Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan on June 23, 1998 · Page 3
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June 23, 1998

Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan · Page 3

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Ironwood, Michigan
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Tuesday, June 23, 1998
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THE DAILY GLOBE; Ironwood, Ml — inion Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Page 6 TV's getting further infested with commercials for drugs Recently, I was lying on the sofa and watching my favorite TV show, which is called, "Whatever . Is. on TV When I'm Lying on the Sofa." I was in a good mood until the commercial came on. It showed an old man (and when I say "old man," I mean "a man who is maybe eight years older than I am") helping his grandson learn to ride a bicycle. I was watching this, wondering what product was being advertised (Bicycles? Dietary fiber? Lucent?) and the announcer said: "Aren't there enough reasons in your life to talk to your doctor about Zocor?" The announcer did not say what "Zocor" is. It sounds like the evil ruler of the Planet Wombax. I figure it's a medical drug, although I have no idea what it does. And so, instead of enjoying my favorite TV show, I was lying there wondering if I should b« talking to my doctor about Zocor. My doctor is named Curt, and the only time I go to his office is when I am experiencing a clear- cut symptom, such aa an arrow sticking out of my head. So mainly I see Curt when I happen to sit near him at a sporting .-'event)'and he's voicing medical opinions such as, "HE STINKS!" and "CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW BAD THIS GUY STINKS??" This would not be a good time to ask him what he thinks about Zocor . ("IT STINKS!") . Television has become infested with commercials for drugs that we're supposed to ask our doctors about. Usually the announcer Oav« Barry says something scary like, "If you're one of the 337 million people who suffer from parabolical distabulation of the frenulum, ask your doctor about Varvacron. Do it now. Don't wait until you develop boils the site of fondue pots." • '''•'.•' •. • . '•••.' At that point, you're thinking, "Gosh, I better get some Varvac- ron!" Then the announcer tells you the side effects. "In some • patients," he says, "Varvacron causes stomach discomfort and the growth of an extra hand coming out of the forehead. Also, one patient turned into « lemur. Do not use Varvac- ron if you are now taking, or have recently shaken hands with anybody who is. taking, Fladamol, Lavadil, Fromagil, Havadara, Lexavon, Clamadam, Gungadin or breath mints. Discontinue use if your eyeballs suddenly get way smaller. Pregnant women should not even be watching this commercial." So basically, the message of these drug commercials is: 1. You need this drug. 2. This drug might kill you. • I realize that the drug compa- nies, by running these commercials, are trying to make me an informed medical consumer. But I don't WANT to be an informed medical consumer. I liked it better when my only medical responsibility was to stick out my tongue. That was the health-care system I grew up under, which was called "The Dr. Mortimer Conn Health Care System," named for my family doctor when I was growing up in Armonk, N.Y. . . • . Under this system, if you got sick, your mom took you to se« Dr.. Cohn, and he looked at your throat, then he wrote out a prescription io^a Secret Medical Code that neither you nor the CIA could understand. The only person who could understand it was Mr. DiGiacihto, who ran the Armonk Pharmacy, where you went to get some mystery pills and a half-gallon of Sealtest chocolate ice cream, which was a critical element of this health-care system. I would never have dreamed of talking to Dr. Cohn about Zocor or any other topic, because the longer you stayed in his office, the greater the danger that he might suddenly decide to give you a "booster shot." We did have TV commercials for medical product* back then, but these were non-scary, straightforward commercials that the layperson could understand. For example, there wa* one for a headache remedy — I think it was Anacin — that showed the interior of an actual cartoon of a human head, so you could see the three medical causes of headaches: a hammer, a spring and a lightning bolt. There was a commercial for Gl- eenf toothpaste with Gardol, which had strong medical benefits, as proved by the fact .that when a baseball .player threw a ball at the announcer's head, it (the ball) bounced off an Invisible Protective Shield. There was a commercial for a product called "Serutan:" I was never sure what it did, but it was definitely effective, because the announcer came right out and stated —- bear in mind that the Food and Drug Administration has never disputed this claim — that "Serutan" is "natures" spelled backward, '...