Tag Archives: protect yourself

Please Die Already

Rage.

Rage.

There has been quite a hullabaloo recently about the healthcare reform bill, incited mainly by this man and this woman. Why are they ranting and raving about Democrats creating “death panels” that will decide whether or not the elderly† or mentally disabled‡ continue to receive medical treatment? Can’t they see that America is chock full of people ripe for Death’s annual picking?

The Democrats want people to have access to “end of life counseling.” That is a nice way of them saying “we want to encourage you to die without eating up millions of millions of dollars in care.” And the elderly and infirm DO eat up millions of dollars; 80% of the money you spend on healthcare will be spent during the last three months of your life. Is it really worth it? To spend hour after hour, barely breathing, barely thinking, hooked up to life support with a feeding tube in your gut?

Americans have become highly sensitive to the issue of death. I thought that the whole reason behind this mushy Christianity stuff was to make people comfortable with the idea of dying. “Oh, don’t worry, there’s always the afterlife! Feel free to pass away as you wish.” Nope. Christian evangelicals and conservative Catholics are amongst the most adamant individuals who support your right to clutch on to your existence by any means; even if your body and mind have rotted away to nothing.

Actually, they’re not even supporting your right to life; they’d keep you alive regardless of how you feel.

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddman crochety old for the State to continue financing your life."

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddamn crotchety old for the State to continue financing your life."

What about my right to death? Listen to me: people need to die. People have been dying for millions and millions of years. Its natural. It happens all the time. The problem is that no one has instructed us on how to cope with and move past these tragic events.

Wait. Tragic? It shouldn’t be tragic; it should be joyful. The joyful passing of your loved one. We are so far removed from our natural state of being that we no longer value death… excluding the deaths of our enemies; that has always been joyous.

Lion King

Even Disney supports death panels.

Human bodies were not designed (intelligent or not) to last forever. Our cells stop regenerating as well, our joints become rigid and sore, our systems fail to save over and over again until it gets to a point that your body just dies. All of this extensive healthcare is in denial of the natural ‘Circle of Life‘. Certainly the deaths’ of those who did not live up to the prime peaks of life are tragic; they died too soon. But that only covers people up to about age 40; if you live past that point, I will be joyfully celebrating your passing with explicit glee.

So lighten up. Embrace death (the insurance companies have been running death panels for years now). Maybe even buy a t-shirt. It’ll balance the budget for Christ’s-sakes.

You don’t want to be alive for the zombie apocalypse anyway…

†‡Not that either of these groups really qualify as  being ‘that alive’ in the first place.

jakefunc is a contributing writer and editor of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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Filed under philosophy, Politics, science, social commentary

Hypochondriacs Anonymous.

Yesterday a friend suggested something very probable to me. I may just be a hypochondriac. Like always, I researched this possibility. It affects 6% of the population, but I also don’t know how old that statistic is. It seems very low, but I could consider myself as being one.

When I was in 9th grade, after learning about STDs, I thought that I had an STD. I thought that I had genital warts. I began checking myself constantly for signs of STDs. I also thought that I was pregnant, and that running excessive miles in cross-country would make the baby go away. People, I was a virgin.

I had nothing wrong with me, except that I was advised by my doctor to get more Iron in my blood because I was close to having blood-deficiency.

Years passed in high school. When I began having sex, the worries began once again. I learned that I really, really loved sex. So I did it often. I used protection, minus 1 or 2 times. When I first came to college, I got tested for everything, including HIV/AIDS. Most people I know have A) Never had a blood test or B) Have them once a year, if not, less. Others do not go to the doctor when they “think” they have something, and others have unprotected sex when they know they have something, such as HPV.

Why do people do this? I don’t know and I can’t imagine their reasoning. Me, on the other hand, will wake up the next day after engaging in protected sexual activity, and think that I have somehow contracted HIV, warts, chlamydia, and gotten pregnant. These worries sometimes consume me to the point where my body begins creating fake symptoms. I have actually begun shaking, thoughts spinning in my head, keeping me up at night. I have put myself in cold sweats, and then gone on to think that it’s a sign of a disease. I have had body aches, and made myself believe it was a sign of HIV.

