Sunday, July 25, 2004

Complementary medicine and dumb celebrities

[A repost from the old Pooper blog--select comments from the old blog included in the post]

People often assume that if a person is very successful in one area of his or her life, this person would probably be successful in other aspects as well. Oprah Winfrey, for example, is extremely successful in entertainment and business, but in her books and on her show when she talks about issues outside her realm of expertise, some people wrongly assume that she knows more about that particular field than their local garbage man. They'll then quote Oprah on whatever her opinion may be as if they are refering to an expert. "Oh, it's true. I heard it on Oprah."

In critical thinking terminology this is called "faulty appeal to authority."

When people turn to celebrities for advice on love, dieting, politics, etc., the technical term for this critical thinking error is called "extremely fucked up appeal to authority."

Celebrities may be good musical artists or actors (note to Will Smith, you only fall into the "good actor" category), but they don't lead the most stable of lives (what is the divorce rate of celebrities, 90%? A Guiness on tap in Hongdae to the first person who can name 3 famous celebrities over the age of 40 who have never divorced). Considering how messed up most of their lives are, it is probably better wisdom to find out what they do and think and then proceed to do the opposite.

I found this article on celebrities and "complementary medicine" on a MSN homepage (UK). I'd link it, but I can't find it now and basically I cut and paste the whole thing here anyway. Let's find out what these "experts" have to say on health and well-being, shall we?


How does Madonna hold on to pop-icon status, a toy-boy husband, deal with two small kids and look so good aged 45? Dedication and sheer hard work play a part, but so does a regime of different philosophies and therapies, from Ashtanga yoga to Jewish Kabbala and palmistry to mantra therapy

She owes her success to weird philosophies and mantra therapy? No. She owes her success to finding out what image low-attention span clones will buy into next. No one has gone so far in the celebrity world on so little talent. Her singing and dancing are subpar, she doesn't write her own music and let's not even get into her acting. Even Celine Dion can at least claim that she has a good voice. Madonna's only real talent is shamelessly playing the image game.

Does she really "look so good at age 45?" I'm not seeing it, but whatever looks she has held onto are most likely more the result of plastic surgery than anything else? Come on, no nips and tucks? No bi-annual injections of Botox?

Here's a nice article on the Madonna facelift controversy (scroll down for a good quote by Sharon Osbourne, wife of heavy metal GOD Ozzy Osbourne).

(Damn, I just realize I've given away the name of one celebrity who is over 40 and hasn't divorced (and actually has a relationship with his children. Ozzy Osbourne: a role-model for celebrities everywhere to aspire to.)

Now I'm not against plastic surgery (as long as you don't go freakshow Michael Jackson on us), but don't feed us this shit about some quack medicine helping you look young when you have a plastic surgeon's number on your speeddial.

By the by, here's a before and after page on celebrities with plastic surgery for those interested in such things (You'll never guess what kind of surgery Dolly Pardon and Anna Nicole Smith have had done. Ok, maybe you will).


Madge's mate Gwyneth Paltrow is another devotee of complementary medicine. She credits acupuncture with helping her choose her Coldplay singer hubby Chris Martin. We can't promise you will find love, but it is said to treat everything from headaches to high blood pressure. More recently, Gwyn caused a stir by her overt display of the cupping technique she is reported to have been trying

Acupuncture to help you find a rock singer? Wow. I wonder what part of the body they have to put the needle in to make something like that happen. I'm guessing it's directly into the skull where it can pierce into the frontal lobe of the brain. Then, with just a few expert twists of the needle, you'll soon find yourself believing that acupuncture can do most anything!

Uh, no idea what the "cupping technique" means, unless it's related to masturbation and a cold cup of water. If she is trying something like that, then I can see how this might cause quite a stir.

Ah yes, and acupuncture treats "everything from headaches to high blood pressure."

Or, to put it in different (but slightly more accurate) words, acupuncture is only clinically proven to treat headaches and high blood pressure.

Or to put in yet another way, acupuncture is only clinically proven to treat headaches and high blood pressure, but just not very well.

But don't get me started on the anecdotal evidence!

By the way, Gwyneth once swore to me that she has never had a boob job and you know what? I believe her.


The ever-youthful Demi Moore is a big fan of Klamath Lake algae, which she says helps her to combat the stresses in her life. This mouthful of a therapy involves ingesting algae from Klamath Lake, Oregon, US and claims to be full of nutrients and anti-oxidants

Cooooool…ingesting algae. Not "eating" algae on a lovely crisp salad or "drinking" algae in a delightful frosty form of a shake, but "ingesting." To me, this gives the image of some kind of slimey swamp monster sucking down tons of algae off the floor of the mighty Klamath lake into its purple, fleshy maw, periodically taking a break to surface, rear its head back and give a blood curdling throaty wail into the full moon sky.

On second thought, that image probably comes more from it just being an aging Demi Moore than from the word "ingest", but anyway, it works for me.

This ranks only slightly less disgusting than drinking one’s own piss for health benefits. Demi, there are other sources of nutrients and anti-oxidants out on the market, trust me on this one. Kudos to Bruce Willis (one of my favorite actors of all time) for divorcing this ding-bat.


The former supermodel Christy Turlington is a strong believer in India's oldest healing system, Ayurveda, meaning the science of life. So much so that she has brought out her own range of Ayurvedic products.

Now actually, this makes her slightly less retarded than other followers of “complementary medicine”, since, unlike all the others, by selling this snake oil she actually gets some form of tangible benefit from it.

More on "Ayurveda" in just a bit...


