Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bullshit hunting at the Wisconsin State Fair: Part 2

As time was working against my noble efforts to document more perversions of common-sense, I was unable to interact with any of the shillers of snake-oil in any meaningful way.

Much like how the 'Acupressure' [read: backrub] stands were a franchise available on every row, I passed a number of signs reading a variation of 'Got pain? Have a seat!'


Whatever this product is, it implies that it's an efficacious remedy for pains caused by 'diabetes', 'restless leg', 'degenerated disk', and 'sports injuries'. In an effort to tick the box of every possible customer, it seems as though they just brainstormed afflictions until they ran out of space on the sign.

Sure enough, a few people had taken a seat (possibly because it was the only place on the showroom to sit), but there was only one woman who was availing of the product on offer:

Neither of these ladies seemed terribly impressed by what they're witnessing
So what is the machine? A calculator-sized device with wires coming out of it that are connected to pads that stick to the skin. Not entirely sure what happens from there, but since I was snapping pictures and running, I just took a blind guess that a product that promised so much and was being advertised in such a hucksterish fashion would be utter rubbish.

In truth, I had hoped to find a similar stall in a less-crowded area of the salesfloor so I could get some more info. I'm not sure if the affiliation is the same, but I did find the following device at a similar booth that invited attendees to sit down and have their ailments cured;



The Rhythm Touch 2-Way! Its website describes it as an "Electrical Muscle Stimulator", which sounds like a fancy way to say 'massager' to me. Sure enough, buried beneath the woo about 'acu-therapy' and how Koreans (glad to see the Koreans represented in the ancient Asian wisdom) have pioneered the technology. How much would you pay for a massager. $20? $50? These pricks want to sell you this and some janky accessories for $299.95 US!

But back to the fair. Have a look at the info sheet available:


Show Special $299.00? (And that's without half the accessories available online). Sheer madness. It also irks me that this tattered piece of paper doesn't have the decency to specify which 'show' this 'special' applies to. Embiggen the picture if you want to strain your eyes reading about how acupuncture has existed for over 5000 years, thereby making it better than every medical practice devised since. To prove how sciencey this product is, they've included the obligatory acupressure map:

[Click here to read about my encounter with a therapeutic touch practitioner]

My favourite bit is the bit right above the pricing details:

"We are looking for people who want to make extra income. Please call us after the show for more information. Ask the sales person for more information"

Not only do they want you to buy their lies and preposterously priced vibrator, they want you to shill them too!

It heartened me to see that in the minutes I spent observing the people of Wisconsin in this arena, they were generally more interested in buying meat-snacks and curious tchotchkes than dumping money into the stupidest of stupid nonsense, so I was able to enjoy the rest of my time at the fair without that lonely feeling of being a sensible man in a mad world that grips me from time to time.

This at-peace feeling shattered just as I was leaving the fair. 9/11 Truthers were set up on the sidewalk right outside the park's pedestrian entrance - a scrawny chap in his 50s was screaming his lungs out to nobody in particular, directing half his sentence at passing groups of fairgoers, then the rest towards the cars stopped at the traffic lights. His agitated nature didn't do his cause any favours; he was waving his literature so furiously it was as if he was battling demons only he could see with it.

The snippets of rhetoric I caught were "They lied to you about the Iraq war, they lied to you about the twin towers". Again, I'm happy to report that he was almost universally greeted by groans of dismay and head-shaking, and I felt as though I should be ashamed in being the only one to approach him and gingerly take the literature he was waving around. Sadly, despite telling my stalwart ladyfriend to snap a picture as I approached the gentleman, she failed to take the shot, but I can't blame her - nobody wants to piss off a feral 9/11 truther.

So what kind of BS did I walk away with? Well, for one, I got a sweet copy of 9/11 Investigator [PDF here], a well-designed four-page broadsheet-style newspaper that's like a bullshit bible for 9/11 Truthers.

As well as that, I got an insert with more information about the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth Organisation and their strongest evidence. WTC 7 is their monomania, and the lack of publicity its received compared to the twin towers seems to be what fuels their fury. Nutters.

