Monday, July 15, 2013

When Viagra Lets You Down

Americans have a problem with a lack of common sense. We like to say we have it, but like those people who claim to be happy, Christian, or mature, we lack the very quality we boast of possessing. The best example of this is Thomas Paine, who became famous for his treatise titled Common Sense, yet had the extraordinary bad sense to move to France and get involved in their French Revolution. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you shouldn't move to a country that executes so many people they need things like guillotines to expedite the process.

But no matter how frustrated I get with people, I have learned you can't go up and bonk them over the head with a book and try to knock it in them. You have to be a bit more intelligent than that, and plant wisdom in their heads when they least expect it. Preferably while they are being entertained. And that is where House comes in.

What does a television show starring an Englishman who plays the role of a bitter American with a gimpy leg have to do with it? He is frustrated, too. He has had it up to here with nonsense. Yes, he has a drug addiction, but we all have our weaknesses, so I forgive him. He doesn't mince words, and he tells it like it is. Admittedly, as a hypochondriac who learned the hard way not to visit the CDC's website in the middle of the night, the graphic scenes of germs entering bodies and wreaking havoc are hard to stomach, but the underlying lessons are so worth the sleepless nights worrying about whether your everyday habits are slowly killing you. 

I feel a kinship with this man, because I feel like we're fighting the same war. Which is the war against people who have no common sense. Americans don't like to think anymore. We now resort to our own technological prowess to solve problems that could be solved with a bit of practicality. But House's strong point is that they have figured out that Americans still respond to fear. So they scare us into thinking before we act on our whims. 

Take the episode where a brother and sister are showing signs of puberty, which would be fine if they weren't both under the age of nine. Needless to say, this is a cause for concern. While House's team of doctors bumble about searching the family's home for explanations, House realizes that the idiotic father of the children, in his quest to pursue romance, uses his own special hormonal magic to achieve great heights of love, if you know what I mean. By doing this not only has he wrecked his children emotionally and physically for life, but he has also caused his girlfriend to grow a mustache and beard which she is forced to wax every few days. The true tragedy of this story is how a drug has ruined this family's life, because I can only presume his girlfriend dumps him, and the children go to therapy for the next several decades, while he feels miserable about his great mistake.

In a world where most people seem to have forgotten how to think, House is a welcome breath of common sense and reason. Thoughtfulness is an attractive trait, one that would have gotten the unfortunate man a lot farther with his girlfriend and wouldn't have given her a mustache. With this one forty minute episode the television writers have managed to make men think twice before putting their brains away. Think of your children! Think of your lover! Think of the problems that can be created when the worried doctors call in Child Protective Services because they suspect abuse! Think of the costs in therapy! Now put the hormones down, make yourself a nice bowl of oatmeal and watch another episode of House, and the next time you leave your home, please don't leave your brain at the door. 

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