The Spectacle Blog

Re: Re: Happy-Pills

By on 12.13.05 | 8:31PM

Sorry, James, but your attempt at comedy betrays a failure to take pain seriously. I'm currently on an SSRI (not Paxil) and an anti-convulsant. I've tried life off meds and on meds. When I read things like your column, I can't help but see a reader somewhere, in the kind of pain I've known, being encouraged to think that pain is normal and drugs are dangerous, and that the proper thing to do is suck it up and suffer. That's appalling, and not at all funny.

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Governor Helo

By on 12.13.05 | 8:28PM

The aspiring Kansas City Athletics draftee, Gov. Bill Richardson, has a penchant for New Mexico's state police helicoptor. More than any other governor of a Western state, the Associated Press finds, Richardson uses the new search and rescue chopper for trips around the state large and small.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:23PM

Of course it's effective, for the same reason that ecstasy is effective, and in similar fashion. And less important than getting people off Paxil is keeping people from touching the stuff in the first place. Of course I run the "risk," as you say, of frightening successfully coping (not, mind, cured) Paxil users off of the drug, and back into clammy-fisted delirium. But it stands to reason that the people "on" Paxil (I prefer the phrasing "under" it) are those best-informed about the risks they run, and most willing to endure them. Anyone who didn't know, or learn, this going in will certainly at least be surprised, which is halfway to fright already.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:19PM

How exactly you expect to purge the user-lists of Paxil effectively by listing how bad it is for them is still a mystery to me, particularly since the reason people should be getting off Paxil isn’t simply because of side-effects but because it’s not actually helping their recovery. That’s another area you didn’t cover â€" how effective it is.

In fact, because the side-effects have so little to do with why these folks shouldn’t be taking it (I understand that “Look at what you’re doing to yourself†point, but it’s a tertiary jab), you run the risk of shaking people off that might need to stay on. Again, I think you’re overestimating the argument you offered in the article. I don’t think you’re entirely wrong in your general principle that society is over-medicated, I just don’t think you grasp it anywhere in your article.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:17PM

I can see you will not be bludgeoned quietly into submission here. Good.
First, and fairest enough, the hucksters deserve their own thousand words of public revilement. But blame in this instance is not a zero-sum game, and heaping ignominity on doctors who act as particularly expensive and interactive vending machines does not require that we shovel away the other dunghill piled around Glaxo.
Second, "our insane" described the really unbalanced people who require medical attention, not the unfortunates who are presented at every opportunity on television and in popular culture with drumbeats and parades of fresh disorders and the saving power of Pill Grace. Tom Cruise's attack on medicine isn't chic; the way we accept the turning of every attitude and emotion into a disorder is. The way we medicate our children at the drop of a hat, without any eye to when we might stop medicating them, is. The way that the postmodern malaise of endless wants and sexual disgracefulness is breeding ingrained soul-sickness is.
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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 5:59PM

I like my article the uninflated size it is, at which neither truth nor comedy are distorted. Inflatio ad absurdum is just as dangerous, my brother, as reductio. But its gross tumescence is even less attractive, which is the whole problem with Paxil. Fattening up, hypersymptomizing, discomfort is bad enough; calling a "chemical imbalance" in the brain that "makes" one feel uncomfortable in public settings a disorder instead of a symptom itself is not just a cheap trick of semantics but a trick turned, as well, by the medical profession -- for a pretty penny indeed, with several tens of millions lined up at the hopper.


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Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 5:58PM

James, I can’t see myself abiding by your article, which really gives the impression that you’re against medication with side-effects. I could inflate your article to the point where you would say the pay-offs for drugs treating schizophrenia aren’t worthwhile seeing as how they often make someone very uncomfortable, but I’d rather stick to your article on point â€" which really begs the question, why were you trying to scare people off of a drug that’s actually quite helpful?

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Bishops and Tookie

By on 12.13.05 | 4:36PM

Catholic Church leaders had plenty to say about the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams' execution. Unfortunately, a short news article only scratches the surface of these differences within the Church. And the brevity of the quotes leaves them open for a variety of interpretations. For example, Bishop John Wester of San Francisco

asked Californians "to ponder carefully whether the use of the death penalty makes our society safer."

He said "a moratorium is needed to evaluate whether the death penalty serves the common good and safeguards the dignity of human life. We are convinced that it does not."

Bishop DiMarzio of Brooklyn wrote Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, concerned that "this execution can only compound the violence that already exists in our society." He went on, "We do not believe that you can teach that killing is wrong by killing. We do not believe that you can defend life by taking life."

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