When these worries happen, I then begin to bother my past sexual partners– texting, calling– to ask them if they have had STDs. At the time of sexual encounter, this question was already asked. However, I have trouble actually believing the person.

Condoms are 97% effective against the transmission of STDs and HIV/AIDS if used correctly. This is true, right? This means that 97% of the time, I am safe from contracting a disease. Yet, months after my last sexual partner, I will still imagine that he has given me something, even if I have NO symptoms at all.

I have gotten yearly pap smears since I was 18. 2-3 of those years, I had returned to the doctor for more pap smears. This is excessive, but so are two blood tests a year. I have wasted hours in the waiting room and hours worrying at home. The final answer from my doctor has always been this: Your pap smear came back normal. Your blood test came back negative.

Since my last pap smear, I have had 8 sexual partners, due to my excessive drinking and black outs. 2 of these were unprotected, yet contributing to no symptoms of anything. The rest of these partners used condoms. Sex is something I love, and I do not really regret my decisions because of that. But I do regret that I waste so much time worrying. Currently, I believe that I have contracted herpes from an ex-hook up partner/boyfriend/guy I dated. I make myself believe that people have it out for me, and that they have plans to give me diseases. Currently, I also believe that I could be pregnant, even though my period came on time last month, I’ve gained no weight, and have no symptoms. Whenever I have PMS (breasts become tender, moods become irritable), I attribute it to pregnancy and head to the computer where I research all the symptoms, putting myself into a shaking nervous anxiety attack. Then my period will come on time.

I always misdiagnose ingrown hairs for genital warts or herpes. I check myself everytime I get out of the shower, unless I forget.

I don’t know why I have unprotected sex with some people, but that is completely my fault. If I should go to the doctor again for tests, it would be the third doctor visit in less than 6 months. It would also be my second blood test in one year.

Perhaps I should stop seeing the doctor, and instead, see a psychologist. As far as I know, I have HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, and HPV in the back of my throat. My neck currently aches, probably from all the worry and staring at an online medical database. I woke up with aching shoulders, probably from sleeping in angst.

You may be thinking, “Well, stop having sex.” or “Go get tested.”

My fears have become so irrational that I am trying, for once, to resist going to the doctor unless or until major symptoms should arise. I have always been careful, this is a fact, for at least 98% of the time. Each time I go to the doctor, I am told that I am fine. Also, I have been to the doctor so many times this year that I have reached my family insurance cap. I went a couple more times because I got a yeast infection and I had poison ivy, however I thought that the poison ivy was scabies. I knew I had a yeast infection, but I didn’t believe myself, and figured it was clamydia. I am always a nervous wreck. Now, I am trying to deal with the problems myself instead of getting in my car, running out for plan B, pregnancy tests, researching every STD known to humankind (including pictures of infected people, and comparing them to my perfectly healthy-looking private parts). I am trying, for once in my life, to be rational and put  my worries into other forms. Now, I’m trying to move on with my life and leave my worries behind. Having numerous body ailments = unrealistic. Cleaning my room = realistic.

I hope that I do not need therapy for this, but it may be a good idea. Whenever I see a therapist, I just sit in the chair and don’t really say anything. I think I’m a hypochondriac, but I also may just be faking the symptoms, even though my heart has been pounding and I’m feeling nervous as I’ve typed this entire thing.

I hope that you, the reader, can provide me with some helpful insights, aside from the old adage, “Get tested,” as I know my body very well and the rational part of my brain is beginning to say, “Do not worry unless you have a reason to.” Thank you for reading.

JadeAmethystt is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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A flight, a memento, a question

Are people inherently good, bad, or something else? 

I recently (re-)watched Memento and this question – one I have certainly asked myself before – popped into my mind.

The film deals with a man who cannot create new memories after a traumatic incident in his life leaves him with – as he describes it – “a condition.” The events of the film unfold around the people and problems his life intersects with as a result of this condition. And, invariably, the people all try to take advantage of him (the notable exception being the hooker who does exactly what he asks her to do). A guy who won’t remember what you say to him, what you do to him, or what he does? Why not have him kill a drug dealer so that you can make some money? Or charge him for more than one room at your motel? Or kill a crooked cop for revenge? Unless he writes it down, he won’t remember anyways.

