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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Quick thought on House 5.05 "Lucky Thirteen" 
22nd-Oct-2008 12:12 pm
[climbing on soapbox] 

It caused me physical pain last night, hearing Wilson call his beloved friend a drug addict.  And put us back to square one; I'd been so pleased, the week before, when Wilson hadn't argued with House's 'Vicodin as leash' theory.  I'd believed that Wilson finally, finally was undergoing a change in his perspective of the pills.  And last night, of course it didn't help when House referred to himself as a "doctor with a drug habit." I know--how they, and we, view the Vicodin pretty much depends on who's writing the episode.  So much for continuity in such an important aspect of the character, and the show.
22nd-Oct-2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
I've always wished Wilson would leave House the fuck alone about the Vicodin; he obviously needs it. (med pot would probably help get rid of his pain too but then he'd be high all the time and couldn't do his job)
22nd-Oct-2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
back a hundred years ago when i was in grad school, i actually experimented with pot for pain control. it decreased the spasticity of the leg muscles, but actually increased the pain--or, at least, it increased my perception of the pain. another odd thing--tried it three times, never got high. went back to the opioids, which, at least, were legal. hee.

however, i certainly don't think that house would object to giving it a try! :)
22nd-Oct-2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Not surprising...lots of drugs do this. Meperadine given to kidney stone patients, for example. Shoots the pain off the scale. Give them Toredol, they're much better. Given that most of the meds we give for pain don't actually get RID of the pain...rather they alter our perception of it, I'm not surprised that cannibus increased your pain perception. ..does make me wonder if anyone's ever bothered to study it in conjunction with the use of other anti-spasmotics, though. Umm.

22nd-Oct-2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
oh my--you said the bad word--anti-spasmodics. the things that mess with [what's left of] my brain. so, i live with the spasticity instead--and consider it a fair trade-off.

they never discuss house actually having spasms in the leg, but it's an educated assumption i make, based on the known state of the quad, and that there's got to have been further atrophy over the years, and walking with a cane and off-kilter.... anyway, i need him to have leg spasms; they're a mainstay in oh-so-many of my plots! :)

btw--hope you're feeling better.
22nd-Oct-2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
I have friends who are HIV positive and were generous enough to let me have some of their extra med pot (they actually had far more of it than they could smoke themselves) and it's one of the very few things that got rid of my far-worse-than-average menstrual cramps. (and House would probably be easier to get along with after a joint or two)
22nd-Oct-2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
got rid of my far-worse-than-average menstrual cramps

and that too demonstrates its anti-spasmodic action, at least for the two of us! [and btw, not to diagnose or anything, but you've been checked for endometriosis, yes?]
22nd-Oct-2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
I've been checked for everything. I currently take progesterone for period problems (unusually heavy bleeding, overlong duration, etc.) It helps with those, but med pot and other things work better for the cramps.
22nd-Oct-2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
oh, my sympathies! i lived with endometriosis for 14 years. and it was hell. glad you've found things that give you a bit of relief!
22nd-Oct-2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
14 years?! holy crap
22nd-Oct-2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'm going to say the same thing I said in email to KidsNurse about this. At this point, it seems pretty clear that Wilson has gotten over his "you're an addict who needs to change" thing. When the word gets used -- and they both use it -- it feels to me like shorthand between them, a verbal symbol of a reality they both understand.

It's just easier in their conversations to say that, than to rephrase the entire dependency situation every time -- especially given House's preference (for dark humor or other reasons) for framing everything about himself in the most negative way. I really think it's understood between them; I just wish it was understood with more of the audience.
22nd-Oct-2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
lol--and i'm going to reply as i did in email, because i feel so strongly about this: i rather like your thinking about the 'addict' remark. i suppose what bothers me is that the [rather vocal and vehement] majority will not see it that way; they'll simply point to it as further 'proof' of house's 'drug abuse' and 'addiction.' i.e. 'see? even the writers say he's an addict!' sigh.

22nd-Oct-2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
You know, I don't blame the writers in this case and here's why: I don't think it's them. As I see it, they can't use the correct words because those words do not yet exist, not in any way that will work in real-life conversation.

There's a word for "addict" and "addiction." The meaning is well understood.

House, of course, is dependent rather than addicted, but our culture uses those two words interchangeably, not bothering to differentiate between the two. "Dependency" in mainstream use is charged with the same meaning as "addiction." So even if Wilson said House was "dependent" on the pills, the audience would translate that as "he's an addict."

Our culture needs to develop a whole new "box," as it were, for people in House's situation, and come up with the correct language for it. That language is missing now, to the point that it's almost impossible to talk about the reality in casual conversation (as House and Wilson sometimes do) without using terms that really don't apply.
22nd-Oct-2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
So even if Wilson said House was "dependent" on the pills, the audience would translate that as "he's an addict."

yes, they would. unless...

wideshot of house, limping away from group of three others. he's making a scoffing noise, but we can see a resigned stoop to his shoulders.

closeup on wilson's face, watching house leave, eyes showing the famous 'worried wilson' look as mr. and mrs. smith stare in disgust after house.

mr. smith [indignant]:
i can't believe you'd let a drug addict treat my daughter!

wilson: he's... not a drug addict, mr. smith. he's a chronic pain patient, much like your daughter is.

mrs. smith: our daughter has bone cancer! she needs pain medication to function. how dare you compare her to... to... that miserable... well, he's no better than a junkie!

wilson's eyes flare; he shakes his head: dr. house isn't an addict; i'm sorry his behavior's given you that impression. he's dependent on those pills, yes. and unfortunately, he likes to make it appear that he enjoys them. but that medication allows him to do his job, to use his brilliance to help people like your child. if it weren't for house, we still wouldn't know that an atypical blood dyscrasia--a rare abnormality--in susan's blood was causing the radiation to fail. and if it weren't for those pills that he takes, his own pain would be so severe, so distracting, that he'd be unable to share his insights. and susan's condition would be worsening, and--quite frankly--we might not have figured it out in time to save her. dr. house is no more an addict than susan is. his medication simply makes a more normal life possible for him. and he uses that to [wilson looks pointedly into the window of the patient room] save other lives.

how long would that scene take? forty-five seconds? if we can utilize two minutes to get a clear picture of thirteen's sex life, could we please utilize less than one minute to have house's best friend educate the patient's family [and thus the viewing public] on house's real relationship with vicodin?

