Category Archives: November 2010

I’ve Had My Fill of Ads for Pills

I tolerated the fungus-fighting toe and the lady whose cat and dog’s bodies are the word sleep and wake. The lady who walks through a world where everything besides her appears to be made of white paper does kind of weird me out. But the final straw for me is the pile of intestines with the turtle legs and head.image

It seems like we are being bombarded with direct to consumer TV ads. Twenty-four billion dollars were spent on these ads in 2014 and 2015 is on pace to exceed last year. Pharmaceutical companies spend over twice that amount marketing their drugs to doctors.

With these advertising budgets, why are they paying people to create intestine turtles? The majority of ads either show adults enjoying fun activities and/or employ some kind of cartoonish material. I believe this is done to distract viewers from the long list of side effects, some of which might be fatal, that companies are required to include in the ad. Are you focusing on the cute sleep cat, or the line that says you might experience temporary paralysis upon waking?

So many of the drugs advertised do not cure the disease, but only help manage the symptoms and as for those nasty side effects, well they have a drug for that also. So as I take my medicine to help me sleep tonight, I worry whether I will get up and eat during the night in my sleep. I worry that I may not be able to move when the alarm sounds. I notice a twitching in my right eye. Is that a sign of dry eye? Is that spot on my toe fungus? Better get an appointment with my doctor and ask, and maybe he can get something for my nerves.

If you are interested in learning more about how new drugs are developed and marketed, you can read an article from Harvard University Center of Ethics here.

Image courtesy of jk 1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

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Fantasy Starts, False Starts, and Failed Starts

Most of us could make a long list of things we want to start.  Many lists would include starting habits traditionally found in New Year’s resolutions. This year I’m going to exercise more, eat healthier, start saving more money, volunteer my time….blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. Some items would be more personal. This is the spring I’m going to build that deck I’ve been talking about for years, the summer I will take the family camping, the fall I take those cooking classes or the winter I start writing my novel.

Too often most of the items on our lists amount to no more than fantasy starts.  We picture the evenings we spend on our new deck or the restaurant quality meals we will whip up in the kitchen, and that is as far as we get. Don’t get me wrong, visualizing a successful outcome is helpful in reaching your goal.  Visualizing the steps and hard work it will take to accomplish your goal is much more productive.

If we get past the fantasy stage, then we may fall victim to a false start.  We draw up plans for the deck, calculate the materials we need and get expert advice on how to proceed and go no further. I am the king of false starts.  Live Your Future Now has been without a new post for over 2 years.  This article you are reading now was started in September of 2013!

One item on my list for years has been to be a successful writer, not just of a blog, but also of short stories. Three years ago I purchased the domain Writerrick.com and have not even purchased hosting much less published anything.  I have 4, or is it 5, short stories started and no good reason why I haven’t finished even one.

While writing is at the top of my list, I also want to run a 5K this year, lose 15 more pounds, (I’ve already lost 15 since February 20th) and improve my interpersonal and spiritual relationships. Sounds like a lot to attempt and it won’t be easy.

To help me achieve these goals, I am changing the mission of Live Your Future Now. I will use this blog to discuss my struggles, successes, and the materials I have found to help me along the way.  I’m not doing this to receive encouragement and congratulations, although I will take all I can get.  The reason is to keep me writing, hold me accountable and hopefully help others reach their goals.

It would foolish to believe I will succeed in everything I attempt. There will be some starts where I try my best but fail.  Maybe the goal was not realistic or I did not plan properly.  I will learn from the experience, replan and start again.

While there will still be occasional posts on living a simple, uncluttered life as I have not abandoned my minimalistic ideas, the majority of posts will be on my writing and running goals.

Most people reading this blog at this time are my family and friends. To reach my goal of being a successful writer I need to expand my audience. If you feel any of my posts may be helpful to one of your friends, please share it with them. Let them join me in my journey.

P.S. I both ran and wrote today, so today was a good day! See the poem below.

I RAN TODAY
(a poem? by Rick McCarthy)
I ran today. Feet flying over pavement.
I do not know whether I run to escape or arrive.
I do not care.
All I know is-
I ran today. I will continue to run
For as long as my heart provides life’s blood
For as long as oxygen flows through my brain.
I will run until my body can no longer.
And then … I am done.

I wrote today. Fingers flying over keyboard.
I do not know whether I write to escape or arrive.
I do not care.
All I know is-
I wrote today. I will continue to write
For as long as my heart provides life’s stories.
For as long as ideas flow through my brain.
I will write until my soul can no longer.
And then … I am done.

 

Adding Profanity to Your Blog…True to Yourself vs. True to Your Readers.

swearing in cartoon

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, some of the web’s most popular bloggers have announced that they are going to start using profanity in their blogs.  Since they use profanity in their everyday lives, they feel that to be true to themselves they must use profanity in their posts.

I’m no saint and I have been known to use some swear words when angered.  I think some silently and mutter one under my breath at times.  When I was in high school and college, I was a real potty mouth when I was among my friends.  Now, out of respect to others, you will never hear me curse in a public place.  Many of my current friends and family members could not tell you of a time when they have heard me swear. Am I being untrue to myself?

It was last August when I first stumbled upon a blog about minimalist living.  I was intrigued by the lifestyle and read as many blog posts on the subject as I could find.  Several months later, I decided that I would like to start a blog of my own detailing my experiences with minimalism and to encourage others to try the lifestyle.  Once again, I read many blog posts on how to have a successful blog and I purchased some e-books on the subject.

Although each author used their own way to express what it takes to have a successful blog, there seems to be a common theme:  write great content that has value for your readers.

I subscribe to the blogs I am talking about in this post for exactly those reasons.  They are excellent writers and have given me valuable information.  In reviewing some of their posts that were most helpful to me, I don’t see where using the f-word as an adjective would have either improved the content or made the article more valuable to me. Will “being true to themselves” by using profanity in the future improve the content in their posts and make them more valuable to their readers, or will it distract from their message?  Is being f-ing awesome a higher level than being awesome?

One author mentioned that they might lose some readers by using profanity.  I will continue to subscribe to his blog because I am confident that he will continue to produce great content that is helpful to me.  It is a shame that his decision to use profanity may cause people to unsubscribe from his blog or to decide not to subscribe because of the language.  Those people will miss out on the great things he has to say.  I wonder if anyone decides not to subscribe to a blog because they could find no profanity?

I encourage these authors to weigh this “being true to yourself” against the value and insight they offer to their readers.  I believe most of us do not think we are being untrue to ourselves when we choose not to use profanity in public places.  Their blogs are public places.  The decision is theirs, hopefully they will do what offers the best content and value to their readers.

As for me, I also aspire to be awesome.  If I have to use a word that begins with the letter f as an adjective, I’ll settle for being Fantastically Awesome!

Works for me.  Any Comments?

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If this is your first visit to my blog, please review my posts on living a simpler, uncluttered life.  A good place to start is “A Call for Change, Make 2011 the Year of Less”.