March 16, 2008

USA Television is Full of Drugs and Cars
Miami Beach, United States

Aidric hasn't really been exposed to much television, and has recently discovered the set that's occasionally glowing in our room. He's memorized by it, and creeps me out a bit when he takes a liking to hissing channels of static/snow—like something out of the movie Poltergeist.

We actually don't get that many channels. Most are fuzzy, over the air stations, with the exception of HBO.

I haven't watched much television in the past few years, and next to none in the United States during my layovers here. Looking at it now, with fresh eyes, the biggest difference I notice between here, Latin America, and SE Asia are the type of commercials on rotation.

U.S. television seems to be clogged full of car and pharmaceutical adverts, whereas I don't think I've ever seen a single car advertisement on TV in Peru.

What's interesting in the last decade in the U.S. is how the drug companies have started marking to consumers, which is apparently a substantially more effective tactic than relying on doctors to suggest their particular product. Americans watching drug adverts are suddenly left wondering if they really do have depression, or if Valtrex is right for them.

It's easy to self-medicate in developing countries—no doctors or prescriptions needed. It's in these places that you'd think an absence of middlemen and barriers would foster an abundance of check out this drug commercials, but I think people are just too practical, poor, or set in their herbal remedy ways for such things.

The USA is a pharmaceutical drug culture, and having grown up here, I'm a no exception. I'm the son of a nurse, and in my family, we used prescription meds to resolve our ailments. Now, living in countries that have none of the bureaucratic nonsense that requires me to pay to see a physician, and then pay for expensive medication, I'm free to stock or consume what I please, as I see fit, at affordable prices.

It's a shame that I had to leave the United States to know such comforts.


The United States


March 16th, 2008

I asked my doctor if valtrex was right for me. But he said it was not.

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