoked attack is very low — 59 in 2008 and 71 in 2007. While there is great trauma involved if one is attacked, the odds of being attacked are astronomical.
 
According to a quiz on the MSN Encarta encyclopedia site, the odds of being attacked by a shark are roughly one in 8 million (2). You have a better chance of dying from the following: Falling down the stairs — 1 in 200,000; adverse reaction to the sting of a bee, wasp or hornet — 1 in 5.9 million; or drowning in your bathtub — 1 in 800,000. Where are the shows about these dangers? Where are the dramatic promotional spots of people being chased by bees, dropping their towels to step into the tub or carrying laundry down the steps? We don’t sell fear of these things, so why sell fear when it comes to sharks?
 
In 2000 (actually the highest year on record for shark attacks with 79, according to the ISAF), my best friend Clay Morgan and I went scuba diving with sharks off Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas. It was hands-down one of the greatest experiences of my life. I will never forget it.
 
Yes, it was scary. When Clay first told me he was going to do it, I thought he was completely insane. Then, he told me he was going to do it by himself. Overcoming my natural fear, I said, “No, you’re not. I’m going with you. That is, if you want me to.”
 
Before we went, I purposely watched the movie, “Deep Blue Sea,” figuring that would be about the worst it could get. Surprisingly, it did serve to calm my nerves, somehow inoculating me to the fear.
 
Once we there, cruising out to the dive spot, I asked the boat’s captain if he had ever had a customer bitten by a shark. He said no, but he had heard some stories from other captains. In the stories he heard, however, the humans had always done something stupid and provoked the shark, such as the guy who grabbed the shark’s tail so it would turn around for a picture.
 
Well, of course the shark bit that fool. A dog bites you, too, when you suddenly grab its tail. Most people I know would attack you if you unexpectedly grabbed their derriere. This is not an uncommon reaction by most animals to such an act.
 
As we stood at the aft of the boat, preparing to jump into the crystal clear water, fear and adrenaline surged in my body. I could see the cold, dark shadows of dozens of sharks swimming below me. I began to have second thoughts. Just then, Clay jumped. I shrugged my shoulders, thought what the heck and jumped in after him (the captain told me later that he was about to push me in because I was taking too long!).
 
Once we were down with the sharks — grey reefs and blacktips — my fear disappeared as I was mesmerized by the sight of these awesome creatures gliding through the water around me. There is just no way for me to completely explain my emotions as the sharks surrounded me. My only suggestion is for all of you to do it someday for yourselves.
 
I nicknamed the one in the photograph above “Chaplin,” because he was a ham, coasting slowly towards me and rotating his body as he cruised by me, showing me what a great swimmer he was, even upside down. It was just a completely surreal and ethereal experience for me.
 
That is what I remember about my experience with sharks — I remember how dreamlike the experience was, how heavenly. I do not remember the fear.
 
Don’t buy into the garbage the Discovery Channel throws at you to get you to watch. Just go shark diving for yourself to discover the truth about these incredible animals.
 
My only suggestions are that you stay on the first floor (thus avoiding those deadly steps) and you go unwashed (no need for those scary baths!). If you follow those two simple suggestions when you take your shark-diving trip, I can almost guarantee you will be all right.
 
 
 
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to share your comments below!