I’m of the general opinion that the pharmaceutical industry is fundamentally and systemically uncool. It’s pretty obvious that the aims of pharmaceutical companies are at odds with the general aims of Americans (and, I suppose, other people) when it comes to their health. We want to have fewer health issues, to cure ourselves of the the ones we do have, and to not have to spend huge amounts of money on drugs to keep ourselves from dying/being in pain/feeling like shit/going bald. Pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, want us to have more health issues, to take drugs to treat our health problems forever without ever curing them, and to go on indefinitely spending huge amounts of money on their drugs in order to keep ourselves from dying/being in pain/feeling like shit/going bald. In other words, pharmaceutical companies are in the business of inventing disorders and creating drugs designed to treat them over long periods of time. Long-term treatment equals long-term profits, while cures equal dick. Anyone who believes that there’s a pharmaceutical company out there looking for a cure for anything probably also believes that there’s opium in Jagermeister and that you can get high by following the advice in the Anarchist’s Cookbook.
Enter Flomax, the latest drug in a long line of elixirs designed to treat disorders that didn’t exist before the drug designed to treat them got patented. You know, drugs like Requip, for that terrible disease known as Restless Legs Syndrome. Do you know what Flomax does? It treats a disorder called BPH, which I don’t care to research because the symptoms are fucking unbelievably silly: waking up to go, stopping and starting, going often, and, the best one, WEAK STREAM.
Are waking up to take a piss, stopping and starting, or going often really so disruptive that we need a pill? I wake up to pee every night, and I didn’t even know I needed medical help. I wonder what else I put up with that’s slightly inconvenient that I ought to be taking a pill for. Is there a pill that will make my hair so impervious to tangles that I need not brush it? Something I can take that will arrest the growth of my toenails so I’ll only have to clip them once a year? Stopping and starting has never really been a problem for me, but I don’t imagine that it hurts, or that it even really matters AT ALL.
I guess going often would be a problem if one had to find a toilet every hour or so, or at least that’s what the Flomax commercial implies. The ad features a group of middle-aged men on a mountain biking trip, their jocularity heavily stifled by the fact that one candy-ass member of the group has to stop every hour or two to have a slash. Then they’re out kayaking because, you know, old dudes love to get together in groups of 8 or so and do some extreme outdoor sports. Imagine the horror of having to pee while out kayaking! The whole adventure would be ruined! Unless, of course, you had a penis or something. Maybe the only thing about being male that I envy is the ability to pee anywhere, anytime, without exposing your ass to the cold and the public, and without running the risk of peeing all over yourself. But apparently Flomax forgot that men have that ability and invented a drug that will regulate their weak little bladders so that they only have to pee when they want to. Because a real man is in charge of his bladder! Only girls and faggots let their bladders get in the way of their good times!
But Flomax isn’t all about curbing frequent urination. It’s also about preventing the embarrassment that comes with a weak stream. Real men are powerful, and what better way is there to demonstrate your masculine animal power than with a urine stream that kicks rocks up off the floor of the forest where you’re mountain biking or kills the fish in the water below your kayak when you aim your stream at them? You don’t want Jim coming over after you’ve just peed on a redwood and saying, “Bob, we’ve been friends for a long time, and I like having you out on these bike trips, but something about your stream is making me wonder if you’re man enough for what we’re trying to do out here.” Seriously, there’s a pill that makes the stream of urine coming out of the penis stronger, because a weak stream is so embarrassing that it requires medical treatment.
I don’t mean to get on a soap box or anything, but I’m pretty sure that there are a few actual disorders out there that warrant a little more attention than weak stream. You know, stuff like cancer, AIDS, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. But then, this is the same pharmaceutical industry that has produced three drugs that allow old people to get boners and engage in sexual activity that might (and often does) kill them and has given us Botox and more baldness drugs than there are snarkily-named microbrews in Oregon. I’ll leave the interpretation to you.