Thursday, June 10, 2010
Good day every one
After some years watching the growing success of Hugh Laurie playing the part of that irascible American doctor in Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital I feel compelled to speak out. Every week Dr Gregory House tackles the hardest, most obscure and obdurate medical cases. As many media commentators have said he is a driven genius and a very fragile human, one struggling with his own deep seated problems of addiction and isolation. In most episodes he battles with the hospital’s medical administration as well as his obtuse and bewildered staff brushing up against the bristly ego’s of fellow medicos and commonly accepted medical mythology. The result is I admit very entertaining and compelling, as he battles to defeat the affliction, usually almost killing his patients before taa daah in a nick of time bringing them back from the brink.
In this series love him or hate him, there is an awful lot to admire in the character played by Hugh Laurie, the tragic hero afflicted by his own limitations of humanity. A man both traumatized and scarred by his experience of modern medical practice and devoted to solving its conundrums, no matter how unorthodox the diagnosis, methods or treatment. If you were suffering from some debilitating illness that baffled your medicos then you could almost wish to have someone like Dr Gregory House. The tall lanky form limping down those antiseptic white corridors rushing to the rescue, while his cane taps out an urgent Morse code SOS of impatience, pain and frustration. Not forgetting of course the inseparable bottle of Vicodin, a crutch and a curse strategically placed in a pocket of his white coat ready to hand for those difficult moments when everyone else is stuck several pages back in the script.
Yes gripping and entertaining to watch, however would you really want him in charge of your healing, getting the lab rat treatment of trial and error until you’re an inch form passing over? Well really?
At least thank god and ahh science we’ve past the day’s of leeches and pain is an excellent promoter of good physick! Or my favourite;
‘Hmm, excellent progress, a generous discharge of laudable pus! Very commendable, we’ll just draw off a half firkin of blood to balance his humours!’
Now be glad you’re not subjected to that kind of learned discourse, back in the Tudor period (1485-1603) recourse to a skilled and expensive doctor from the College of Physicians was an admission you’d written your will. What’s more your potential heirs, their lawyers and a priest were already hovering over you in the keen expectation of an imminent windfall.
But more on that later, in the meantime, having covered the introduction of this blog on to the meat of the subject!
I have an admission, and I make it not any way being egoistical or narcissist. Rather it is a statement and claim made in proud, but relatively humble honesty.
I am Gregory House, the real Gregory House in that, some well over four decades ago I was baptised with that name. It’s on the tattered copy of my birth certificate and proves beyond reasonable doubt the following;
I am a legal person born in the state of New South Wales and by ancestry entitled to call myself an Australian citizen, holding all the rights, duties and privileges pertaining to that august status.
So there, I’m not a fictional character after all! Nor did I in the grip of some disturbing psychosis or mania seek to latch on to the identity of that dark TV hero and idol and change my name by deed poll. I may add, an act like that could entitle a person to a very exhaustive inspection by Dr House’s real life medical contemporaries and may accord the new ‘House MD’ a nice long rest in a comfy padded room. That just wouldn’t be fair, since a number of my not so close acquaintances would prefer I received the extra long sleeves treatment. Having more than one Gregory House at a caring institution would lead to no end of confusion, just like the plethora of Napoleons or Roosevelts! (see Arsenic and Old Lace, the doctor Witherspoon scene)
Now we separate the sheep from the goats or the ‘Houses’ from the ‘Houses’. Apart from having the same name, I do not look anything like Dr Gregory House, unless you stretched me on a Rack an extra foot or so. Though, I feel that both of us seem to equally draw upon a natural reservoir of sarcasm and dark humour that may be uniquely accessible to those affecting the ‘House psyche’.
So that the issue of the basic House-ness settled, on to more intriguing areas.
I fear I must live with the sad fact that although I share a stage name with a famous and talented actor, Hugh Laurie, I’ am not cut from the same cloth. Though many years ago I did dally with the silver screen and occasionally did some stunt work. Though unlike some, I picked the shallow end of the cinematic gene pool appearing in such seminal Aussie films as ‘Deathcheaters!’ and Machismo the Mighty and the Seven Dirty Sons of Hercules. Plus, I did occasionally rise out of the mire and contributed a few pieces of work or useful advice to other more successful cinematic productions, so it wasn’t a total loss. I can however honestly claim to have been in the same school and graduating year as Hugo Weaving, you know Mr Anderson in Matrix, one of the four transvestites in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Elrond in Lord of the Rings. So there you go near famous.
The aims of this Blog
1. Shameless self promotion!!!!
2. Ego tripping!
3. Riding someone else’s coat tails to Fame Glory and Wealth! Yee haw!!
4. Comment on some of the stranger practices and facets of our modern society
5. Examine the scary world of Medieval and Tudor medicine, its closer than you think.
6. An examination of history, both fact and fiction
7. Showcase my writing and thoughts.
8. Communicate and share my knowledge.
9. Get published.
Okay, realistically the first three are a subconscious background to any blogging. Though if I’d wanted to utilise the fame of Dr House this blog would have appeared the third week of the first season. The main reasons for doing this are numbers 4-9 with a heavier emphasis on history.
So welcome to the story! I will try and update this at least four times a week with interesting snippets, sidelines and reviews from the past and present, please browse and if you want to leave a comment go for it.