This is a land of tummy aches and painkillers, paper cuts and cool cream.
Panaceas line the shelves of pharmaceutical stores. Zanthrax for depression. Ocuvue for irritated eyes. Neosporin, translucent band-aids, and the entire brethren kin of medicinal magic makeup kits all aimed towards alleviating aches and itches.
Of course the placebos occasionally dot the aisles, but, heck, what’s the difference?
Placebo, nacebo- these psychological magic bullets and worry-warts function just as well as morphine and aspirin. Add the effects of working, and illegitimate, medicines together and see the human race’s predilection towards change: changing whatever fails to suit it.
We have been acclimatized to convenience. Physical exertion fell out a window for remotes and chairs. Robotics have claimed the man-powered division of production that once characterized factory production.
Even man’s most inherent ability- walking on two feet- has been supplanted- by a vehicle no less. Instead of pounding on the earth with soles, Hummers, Accords, and myriad designs of cars travel in place of shoes. Bummer.
There’s also the environment, warped, changed, altered to self-interest. Desert? Siphon water from the North and pump it into the arid South. Humid? Erect unnatural squares with internal healing and cooling functions (whatever happened to sweating and/or removing layers?). Too rainy? Shoot iodine pills to the sky.
Man constantly infringes on Nature’s backyard. But we complain when the placebo is exposed, when the hurricane razes the levees and devastates towns, or after a freak rockslide leaves human debris, of pipes and bodies, in its wake.
Then a syrup is administered to people. Dystopian novels such as The Giver or perhaps the epitome of dysfunction 1984 demonstrate the idea of mass manipulation well.
Propaganda is shoved down throats, and the infection of free thought drowns in nasty Tylenol-brainwashing pulp.
We see Georgians as victims; South Ossetia wishes to assimilate with Russia. One of us has taken the wrong prescription, or perhaps the hypochondriac is simply the one to blame.
For beauty, medicine becomes mass advertisement. Commercials aimed at psychosomatism exploits insecurities of appearance and weight.
But medicine works well.
The suction cups of liposuction drain away life-threatening fat. Poor eyesight derived from constant online gaming clears after laser eye surgery. That rotting teeth swaps positions with a silver crown.
These are true placebos. Fix the ailment temporarily, but the malignant cancer-habit remains.
If only a wonder drug existed. Happy, we’d all be, devoid of worry and pain.
Beauty, convenience, and carefully tuned thought would all be accounted for. There is one- souma. Brave New World’s miracle all-cure renders a world very content.
Side effects include: a lack of distinction, mediocrity, and the loss of one’s humanity.
Randy Shun is a junior at Temple City High School. He is also the Community Affarirs Director-City for the Temple City Voice. He writes periodically on his blog, accordingtoaccordions.
This opinion was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on September 24, 2008.