Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Humor in Misconceptions . . . . . .

Every morning, once the coffee is brewed, K.C. is fed and Pete’s lunch is packed, I settle down with my caffeine and my email inbox.  This email was waiting for me today.

Click to enlarge!!

I was hopeful!  I imagined a funny bit about inhalable insulin.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t what I found when I clicked over.  Instead, it was a bit that enforced the misconceptions that ingesting sugar gives you diabetes, and that cinnamon cures it.

My email reply?
I’m very disappointed in this video. I watched it hoping to see a funny bit about inhaling insulin, but was extremely disappointed to find this was just another case of spreading misconceptions about diabetes. Most of us in the diabetes community are working hard to make the general public understand that you do not get diabetes from eating sugar, and that diabetes can not be cure by eating cinnamon. I know the video is meant to be a joke, but the unfortunate reality is that although people will understand the juice box is a joke, they will not understand that the messages about sugar and cinnamon are inaccurate. It is my opinion that very few, if any, advocates in the diabetes community will get a chuckle over this video. Humor is important when dealing with chronic illnesses, but that humor needs to be found in a responsible fashion that will not spread misconceptions.

I am all for using humor to cope with diabetes.  Hell, at times I think if I didn’t find the humor I might go insane!  But I can’t see anything funny about reinforcing diabetes misconceptions.  Those misconceptions are a big reason that people with diabetes are blamed for our conditions.  Those misconceptions can hurt fundraising efforts for better treatments and a cure.  Because seriously, would you donate to diabetes research if you believed that a cure was as simple as not eating sugar and having some cinnamon?  I know I sure wouldn’t.

I must admit, I did get one chuckle out of this whole thing.  I find it pretty funny that they said “Conan gives him his just deserts”.  Really?  Conan makes the viewer hot, dry and sandy?  Actually, when I’ve miscalculated my dessert bolus and my blood sugar is high, my mouth and eyes sure do feel like a desert.  So yeah, that’s kind of funny.

I'm intentionally not linking the video, because I don't want to help drive up its views.  But if you've already seen it, I'd love to know what you think?  Did this video make you chuckle?

****** UPDATE********
I received the following reply to my email:

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the feedback. I apologize for misjudging the fit of this video. It's certainly not meant to spread misconceptions - the running joke is that Conan is always wrong about these "Fan Correktions" and pretends to believe he's right by making even more absurd, wrong arguments. I think that may have been lost out of the context of the show.

Thanks for watching. We really do appreciate it.


I do appreciate that she took the time to reply and explain.  I do understand that, since I'm not a regular viewer of the show, I may not get the ongoing joke of this segment.  But overall, I'm still disappointed.  Because if I don't get the joke, that means lots of others probably don't get the joke either.  But it was nice to get a response and apology for my concerns, and I hope they will put a little more thought into matters like this next time.


  1. I haven't watched it but had heard that he had another "funny" video revolving around diabetes. Yay for you! Excellent response. I'm sharing this now!

  2. So glad you spoke up & set Team Coco straight!!!

  3. Yeah! Go you Karen! Thanks for speaking up.

  4. Karen, sounds pretty awful... glad I didn't get this e-mail. Good for you for responding the way you did.

  5. I haven't watched it, but from what I've seen of Conan, he usually uses the opportunity to make fun of those who even try to correct him, rather than admit any wrongdoing on his part. There are some battles worth fighting over, and there are others not even worth taking part in.

  6. Good job. Now that I understand that it's a running joke about compounding your mistakes, it IS kind of funny. But I also agree that ignorant people might not understand that. There IS a fine line between humor and offense, and I can see the offense there. And I DO wish I could drink cinnamon flavored insulin!!

  7. Ok, so I think the video is kind of funny because they pretend their right at all costs. But if I wasn't T1 and watched this then I would probably think you could take insulin orally (not via juice box, of course). you said, it totally contributes to the misconceptions about diabetes. Sigh. I still love him though...

  8. Thanks for speaking up on this, Karen. I got that email too and, yes, got a laugh out of it myself. Then I watched it again more closely, realizing I glossed over the sugar-causing part. And that made me cringe and have the exact same feelings as you. I wrote a post on that and it ran today, pretty much saying the same thing, and I forwarded it on to Team Coco in response to that email... we'll see what the response is.

  9. Of course, right after leaving that earlier comment that said I was still awaiting a response from the above emailer, I get a response. Pretty much said the same thing, in part: "Indeed the entire Fan Correction series features Conan being wrong and then pretending to think he's right, and backing that up with another response that's supposed to be obviously wrong and even more absurd (hence this video)... we certainly hope this comes across in this cut of the video. Glad you got a laugh out of it. Thanks so much for the informative post." Like you, I appreciate the response and hope words gets to where it needs to. But it seems like they miss the point.


Thanks for your comment!