Thursday, November 01, 2007

America the Medicinal.

By the way, apropos of yesterday's item, if you really want to see Big Pharma in action—and also gain a much better sense of why the American cultural landscape represented the ideal medium in which a Pharmocracy could flourish—you might pick up a copy of my old pal and former editor Greg Critser's book, Generation Rx. It's an eye-opener.

Unless, that is, you're so medicated these days that your eyes just won't open anymore.


gregory said...

it's not just america, the faith in medicine thing is global; maybe not so neurotic as the great us of a, but equally compulsive

here in india, doctors blindly prescribe antibiotics, without ever doing a blood test, and if that one doesn't work, they prescribe another one.... sure medicine is cheap and prescriptions aren't necessary to buy from a chemist shop whatever one desire.... and the demand from village people for injections, they are the cure for everything, so it is hoped.... and the medicine is often just dirt in a capsule....

the medicine thing is even weirder than we think... everywhere.... even john le carre made it the subject of a recent book

your friend's book got reviewed here too, by the way, a few years ago

gregory said...

this might be an issue where the cause is physical, i.e. real, as opposed to derived from the self-help movement.. ooh, that could be a dig, sorry...

Now science is finding that our manhandling of light and time is making us sick.

Artificial illumination is fooling the body's biological clock into releasing key wakefulness hormones at the wrong times, contributing to seasonal fatigue and depression. And daylight saving time, extended by Congress this year for an extra four weeks, risks dragging even more Americans into a winter funk.

Much more than mental health is at stake. Women who work at night, out of sync with the light, have recently been shown to have higher rates of breast cancer -- so much so that an arm of the World Health Organization will announce in December that it is classifying shift work as a "probable carcinogen."

That will put the night shift in the same health-risk category as exposure to such toxic chemicals as trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

"Electric lights are wonderful, but as with a lot of other things, we really mess things up," said David Avery, a psychiatrist at the University of Washington School of Medicine who studies light's impact on health. "Our ancestors evolved in a very regular light-dark cycle, and our bodies just work better that way. But more and more, we are creating very irregular, erratic lighting cues."

so much to adjust when growing a modern culture