Friday, October 11, 2019

A Pill of a Weekly Link Round-Up

If it weren't for the fact that Denis and I like to watch the Game Show Network while Denis eats lunch before going to work, I don't think I'd ever see a commercial. Commercials ("adverts" for those of you living in the UK) are a look into the culture that watches them, and sometimes that look shows me things I'd rather not see.

Take, for instance, the fact that we are now a society that believes there's a pill that can fix everything that's wrong in our lives. It doesn't seem to matter that those pills can have side effects that are absolutely horrific as long as there's a chance that the pill can fix something-- no matter how minute. If there is such a pill, then some pharmaceutical company is trying with all its might to have us buy it and swallow it down like good little boys and girls.

There's one commercial in particular that can have me frothing at the mouth in under three seconds. It's a pill for depression, and-- believe me-- I'm all for relieving depression, but the "symptoms" the commercial shows are farcical.

In one version, a woman wearing sweat pants is sitting on her bed looking sorrowfully at a basket of dirty laundry. According to the pharmaceutical company since she's not smiling, since she's wearing sweat pants, and since she doesn't want to do the laundry, THAT means she's depressed. Come off it! It means she's a normal human being who occasionally gets sick and tired of doing a chore that has no end. She. Is. Not. Depressed. She is human.

In a second version, a frowning woman is sitting at her desk at work, looking at the clock, not wanting to be there. According to the pharmaceutical company, her lack of a smile and her lack of desire to be at work means she's depressed. For crying out loud, this means she's a normal human being who has the occasional day at work when the hands on the clock never seem to move and she just wants out of there so she can do something more interesting. She. Is. Not Depressed. She is human.

(And ever notice how all the people are always female in these commercials?)

I've been sitting here debating about whether or not to share some true symptoms of depression with you. They are not pretty. They are painful, and sometimes they can be disgusting. But they are true cries for help. When I see these commercials, I despair. Human beings are not meant to smile 24/7. The road of life is meant to have a few bumps along the way. If anyone-- especially someone trying to sell you some new kind of wonder pill-- tries to tell you differently, do not pay attention. Please. Do not become a side effect. Do not become a statistic. Save those pills for when you really need them.

As I mosey out to the corral, I can smile, knowing that Denis is happy that I had a new audience for my Pill Rant. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • Florida authorities are investigating a disorder affecting panthers' ability to walk.
  • The U.S. will be importing baby elephants from Zimbabwe despite the uproar.
  • A turquoise-tinted tarantula has been discovered in Sri Lanka. 
  • Scotland's golden eagles are dying in agony, all in the name of sport.
  • South Africa gets the go-ahead to increase black rhino trophy hunting. Wait till you read the reasoning behind it.

►The Happy Wanderer◄
  • This patch of desert in southern California is covered in rock graffiti.
  • This single-track road over Applecross Pass rewards brave drivers with stunning Scottish scenery.
  • A "raft" of volcanic rock the size of Manhattan is floating toward Australia.
  • These Key West hotels offer waterproof books you can read in the pool. 
  • Nepal is banning single-use plastics on and around Mount Everest. I guess they thought tons of trash would simply disappear. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that...

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • Sculptor Edmonia Lewis shattered gender and race expectations in 19th-century America.
  • A documentary explores the life of Alice Guy-Blaché, a pioneering woman director written out of film history.
  • Richard Booth: bookshop owner and "King of Hay-on-Wye" has died. (The first night I spent in the UK was at the Seven Stars in Hay-on-Wye.)
  • Remembering Liane Russell, the geneticist who studied radiation's harmful effects on embryos.

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I could not agree with you more about depression, Cathy. And you make a really strong point that we are not meant to be smiling happily all of the time. There are lots of times when I don't smile, but that doesn't mean I have depression. And don't get me started on the whole culture of taking pills. I sometimes think that if I see one more Big Pharma bit on TV.... well, I'm a crime writer, so you fill in the blanks!

    In the meantime, I must look at that old boat-building site. And then perhaps a visit to those temazcales...

    1. I would love to read your take on Big Pharma, Margot!

  2. Totally agree with you about depression and also the "pill culture' we have here. As an aside, did you know that only the United States and New Zealand allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription medications directly to consumers?

    Thanks, as always, for a great list of links. I really look forward to your Friday posts.

    1. I wonder if New Zealand has its own pill culture, too?

      I'm glad you enjoy the links!

  3. Good points about Big Pharma ads on TV. Not only do the companies push their pills, but then by law since they have to list side effects, they do. And one doesn't know how anyone survives them.
    By the way, this pill can cause kidney and liver damage and heart disease.

    Yes, the difference between depression and moods or the events of a day. What I don't like is men telling women to smile -- while on line at a bank or racing to do errands in the street. It's happened to me and I am too old for this!

    Links are interesting. Have more to read.

    1. I'm not a natural born smiler, so I've heard that "Smile!" more times than I care to think about. And guess what? Telling me to smile has never ever worked!


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