Feb 152012

I am Whitney Houston fan. I am sad to hear she died. However, I am also a fan of many other artists many of which will never be awarded a headline with any major news service – even if they died.

That Whitney Houston died so early is tragic for her and her friends and fans – sure. But there is not much they can do about it. Strictly speaking this should be in the entertainment section – not news. What should be on the news are headlines like these:

  • Crony capitalist economic system may not longer be sustainable!
  • Trillions of funding poured into finding economic and social alternative systems
  • Scholars worldwide abandon Keynesian economics and fiat money!
  • US government shifts focus from killing millions of people abroad to saving millions of people at home
  • Millions of Volunteers wanted to take part in testing alternative social and city structures

You get the message. Sadly, I suspect Whitney Houston appears in news headlines not because she matters so much to so many people but because she draws a lot of page views. In particular if it is a synchronised effort by major media outlets. Synchronised not because of a conspiracy but because of her death. Such powerful stimulus creates a snow ball effect and before the week is over almost everyone in the western world has consumed the news and with it millions of banners and page views.

Her CD sales obviously get a last boost but all other advertisers and the media are very happy too. In fact the government can expect a higher GDP because of her death and the hype and “mass sadness”, consumption may go up a little – great!

The system we live in is failing the 99% – even if GDP goes up. GDP would go up even more if all people would take 20 drugs every day or went to the psychiatrist every day.

If anything the media¬† should remember their responsibilities and use her popularity to point out – properly – the crimes of big pharma and mention all of the medicaments she has taken or is currently withdrawing from. They should compare her situation with the millions of others who are drugged by their doctors with a cocktail of chemistry whose side effects – without considering the mostly unknown interactions – would be to long to read in a news broadcast. It is quite possible she died because of side effects of those drugs – but the media won’t cover this properly. They protect their advertising clients – unless it is a really big deal that can serve many months – like Michael Jackson’s death.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston. Photo by Mark Kettenhofen

My mother’s doctor told me that it is normal to take 20 prescription pills every day once you are over 70 – many take more. Another doctor told me that most doctors won’t have the time (or take it) to check for known interactions between drugs – which are very likely significant if you take more than 5. They have free access to databases that can do this instantly (once the names are keyed in) – but this is mostly for students as Doctors are too busy to do this. I did it myself for her 20 drugs at a free online service and found several dangerous combinations. Now this was in Europe – not even the US.

To clarify what I mean with the crimes of big pharma – here are some examples:

  • direct advertising of prescription medicine to “consumers” (legal in USA, New Zealand)
  • aggressive promotion and supply of doctors with drugs by pharmaceutical sale reps (in the US, I believe there is about 1 rep per 30 doctors)
  • creation of new diseases like “shyness”, hair loss, “fear of public speaking”, ADHD. Anything but average becomes sick and needs to be treated..
  • failure to mention life style changes as alternative treatments to taking a pill when “informing” about diseases like high cholesterol
  • exaggeration of risks to get specific diseases and failure to compare with other everyday risks
  • downplaying the side effects of most pills
  • lack of incentive to fund research into non-drug treatments or permanent cure and prevention of diseases
  • exaggeration of the effects of pills, never mention their efficacy compared to placebo or other perhaps for some people safer drugs

I realize some points are due to the competitive market system and crony capitalism – so Big Pharma is not guilty alone. I like to give Whitney Houston’s popularised departure another purpose – why not use it as an occasion to watch this documentary (103 min) about The drugging of our children – I think she would want you too.
[This documentary is about the US but these outrageous methods to preserve crony capitalism to keep the GDP growing no matter what – are spreading fast to other countries.]

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