Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sweet Belinda

One of the millions of minor bloggers out there was elevated quite suddenly in just minutes of one day.

She had appreciated a new series on one of the networks, and she said so in her web log, with a readership of twelve, not any of them attending. The program on the network featured the American ideal of the stalwart little man through expertise and tenacity overcoming the vast unholy resistance of the corporate powers. He was a small-town doctor with a degree from a non-elite school called the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine, and his practice included much of what is called alternative medicine.

The medicorps would try and run him off his country roads, and put out evil gossip about him, but the homey kept on curing cancer and raising the dead, despite the distractions. Belinda the blogger thought it a wonderful stirring call to arms for all practicioners of the ethereal arts.

After one posting which contained lots of exclamation points and caps, she noticed there were twenty, thirty comments appended. How can this be? Usually, the only comments on her site are her own. And now they continue, and are not stopping! What have the woodsprites wrought?

She was linked by a major blog with lots of corporate sponsors and also a little-known green chute to the major entertainment corporation which owned both the teevee network and many other entertainment facilities, including plenty of blogs. Our lonesome voice in the wilderness was picked up, amplified, broadcast, and she became a Name.

The cures and practices of the smalltown doctor of the teevee series began to edge up in acceptability. He would in his lab (which served also as his bathroom) concoct a tincture to homepathically treat an ailment, and all over the land the same process would occur, with many vowing to drop their unnecessary medical coverage. The polls showed more and more approval from the public of every cockamamie cult concept known. Carnegie Hall was filled for a lecture on chakra. There were executives of the med firms wondering how they were gonna keep 'em down with the pharm.

All the tribal wisdom came back. Flouridation is a communist plot meant to sap our vital fluids. Vaccinations cause autism (or autonomy; same difference). Cancer is necessary for the AMA to thrive, so it is protected in a secret lab beneath Ft Knox. There are vast colonies on the moon filled with the living dead the Pope doesn't want you to know about, because they were raised by holistic rather than holy orders.

Public funding of science in schools was reconsidered, and the NIH was decommissioned, as was the CDC. No longer was rancor reserved for the doctors who would terminate pregnancies; a more likely challenge was "Why are you sustaining cancer?" The teevee was now full of programs about plucky smalltown practitioners of the subtle arts, and news of the skyrocketing illness and death statistics were not reported, because that was just not a product the public preferred.

Sweet Belindal appeared on Oprah, and then she was given her own teevee program. Everyone was so happy that solutions turned out to be so simple. It had been so humiliating not to know so much; now there was great satisfaction in the confirmation that those who seemed to so far above everyone were frauds and mountebanks.

There was, to be sure, sadness. Not everyone was aboard the magical mystery bus. This family had sickness and death, and they kept quiet about it, for shame. That other one, too. In fact, had they not kept so quiet, they would have learned that sickness and death were pandemic in the land.

And then another blog, right out of the blue, reported that Belinda was under treatment by a physician licensed by the AMA. There was general scoffing, which subsided as medical reports were leaked by disgruntled clinical staff. The reports were headlined.

"Oh, we perceive that you are worried, and lame, and sick unto death. But, weap you when you but behold your own sorry lot? Here is your savior, marred, as you see, by her own private HMO!"

There was great anarchy unleashed in the land, with voices calling in the night. Some would decide, and others reconsider, and this one would take off for another point, from which more returned. It was the worst of times, with memory alone supplying the best.