Searching for Dr. Wonder

We’ve heard about wonder drugs. We’ve heard they aren’t so wonderful. Medicinal drugs can cure and destroy.

I’ve had one of those wonder bugs that no wonder drug can cure, so I just sit around waiting for it to run its course. Waiting got me thinking of the Rockwellian good old days, when family doctors all were sages with the power to cure all. None of this specialty stuff, the general practitioner had all the answers – and didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

herr docktorThat made me think of this book jacket by Karl Arnold, a brilliant German caricaturist and satirist who was a frequent contributor to Simplicissimus the legendary German satire journal.

The image suggests a medicine so wondrous that it’s like having a doctor in a bottle. If only that were the case. And if it were, let’s hope that the healthcare costs weren’t as huge as they currently are. It’s a wonderment that the U.S. cannot have truly affordable healthcare. All those insurance and drug companies conspiring with hospital monopolies have taken the wonder out of medical magic. Because now, it’s just tragic.

 

Print’s February Issue
Don’t miss the newest issue of Print, the Sex & Design issue, which takes a tasteful look at these issues. Read even more by Steven Heller, such as his feature article that explores the relationship between sex and advertising over the course of several decades, as well as his Dialogue and Evolution columns.

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