Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Carpe Diem: 2018.05.23 KILLER BRAIN

Readers of these pages will recall, its author is no fan of the pharmaceutical companies of America, a cartel pushing addictive substances that rivals anything that Columbia or Mexico can come up with. Except that our cartel is perfectly legal and our government is addicted to its political contributions, as is much of the electorate addicted to opioids and other “medicaments.”

Are you old enough to remember in the old television days when they used to have commercials in which “doctors” in white doctor jackets used to promote things like antacid tablets and aspirin, but even, as I recall in the case of several brands advertising the healthful benefits of cigarette smoking?

These days it is not the doctors who were doing the promoting but it is people just like you (actually, healthy-looking, smiling actors) in the commercials giving testimonials about how everything from erectile dysfunction, to gastrointestinal problems to even cancer, is subject to cure if you will just” ask your doctor” to write you a prescription for what one of the six huge pharmaceutical companies in America produces.

Well, I write today to confess that I have fallen prey to one of the seductions of the pharmaceutical companies. PREVAGEN.  Perhaps you have seen its commercials. This is the chemical preparation that they allege is derived from jellyfish. Yup, those floating, invertebrate, sort of brain-shaped blobs of goo and dangling appendages.  Allegedly, these sea creatures, that have no idea, or capability to determine, where they are going, can help you recall where you put your car keys or remember what the reason was that you just walked into the bedroom. Maybe at it can even help you remember what it was that you took your Viagra for.

But I write today to deliver a public service announcement. I have been taking PREVAGEN for a few weeks now, and I feel it necessary to alert you to a distressing side effect. I have not noticed any improvement in my cognitive acuity over this period of time. But, for the third time now I have awakened in the morning completely surprised find myself floating about in one of my neighbor’s swimming pools with a raging impulse to sting their children with my newly-formed poisonous tentacles.