I want everyone to know right from the start that I've faithfully watched 30 Days since it premiered. I'm a big fan of Morgan Spurlock and the work he does. Typically, I find myself on the opposing side when a big issue comes into play, so when the single person is won over by the group at the end of the episode I can usually just agree and also come out having learned something. For reasons I won't get into right here and now, I was on the side of the "illegal aliens" in the border control episode. I take it as a compliment that people want to actually come to America, and I've always figured something had to be wrong with Mexico since we don't see Canadians "border hopping". Living in Texas now, this has also become a hotter issue. At the end of the episode, I learned a lot more about what actually goes on in Mexico and in the life on illegal immigrants living in the U.S. So while my mind wasn't changed (Because I never felt that people should be denied access to this country), I did learn quite a bit. I also enjoyed the athiest episode, because as a firm believer in God, I didn't think that "church" the family took the athiest to should have converted her... And it didn't. In any case, all of the specifics of the other episodes can be shared and discussed at another time because this particular episode struck me as fairly bad.
There is a word shared by carnies, magicians and grifters for people like the man we saw in the New Age episode, and that word is... mark. Watch Criss Angel on Mind Freak. Listen to anyone of any sort of profession of that nature reveal their secrets. They will admit, it's completely mental. If you tell someone that their hands are starting to feel hot, then if they're weak willed enough (And most people are, but it's not a reflection of poor character), then the person will say "My hands do feel hot"... Because they want to believe it. Because in their mind, they do believe it. Because it's completely mental.
The man Morgan interviewed from Skeptic Magazine was 100% correct when he said these "remedies" were just placebos. Of course if you tell someone to feel relaxed, they're probably going to start feeling relaxed. If you go into a situation such as this, being a man such as we saw in this episode, you are most likely going to fall for every trick they play on you. This man went in with a very open mind- and I respect him for that- but I just wish Morgan Spurlock would choose these people better.
In a typical situation on the show, the man has jars put over his back and turned into a vaccuum. This is supposed to help his back pain. Now, if I was there in his place, not only would I not be relaxed but I'd probably just end up screaming "What are you doing you crazy lady??!!?!?" I wouldn't let myself give in to the show, because really it's all just smoke and mirrors.
The second biggest problem I had with this particular episode was that Morgan talked to a young cancer patient who went through and did everything she was supposed to with medicine but then also encorporated some new age ideas and managed to beat cancer. The fact that new age is kind of latching on and trying to take credit for this just sickens me. Granted, it probably helped her stay in higher spirits, which in turn helped her to get better because as I keep telling you- it's all mental- but the fact is that the new age ~whatever~ can be easily substituted by whatever makes you happy.
Let's say I had cancer. I did all the medicine and stuff I was supposed to, while in my spare time playing video games. Then, I get cured of the cancer. I beat it. Woohoo! Video games cure cancer!! Playstation stock is going to go through the roof!
Do you get my point now? Playing video games may have actually helped to make me feel better, but they did little else to actually remedy me.
And granted, the procedures like acupuncture and "cupping" are just quick fixes to help you feel better for a while without doing any real healing. You could go to a so-called faith healer and have the same effect (See: House, episode "House vs. God")
What I loved most of all was how easily and quickly this man played into the entire show. At one point, he was with his "life coach" and she made him kind of squat down and bark out a word. He did so, and said he felt more energetic. Hmm... Where have I seen that before? Who squats down like that... Yells out a word or two... Maybe sometimes the word is "break"... Mmmm... Right! I remember now! That's a technique used by football players to psych themselves up!
Wait... Wasn't this guy a former football player?
He was a football player. Now he's just a mark.