Thursday, May 16, 2013

Medical Advertisements, House, and Angelina Jolie

Medical Advertisements, House, and Angelina Jolie

by Meg Curtis, PhD

If I want to discuss my body parts with a physician, I go to his office. Our discussions are private, but, if I turn on a television, discussions of body parts—defying all privacy—intrude upon my absorption of the news, entertainment, or weather reports. Could the FCC devote a channel to these intrusions? Then, interested parties could find them, and body parts would stop chasing unwilling citizens, who are doing their best to enjoy life.

If I gave my full attention to these advertisements, I would look at every person I meet as not only a collection of body parts, but a conglomeration of ailments. What better way to develop hypochondria or even paranoia? I want to see my friends as personalities, interests, allies. I do not want to play diagnostician because I am not qualified. I do not want them to view me as a likely candidate for the medical drama House, either. Can we reach an understanding on this issue?

In this context, Angelina Jolie's recent reports of the whereabouts, condition, and future of her body parts are particularly annoying. Citizens who need to focus on the condition of their democracy are distracted by her pretty face from realizing that their last election suffered intrusions from the IRS's harassment of selected parties. Their overall welfare hangs in the balance, with or without breasts—unless the news has become the novella The Breast, by Philip Roth. Has it? If so, that's old news!

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