The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check: Kill all
LUNACY OR MEDICAL TYRANNY?
"The first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers."
- William Shakespeare
King Henry VI, Part II, (Act IV), Scene 2
Plus Readers Letters 27.01 2005
Doctors really dont
know what theyre doing.
Take one aside at a mixer after his or her third Manhattan and ask.
Theyll tell you. And when youve talked to enough of them
off the record it will hit you: No one has a clue how you tick or what
keeps you ticking. Its a crapshoot, like predicting the weather
or prognosticating the Oscars. My mother calls it "the educated
guess." Call it what you will, its wacky science and youre
the lab rat.
That being established, no matter the circumstance or political rhetoric,
should there be any legislation passed that would diminish the amount
or severity of liability placed upon doctors, hospitals, drug companies
et al, if these guesses go awry. Otherwise what is now a free-for-all
in medicinal darts will turn into something out of an Aldous Huxley
What the 109th congress will now debate, along with the desperately
needed - but doomed to oblivion - Social Security reform, the fate-sealing
eternal tax cut, what to do about the gluttonous 23% increase of federal
spending the past three years, and more nonsense about adding bigoted
amendments, is the extent of your right to protect yourself from the
tyranny of medicine.
By which I mean for instance a maddening expansion of pharmaceuticals
consumed by Americans in the last decade. This alarms many pundits.
I am not one of them. If people need to be medicated to stay the fuck
off towers with an automatic weapon, Im all for it. Most of us
are nuts. This is a fact. Medicine has curtailed the results of this;
a cause for celebration, not harangue. The self-righteous louts who
deride the medicated are delusional, which is our most heinous social
malady. But, alas, there is no drug to assuage the delusional, unless
you count religion. I do not. Of course there is always the odd prescription
of mood-altering drugs to depressed teenagers with suicidal tendencies
that sort of-kind of might cause an increase in depression and suicidal
tendencies or the sedation of rambunctious toddlers with some nifty
narcotic to zombie them up. But Im not sure what level of outrage
this rouses in the grand collective, so Ill call it an epidemic
for lack of a sane definition.
However, anyone who has been to a physician in the past few years knows
well of what I broach. And Im not talking about massive screw-ups
like people dying on operating tables or given a lethal dose of something
or a frighteningly bad diagnosis that leaves them crippled or dead.
Its the quick check-up to unnecessary craziness that needs to
be accounted for.
To wit; I was diagnosed with high cholesterol two summers ago. My doctor
could not whip out the samples of Lipitor fast enough. He was busy cranking
out a handy prescription when I suggested exercise and diet. Soon after
the obligatory derisive chortle, I demanded I have three months to lower
the "bad" cholesterol naturally. I did. Lipitor and my doctor
Now assuming the best-case scenario, which doesnt have my doctor
in cahoots with a massive pharmaceutical company, and he isnt
a lazy ass, he was likely guessing that drugs were best for me. I disagreed.
I guess I lucked out.
But if you take this story and ratchet it up considerably to bring in
larger physical problems, you might get the picture. The government
wants you to believe that lawyers and frivolous damage claims are ruining
the medical profession, keeping you from the best care, and jacking
up the cost of health care in general. This is bullshit, like most of
what this government, or any government tells you. The fact is the toothpaste
is out of the tube when it comes to health costs. They can tort reform
all over the map and youll still pay through the nose with less
or no rights in case all this guesswork lands you in a wheelchair or
Bash lawyers all you want. Its fun. I do it in weaker moments.
Bashing attorneys is the comedic equivalent of the fart joke. It never
fails to get a laugh. Its cheap and it always works. But when
you are damaged goods, you had better get a good one or you will be
one of the forgotten.
Many malpractice lawsuits are out of control, but making laws to curtail
or put restrictions on the amount and severity of legal recourse is
how this country deals with aberrations of any kind; throw the baby
out with the bathwater. The federal government, the FBI and the CIA
cant protect us, so chuck civil rights. Lunatic children shoot
up the schools, outlaw guns and video games. Drug problem? Jail everyone.
Homeless problem? Make them disappear.
Why should the American people give up the right to sue lousy doctors
or negligent hospitals just because the denizens of our court system
cannot tell the difference between a frivolous lawsuit and a legitimate
claim? We have regulated ourselves silly. So much so, that many of us
crave some form of chemical to keep us from facing the truth. And what
is the truth? The AMA and huge Pharmaceutical corporations have stronger
lobbies in Washington than you and me. They dump tons of money into
campaigns. Those campaigns find themselves in chairs in congress and
they make the laws. We eat shit.
This is how it works. Shakespeare knew this. Thats why the above
quote, often misused to mock the law profession by those who still think
Randy Newman hates short people and we didnt steal Texas, is really
about the first sign of abuse of power. A character that goes by the
name of Dick the Butcher, whom the author describes as "the head
of an army of rabble and a demagogue pandering to the ignorant"
and who plans on overthrowing the government, utters it.
It is a warning about letting things run smoother by giving up the right
to have a voice if you become a casualty. Consider this another, if
not less literary, warning.