•' You, the medical consumer, were not required to ask your doctor .about'.any .of these products. You just looked at the commercial, and said, "A hammer! No wonder my head aches!" And none of these products had side effects, except Gleem, which, in addition .to deflecting, baseballs, attracted the opposite sex. I miss those days, when we weren't constantly being nagged to talk to our doctors, and we also didn't have a clue how many grams of fat were in our Sealtest chocolate ice cream. Life was simpler then, as opposed to now, when watching TV sometimes makes me so nervous that I have to consume a certain medical product. I know it's effective, because it's "reeb" spelled backward. Datebook WOW/A BIL1N6UAL 1(4 CALIFORNIA c Today is the I74IA day of 1996 and the 3rd day of rummer. TODAVS HISTORY: On this day in 16*3, William Penn signed a friendship treaty with the Lenape Indians near what is now Philadelphia. On this day in 1846, Antoine Joseph Sax patented the saxophone. On this day in 1987, Tiffany began her "Shopping Mall Tour" at the Bergen Mall in Pararnui, N.J. TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Irvin S Cobb (187R-1944), humorist; Dr. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956), sex researcher; Jean Marie Anouilh (1910-1987), playwright; Bob Fosse (I927 : 1987>, choreographer; Donn Eisele (1930-1987), astronaut; James Lcvine (1943-). conductor, is 55; Clarence Thomas (1948 ), U.S. Supreme Court justice, is 50. TODAY'S MOON: New moon. Fieger gets voters' attention Gov. Geoffrey Fieger. How does that sound? A bully at the Bully Pulpit? Outlandish as he sounds on occasion, celebrity attorney Fieger is a serious prospect to be the Democratic nominee for governor. But don't take everything he says seriously. At least not literally. He's part spoof. It works. He's getting voters' attention. It's to be seen whether he'll turn them on, or off, before the Aug. 4 primary. He's been grandly proclaimed by the Chicago Tribune to have sparked "one of the most entertaining and deliciously malicious battles in the history of Michigan politics." Last week, on WTCM'n Ron Jolly Show in Traverse City, he called Gov. John Engler "the biggest crook there i» in this *tat«." He brands Doug ROM, one of his Democratic primary opponent* "• jerk " After noting Newtwctk and th* Washington Pout spent part of • d,iy with him, Fi*«*r told me h* wa* getting'more coverage "than thf*r other j«rk»" in the primary H<: i.'itrr *aid h« wan «p«akinjr "in ihe vernacular" and doean'l include primary opponent Larry CN»*n "1 WM only r*f*mnf t/i R.-W4 I'll b* h<x5e*t wi«h you ^ hi* oWp vimoo i* r»th*r •hallow * iFKjjrr and Ch»*« Ka»* the »i^rak.no-evil-oC-««< pfim^ry patt cr»ft*d by cn»t>< Sraur (^ha»rtna«> Mark who h#yr»o**«l lh« Dwrnoeralx by F>^»r in L* protest because I was trying to reach Michael Buffer, boxing announcer famed for his copyrighted, "Let's get ready to rumble" opening line at bouts. (I failed to reach Buffer, who lives in California and New Jersey.) As noted in a previous column, Fieger uses that line in radio spots. A few months ago, I heard that Buffer had filed suit against filmmakers far using it, with hi« style of delivery. There also have be«n new* »c- counta of Buffer complaining about u»« of that expr**«ion on the Oliver North and the "Imu§ In The Morning" radio nhow*. One account aaid Buffer down't iikt North's politics fiegtr quip*. "He'd probably support " my f in raining th<- IMU« w«* to cau»* tr'iubl* for him, mainta h«> HUM n<> \+f*l protdem tJMiny th* l.n* h«^-«u»* "it i* (x AO< for finannal WV> am I to qu«*ttnn a jrnf^ T>iirtha (rarr««. hi* nail- y, •ay' in • cauhy radio ad "my *t«m* th« •urc«aafu] lawyer in lh« cnuntry ' Th* ad ' support of civil rights and, to his credit, is running out-state, as well as in urban areas. Garrett's Geoffrey bristles at being called a bully. The Chicago Tribune says he's "a flamboyant, loud-mouthed bully (and those are his good points.)" Bullies, he correctly notes,.pick on people weaker than themselves. Another definition: "to be loudly arrogant and overbearing." In a national Associated Press Htory by Lansing correspondent Kathy Barks Hoffmann, Fieger said: "Mr. Ross shouldn't tangle with me because it would be like he's getting in the ring with Mike Tyson. My legs are stronger than- Doug Ross', and I'll kick him even when he's down." Charming. A more apt image ia of Muhammad AJi. He proclaimed "I am th« greatest," and it was his "I'm ready to rumble" declaration before a bout long ngo that prompted Buffer to develop the line Ihnt b«carn« hi» livelihood. How, pray tell, can Fieger call Englrr Michigan'* biggeat crook? H* told th* WTCM audience laiit we*k Engler ",,.