Tag Archives: health

Why is Breast Cancer not Scary?

This is a nice little post from my favorite atheist blog.

Blag Hag: I like it to actually have a point.

First, I’ll copy a point I really liked from this blog post.

Our society needs to stop treating women’s sexuality like it’s only acceptable when used as a tool or in jest. It’s just as sad that women are perpetuating it. They’re effectively saying “This is funny because I would never actually talk openly about my sexual preferences, or even admit to being sexual, and I like confusing guys so they’ll give me attention!…” Cut it out, ladies.

Too many feminists don’t recognize the harmful effects of the way many women use their sexuality to manipulate or play jokes on men… especially since it’s the guys who respect women who are most vulnerable to this, so I had to copy this and say thanks.

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The other interesting and rather unrelated note about this article is that it’s all a discussion about a campaign to make women aware that they should get breast exams, and whether or not this campaign is effective. Sure, they’re looking for donations as well, but the real issue is “breast cancer awareness.”

I feel like we should take a step back and just recognize how ridiculous this is that we need these kind of awareness campaigns compared to other things that we’re concerned about in society. What if we needed to have these kind of campaigns to warn people to lock their doors because there might be burglars out there, or remind them to look both ways before crossing the street. I haven’t actually checked any statistics, but I have a feeling that breast cancer probably kills more people than terrorism, but we don’t need any kind of Facebook campaign to remind us that terrorists exist. (I just checked one site and noticed that breast cancer actually killed 40,000 women in 2006 in the United States. Close to the same as the total people who die on highways each year, and according to crime statistics, more than double the number of people who were murdered.)

So I just wonder, what’s the difference with breast cancer? Is it because it happens somewhere sexual that we don’t like to talk about? Is it because it happens to women more than men? Is it because health-care is such big-business and they’re motivated to keep people sick by keeping them unaware? Is it because it’s not exciting the way burglary or terrorism is so it never gets media coverage and people never have that immediate sense of danger until it’s too late?

Honestly, I think it’s that last point, if I had to guess. I think the other three are factors, but breast cancer, other than the fact that it’s an excuse to talk about boobies, is really pretty boring, so nobody cares until it happens to someone they know.

So this brings me to a couple points I have, one about atheism, and one about anarchism. First, I think that the concept of faith plays a big part in this phenomenon of only being scared of things that are exciting, because people of faith tend to rely on their emotions–what they may interpret as ‘spirits’ or ‘God’–instead of looking toward real-world statistics to decide what they should be afraid of.

My anarchistic (or maybe socialist, I’m not sure) point is about the media, of course, and their decision to neglect issues like breast cancer while focusing on petty crimes, balloon boys and the sex lives of sports stars. If they didn’t have money to overshadow all their other decisions, I believe the media would be focused on supporting our community instead of on profit.

Meat.org | The Website the Meat Industry Does not Want You to See

Meat.org | The Website the Meat Industry Does not Want You to See.

This site has a seriously crazy video on the homepage that I just had to share. The most shocking thing I’ve seen since the scene in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution where none of the kids could recognize a vegetable. To me this video is an example of how capitalism drives industries of all kinds toward cruelty. If it weren’t for the profit margins driving these industries and the laws protecting them from all the furious and horrified people out there, these kinds of scenes wouldn’t occur.

I was thinking, isn’t it funny how many parents shield their children from the concept of death, sometimes even lying to them about the death of their pets. In my favorite show, Kid Nation, there was an episode where the kids killed a few chickens for dinner and I read later about the fact that some people found this controversial, like kids shouldn’t have the right to have a real understanding of what they’re eating and learn proper respect for the animal. At the same time we’ll feed them meat from these factories without telling them about the cruelty they are supporting. Sure it’s not traumatizing, and the parents don’t need to go through the effort of talking to their kids about it, but I wonder what it does in the long run to a kid’s ability to feel compassion in general when they grew up ignorant of and unable to do anything about the cruelty they themselves are committing.

New True Story: Twinkies and Ho Hos

I just posted a new, very short true story under my ‘silly and pointless’ category, called Twinkies and Ho Hos. I personally think it’s a pretty funny little story about some of my little quirks. I suppose it’s not entirely pointless because it draws attention to the health crisis in modern society.

I’ve been on a real obesity kick lately. In fact, I’m riding my exercise bike as I type this. I’m not sure how I got on this kick exactly. Perhaps it’s because of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu or the fact that I got plantar fasciitis recently in my foot and when reading up on it, found that fat people get it a lot more because of all the weight we’re putting on our feet. As an overweight man who walks long distances on a regular basis, my feet can take a beating. Or perhaps its because I want to be more attractive to the ladies. One way or the other, I’m determined to get into shape. Hopefully writing about it will help because everyone will know if I fail.

