Somebody once said that great illnesses create great doctors. The ones who are even capable of sacrificing themselves in search of some kind of cure or vaccine. I would add that television too can create doctors… The first thing that comes to mind here are two names - Kashpirovsky and Chumak.
In late 80’s, the Soviet television offered its spectators an unprecedented product - treatment sessions by Anatoly Kashpirovsky and Allan Chumak. Both of them were promising to help with almost any disease. The audience of these healers made up to 200 million people. One of them was shouting at people as they dropped to the floor while the other remained strangely quiet, making strange hand gestures.
From today’s standpoint it all seems like some sort of mass psychosis. But we can understand those people sitting in front of their screens. The collapse of the Union, the decline of medicine…
A sick person understood that one could only count on God or...magicians on TV.
Kashpirovsky was quite the talker, while Chumak was more of a silent type. When Kashpirovsky was hypnotizing the crowd at the stadium, Chumak was charging water and other liquids with energy. Just imagine, people would put bowls full of water in front of their television sets and believed that it would expand their lifespans.
Even though the two of them were openly rivalling each other (Kashpirovsky considered Chumak a charlatan, while the intellectual Chumak pointed to his opponent’s acts of sabotage), millions of people believed in them.
It all ended in 1993 with the interdiction of TV hypnosis. Chumak and Kashpirovsky were even recognized as a kind of “psychotropic weapon”. But the healers continued having sold-out shows. Kashpirovsky sold tapes and CDs with their performances while his concurrents made huge amounts of money on “charged” water and ointments.
While the population of the former Soviet Union was entertaining itself by falling into trance, the West went in a different direction. In late 70’s the coolest doctor there was probably Leonard McCoy.
Leonard was born in Atlanta, Georgia, US, to Caroline and Harrison (David, according to other sources) McCoys. He had a happy childhood until he lost his parents. Since then, Leonard’s upbringing became his grandfather’s, TJ’s job. It was TJ, a doctor, who had the biggest influence on Leonard’s choice of his path in life.
Leonard does have a rather impressive resume - he conducted a large scale vaccination, saving millions of lives. He was also the one who invented the unique method of brain cortex surgery.
There’s just one tiny problem: Dr. McCoy works at USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) - a starship, and he only cures the characters of the “Star Trek” TV series…
But it’s all good, there is another doctor! He’s withdrawn, harsh, prone to rebelling. He doesn’t bother himself with respecting the rules of etiquette and sometimes it seems like he’s completely devoid of the sense of compassion (which, however, isn’t true). “Everybody lies” - that’s his favourite motto and that’s exactly the approach that helps him untangle some of the most difficult situations and unprecedented cases, leading to saving yet another patient’s life.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold Doctor House! He’s wonderful! The world saw House in distant 2003 and he’s been able to solve many a mystery and save a great amount of lives ever since. But it all came to an end when, on May 21 2012 FOX aired the last, 177th episode of the show “Doctor House”...
Maybe, it’s not accidental that doctors from TV shows are popular in the Western world. They know exactly what to do. The time of tele-healers has passed. It’s unlikely that we’ll trust someone from television today. Well, at least I really hope so. Although, I have now remembered that Russia has channel 1 with the show called “Health”. It has a good rating and many people watch it. Here’s one of my favourite scenes from there.
You can watch the show here. And I’m not so sure anymore… Maybe they shouldn’t have banned TV hypnosis there after all?
In the end, I would say that it would all be much less fun without TV doctors. They bring much positivity and a possibility to look at doctors from a different angle, without fear or anxiety. And they really know what needs to be done, beating diseases right in front of our eyes. And that’s pretty cool.