My Musings. Deep and not-so-deep thoughts from the brain of Jonathan Adler

my musing#18

Whatever happens with the health care debate, I know one thing for sure:

We are lucky to live in an
age of pills.

Every day I thank God for the pharmaceutical industry. From the mild placebo effect of regular- strength Tylenol to the pain numbing power of two Aleve, from the fear-of-flying- conquering might of a Xanax to the iconic octagon of a self-esteem-preserving Propecia—


Did you know that Drugs.com even has a Pill Identification Wizard? After sneaking a furtive peek into your frenemy’s medicine cabinet, check this out to see what they’re on. Or troll the Internet Drug Index for fun names to drop into casual conversation at your next dinner party so you sound more jaded and countercultural.

Luckily, I’ve managed to avoid becoming dependent on any pharmaceuticals, but one thing I am addicted to is pill iconography. Pill shapes– lozenges, circles, hexagons– are always very pure and perfect and the colors couldn’t be more mod. Pop one of these:

Many artists have been fallen under the spell of pills, too, from Damien Hirst to Andy Warhol to Claes Oldenburg. Actually, as I write this, it occurs to me that there are people whose profession it must be to design pills. This is my dream job: I’ve always wanted to create a pharmaceutical shaped like a clover or an eye, or perhaps treated to a button-tufted texture. (Merck, if you’re reading this, please give me a jingle!)

And speaking of the Internet Drug Index…
Every drug I read about started to sound like a cure for a decorating ailment. Here are some real drug names and their faux function:

A weekly injection to counter the anxiety of
major furniture splurges. Having
trouble committing to the perfect sofa after
months of searching? Adalat will encourage
you to, um, add all that.


Take four pills two times daily to cure your overindulgence in florid floral centerpieces
(really, just a tight cluster of small blossoms
plonked in a vase will do, thank you very much).

Administering a twice-daily spray up your
schnozz will embolden you to
emblazon your
inner sanctum
in shades of blue—from
sky to azure.