Paralysis by Urinalysis

doctor-with-urine-sample-via-shutterstock-615x345Paralysis by Urinalysis

If I fail a urine screen I am then discharged from treatment by my doctor.  This has become an all-too-common practice at many .. practices. Isn’t this ridiculous?  I mean, hypothetically, if I decided to go to an all night 70’s disco cocaine party and decided to partake (hypothetically) then I am in danger of losing the services of my orthopedic surgeon who is helping to mend my back after a near-paralyzing car accident?  Ridiculous.  A joint to help me sleep?  Say goodbye to my recovery from spinal injury.  Is there even a justification for this?  I will play devil’s advocate and try to defend the indefensible here.  Note:  Any position that isn’t mine is indefensible.

We can’t be providing opioid medications to patients who are themselves drug users.  There could be dangerous interactions and other irresponsible behavior that would cause them to harm themselves.  They would need a doctor.  They should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

We have to test their urine frequently to be sure that we are not contributing to a patient’s drug problem or addiction issue for which they should be seeking professional help.  They would definitely need to see a doctor if they had an addiction problem.  These patients definitely should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

By testing our patients’ urine, we can see who is a complicated patient so we can quickly discharge them from our practice, thus leaving us with the simple patients who quietly come and go, pay their bill on time, and allow us to pack in more patients (more money!)  Complicated patients take up too much time and cost us too much money (not to mention effort).  Money and effort should never be expended needlessly in our line of work.  Just tell them we can lose our license (an incredible irony when you consider that by KEEPING them as patients and TREATING their destructive tendencies by way of referrals or their addiction we would be acting MORE like doctors and thus be MORE worthy of our licenses) and keep having them make the walk of shame from bathroom to waiting room holding their leaking urine vials.  I became a doctor to get rich not to treat people who have unhealthy habits or dangerous behaviors.  Those people should go get their heads examined.  …by a doctor, I guess.  I’m confused.

Doing drugs is unhealthy although often a lot of fun.  If you choose to do something this stupid (awesome) then you should not be in danger of losing the services of a competent medical professional.  It should be noted, however, that if your doctor discharges you for failing a urinalysis, subjecting you to both withdrawal and the care that you deserve due to an injury or illness, the maybe your medical professional isn’t so competent after all…


Badflower’s Soap makes Me Think of Alice In Chains’ Dirt


Alice In Chains took the slow and low feel of Black Sabbath and added the disaffected voice of the Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Kate Christiansen ilk to produce a sound that rocketed them to pop status without losing the dedicated support of the underground.

Lo and Behold the beautiful and long-awaited band Badflower.  Their EP Temper on Republic Records is a tribute to this sound while representing the next iteration of the disaffected and self-loathing that may be the next big thing.  It recalls the birth of Nirvana or the first few chords of Rooster when you first heard both and realized that it was not just OK but cool to be depressed, sad, and pissed off.

Listen to their song Soap and wait for the chorus.  The slow melodic descent into the single-line chant of “I need to get my mouth washed out” will quickly bring to mind the same dark imagery of Electric Funeral, Dirt, or even Dam That River.  The restraint shown in the lyrics doubles as a dedication to their singular image of a man who “cannot be respectable” and knows that they are but a dirty person in need of cleansing.  It’s hard to not think of Alice in Chains and the title track from Dirt.  I didn’t contrive this irony, but realized it today as I received concerned looks from other drivers while lip syncing to the Badflower track.  It’s hard to keep still when that chorus riff hits.

It has been a long time since I even considered comparing any band or song to Alice in Chains.  Their sound was so idiosyncratic that few bands can pull off their genuine desperation without sounding rehearsed.  But this track Soap does just that.  Here is my impression of the song overall:

The song starts with a pulsating bass line quickly joined by a 8-shot drum staccato that melts into a Alice In Chains – like minor chord progression that provides the hook for the verse.  The verse is two lines … One, really.  Badflower manages to pack in the emotion and escalating desperation in these few words when sung by Josh Cole Katz.

“Sometimes I cannot be Respectable… It’s hard when you’re looking so delectable


Then comes the aforementioned riff.  Ahhh.  It would make Jerry Cantrell proud and inspire the addictive wail of Layne Staley.  Thus I am presented with another basic irony.  Namely that Soap reminds me of Dirt.  So if you like Alice In Chains or just good music created by people with instruments, an increasingly rare product in the music industry, I know. you must listen to Soap and to Temper.

Then please tell me if you agree that it sounds like the 90’s have made a comeback.  We can only hope, right?

Watch Badflower’s SOAP