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The legacy continues.

Us and them! And who are they? Not us! The only thing we know for sure is that when we hear that "they" said something ... anything, "we" (should) know that it's our opponents' opinion. I believe that this thought is one I've pondered in depth since The Dark Side of the Moon came out on vinyl, or was that 8-track?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

From "It's not nice to fool mother nature" to "the other white meat," advertising teams, including scientific studies with ulterior motives, leave us, the consumers, with ambiguous outcomes/understandings. That is until we're told what the study or the advertisement means. Then oft' times we are had before we even knew we were being taken. Our thought process is ever so slyly veered from the truth, based on our personal experience/value system, to one with a new but foreign foundation and too often malcontent. We all remember the false statement made by the M & Ms advertisement claiming, "They melt in your mouth, not in your hands." That was my first experience of being hoodwinked. As a young child, I remember feeling violated. It was an obvious lie, because on more than one occasion I had innocently poured M & Ms into my mouth via my hand, in a two step process of consumption, only to find stains of color remaining. I never have liked to be lied to. Not even just a little. Unfortunately, as long there is the distinction between us and them there will always be the simple law of the "dog-eat-dog" jungle that states, "Figures don't lie, but, then again, liars figure!"

The "It's not nice to fool mother nature!" margarine commercial was a classic in human mental manipulation. In this advertisement a lady stands up with outstretched hands, lightning flashing from her finger tips, proclaiming the potential disaster resulting from monkeying around with creation. The con occurs when we are sold on an unnatural butter substitute. We were convinced by that ad because we are a proud lot. It's something else when we can get one over on mother nature.

We've all noticed the pharmaceutical industry coming out full force with prescription drug advertisements. The commercials are done in such a way to make it sound glamorous to have even one of the side effects described. I guess this is a take back to the days when everyone wanted to know what they had so they could talk/brag about it at bridge. Propecia will treat baldness, but there are possible side effects of sexual dysfunction. Viagra can treat some forms of sexual dysfunction but has a potential side effect of thinning hair. Have you noticed all of the different medications that can't be taken with liver or kidney disease? And how many of these necessitate periodic laboratory liver serological screens? I've never noticed any medications for increased liver or kidney function, but if there were it's a given that they would be encumbered with severe side effects. The example that comes to mind is Fosamax as a treatment for osteoporosis.

Cholesterol is a big buzz word. Everyone wants their cholesterol below the magic 200 level or a statin drug must be sold. There was a printed advertisement for Crestor that blatantly stated that our liver makes as much cholesterol as we need, but (just so we can continue to routinely avoid exercise and make bad dietary decisions) due to today's hectic schedules, this medication can help to curtail the liver's normal function. Hello! Has anyone heard of rhabdomyolosis, a muscle wasting disease caused from crushing injuries, rare severe myolytic degenerative diseases, and a side effect of statin drugs? Cholesterol hysteria is a bill of goods that the public can understand. The attempt to side step the natural process of recuperation (i.e., normal metabolism--the cycle of anabolic and catabolic physical/chemical reactions) always makes rich fathers and poor sons.

Emergency bypass surgeries, having never to my knowledge been proven to add years of longevity to anyone's life, are performed as prophylactic elective surgeries. Look at the years that elective coronary bypass surgeries have added to the lives of talk show host David Letterman and former President Bill Clinton. Come to think of it, I guess emergency bypass surgery does add years to your life by making you appear to be a lot older than what you were before.

Three groups of (deemed to be) healthy earth worms were subjected to three different environments. Group one was placed in alcohol (90-proof bourbon whiskey). Group two was placed in a cubical filled with exhaled cigarette smoke (full-flavor Camel filtered brand). Group three was placed in dirt; decayed sawdust and peat moss 2:1 mixture. The results of the study: earthworms in group one and two died within the first hour of exposure to their aforementioned elements, whereas group three apparently flourished. Conclusion: 90-proof bourbon whiskey consumption or full-flavored Camel filter brand cigarette smoking will prevent earth worm infestation. Obviously, this conclusion is erroneous at best, but how many cigarettes or whisky jugs were sold to an unaware/oblivious public using a flawed study. It's not nice to fool mother nature.

by A. Jay Kessinger IV, DC ND
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Author:Kessinger, A. Jay, IV
Publication:Original Internist
Date:Dec 22, 2005
Words:862
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