Quick Pats of Butter: Writing, Drugs, and Sex
* Today the writer Jose Saramago died and while the New York Times is imperfect, I can’t front on their obituaries for Nobel Prize winners; they have that isht worked up well in advance, then throw it in the freezer so it’s ready to defrost and cook up immediately. Saramago is an author that the ratio of books-of-his-I-own to books-of-his-I’ve-read is only 4:1, but I enjoyed both the book Blindness as well as the movie adaptation of it. [Sidenote: I recommend seeing the movie first, it’s a strategy I’ve unintentionally developed with most movie/book combos that helps stave off near-inevitable disappointment and instead appreciate whatever gifts the films have.] Saramago writes in a style some deem impenetrable — pages of unblocked text, nary a paragraph break in sight and just enough punctuation to keep it fenced in — and it’s certainly not for everyone, but as a writer, I admire his career for not really getting started until he was in his 50s. As someone still in their 30s, it’s good to know my best work could conceivably still be far off on the horizon, waiting for me.
* Jeremy London was kidnapped and forced to take drugs last week, and today someone was arrested for the crime. First of all, I still can’t tell the difference between Jeremy and Jason. Not that they look that much alike, I just haven’t made the effort since “I’ll Fly Away” (I see you, Regina Taylor). Second of all, this sounds suspiciously like a plot from season four of Six Feet Under. I should probably be inserting some ‘allegedly’ in this paragraph on all ends, and I’m generally anti-“reporting” on people’s personal addiction battles as legitimate news, but I just can’t stop thinking about this story since it first broke last week, I wonder if he meant for things to get so out of hand. Perhaps he is just following Wanda Sykes advice to stick with his lie.
* The equivalent of viagra for women doesn’t look like it will get approved by the FDA, and just like the original blue pill, turns out it was discovered on accident:
Flibanserin was originally developed as an antidepressant. But Boehringer Ingelheim noticed the drug scored better than placebo or a competitor pill in those trials on the question “how strong is your sex drive?” That led to its repurposing as a female sex stimulant.
If you didn’t know, Viagra started as a treatment for hypertension, but patients reported erections during the testing and that brings us current.
Now, I sure think it would be great if the medical industry spent as much time and resources fixing women’s health problems as they do men’s health problems, but I get nervous when a company that makes the drugs also helps make a four-part documentary to air on the Discovery Channel to teach us about the dangers of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. I know health education movies have to get their funding from somewhere, but I’m old-fashioned, I would prefer it to be from third-parties that don’t stand to gain $2 billion from the approval of the drug by the government. And while we’re at it, can we do something about the horrible name, Flibanserin? I’ve moved the accented syllable around several times, and nothing sounds right.