So on a related topic, I am dumbfounded that our government can justify outlawing marijuana and other drugs, spreading hatred and destroying lives over things that have never killed anyone, but won’t do a thing about the obesity epidemic and continues to allow McDonald’s and Taco Bell to market themselves as though they are actually selling food as opposed to garbage. I know someone, for example, who thinks I’m insane for not supporting law enforcement and has repeatedly made an example out of nudity and says that if we didn’t have laws, half the people would be running around naked, as though that would be some kind of miserable society and something we don’t have the capacity to get used to. But she is obese, and doesn’t seem to consider how she (and admittedly myself as well) appears to others, especially  children (and hungry people in other parts of the world). Kids see us and think that if it’s okay for us to neglect and disrespect our bodies, it’s fine for them too. It’s not okay to get piss drunk in front of children, so why should it be okay to be unhealthy in other ways in front of them?

We often make rules in schools that kids must wear uniforms because we don’t approve of their choice of clothing, but for some reason there’s no rules against teachers being morbidly obese.

Many people are disgusted by obesity in the same way my acquaintance is disgusted by nudity (perhaps the obesity issue is part of the reason so many people are opposed to nudity). But people who want their partners to be thin and healthy are portrayed as being “shallow”, and “only concerned with appearance”, and this idea is becoming more prominent, and overweight people seem to be increasingly convinced that they should be treated the same as everyone else, and in some cases get special treatment, and that they deserve to be seen as just as attractive as healthy people. We’ve reached a point where overweight people outnumber the healthy ones and are having a real affect on politics. This is only going to make things worse.

I think what might be what got to me was the high-school student on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution whose doctor told her that she only had seven years to live because of her unhealthy eating habits. This wasn’t someone he seeked out to make an example out of. This was someone who just showed up and wanted to help Jamie in exchange for getting some help herself. And I have met people who were bigger than her.

I know this is an angry, possibly offensive rant, but I’m as angry with myself as anyone else. I’ve been overweight most of my life and even during the times when I was skinny, it was  because I wasn’t eating much rather than because I’d actually gained a healthy lifestyle, so this entry is sort of myself demanding that I make a real, long-term change in my life.

Okay, I’ve been on the exercise bike for two straight hours now (the first hour I spent playing Mario Kart Wii) and I’ve soaked through two bath towels, so I think I can afford to give myself a break and start working from my big computer.

My new Lounge-Tek laptop stand for exercising

My exercise bike and lounge-book laptop stand

For a long time my desire to write has directly conflicted with my desire to get in shape (both conflict with that damn Hulu but that’s another issue). I bought a little recumbent exercise bike a year or so ago, but I’ve usually watched Hulu or played Mario Kart Wii while riding. Now I’m hoping I can change that and finally kill two birds with one stone with my new lounge-book laptop stand. I sound like a commercial, I know I’m slowly becoming one of those people I despise, but I think I might really like this thing. I searched for a long time for something like this but most of the options I found were at least $500. I’ve been using it for an hour now (with a wireless keyboard instead of a laptop) and I’m keeping up a good sweat and getting some writing done at the same time. Perhaps this will finally allow me to feel really feel productive in an evening.

I wish it was a little taller so I could get it over my knees. The mouse platform is too small for a mouse, but that’s not a problem for me since I’ve discovered the superiority of the logitek trackball which requires almost no space.

Sign the Food Revolution Petition

Join Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and sign the petition.
"Seven billion American dollars are spent every month in Afghanistan, but we can only get 4.5 billion out of the government for a 10-year-plan to keep the obesity epidemic from killing children." - Jamie Oliver

I just discovered this new show on Hulu, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution about some famous chef I’d never heard of who went to the fattest city in America to try and transform their school lunch program and promote healthier eating habits in America. I’ve only seen a couple episodes but it can be quite shocking at times to see how some people eat and what the schools are feeding to our kids, so I wanted to pass on the link to sign his petition to start making a transition in our public schools.

Junk food and healthy eating is something I struggle a lot with. It’s certainly a weakness of mine, but at the same time, our whole capitalism based society is blatantly promoting poor eating habits because it’s the quickest and easiest way to make a buck.

Check out his PDF of some shocking facts and figures on obesity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baconaise - "everything should taste like bacon. You can choose to agree or disagree."