Thursday, December 02, 2004

Life In The Back of The Magazine

All those wacky ads relegated to the back of Men's Journal and The Old Farmer's Almanac have been officially made a centerpiece of everyday life. You can't watch the news, a sports program, or a soap opera without being reminded of what an impotent bunch we've become.

The NYTimes today reported the FDA's advisory panel consideration of the use of testosterone patches to remedy those inconvenient sexual disinclinations women get from lousy relationships, unattainable goals, endless societal blame, and the insanity of trying to maintain a normal life inside a culture that's designed to drive people mad.
If it were to win Food and Drug Administration approval, Intrinsa would be the first drug to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women who have had their ovaries removed or damaged and are receiving estrogen therapy. Women with the disorder have a sex drive that is so diminished they no longer fantasize about sex or crave it, causing stress and strained relationships. The condition affects up to three million surgically menopausal American women.
ABC reported concerns that an increase in breast cancer or circulatory disease could be the result of the anticpated long-term use of such a drug, and that the studies already done by manufacturer Procter & Gamble (soap, anyone?) had been far too small and brief:
Documents provided to the committee Thursday said 494 surgically menopausal women were treated with the patch in combination with estrogen for one year. Of those, 127 were treated for 18 months. The placebo controlled safety data that they will review only covers six months.
To their credit, the panel recommended the drug be sent back for broader testing. Then again, this is the same panel that recommended the morning after pill be sold OTC, which recommendation was immediately scorned by Bush's Xtian soldiers.

But while they're creaming themselves over the idea of turning on the nation's 50 million women with dysfunctional sex lives (I make that about 1/2 the female population), and the orgiastic possiblities suggesting themselves to Viagra-soaked males, it's worth remembering that millions of women suffered serious ailments, strokes, and death, because our government allowed birth control pills to be rushed to market in the 60's and 70s, and that scientists have some stern warnings about testosterone use on women:
Is an increase in approximately one sexually satisfying encounter a month (not from zero to one, but from approximately four to five times per month) worth the possibility of an increase in breast cancer or coronary artery disease?
But that hasn't stopped men from being similarly suckered in to using Viagra, another poorly-studied sex-enhancer that now appears to be having dramatically devastating effects--strokes, heart attacks, sudden death--on those taking it. In fact, some of the odder side efects now being reported in young recreational-using males, such as penile burns, are also being reported in other men.
ED drugs increase penile blood flow; but with inappropriate use, a condition known as priapism, or a prolonged erection, can occur. Sometimes this leads to permanent erectile dysfunction.
But wait! We don't have to limit the devastation to just one sex. In addition to the transdermal patch on the horizon,we can feed this little blue miracle to the distaff side, and just watch the sparks fly!

It's sad that so many people feel so inadequate, and are so willing to assign the blame to themselves. How can you look around at the insane quality of life we are expected to live with---the obssessive consumption, the bottomless expectations, the substance-addled escapism both legal and illegal, the loss of any meaningful ability to communicate with other human beings while at the same time remaining constantly plugged into electronic contact with a constant parade of surface acquantainces and business connections---and be surprised when the normal animal functions start to break down?

And the saddest part of all is that we are so desperate to hang on to that last little bit that makes us human, that we will risk our lives in pursuit of the lying dreams corporations feed us to line their pockets.

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