Brilliantly, one of the inserts was a less-slickly produced, photocopied page entitled "Take A Second Look Investigate/Research What Happened On Sept. 11th, 2011" - a 41-point list of miscellany that features a few gems. Here's my favourite:

35. Eyewitness testimony about toasted cars, instant disappearence of people by "unexplained" waves
"Unexplained waves"? Hah? Let's read on to the bottom:

"* Is it possible that such a technology exist? Since invention of the microwave for cooking in 1945 and lasers in 1955, comercial and military development of directed-energy technology has proceeded apace, so use of directed-energy technology is likely to exist -- and the data tells us it does exist.
So not only was 9/11 an inside job, but the government also has a device capable of making people disappear. And we know that this exists, because microwaves were invented long ago. By now they've surely improved the technology, so I can conclude that this data set proves that eraso-rays exist.

Your move, lizard-people.

9 comments:

Barbara Stroup said...

JUST A FYI , THIS IS NOT A MASSAGER, I WENT TO VENTURA COUNTY FAIR AND I WAS HAVING EXTREME LEG PAIN AND THEY SELL THESE THINGS AT CHIROPRACTORS FOR A LOT MORE. IF YOU TRIED TO MASSAGE YOURSELF WITH AN ELECTRICAL PULSE YOU WOULD BE IN PAIN. YOUR PRICE WAS A LITTLE HIGHT AND I GOT ALL THE ACCESSORIES WHEN I BOUGHT IT 4 YEARS AGO. THE REASON I AM SEARCHING AFTER 4 YEARS IS BECAUSE I NEED A LEAD LINE AND REPLACEMENT PADS AND I AM BUYING THEM. THE PRODUCT STILL WORKS AND IF YOU HAVE MUSCLE PAIN IN YOUR LEGS AND CAN'T WALK THE ELECTRICAL PULSE SENT TO MUSCLE AND TRUST ME YOUR MUSCLE WILL TWITCH IS A CHEAPER OPTION THEN GOING TO CHIROPRACTOR TO DO THE SAME THING IN WHICH THEY HAVE THE SAME MACHINE JUST A LOT MORE ENERGY. JUST A FYI FAIR GOERS, I AM SOLD ON THIS PRODUCT IT DISSOLVES MY PAIN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE 15 MINUTE SESSION. THIS BLOG IS NOT FAIR OR ACCURATE, IF YOU WOULD HAVE SAT DOWN AND YOU HAD TRUE PAIN THIS WOULD HAVE WORKED FOR YOU. I AM NOW ON 4 YEARS AND STILL RUNNING STRONG AND IF YOU VISIT FAIR AND HAS SHIN SPLINTS, HEEL SPURS ETC. I PULSE IT RIGHT INTO MY FOOT JUST LIKE A DID THIS MORNING AND IT SEND ELECTRIC PULSE THAT MAKES LIFE MORE BEARABLE AND I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO CHIRO. JUST A FYI IT IS NOT A MASSAGER, IF YOU ARE LOOKING THIS WILL HURT NOT THE SAME THING. I DO NOT USE THE SHOES OR ANYTHING ELSE, JUST THE LEAD LINES AND PADS. I DON'T WORK FOR THIS COMPANY AND I DON'T SELL THIS ITEM I AM A BUSY SALES REP WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO BE OFF FROM WORK FROM PAIN. DON'T KNOCK THIS ONE UNTIL YOU TRY IT. ONE OF THE BETTER PRODUCTS I HAVE BOUGHT AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE BROKE BY NOW.

Charles said...

FYI this is not a massager. It is equipment used by chiropractors ,physical therapists and sports medicine. It is a FDA approved device for people to use in the comfort of their home . Some people don't have the time or money to go 3 times a week to get this type of treatment. Instead of taking drugs this gives most customers pain relief. The second thing wrong with this blog because you took a picture and ran and didn't do your homework. The sign in your picture does not go to the device you are showing . It is a completely different device than the one you showed They are two different companies. If you are going to write a blog do some research first before you do incorrect reporting.

Shelli said...

FYI the unit is NOT FDA Approved. It got FDA pre market approvel but never actually approved. You can see the info on the FDA website in which they told the rhythem touch brand they could have premarket approval. But they had to comply with all of the requirements to obtain approval. Which means they all needs clinical research as well and to go thru the FDA approval of the device as well. I saw this device before but I bought a different brand that is FDA approved and checked it on the FDA website. And got a better price and a lot better unit with more modes and felt a lot better then the rhythem touch.

