Random Notes

There are traces of Teflon and flame retardants in our bodies, among other chemicals which are too new for us to know the consequences. Story here. Oh yes, also the coatings on microwave popcorn and fast food wrappers, which probably leach into our food.

Wanna bet that this is related to the deformed frogs?

Next topic. In a year’s worth of TV hospital shows, about 60% of the folks whose hearts failed were “brought back” by the electric shock paddles. In real life, only about 1% of attempts succeed, and half of those have such severe brain damage that they never regain consciousness. Heroic measures, anyone? Or maybe the real heroism is the courage to look one’s own death in the eye long before it comes, and say, “This is what I want, and this is what I don’t want, and if I’m dying, let me go.” I heard about this from author Stephen Kiernan on Fresh Air today.

I always thought it was overdone on Star Trek (Next Generation); Dr. Beverly Crusher would perform miracles and cheat death way too often. But at least that was 24th century medicine!

Next topic. Ariel Levy says:

… Female Chauvinist Pigs are women who make sex objects of other women, and of themselves. Female Chauvinist Pigs believe that by imitating strippers, porn stars, and Playboy bunnies they are somehow becoming empowered and getting in touch with their sexuality. The problem with this thinking is that strippers and porn stars are themselves imitating female sexual pleasure and power in the first place — it’s their job. Once we are imitating an imitation we aren’t moving ourselves closer to authentic, uninhibited freedom, we’re just putting on a performance.

And putting on a performance primarily for the male eye, I might add. Which, on average, appreciates these things differently than does a female eye. Sorry, there are biological differences between men and women (on average) which play out in psycho-social ways. Women’s brains and men’s brains are bathed in a different mix of hormones, and this stuff DOES affect us. For real.

And Ariel Levy says:

Raunch culture is the spread of the aesthetics and values of the red light district into mainstream culture. This trend has become so pervasive we barely even notice it in action anymore. We just expect to see women flashing and stripping and moaning everywhere we look. (Read more of what she has to say here)

And she points out that for teens, this is the only thing that they know; they aren’t aware of the the contrast with the way things used to be, with sex as quintessentially private nor with the sexual revolution. For these teens, “sexiness” was part of their way of presenting themselves WAY before they had any sexual feelings that they were aware of. YUCK. NOT HEALTHY. See my posting of Nov. 21 on the topic of public sexuality in our culture.

Mary Pipher says:

The culture teaches consumerism, cynicism, narcissism and immediate gratification. It teaches what one writer calls, ‘the ideology of having fun.’ It teaches that products solve problems.

We learn to run from pain by spending money. This sets us up for addictions.

The culture also teaches lookism, i.e. that beautiful people are more valuable than the rest of us. It teaches that violence solves problems and encourages us to think constantly about sexual gratification. (from an interview in the women’s webzine “Commitment.”)

I guess these notes aren’t so random. They’re all about our health. Or lack of it. This is the stuff that catches my attention. I talk about it because I think that you need to know it too.

Rambam summed it up, more than 800 years ago:

Since it is God’s will that a [person]’s body be kept healthy and strong, because it is impossible for a [person] to have any knowledge of his Creator when ill, it is, therefore, his duty to shun anything which may waste his body, and to strive to acquire habits that will help him to preserve his health. (Quoted in an article about Jewish attitudes toward taking care of our health)

So nu, what have you done lately for your health?