South Park Takes On
Those of you who know of my struggles against quackery can only imagine my shock and amazement when, low and behold, South Park took on alternative medicine this week! Here's a synopsis of the show:
South Park on Alternative Medicine
Kyle Broslavski is sick in bed. His mom explains to a neighbor, Sharon, that he is a diabetic and has always had kidney problems but lately they just seem to be shutting down.
Sheila: I don't know what to do Sharon. They want to have him go into surgery! It's so dangerous.
Sharon: Sheila, have you tried holistic natural medicines? They work wonders! I read all about it in People.
Sheila: Really? In People?
Sharon: There's a brand new shop in town that sells holistic medicines and all natural foods. It's run by this fascinating woman named Miss Information.
Sheila: Oh, well, with a name like Miss Information she must know something!
So they take Kyle to the holistic medicine store.
Miss Information: You see, the reason our bodies fail is because of toxins. All the horrible food we eat, the sodas and meat, are filled with toxins; and the only way for us to get better is to flush those toxins out of our system. Western Medicine is so quick to cut and carve up, when all your son needs is a constant flushing diet of lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
Sheila: Did you hear that Kyle? You don't need surgery after all! Kyle: (mumbles incoherently)
Stan (Kyle's friend, Sharon's son): Excuse me, but what do these toxins look like? Have you ever actually seen a toxin?
Sharon: Don't be a smart ass, Stanley!
Miss Information: Ms. Broslavski, I'd like to give your son herbs which focus on the kidneys. I have these excellent herbs from local Native Americans.
Sharon: Ooh! Native Americans. Now they know how to heal the body spiritually!
Next day we see Ms Information make a home visit. Kyle is in bed, stuporous, and a couple of neighbor moms are commenting how terrible he looks.
Miss Information(making a grand entrance): Good Morning everyone!
Sheila: Oh, thanks for coming Miss Information. Kyle seems to be getting worse!
Miss Information walks over to the bed, closes her eyes, and waves her hands over Kyle while humming. She does a two second assessment.
Miss Information: Oh, I don't agree! He seems MUCH better. Sheila: Really?
Miss Information: Yes. His chi is flowing much nicer than yesterday, and his aura is lighter!
Sharon: Oh that's great news!
Kyle suddenly vomits a bucketfull on the floor.
Sheila: Oh no!
Miss Information: No, no, that's GOOD! Those are the toxins flushing out of his system.
Stan: Those aren't toxins, that's the bean with bacon soup he ate a half hour ago!
Sharon: Stanley, what did I say about being a smart ass?
Miss Information: Now don't be fooled as Kyle's body sheds itself of more and more of the toxins. He may appear to be getting worse, but actually he's getting better.
Sheila: Oh! Well, I am SOLD on natural medicines. If only I had known sooner.
There's a great scene in the holistic medicine store where people are now lined up around the block to get in, and the place is crowed with shoppers all excited about finding products like "free range aspirin" and "all natural cell phones." The Native Americans then make their appearance, played by Cheech and Chong. They are obviously latinos, but the crowd believes Miss Information, and C+C play along with the charade. They are immediately mobbed by the crowd, demanding to know if they have any new holistic items for sale. Cheech reaches into a box and pulls out a clothes hanger held together with duct tape.
Cheech: Oh, yeah, ahh ... here! This is a, ahh ... a dream catcher!
Patron: Oh! A dream catcher! I'll buy one of those!
Crowd: Yeah! Me too.
Chong: And these here are Cherokee hair tampons. They're like all natural tampons made from the hair of Cherokee people.
Sharon: Ooo! A tampon made from Cherokee hair. Now that sounds all natural!
Miss Information: native Americans are more in tune with the earth than we are.
Miss Information then suggests that the Native Americans do a healing on Kyle the next day, which they readily agree to do ("Yeah, we'll give him a brain enema or something, man!") Miss Information then leads Sheila over to the cash register to take a deposit for the treatment. Meanwhile, Stan walks in after talking to the town MD. He says the doc told him that the holistic medicines won't work, and that Kyle needs a kidney transplant as soon as possible.
Ms Information: Well, of course the doctor told you that, because HE wants to make MONEY. Holistic medicine is about NATURE! (turning to Sheila) That'll be $233.
Sheila: Everything will be fine, Stan. We're bringing Kyle in to see the Native Americans personally.
Stan: Isn't is possible that these Indians don't know what they're talking about?
Sharon: You watch your mouth Stanley! The Native Americans were raped of their land and resources by white people like us!
Stan: And that has something to do with their medicine because...?
Sharon: ENOUGH Stanley!
Well, you get the picture. They bring Kyle in the next day for the "treatment" and Cheech and Chong see how sick he is, and suggest that, really, he needs to see a doctor. The crowd insists that they must know how to heal him, but then they confess that they are not really Native Americans, but, well, Mexicans, actually. One man spits out the potion he was drinking, and another woman grabs her crotch and screams in horror, most likely having second thoughts about the Cherokee hair tampon. It all ends well, though. Kyle gets his transplant in time, and the angry crowd beats up the owner of the holistic medicine shop.
Man, I love this show.
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