Don Bithell said...

Sully,

Before you write a bunch of erroneous information you should do a little research...

The Rhythm Touch is an Electronic Muscle Stimulator or also known as a Low-Frequency T.E.N.S. Unit....(Transcutaneous Electronic Neural Stimualtor).

It is the same type of therapy used by Chiropractors, Physical Therapist, and many professional athletes.
We have been in the Wisconsin State Fair for over 15 years and have thousands of satisfied costumers.

We are FDA approved and have been for over 10 years. I can provide our 510 K as well.

As far as the pricing, our show price of $299 does include ALL the accessories.

It seems as if all you want to do is walk through the fair and bash people that are there to make a living and provide unique products not easily found elsewhere.

I would be happy to discuss your comments with you...
Don Bithell
VP Sales and Marketing
Double Summit LLC/Rhythm Touch
(310) 463-4616
www.therhythmtouch.com

Shelley Cannon said...

The Rhythm touch unit is great. I bought it at the NFR at least 5 years ago, because my upper back was hurting and the lady put it on me at her booth, to show me how it could work. Well work it did. After a few treatments I performed myself, the pain was gone.
Now for the big story. I work out of my home, tons of hours on the computer and phone and also traveling in my truck and I have degenerative disc disease. It had been getting so bad that I could hardly stand. I was scheduled to go to my parents which was a long plane ride like 8 hours and I didn't know how I was going to get thru it. Pain killers don't touch what I had going. The night before I was to leave I almost canceled my trip. You see, I had forgotten all about the Rhythm touch machine I had bought at at the NFR (National Finals Rodeo). It was sitting on my shelf. It had already paid for itself once having cured my first back problem. Anyway, I was in tears the night I was to leave on the long plane trip and I was about to cancel my trip and them my friend who actually bought the unit in the first place for me, said, "Hey what about that machine I paid so much for that we bought at the NFR" He said if I wasn't going to use it, his kid wanted it. Ironic that his kid wanted it at the same time I needed it. He told me to try it and let him know if it worked or not for my current problem. He said if it didn't, he was going to give it to his kid. I thought what the heck. I just couldn't see how this machine could help such a bulging disc problem and si joint pain, but guess what. It did. It was the only way I could make it thru the trip.

Shawna Boyer said...



I know this is an old article and I came across it because I wanted to find this machine cheaper. Was at the SD fair yesterday and happned to sit down at this booth because my siattica and leg pain was acting up like usual and I was basically trying anything I could (massagers, creams, ice packs etc). The girl places the pads as low as she could on my siattica area and I sit down... Holy crap I could really feel working, it felt FANTASTIC and you know what?! It took away the pain for about two hours!!! On 5 minutes of "massage" as you call it!
Now I'm on the hunt for something cheaper because those bastards(haha) wouldn't give it to me for $150.
So while I agree that a lot
Of the fair stuff is a little wonky I do think you wrote this article without research and fact and if you have any chronic pain as I do I suggest giving this little machine a try!

JG64 said...

My wife got this at a County fair in California last month. I've had electrical stimulation as part of PT over the years, which I found helpful. I am EXTREMELY skeptical of medical shilling, and I have seen a lot of it. I've been in the workers' compensation defense field for 20 years, and I've seen plenty of scams. This is NOT one of them. I'm not sure if $300 is a good price or not, but the relief I've felt over the past month is worth that and then some. I use it nearly every day, and it's changed my life for the better.

As far as the contents of this blog (which I stumbled upon while looking for more info for a neighbor), you make as little sense as the 911 Truthers you encountered.

Michael Ols said...

Jeez Sully - the only bullshitter here is you! Educate yourself you twat before you spout off a bunch of uninformed nonsense you backwoods moron. This is a medical device - you know, science and technology and stuff that goes way over your cromagnon head. Hey, i gotta brand new bullshit detector to sell you - cause yours is busted!

Anonymous said...

I work in a healthcare field (sonographer) and I am a believer in this product. I am using my unit for 3 years now and help me a lot to releive tension in my muscle. This is way better than hand massage. This actually relieves tired muscles. My unit power button is having some intermittent issue and Don ( Rhythm touch) customer service is sending me a brand new unit with another 5 year warranty. I had to send my old unit back to them. But talking about great warranty and customer service!