© James Campion Jan 17th 2005
Listen to these liberal Kerry whiners, waaa, waaa, waaa. Stop sniveling
and get over it. Face it, these loony leftists are in the minority in
this country and no stupid ass purple map will change that. Since 1994,
it has been all downhill for the Democrats and continuing to cry voter
foul will do nothing to change that. The only thing that was foul in
this years campaign was the odor coming from the strategy room at the
Kerry camp. This was truly the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Bush
should have been beaten down in short order considering he had the Democrats,
George Soros, Bruce Springsteen, The NY Times, The LA Times, The Washington
Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Hollywood and the recording industry
all against him. The fact that he stood tall against this onslaught
and came out victorious either speaks to his greatness or the feebleness
of his opponents campaign. In either case, Bush won and you can recount
Ohio till the cows come home but it won't change the fact! that it is
getting amusing to watch Democrats mysteriously find voting "irregularities"
only in states where they needed electoral college votes.
America will go on for 4 more years. Taxes will be lowered, we will
hunt down terrorists, Social Security will be saved and Roe v. Wade
will still be the law of the land. It is funny to watch libs hyperventilating
over this loss that should have easily been won had they not rushed
their way through the nominating process.
Either way 4 MORE YEARS!!!!! Bill Roberts
We are entering a very dark time. It is only for writers like you that
I find any hope or light. I wish you well on the front line. It will
not be a pretty place to be in this combative, deceptive, judgmental,
paranoid Age of Bush. Calvin
I read a terribly pretentious and negative review of Chris Turners,
"Planet Simpson" in the Village Voice a few weeks before yours
("Dangerous Art Networked Daily" Issue 12/22) and was
intrigued in reading the book simply because the asshole at The Voice
could not, and will never grasp the anti-intellectual jargon and satire
of The Simpsons. And he could not understand, as you do, and
Chris Turner does so well, that The Simpsons exists for comedy,
and whatever fuels that comedy whatever social commentary that
lies within is merely a byproduct of its brilliance. Thanks for a great
piece and culling salient points from the author. I shall go out and
get the book and enjoy it, as I do the show, without the shame of pompous
intellectual iniquity. H.H. Foster
I say what I do from the schizophrenia of my emotions and logic. I belly
laugh at The Simpsons and at the same time have intellectual
fits of vomiting over some of the clichés and devices common
to all art. A sensitivity born of being an animation buff my whole life
has shown me to see the unoriginality of The Simpsons. Reportage,
made popular in literature by the likes of Zola, who wrote about the
common man: whore, baker, wino etc... finds its mirror in all of 20th
Century lit and TV media. I still prefer heroic drama when I can get
it in its unadulterated form tongue-in-cheek-free. Let's see, evil right-wing
corporate type, Mr. C.M. Burns. Bumbling, average Joe, Homer. Gee, you
could trade Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons and George Jetson for Homer,
allowing for dated material and characters. Why is it that all modern
art criticism gives a "do not go to jail and collect $200"
to anything that "sticks it to the man". I guess we don't
expect much from art in reality. Subversive = Good Art is the mantra.
I much prefer episodes like the one in South Park where they burn down
the Wal-Mart and then head to patronize the little general store in
town to support 'the little guy'. Their patronage grows the 'little
guy' into Wal-Mart proportions and the skit ends with them burning that
down too. Subversive, yet it contains a pure kernel of truth. People
have been dogmatized in this country into thinking the tallest blade
of grass needs to be cut down (Bill Gates, Martha Stewart) because it
must be intrinsically evil while at the same time patronizing that which
they hate. This goes out to all my Bush-hating, anyone-but-Bush-Kerry-loving
NYC friends sipping their Starbucks in the Martha Stewart mug they bought
at Kmart in the East Village cum Gap hood who think they're sticking
it to the man because they love The Simpsons and profess subversive
The Simpson's rock!
JC THIS ("Manifest Destiny Made Easier Through Modern Chemistry"
Issue 12/29/04) is a really (the appropriate word, or phrase
escapes me at the moment) this is the best work I have read from you.
You got both elements of revealing yourself in the finest fashion I
could imagine. The content was infused with a poetry that made a staid
and officious subject a lyrical opera. If there is any value in what
I think, what I feel, this is superb writing. I wasn't moved by the
boldness of the piece, being bold is redundant with you. I was moved
by the manner in which you expressed yourself. The similarities to past
endeavors are present, but there is a little something extra in this
one. With this one, you were flying around, twisting sentences together,
moving in complex ways, but keeping the intent simple and clear all
the while. Kudos to you j.c. I don't even care if I agree with you or
not. My interest is in the work . . . and as wild as this piece is,
there is a certain cohesion to it that just jumps out at me, and makes
me smile. Roves
This is very funny, dude. However, your suggestion that "only acid
junkies would comment so blindly that there is some kind of insidious
US plan for a bloodless coup in that mess" is wrong. Nothing in
Iraq is bloodless ... but a puppet regime? Why not? King Rumsfeld has
already ruled there will be not be a 'religious' government, even if
a Shiite cleric is democratically voted in. I also disagree with your
WMD assessment that Hussein "either lie to the UN or risk letting
the Iranians know he was a paper tiger and take him out." Not quite
good, sir. He still had enough conventional weaponry--way more than
enough to deal with Iran. Also, Iran couldnt very well attack
a country under de facto occupation by the US. What happens next should
be interesting. v.
jc, I love your column, please keep up the great work you do. I love
sharing it with my like-minded friends and torturing my not-so-like
minded friends with it. On to my comment: Just a suggestion, really.
Perhaps we should shift some of our boys in the military over to help
the victims of the natural disaster to try to do some good for a change.
Why the NFL
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