Detoxifying the Brain – Evil Media

Everyone feels happier if he believes he has science and not just ideological manipulation on his side: the populace at large, the torturers, the policy wonks, the politicians. And if you can ’t directly control the thought patterns of these others, you can at least suggest through inference that if the other is bad, then I must be good, or at least realistic.

-Fuller and Goffey, Evil Media

Meet Dr. Mehmet Oz, America’s most popular doctor and a self-proclaimed miracle worker in the fields of weight loss and nutrition. In a day, he’ll probably have reached more middle aged women than the number of patients most doctors get in a lifetime. You would think that losing weight was as simple as exercising enough to burn off any excess calories, but watching people exercise doesn’t particularly seem like entertainment, nor does repeating common sense. People know that they have to “eat healthier” and “exercise more”, but what does that truly mean?  There are so many types of food that have their own little benefits and so many fad diets to choose from. If media throws in a couple of big, confusing words at us, we’ll probably think that they know what they’re talking about.

…And that’s where the problem lies. In Fuller and Goffey’s book on Evil Media, they observe that our romanticized views of science, logic and technology have allowed us as media consumers to become manipulated as a result of not fully understanding the material at hand. According to them, the idea of brainwashing “is not that it needs to be grounded in some set of references to science or technology. It is the appeal to science and technology to explain brainwashing” (28). For Dr. Oz, metabolism boosters come in the form of expensive supplements, powders, and spices that will magically help you lose weight, but the fact of the matter is that most of these products have minimal effects that aren’t really worth the money spent. But hey, the placebo effect is an actual thing, and some people might actually have delusions that they are feeling better about themselves by ingesting supplements that haven’t even been scientifically proven to work.

Think raspberry ketones, Dr. Oz’s miracle-fat-blaster-toxin-detoxifying-metabolism-boosting-supplement-health-pill-magic-potion-elixir. They haven’t been scientifically proven to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a couple of cool-sounding words to make people think otherwise. If I had to say this in the most cynical, condescending way possible, Dr. Oz’s show is a cruel ploy to make middle aged women buy overpriced supplements marketed as miracle potions in the hopes that it will cure all their self-perceived shortcomings about their body. If you aren’t seeing results, it’s obviously because “new studies” have shown that you need to purchase this new expensive supplement that will help your old expensive supplement work its “magic”. Quite the evil media, indeed.

Wipe that smirk off your face.


~ by zl743 on November 17, 2014.

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