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March 21, 2007

Imaginary Ailments

It's a great time to be alive!

Back in the days of yore, good health was in short supply. There were plagues, pestilences, infestations. Half the available food was rotten, and drinking water was so tainted most people resorted to drinking hard cider instead. Actually that part wasn't so bad. Even so, most folk spent their lives suffering one dismal malady after another.

But not us. We are lucky enough to live in an age of advanced medical science. Modern medicine allows everyone to live rich and full lives. Well, everyone with access to doctors, decent health insurance and the good fortune NOT to be afflicted with a disease that Big Pharm hasn't cured yet. You know, because they're too busy figuring out how to give a 90 year old man a 4 hour erection.

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Modern medicine is so advanced, it can do more than just cure diseases... it can invent exciting NEW diseases. What, you thought diseases could only be fashioned by the hand of God? WRONG. Sure, God has unleashed some horrible scourges upon humanity (so He could "test our faith" or some such nonsense). But if you really want to cause suffering on a grand scale, leave it to good old human ingenuity. Weaponized Anthrax, AIDS, Pac-Man Fever... can't blame God for those! Plus, in addition to generating very real, very deadly illnesses, science has also learned to create very unreal -- but no less deadly -- IMAGINARY diseases.

All it takes is a little imagination, a big advertising budget and a complete disregard for medical ethics. Sounds like a job for our friends, the multinational drug conglomerates! Merck, Pfizer, Squibb: they've all discovered that it's much easier to develop a drug first, THEN concoct the fictitious disease the new drug can treat. Here are some of these not-actually-existant illnesses:

Restless Leg Syndrome: Like the old song goes, "I got rhythm, I got music... I got an uncontrollable urge to jerk my limbs around like a muppet with epilepsy!" You know, there was a time when I thought *I* suffered from this syndrome. I don't like sitting still for more than 5 minutes at a time, and my legs DO get restless. However, it turns out that being fidgety is NOT A MEDICAL CONDITION. Rather, it's proof that human beings weren't designed to sit at a fucking desk all day long. Attention RLS sufferers: you don't need a prescription. You need to get up off your ass and take a walk. Stretch the legs a little bit. Do the fucking Hokey Pokey and shake it all about if you need to, just don't pretend you've got a disease. You don't.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: You know how females are crazy? Not crazy in a cute or charming way, like Martin Lawrence's "You So Crazy". More of a Charles Manson/Jeffrey Dahmer crazy. Well, women often blame their lunacy on something called "PMS". You may have heard of it. Now, thanks to the drug companies, women everywhere can claim a new "disorder" -- one which authorizes them to jack up the crazy further than even PMS permitted! Introducing PMDD. It's like PMS, to the EXTREEM! Of course, the drug companies never invent a disease without a pill to treat it. In this case, it's a birth control pill called Yaz. No, not this Yaz. THIS Yaz:

I always wondered what women talk about when I'm not around. Apparently, they talk about potential birth control side effects. Fun.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Speaking of women, here's an interesting fact: Women like nothing better than to humiliate each other in social settings! Of course, they also enjoy emasculating men. And ladies, did you know that when you walk into a room, men stare at you, critiquing your physique and your choice of shoes? It's true. The term Social Anxiety Disorder was invented by the drug companies to convince YOU that crippling social anxiety is some kind of psychological malfunction. It isn't. You SHOULD be nervous around other people, because other people think you're ugly and worthless. And no medication can change that.

Alcoholism: What idiot decided that excessive drinking was a disease? I always thought it was more of a charming character quirk. There isn't even a PILL that treats this condition, so what's the point of pretending it's a medical issue? If you want to make a disease out of something, why not get the medical community cracking on a cure for hangovers! A REAL hangover cure, none of this raw egg, worcester sauce nonsense. Bottom line, I'm tired of people telling me that alcoholism is a disease. Like I said at my last intervention: "I don't have a problem. YOU'RE THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM."

Posted by Joey at March 21, 2007 08:45 AM

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