That’s the best I can do to describe the film without giving away any of the interesting parts that make an extremely interesting and well put together film (I’m serious, go netflix it and watch it if you haven’t already). But the summary isn’t important other than to give a framework for my question above.

Are people inherently good, bad, or something else?

In Memento, all of the peripheral characters (and there aren’t many – only a handful) are trying to manipulate the protagonist to achieve their own goals. Now, obviously this is just a film, and one in which the goal is to explore the questions of what makes something real or not real, fact or fiction, constructed or concrete. But the fact remains that this man, whose condition leaves him unable to even know how long it’s been since the incident that brought about this change, is surrounded by people who do not try to help him. In fact, what they do makes the viewer feel pretty beaten up over how terrible (and cunning) they are to him.

It’s not the film’s job or intent to answer the question, and it’s not really mine either, with this post. Explorations of the spectrum of good-evil principles is just an interesting topic in general to me (a fantastic read, by the way, to anyone interested in the question of what is absolutely evil is the introduction to the book “Explaining Hitler” – and no, this is not a Holocaust denial book, but one in which the author tries to figure out how to understand such an important historical figure and his journey in this pursuit).

But as the protagonist of Memento seeks to achieve his own goals – misguided but with good intention though they may be – he bounces between these peripheral figures who seek to exploit and coerce him, albeit subtly sometimes, into achieving their goals.

Does this make them bad? The woman who uses him to avenge her boyfriend is technically doing a good thing, in one light. The motel manager who charges him for more than one room to help his boss during a slow season is doing his part for his company, right? Does this make them good?

But everyone, everyone the protagonist interacts with eventually sees him as a tool. And in our interactions with others, we do the same.

Today I bought a flight for my cousin’s wedding – something I did not really have a lot of extra money to cover, but went ahead with anyway. As I did this, I tried to sort out why. While not being distant relatives, my cousin and I have never been extremely close. It’s far away, requires a flight/hotel/feeding myself for a weekend, and is a wedding (never something I enjoy). So why did I buy the flight? Because I’d like her to one day feel compelled to attend my own? A little. Because I’d feel guilty if I expected her to come to my own after not attending hers? Definitely. Because I genuinely wish to share this day with her? Not particularly.

Essentially, in analyzing my reasons – obvious and admissions I wasn’t terribly proud of – I came back to the question Memento had raised – are people inherently good, bad, or something else?

I don’t consider myself a particularly good or bad person. And in looking at buying the flights, I mentally cringed a little, thinking that the reasons weren’t terribly altruistic. But as I looked more broadly, I realized that much of what makes society and interpersonal relationships exist stems from similar thoughts/feelings/interplays of rationales. We do things all the time in order to receive things. Reciprocity is as old as civilization and an important mechanism for continued interconnections.

When we each go out in to the world as part of our daily lives, how do we know the people with whom we interact are any more or less altruistic of decent that those who surround the man in Memento?

Does this make people inherently bad?

I don’t think so. I think it makes us something else. I am not sure what that is, and worse, I don’t know where to draw the line between the actions of the peripheral characters in Memento and my own. Because they’re my own, I like to think that what I do – and buying a flight for the wedding is just one example – is more bent towards good than bad, or at least something else. That, if I knew someone in capable of creating new memories and thus reliant on my own inner decency to help not make his life more difficult, I would differ from those peripheral characters. 

But would I? Would you? And, since he won’t remember anyways, would it matter?

 

davidrsheehan is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog. You can also tweet directly with him: davidrsheehan.

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Gonzo Philosophy

Friday night in ‘Burque found five young friends kickin’ it to a slower groove, after security has busted up our party on account of someone else’s music. The host reclined, saddened by our communal loss, and consoled himself with a well-taken hit from a festively colored bowl. Sinking into a chemical calm, he found the serenity to accept that the evening could only improve from this dark chapter.

 

“POUND!!! POUND!!!”

 

My friend stuffed his bowl in his pocket and answered the door. Two thugs, clad in black and sporting loaded weapons, further decimated the evening’s feel-good vibe by barging, sans invite, into the sanctity of a couple’s home.

 

“Where’s the weed, and whose smokin’ it?” one of the villains demanded, at which point the host surrendered his stash with a look of true defeat.

