Posted by: Mark Nielsen | April 20, 2007

Yaz: Sixties Slugger, Eighties Pop Icon, & the Oughts Newest “Wonder Drug”

Ladies (ladieeeees eees ees) and Gentlemen (gentlemennnn ennn en…       um, from now on, add your own echo of ringmaster’s booming voice, I’m tired):

For our next death-defying feat in the Marking Time Circus of the Stars and Culture Wars, Mark My Words will attempt a dangerous recombination of three seemingly unconnected phenomena all sharing the same name:


In the Center Ring: Wearing #8 for the Boston Red Sox, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski ! This 1967 MVP-winner, and last man in the majors to win the Triple Crown (also in 1967, obviously), took over for the great Ted Williams in 1961 and the team never skipped a beat (in left field at least, where the Green Monster has eaten and beaten many a fielder since 7-time Gold Glover Carl roamed the Fens). Yaz played until 1983. That’s 23 years! –Take THAT, broke-down, drugged-up bag of bullshit Barry Bonds… clearly pretending to be a model citizen and bizzarro universe superhero on your website, while just barely hanging on in your 21st season, only to steal another record from a more deserving player.  –Anyway, back to Yaz before I gag: he is now a roving instructor with the heavily-favored-to-win-it-all Red Sox, and was honored at the 1967 “Impossible Dream” season commemoration last week in Boston. Go Red Sox! [Current team ERA: around 2.68!!! ]

And now, …in the mirror-balled northern ring of our circus, …the Eighties-era dance-pop duo with depth and daring, England’s own…

(Though they were actually called Yazoo in their native country… so clearly their record label wanted to capitalize on Yastrzemski’s popularity and excellent character over here across the pond, by riding the ballplayer’s coattails, so to speak… plus Yazoo is just a stupid name, whereas Yaz is brilliant…)

Yaz was a group that featured vocals by a very blues and jazz-influenced singer named Alison Moyet. And while I must confess to having stupidly stumbled into the synth-dance-pop Circle of Doom slightly in my college days (chief architects: Erasure, personal faves at the time: Tears for Fears), I am not ashamed to say that Yaz was also a personal favorite. Moyet eventually proved me and all her fans right, as having taste and style, by going on to record some pretty good solo material that leaned much more in the direction of jazz. She’s still out there swinging, as far as I know, having released her last album in 2005. For your further listening pleasure, if you’re nice, maybe Alison will also perform the other Yaz hit Don’t Go. Leddies & gennlemen, let’s hear it for Alison Moyet, and the never-out-of-style sounds of Yaz!

And now, in the frightening southern ring formerly reserved only for lion-tamers, it’s…

Yaz the Birth Control Pill!

According to the Bayer Corp. marketing campaign, Yaz is the leading drug for treating PMDD, a more extreme variation of PMS, and clearly another “monster” if I’m to believe the vague hype in the commercial– though this disorder is nothing like the Green Monster patrolled by our Red Sox hero. No, PMDD is more sinister and destructive than all the funky ballparks in the world, as it makes the women who suffer from it into really bad, irritable, out-of-control people (much worse, if you can believe it, than the also hormonally-challenged Barry Bonds).

“Holy Cow!”, I said, inadvertantly quoting lovable but occasionally moronic old Cards/White Sox/Cubs baseball announcer Harry Caray. [Side note: Harry, unbeknownst to me, was an Italian… his birth name was Carabina! I shoulda known, though, considering how much he was an opinionated, loudmouth goofball like me.] 

I also did not know about this wonder drug Yaz, nor about the monster of PMDD, until I saw a super hot commercial last week, featuring three super hot and sexually active single women, sitting in a super hot bar/cafe, talking about Yaz. In the commerical, the hottest of the three women also just HAPPENS to be the smartest. Go figure. And it gets better: she’s a doctor, ladies and gentlemen! (especially the gentlemen… ladies, you can stop reading anytime now…).

I watched the commercial with a slight consciousness that my own hormones were already being affected by this amazing new drug, even though I had not taken it. I wondered aloud, to no one in particular (since I was alone, probably watching Gray’s Anatomy, or drooling over the gorgeous Giada De Laurentiis on her terrific Everyday Italian cooking show/food porn extravaganza). I said: “Birth control that also controls PMS… Booze… Three hot, smart women… A blonde doctor… Are they marketing this pill to women, or to MEN?! Are they playing to the male ob-gynies who will be prescribing this medication, or to the tired-of-all-the-nagging husbands and boyfriends who will practically beg their women to take it (so they can be as hot as the girls on the commercial, and also less depressed), or to the women who actually need birth control or help with PMDD?”

Now as a male, and a non-physician, I your Ringmaster probably should not be poking my nose in here where it does not belong, and may get bitten off by my wife. But I can’t help it. The commercial was just too weird to pass up without comment. I don’t want any more asinine pharmaceutical commercials that get Americans thinking they can diagnose themselves, or that a simple “silver bullet” pill will solve every problem they ever had. I’m sure PMDD is a very real phenomenon. I just don’t want shareholders and hot actresses and marketing gurus profiting from it.

Plus, I don’t want anyone else riding on the coattails of one of the great baseball players of all time, not to mention one of the better pop groups. Get your own cool name, Bayer! That one’s already taken…

So… Boo to you, Bayer and Yaz the Wonder Drug! Jimmy, turn off that bright follow-spotlight, up there at the top of this circus tent. Time for everyone to go home and watch the game (where they’re not likely to see any birth-control commercials made to look like beer commercials), or to write their congressman about drug lobbyists and bad public health policy.

I said turn it off, Jimmy!!! We’re done here.

Currently watching :
Fever Pitch (Widescreen Edition)
Release date: By 13 September, 2005

 The above blog cross-posted from MySpace at



  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Feel free to add one of your own… this is the first WordPress post, so any feedback on content or form would be most welcome.

  3. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  4. […] last week, I reached 200 posts on WordPress. That’s since April 2007. Here’s the first one, still a classic. I had blogged prior to that on MySpace for about nine months, but I don’t […]

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