«• robbing you, and lying to you and cheating you, and filling th* coffer* of the *p*cial mt«re«U who pull hia •tring " A*k*d for documentation, hi* campaign headquarter* offer*>d ihia in hi! name "Al the »ery b**t »herw appear* In b* an attempt to diatfui** the «-ia<:t amount of r»v*rm# and • la< k <)(' r\++T arxnuntirttf At , th*r» haa Kaan theft of ta* I pwfHia* Its dtormnK the DAILY •&SS*£l mmm WISCONSIN NCWSPAPSR *SSN// UCHKJU«P«tSSfSSOCt*T»« AM.COATED H*SS : - ,/ ' Gary Lamberg / Andy Hill Editor/General Manage/ Managing Editor Ralph Ansami News Editor In Our Opinion Boundary Waters area doesn't need vehicles It was a romantic ideal in the late 19th century for Congress to preserve a very few special places, so the public could enjoy what was then called "untrammeled nature." . . , -' We still need areas that are. undeveloped, without motorized traffic, limited in access—unspoiled. Our most popular national parks have been over-run. The quiet sounds of nature are being replaced with the noise of tourist and recreational vehicles. Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is a geological trip back in time. A hiker can observe the Earth's, changes over thousands of years as he descends into the valley of the Colorado River. When you reach the bottom, the tranquility of the moment can easily be shattered by tour planes and helicopters flying through the canyon with loads of sight-seerers. Limiting motorized traffic to certain public places flies in the face of current thinking about handicapped access and opening nature's wonders to all. But a very few areas that have already been set aside need to be preserved, and that means limited access for some. • Congress just got done voting to allow portage trucks into Minnesota's Boundary Waters Wilderness ..Area. Allowing motorized vehicles in this pristine and very vulnerable landscape is a bad idea and a bad precedent. The Boundary Waters is one of the few areas that warrants preserving as a non-motorized area. The pressure for development of the canoe and wilderness preserve has always been great. Opening the area up to motorized portages is a first step in the wrong direction. In most cases, we heartily support local efforts to develop tourism. Motorized access is a big part of doing that. There are, however, instances when development can go too far. The Grand Canyon and Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area are very different places, but they share the designation of being very special places for Americans. Allowing excessive motorized traffic into these areas serves to destroy their reason for being preserved as "untrammeled" areas in the first place. .For these few special places, non-motorized use can produce equally impressive tourism development. The lure of the Boundary Waters Canoe area is the fact that in order to see it, you have to paddle your way in. Developing these sites for motorized vehicles defeats their original purpose and ultimately would be counterproductive for all concerned; exact nature of the problem arid nnsure that every cent of revenues are being counted and reported so that every citizen is informed and can make informed decisions about our budget." Tobacco fight's not over, folks Big Tobacco bought and paid for the defeat of the McCain tobacco bill. Through a $50 million to J100 million nationwide (id campaign, the industry wns nblo to kill the biggest public henlth measure to reach the Senate flrxjr in decades. Parents not getting much help NEW YORK (AP) — Parents who hope to keep their children away from television programs that depict violence aren't getting much help from the networks. Although the new TV ratings system has an "FV rating to denote programs with fantasy violence, three-quarters of children'^ pro- TV v/o/e/Tcg ___^_ grams that depict three or more violent scenes weren't given the rating, according to a study released Monday by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Television networks and show distributors ore responsible for assigning ratings to their programs under the system instituted last year. Doonesbury Th* fight is not over. Nationally, as in Michigan, there is supp- port for strong' tobacco legislation. The American people want CongreH* to pass effective legislation to curb tohnccco une without «p«"ci«l protections for the tobiKco industry. The American t ( unn AsM'inaMun of Michigan will continue to tltfht locally to combtu big tobacco's in- VAX on of our communities We will al»o continue to *ui>|xirt •tnmg national tobai 1:0 !i* r !<<li< Uon. We ar* optimistic the <l.iy will com« when big lohacco * bold <m otu chiidrrni !ivr« will r»> r<- BY GARRY TRUOEAU Carol U.P. regional M Aaooriatkm ?. ** THOUGHT rtf&MS rue Ht&fr ac*/ couu>

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