29th-Oct-2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
*bursts out laughing because all through those scenes with Hadley and the not-actually-that-hot PotW, I was annoyed as hell and really felt for every GLBT viewer who was probably just as disgusted as I was at the trivialization they insist on depicting for the sake of...hell, I don't know, it was just idiotic*

And the 'examination' scene from hell? Do you know how many times I rolled my eyes in that scene alone? I'm surprised they haven't started listing to the side. My ocular nerves must be overtaxed at this point.
22nd-Oct-2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
hmmmmmmm, possible.
22nd-Oct-2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Oh boy, I didn't have had the time in the last week to watch House and I don't like what I read. Wilson should feel the pain than he judge for himself still not for House. Grrrr.

I feel sorry for you. You shouldn't be in pain. *hugyou*
22nd-Oct-2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
i'm going with blackmare's theory on this, that house and wilson understand that house is not an addict, and that the term is a convenient [if ill-advised] shorthand.

as to me, well, if i didn't have the pain, then i could not write house the way i do. i'm convinced of this, and i see it as one good thing, a gift that the pain gives me.
22nd-Oct-2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
I take a bow for you in deeply respect that you think about it in that way. I'm impressed.
22nd-Oct-2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Great episode last night, if you kinda squint your way through the Thirteen parts. House and Wilson are absolutely wonderful in it; I hope you won't fear to watch. :-)
22nd-Oct-2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah I will watch, I guess. It's just I don't have enough time to work a whole workday, visit my mother in the hospital, read the wonderful fanfiction all around and watching the epi's. Oh and well yes, I'm a human being (yeah, well a stupid one, but still human) and I need a bit sleep too. So I assume I will find time at the weekend for at least three epi's. I just saw epi one of season five right now but I will try to catch up on this I hope.
Thanks a lot for the encouraging reply. Oh and btw. I like your icon.
23rd-Oct-2008 03:36 am (UTC)
My personal opinion is that in the pilot and first season the idea of the pain/hidden wound as a metaphor was a really interesting idea to the writers. As part of that the pills were really secondary, not their own moral issue. Suddenly, House does well as a show, and they get a conscience - "Oh no, children may be watching! We have to make sure they know to say no to drugs" and we get an inconsistent takes on pills and House's pain ever since - especially when it can become a nice wedge issue with Wilson. The problem is that the first season established House's leg pain is real, absolutely real, and on the balance he underplays it. Those of us who know House from then know that that is who House is. Yes, I know guys at the drug rehab I worked at whose drug history included a diagnosis of lower back pain and/or bulging discs that they were overplaying, but the problem is that isn't House, it isn't even logical when they fight over vicodin because House won't take anything else because it makes him loopy. Even if they call him an addict his actions don't back it up unless he has pseudoaddiction from beign cut off. The writers can't have it both ways - either House's leg pain is as real as they established it to be or he's malingering/engaged in a elaborate scam. I haven't noticed Wilson being as insufferable about it as he had been when they were really scared about corrupting the youth of this nation, but I really hope they have gotten the "let's cut House off and see what he does" story line out of their system.
23rd-Oct-2008 11:23 am (UTC)
why can't you write for the show?

word. just... word.
29th-Oct-2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
I agree so very much with kidsnurse and humbly ask to friend and be friended?
28th-Oct-2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Oh no... It saddens me that the writers make a doctor, of all people, say this, but hey, it's Wilson, he's said it before. There's a difference between addiction (to get high) and dependency (to get rid of pain), people! HOW HARD CAN THAT BE??? I mean, hell, by Wilson's definition even my dearest mother, to name just one of the many examples I can come up with, who had to take fairly large amounts of morphine for her chronic pain was an addict. I DON'T THINK SO, JAMES! Gah. There are times I really don't like House (the show). I adored the little scene you wrote in one of your comments (Wilson and mrs. & mr. Smith). That should be in the show.

This really makes me sad, you know. Sorry for the rant, but I can't stand this sort of 'reasoning'. It's an insult to all chronic-pain-sufferers.
28th-Oct-2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
yeah. i'm with you there. and attitudes like theirs make life even harder on the under-65 crowd.

right now, for me, the whole issue is just too depressing to think about.
28th-Oct-2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
attitudes like theirs make life even harder on the under-65 crowd Yes, absolutely. Because under 65, you have to be HEALTHY & NORMAL!!! OR ELSE!!! No. This really makes me sad, I wasn't just saying that, really truly sad. And I adored this show so much as first.
29th-Oct-2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
*sighs* You know I've pretty much given up on the writers regarding character growth and continuity, but...that kiss last night between House and Cuddy? I'd thought I'd been rendered a noromo, but apparently hope springs eternal. But, really, that pesky habit of hope is fed not only by Foreman pulling himself out of the mud, but the brief glimpses of Cameron proving to be absolutely fantastic and MUCH IMPROVED over the overwrought annoyance we knew in the past.

So...share in my hope for a little longer?