The Spectacle Blog

Quick! Look Prayerful!

By on 12.14.05 | 7:17AM

Jim Wallis and crew are hoping to get arrested as they pray in front of the Cannon House Office Building for no budget cuts. Specifically, they're protesting the cut of $50 billion over five years that would slow the rate of increase in Medicare and other mandatory spending. Such cuts, they say, are "unbiblical."

With this newfound love for the Biblical, especially the grey areas of cuts from government spending (missed that part), surely they'll be steadfast in opposing the clear Biblical violations. I guess that means we'll see them at the March for Life next month? Heck, they won't even have to get arrested.

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Terminatoring

By on 12.13.05 | 9:07PM

Can Arnold ever go home again? The California governor's native Austria is leading the way in European outrage at Schwarzenegger's signing off on the execution of Tookie Williams earlier today. Its Green Party wants to strip him of his citizenship. "In Graz, Schwarzenegger's hometown," reports the Sacremento Bee, "local Greens said they would file a petition to remove the California governor's name from the city's Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium. A Christian political group suggested it be renamed for Williams."

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Re: Re: Happy-Pills

By on 12.13.05 | 8:31PM

Sorry, James, but your attempt at comedy betrays a failure to take pain seriously. I'm currently on an SSRI (not Paxil) and an anti-convulsant. I've tried life off meds and on meds. When I read things like your column, I can't help but see a reader somewhere, in the kind of pain I've known, being encouraged to think that pain is normal and drugs are dangerous, and that the proper thing to do is suck it up and suffer. That's appalling, and not at all funny.

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Governor Helo

By on 12.13.05 | 8:28PM

The aspiring Kansas City Athletics draftee, Gov. Bill Richardson, has a penchant for New Mexico's state police helicoptor. More than any other governor of a Western state, the Associated Press finds, Richardson uses the new search and rescue chopper for trips around the state large and small.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:23PM

Of course it's effective, for the same reason that ecstasy is effective, and in similar fashion. And less important than getting people off Paxil is keeping people from touching the stuff in the first place. Of course I run the "risk," as you say, of frightening successfully coping (not, mind, cured) Paxil users off of the drug, and back into clammy-fisted delirium. But it stands to reason that the people "on" Paxil (I prefer the phrasing "under" it) are those best-informed about the risks they run, and most willing to endure them. Anyone who didn't know, or learn, this going in will certainly at least be surprised, which is halfway to fright already.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:19PM

How exactly you expect to purge the user-lists of Paxil effectively by listing how bad it is for them is still a mystery to me, particularly since the reason people should be getting off Paxil isn’t simply because of side-effects but because it’s not actually helping their recovery. That’s another area you didn’t cover â€" how effective it is.

In fact, because the side-effects have so little to do with why these folks shouldn’t be taking it (I understand that “Look at what you’re doing to yourself†point, but it’s a tertiary jab), you run the risk of shaking people off that might need to stay on. Again, I think you’re overestimating the argument you offered in the article. I don’t think you’re entirely wrong in your general principle that society is over-medicated, I just don’t think you grasp it anywhere in your article.

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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 6:17PM

I can see you will not be bludgeoned quietly into submission here. Good.
First, and fairest enough, the hucksters deserve their own thousand words of public revilement. But blame in this instance is not a zero-sum game, and heaping ignominity on doctors who act as particularly expensive and interactive vending machines does not require that we shovel away the other dunghill piled around Glaxo.
Second, "our insane" described the really unbalanced people who require medical attention, not the unfortunates who are presented at every opportunity on television and in popular culture with drumbeats and parades of fresh disorders and the saving power of Pill Grace. Tom Cruise's attack on medicine isn't chic; the way we accept the turning of every attitude and emotion into a disorder is. The way we medicate our children at the drop of a hat, without any eye to when we might stop medicating them, is. The way that the postmodern malaise of endless wants and sexual disgracefulness is breeding ingrained soul-sickness is.
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Re: Don’t Like The Drugs?

By on 12.13.05 | 5:59PM

I like my article the uninflated size it is, at which neither truth nor comedy are distorted. Inflatio ad absurdum is just as dangerous, my brother, as reductio. But its gross tumescence is even less attractive, which is the whole problem with Paxil. Fattening up, hypersymptomizing, discomfort is bad enough; calling a "chemical imbalance" in the brain that "makes" one feel uncomfortable in public settings a disorder instead of a symptom itself is not just a cheap trick of semantics but a trick turned, as well, by the medical profession -- for a pretty penny indeed, with several tens of millions lined up at the hopper.

 

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