TB or Not TB.

Sometimes when I’m watching TV I pay attention to the commercials and think about whether I’m the target audience. Sometimes I’m not—that is unless I happen to have a grandchild I don’t know about who also happens to have a rare and unpronounceable disease, all of which seems pretty unlikely, but, still, maybe there’s a reason I’m sitting up late watching reruns of Barney Miller. The Sixties were a crazy decade and a lot of stuff went on that I don’t remember, mostly because I wasn’t alive in the Sixties. Anyway I saw this ad on the bus and started wondering if I was the target audience:

Well, I’m pretty sure I am the target audience for the “Walk. Bike. Ride.” ad on the right since I do at least two of those things on a regular basis, maybe even three–this is a crazy decade and maybe I’m out there riding and don’t know it–but what’s with the ad for tuberculosis on the left? Well, specifically it’s an ad for tuberculosis prevention—if there’s a “Want tuberculosis? Call now for a free offer!” ad out there I’m pretty sure I’m not the target audience for it.

The ad is also a little unnerving. Didn’t tuberculosis go out with the Victorians and other dinosaurs? I thought these days the only consumption anybody worried about was the conspicuous type. And when I hear that some atrocious fashions are coming back I assume people mean bellbottoms and not coughing up blood, even if it was chic among the Pre-Raphaelites.

In all seriousness tuberculosis is a terrible disease and while the number of cases worldwide is decreasing about one-fourth of the world’s population is believed to be infected—a number that’s even higher in Carson McCullers novels—and if anything we should be doing everything we can to make it unfashionable.

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  1. Ann Koplow

    I’m proud to be the target audience for your blog, Chris.
    Ann Koplow recently posted…Day 2381: M.I.A.My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad to be part of the target audience for your blog too. It’s a hit!

  2. mydangblog

    I wonder with the prevalence of idiots who refuse to vaccinate their children, if TB is making a comeback like all those 90s boy bands. Measles is currently on tour so why not?
    mydangblog recently posted…My Week 245: It’s QuestionableMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The idiots who refuse to vaccinate their children certainly are causing plenty of trouble–and not just measles but other diseases as well. I hope they’re not why TB is making a comeback but they’re certainly not helping. They should be forced to listen to Nickelback. Okay, that’s too cruel. They should be forced to listen to 98 Degrees.

  3. Kristine Laco

    I am flummoxed at how many shows I watch where I appear to not be watching the right shows–based on the target audience of the ads. I may be getting older, but I’m a few years away from needing bars in the shower, health insurance for the uninsurable, or adult diapers. Also, VACCINATE! Those of us who haven’t seen the diseases take our loved-ones should respect the generations that had to endure that horror and the solutions they developed to keep us all from their suffering.
    Kristine Laco recently posted…20 Fake News Articles I Want to ReadMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It really weirds me out when I’m watching a show and an ad for funeral services pops up. I hope they don’t know something I don’t.
      And, yes, VACCINATE. Honestly it’s reaching the point that I won’t be surprised if smallpox makes a comeback because idiots won’t vaccinate their kids or themselves.

  4. Tom

    Let’s face it, Val Kilmer made TB hot again in Tombstone. Soon everyone wanted to be a gun-slingin’, cup-twirling lunger. But damn people, that was twenty years ago. He’s probably dead by now. Doc, I mean. I’m pretty sure Val Kilmer is still around doing terrible movies.


    Wasn’t Barney Miller in the 70s?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The worst thing about Val Kilmer doing terrible movies is he’s such a good actor, but he should use the power of his good looks and charm responsibly and not go making things like TB attractive again. It was bad enough when Pre-Raphaelite painters encouraged their models to get TB.
      And…yeah, Barney Miller was in the ’70’s. I told you the Sixties were a crazy decade. So crazy it spilled over into the next decade.


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