Although Ayurveda is a complete medical system, its main claim to fame is to cleanse and rejuvenate, which may explain why ageing celebs like Goldie Hawn and Madonna (is there anything the Material Girl won't try?) are fans

A “complete medical system?” What, so this treats cancer? AIDS? Jock Itch? Tooth decay? I bet if I bothered to look up statistics on the life span of the average Indian I'd find it has been something like in the low 100s for thousands of years. Right? I mean, they've been so lucky to have always had this "complete medical system" since time began and all. God, why do we even bother with western medicine at all?

By the way, a sure sign that some "medicine" or "therapy" is just snake oil is when they claim it cures more than 5 different ailments, regardless of how biologically unrelated these ailments might be.

Dumb Patient: "So you're saying if I walk around all week with this crystal strapped to my penis my chest pains will go away?"

Quack: "Yes, and it will also cure your asthma, clear up that acne, improve your digestion, and prevent fatigue.

Dumb Patient: "Oh really? Great. And will it make my penis larger too?"

Quack: "Don't be silly. For that you need to wash your hair in horse piss. By mighty Vishnu, do they teach kids nothing in schools these days?"

[by the way, while preparing this post I was hoping to find some actual "traditional" method of penis enlargement to put into the above dialogue (entertain and educate, that's my motto), but just typing the word "penis" alone into any search engine brings up thousands of penis enlargement products to wade through, making it nearly impossible to quickly find what I was looking for. Terrified that someone might walk by and notice that I was scrolling though page after page of penis enlargement links (I do my bloggin in the library these days), I had to cut it short (as always, bad pun intended) and just make up the "remedy" about the horse piss. My apologies for not maintaining my normal high standards of accurate blogging journalism.]

Ok, back to Goldie's post.

"Cleanse and rejuvenate?" First off, Goldie hasn’t looked golden for more than a decade, and secondly, refer back to the earlier rant about face lifts and Botox injections. Anyway, I bet Christy Turlington and others in the "Ayurveda industry" are not too pleased with having Goldie's worn face being associated with their product.


Now we enter the world of the weird... certain stars, including Drew Barrymore and Kate Hudson, have turned to Wicca (a type of witchcraft), which claims to provide spiritual guidance in stressed-out times – spooky

I guess Wicca explains Barrymore's "magical" performances in the Charlies Angels movies that have won her so much acclaim.

Anyway, Letterman seems to be fond of her so in respect to Him, I'll just leave her alone.


Breathing lessons
Ummm, this is something us mere mortals manage to do automatically. However, Richard Gere and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both taken part in breathing programmes to improve their lung capacity

Now this is not unlike how I am able to increase my bladder capacity by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

No, actually my "health technique" does have a proven medical benefit: no kidney stones. Unless Gere and Arnold are able to hold in larger hits of marijuana than your average hippie, I'd say their breathing techniques is just a fancy waste of time (and probably an expensive one to if a trained "breathing guru" needs to be around).


Geri Halliwell credited her super-slim figure to yoga, before admitting it was really down to the illness bulimia. This didn't stop her bringing out her own yoga-fitness video, though...

I’ll buy another beer for anyone able to identify who the hell Geri Halliwell is/was. As far as I now, yoga is a legit form of exercise so this shouldn't be here at all, but something evil in me just giggles gleefully every time I hear about another superstar turning out to have bulimia. Maybe it's just my way of coping with the fact that I never made it big as a heavy-metal guitarist, who knows.


This is based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet that correspond to every gland, organ and part of the body. Famous names who have turned to this therapy for relaxation are Princess Di and pop diva Dina Carroll

Reflexes in the feet that correspond to all glands and organs in the body, great. I'm surprised western medicine didn't beat you to that common sense finding. I'm guessing that the big toe corresponds to the tongue, because every time I stub it expressions like "Fuck" "Jesus H. Christ" "God Damnit" "Allah is Fucking Mediocre at Best" and occaisonally "18 dog babies" automatically pour out of my mouth.

This reminds me, if any of you are interested in starting your own bullshit complementary medicine regimen, you’d better act fast before every potential ridiculous theory has been taken.

Select Comments to this post saved from the old blog

Until you've been in these peoples lives you can talk all the shit you want and probably will. And for all the stars out there who look and feel great because of alternative medicine, yoga, or even surgery. MORE POWER TO YOU!!!!

If you bothered to do any legitimate research on the topics you mention- such as the health benefits of acupuncture and yoga-- rather than relying on People magazine as your primary news source, you would find that these modalities are proven to work and have been FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Acugirl, if you bothered doing any legitimate research from actual scientists on any of the topics mentioned, you'd soon realize that 'alternative medicine' quacks have been fooling others and themselves into believing their nonsense works FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Here's something for you to think over. All of the above BS has been around FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS and yet, until medicine based on the scientific method came around, the average life span of people around the world was about 40. The number of major diseases cured by alternative medicine still stands at 0. Thousands of years of practice and practically nothing to show for it. How embarrassing.

But hey, it's your health and money. If you've found a placebo that works for you, be it sticking needles in your body, eating powdered tiger gonads, drinking monk's piss or what have you, then more power to you.

Great article. I laughed my ass off all the way. Stick to science and ignore these idiots that talk about walking a mile in madonna's shoe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're commentaries are quite amusing I must say especially since alot of it is one-sided like all media forums out there. Anyone can present information to support their particualr viewpoint. Unless you actually experienced any of the the things that you write about, you really shouldn't comment on the subject matter...

\/ <3 :)