Friday, September 23, 2011

Clip of the Week, revisited (plus, a bonus rant)

Alright, this week I've been bested. While I was busy scraping the bottom of the internet barrel for this week's Clip of the Week, the Red Cowboy over there was killing it with an amazing Lewis Black rant from The Daily Show. Yeah, I said that Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert clips made for "lazy" Clip of the Week fodder, but this is only technically a Jon Stewart clip. Really, it's Lewis Black doing what he does best--ranting. And that's something I can always get behind.

Good stuff.

(If you don't want to read my long-winded, super bitter, Lewis Black-inspired rant, you can stop reading now. Otherwise, come along for the ride...)

As the nurturing husband to a pregnant wife, I'm particularly aware of the absolutely amazingly awful "science" that ill-meaning quacks like Dr. Oz distort, overreport, and abuse for profit. Pregnant women (generally speaking) are hormonally unequipped to properly deal with the fear-mongering that these clowns spew out on a regular basis, and this changes only slightly when those same women become mothers of small children. It's the absolute lowest form of dirty business, and these "scientists" should be ashamed of themselves.

Time after time, I've been confronted with flawed scientific "studies" that either dramatically exaggerate a risk or, in some cases, completely fabricate one. If you boil down soy sauce into a concentrated syrup, then inject it into a pregnant mouse's heart in a massive dose, you shouldn't be surprised when you find out that hey, holy shit, that pregnant mouse's kid is seriously messed up--and you definitely shouldn't tell pregnant women to avoid soy sauce due to your "study results".

But that's essentially what a lot of these "scientists" are doing, and that's just disgusting. When their messages then get skewed and misreported by media outlets, these things of course often take on a life of their own. It's a dynamic that I'm harping on all the time here on the blog, and lately the effects of this bad journalism have become much more personal.

My recently deceased grandfather always used to tell me, "everything in moderation, pal"--for him, it was the highest form of sage advice. Well, Grandpa didn't always follow his own advice--he smoked for many years, he ate a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, and he was overweight--but he did live to be 88, despite doing battle with several of the top-10 killers of man (including cancer, strokes, and emphysema). And these days, I'm increasingly convinced that there's a lot more wisdom coming from old Boston police officers like him than from scummy yet heavily-credentialed assholes like Dr. Oz.

Sorry--I had to get that off my chest. Thanks, Lewis Black, for the inspiration.

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