When I wrote the PSA track off of my album - The Unspoken Word - reflecting on healthy living and the crazy proliferation of pharmaceutical commercials pushing their pills on the public at large seemed like a cool idea, though I never thought that life would imitate art. Initially PSA was a short track modeled after 80's public service announcements I would see as a kid during Saturday morning cartoons, set to a funk breakbeat - this song was originally destined for an overseas mixtape that never saw the light of day. Working with Headnodic on the track, he actually suggested the opening skit idea for some ficticious pill product that big pharma was trying to push on the public. Instead of making it super silly I thought why not use actual side affects heard on different pill commercials here in the U.S. While the song itself shed light on such current health trends as:
lil kids at school gettin diabetes 2/
50yrs ago you couldn't find 2
or extolling remedies for healthy living such as:
Eat your fruits and vegetables /30mins a day for the heart/
seek all the things that's best in you/ now you're feelin the day from the start
I never thought that this healthy thing would lead me to go vegetarian in 2012, but I think 2012 saw the seeds of this evolution being reflected in PSA. While I still made mention of free range chicken (which I still think is a good thing!) I started getting exposed to more health info, and as always when you get exposed to data that's pretty strong, it's hard to then unknow it and act differently. Envisioning a life that can keep sickness at bay, manage stress, eat to live (vs living to eat) and eat in a way that undermined sickness and empowered me to slow down in a fast paced culture was all too attactive to turn away from. I had a few tipping points that made the way clear, I will only name the following two:
1. Irving Kirsch's article on how the effectiveness of anti-depressents were close to that of a sugar pill (aka placebo). It seems some of the drug company clinical trials showed patients that were given a placebo pill had a remarklably close improvement to what was seen in the patients given the actual anti-depressant medication. Hmmm, perhaps the power of the mind helped those patients taking the placebo pill??? Then as illustrated in PSA there's all the side affects - begging the question "Do the side affects outweigh the benefits?" Once such example is Tardive Dyskinesia a physical disorder caused by anti-depressants that affects a person's ability to talk, chew, speak even or control the motor functions of their mouth in general.
2. The documentary Forks Over Knives pretty much converted me to eating a plant based diet, even though I went into watching this film really skeptically (due to bad press reviews) and I wont go into all the details but one of the main points I took away from this fillm is that between how we eat, live and excercise things like heart disease, heart attacks, obescity, high blood pressure and even cancer need not be occuring at the high rates that they do, let alone at all.
Eat well, live well!