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Complementary and alternative medicine Entertainment/culture History Humor Medicine Movies Popular culture Quackery

Betty Boop: Homeopath

While reading through a mailing list I belong to, I came across a link that demonstrates that alternative medicine has been ingrained in popular culture since at least the 1920’s and 1930’s. Indeed, I never realized that that icon of flappers, Betty Boop, practiced homeopathy. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s incontrovertible evidence in the form of a short called Betty Boop, M.D. released in 1932 and perhaps the most bizarre Boop short I’ve ever seen (particularly the last shot, which makes me wonder if acid had actually been invented six years before it was supposedly discovered). Basically, Betty shows up in town as part of a traveling medicine show selling an all-purpose remedy. Look at what the remedy actually turns out to be, and you’ll see that there’s no doubt that Betty Boop was a homeopath!

Of course, if this were 2007, Betty wouldn’t need to travel with all that riff-raff. She could just put up a website and let the marks (I mean customers) come to her. And, of course, the film would probably have been called Betty Boop, N.D., not M.D.

She could keep the cool jazz soundtrack, though.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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