Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Me Love You Long Time, Cheap

I've had this back problem for a few years. It gets sore and stiff when I'm walking or standing for a long time, and my right thigh will get a little numbness. My wife had theorized that it is a slightly bulging disc, on top of just a regular old stiff back. I'd kind of resigned myself to just having to live with a back problem because there is not much that can be done medically for them anyway, barring major, painful and not always successful surgery.

Since I got married almost three years ago I now have health insurance for the first time since college (thanks Honey), so I actually get to go to the doctor when something is wrong instead of waiting to see if whatever it is goes away. I had my first check-up with my new doctor last month and mentioned my back problem, and she did not even hesitate to refer me for physical therapy, telling me that I shouldn't have to live with a back problem and that physical therapy could make it go away for good.

I had no idea. I've always thought of physical therapy as something people got for injuries or post-surgery, I didn't even think about it as something I could do to help my back problem. I'm glad I finally told my doctor. Lesson learned here is don't make assumptions about your medical condition, tell your doctor everything they should know.

Anyway, as could be expected, a lot of physical therapy cases are sports injuries. So the Russian physical therapist guy I drew seems bored because, instead of a torn ACL or "quad" problem, he's got a dorky guy with a sore back. And the room where the exercising takes place is covered with autographed pictures of jock types. There are tons of basketball players and football players with signed posters of them in action all over the place. A disproportionate of the football players seem to be New England Patriots, which seems odd considering we're in New York. I suppose it's not too surprising. Everything else about Boston sucks, so they must have crappy therapists too.

I'm feeling completely out of place there, and I'm looking around for something I can cling on and relate to. And then I see an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater poster. Aha! OK, so they help artists too, I don't have to feel bad about being here. As I'm looking at the Ailey poster while I'm spending time on the stationary bike, I notice on the bottom that it says the Alvin Ailey season is sponsored by Philip Morris.

What the fuck?!?!

Elite dancer/athletes and they are being funded by Philip Morris? This was a poster from 1995, but still. It's just not right.

We are such a race of whores, us humans. I've got friends from college who have done Nike commercials. They make more in a day of work than a kid working in a Nike factory 15 hours a day in Indonesia makes in a year. But they don't care if they are helping in the oppression of an underclass as long as they get theirs. McDonald's commercials too.

Tennis players being sponsored by Virginia Slims, race cars (which are already evil in themselves, don't get me started) splashed with ads for tobacco and, of all things, alcohol. I'm all for drinking, but encouraging the marriage of cars and alcohol is a little messed up.

Doctors who endorse products in infomercials, despite the fact there is no evidence that they actually do anything, for the cheap price of a few thousand dollars and their integrity.

Fuck everybody else. Who cares who it effects? As long as I get mine.

It's pathetic.

And these people will look down on the street walkers in Vegas or a butt boys in Central Park giving hummers for 50 bucks a pop.

But that's an honest kind of whoring. And at least they are selling themselves out, not everybody but themselves.


Joe said...

Are you honestly telling me that, if someone wanted to give you one day's work that would allow you to pay off every bill you've got, that you wouldn't do it, even if it was McDonald's or another company you didn't like?

Deni said...

Yes, I am saying that. I'd like to think I could resist the temptation of money for my soul.

Where would you draw the line? Would you do a campaign commercial for George W. Bush? A tobacco ad? NRA promo? Are any of those worse than promoting the unfair labor practices of Wal-Mart?

What about beef industry? Willing to be in the doghouse with your wife for a really long time for that one?

What about NAMBLA? Is there an amount of money that would help you sleep at night for doing a promo for them?

Joe said...

Shockingly, I would do any and all of these things, pal. If they paid me, I would lend my voice/face to whatever. Taking their money would not leave me suicidal.

Now, I would not vote for Bush. I would not buy cigarettes. I would not fire a gun. I do my best to never shop at Wal-Mart.

But I can't blame anybody for taking a day's work that will pay them five times what they make at their shitty dayjob.

You wouldn't do that, that's one thing. But you seem a bit overly contemptuous of friends that have.

Deni said...

I'm nothing if not contemptuous...

Carol said...

We have this same debate in the fund raising circles - do we take money from the North Seattle strip clubs for high school scholarships - often granted to kids who are not at the top of their class, but are still "deserving" of the chance, or do we turn it down because we disagree with the donor/source?
It's a sticky thing, but there are ways around it.
I have to go with Joe on this one...

the beige one said...

I'd like to think I could resist the temptation of money for my soul.

Wait, you believe in a soul?