Home Stretch (and Supplemental Viewing)


The first of the three is three hours from now (Thursday 6:45 PM). Then I have Saturday 5:35 PM and Sunday 2:45 PM. I’ll be filming Sunday’s show, so get your friends all gussied up and full of caffeine, and come help me close out this run! Ticket details at VancouverFringe.com

NOW, some social commentary. It has been fascinating doing “Diagnose This!” in Canada. I’ve had the opportunity to have pre- and post-show discussions about the similar challenges of and differences in health care north and south of the border. Most people are basically left with the question, “How did it get like that?”

I refer you folks to two of the best sources for news in the United States: “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah, and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. (I’m not making any money off of these endorsements. I just think these are good resources.)

My daily outrage started with Trevor Noah’s commentary on there recent court decision that the Sackler Family (Perdue Pharmaceuticals) have to pay a fine for their part in falsely marketing the addictive nature of OxyContin and the part they played in instigating and sustaining the Opioid Crisis in the U.S. and beyond:

Which leads me to John Oliver. His most recent adventure into the topic of the Opioid Crisis (He’s explored it twice) was in April of this year, and may have fueled the public push for the court to make its decision:

I also want to draw your attention to his most recent episode on Bias in the Medical System. People are often shocked when I share the stories that have been shared with me, but this is not just a U.S. problem. This is a Western Medicine problem that we Standardized Patients are actively addressing by teaching true communication and awareness:

But I’m not done yet. Here is another episode on how the Pharmaceutical Companies incentivize doctors to lead patients to certain medications:

Many of you will probably think to yourself, “How am I going to trust these comedians to talk about Big Pharma? This all sounds like conspiracy theory.”

Then allow me to draw your attention to a podcast called “Conspiracy Theories” on the Parcast network. Yes yes yes, I know how this sounds. But each topic has a first well-researched episode dedicated to the historical basis for for conspiracies on a topic, and a second episode dissecting three different theories, rating their possible validity on a scale from one-to-ten. I highly recommend listening episodes on “The Cancer Cure” (which dives into the influence of the Pharmaceutical industry, including Johnson & Johnson’s failure to disclose the presence and effects of asbestos in their talcum powder), “The Aids Epidemic” (which, along with clarifying the history of the disease, debunks one theory while drawing some startling attention to the deep intertwining of Pharmaceutical Industries and Conservative Politics), “The Crack Epidemic” (which lays out the Iran-Contra affair in horrific clarity, and shows that the idea that the U.S. government is responsible for bringing crack into the African-American communities is not “just a theory”), and “Vaccines” (which traces the real incidents and manufactured falsehoods that have led to antivaxx movements and us once again having outbreaks of measles) .

Again, I have no stake in any of these entertainers and businesses. They don’t know who I am. I just want to help folks understand what is happening so we can work on doing something about it.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. Love you, write back–