Monday, April 09, 2007

274% Increase in General Theories

Do you know what's wrong with the country? American Idol. And do you know what is soooooo right with this world? American Idol. Stick with me ...I'll explain.
I read an article today that medical prescriptions for drugs used to cope with ADD and ADHD are up 274%. That floored me. A buncha Grumpy Old Men* will use that headline in the same way I will, now.

* Grumpy Old Men defined: Politicianesque critics; out of touch; unwilling to embrace new ideas; your Uncles (if you are a middle-class suburbanite)

Yes. ADD and ADHD is real. Many people have it. Treatment is great. However, we all know many people don't have it, but are diagnosed with it and given medication. Ask any teacher and they will probably tell you they have 1 of 2 kids in their class that need it, but 2 or 3 kids who's parents are using Ritalin to get out of actual parenting.

Believe it or not, I know someone who buys Ritalin from a friend just because Ritalin makes them feel better. This person doesn't have ADD ...he just wanted to quit drinking coffee. True story.

It ain't hype to state that we are an overly medicated society. Example 1: John Doe is fat ...hey ...take a pill. Example 2: Jane Doe has high blood pressure and high cholesterol ...hey's another pill. Question that should be asked: Can a person lower his/her blood pressure and cholesterol through diet and exercise? Answer that should be given by a doctor: Yes ...but you'll have to change how you live. Typical conclusion: Screw that!!! Gimme the pill.

I'm goin' somewhere with this me.

Personally, I work hard to control my cholesterol and blood pressure (and probably my undiagnosed ADD) with diet, sleep, and exercise. My resistance to taking meds is not isolated to those categories. I actually avoid meds for colds, flu's, allergies, and pain, too. That's mostly just me being crazy (I know that). I do this because I don't like chemicals in my body. I theorize (and gravitate to studies and theories that support my views) that with enriched flours, hydrogenated oils, and countless unnamed chemicals in our food, we poison ourselves daily.

Now we come to the payoff.

We don't care. We want to be happy and we want to be happy, now! We want to be famous, now!

Want to lose weight? There's a pill. Want to eat a salad? There's a bag. Want to be a famous recording artist? There's a show.

Guilty. I watch (and love) American Idol. Who doesn't? I love it and I hate it all at the same time. Just like I love and hate pop-music. American Idol shows you, first hand, what the teens and twentysomethings think. It is sad. Parents tell their kids how great they are, all the time, insulating them from all of life's dangers and heartaches. These kids then conclude they are the next Mariah Carey. Why? Because Mom said I can sing. Mom doesn't tell them about the real work and dedication that almost any artist is forced to put into their craft. The extreme sacrifice it takes to succeed. Kids-Today* think success is a 13-week mini-adventure. I actually read an article (I can't find the link) where a trend is finding parents calling their 20-something college-grad's boss to negotiate a raise or ask for more vacation. Yes. The article sourced multiple occurrences. It's actually a "trend."

* Kids-Today defined: anyone younger than me who I determine just doesn't "get it*."

* "It" defined: Whatever my opinion happens to be at that specific time.

But it also depresses-slash-scares me that I cross busy intersections with these same crazy people. I thank my maker that you rarely see an airline pilot or chief surgeon on Idol, standing and singing with crazy eyes, tone deafness, and completely lacking a grasp on reality.

Luckily, these kids won't be taking my job - oh wait ...unless they live in India. Oh wait ...that's Sanjaya!!! Good lord ...our next pop-icon-American Idol is being outsourced, too.

The end.

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