 

“Pretty low-grade,” the hooligan chirped mockingly, with a smugness so tacit as to bolster itself in its own presence.

 

“Yeah, we’re kinda broke, man.” the host lamented as they divested him of even this meager offering.

 

“If you’re so broke,” one countered, “why are you spending your money on weed?”

 

There was no pretense of respect: he had the gun, he had superiority; and he had the gall to enforce further mockery upon my beaten friend. Truly, this man was an ass of epic proportion.

 

“Either I’m addicted, or I just like it too much,” he replied, dejected and beyond defense. They left us then, to the pangs of poverty and buzzkill as the night wore on.

 

Now, the question we all have to ask ourselves is: is this the sort of behavior that we as a populace are willing to accept from officers of the law?

 

That’s right: la policia, Big Brother, the fuzz had entered an innocent man’s home and taken by force that which is, by the rights of morality, patriotism, and civil disobedience, his private property. If someone had done the same without a badge, I would have been well within my rights to take the fucker’s kneecap and watch him crawl on home; but because this act of theft was perpetrated behind the paternalist bully-system of America’s executive branch, such action would’ve seen me in fetters. What I wouldn’t have given for diplomatic immunity and a baseball bat.

 

I am not drawing this analogy to encourage violence against police. I do believe that, amongst the moralistic oafs and badged thieves that incite situations like this one, there are a good number of good cops. In point of fact, I may personally owe quite a bit to one in particular, who took the time and interest in the legal plight of a college kid to talk me out of throwing my future away on anger and vengeance. Be that as it may, I stand that, had I or any of my colleagues managed to break these individuals before they could fire, the action would have been both justified and courageous (if perhaps imprudent, from a survivalist perspective.) Before we blame the police, however, perhaps we must also blame ourselves.

 

We live in a democracy, a democracy in which many of us are attempting to regain faith. It is, in theory, the actions and ideas of a free people which will constitute our principles in the years to come, principles amongst which personally liberty is often cited, if only long enough to be discarded at the hands of an overtly Puritan and thankfully dying ethic.

 

If we speak of marijuana (and I stress, other drugs as well) as secretive or criminal, then an uneducated populace will necessarily come to view them as such. Give the people a bit of D.A.R.E. and fear-mongering, and the myths will all but propagate themselves. But if we our honest, with ourselves and our fellow citizens, then the volume of our outrage can only be amplified by the abuses which so tirelessly assail our common liberty.

 

I smoke marijuana. This does not make me, or you, or anybody else a bad person, and it does not give capitalist bullies on machismo trips just cause to violate the sanctity of our homes, the security of our interests, or the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution.

 

I wish here to speak in the promotion of freedom, and not of violence. But whatever anger failed to find my actions on that night must find our pens, our voices, and our spirits; lest the menace of paternalism run unchecked. If the government can waste our time, our money, and our lives on smoking guns, the average citizen should never be without recourse when the barrel’s pointed squarely at his own doorstep.

Redpillneo is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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Filed under philosophy, Politics

I Can Make You Longer And Stronger

A 30% addition to the human base average. Its cheap, easy, healthy, maybe even fun—definitely a strong ‘maybe’ there. Regardless, this is going to revolutionize the human experience. Just think: my old, crotchety ass raging into the future, much to the dismay of latter generations. Tee hee.

What I am recommending is intermittent fasting; instead of eating everyday, you eat every other day.

Questions?

1. Is this healthy?
Probably healthier than whatever it is you’re doing now. Most human beings Americans consume more than enough nutrients and calories in a single day to feed three individuals; you can certainly get by with a lot less. For every day that you eat your body is storing plenty of carbs, fats and proteins to be used during your following ‘no eating’ day. If you’re still concerned, consult your doctor; what you hear may surprise you (“Don’t believe what you read on the Internet. Idiot”).

2. Will I lose weight?
Not really. Your body goes into starvation mode on your ‘no eating’ day, essentially cutting your nutrient intake for unnecessary functions. What you will see is a steady weight plateau of no gains or losses. You’re achieving homeostasis in a way, so work out and diet (or don’t, fatty) until you look the way you want, then begin intermittent fasting.

3. How is this going to make ‘me’  longer?
Your body is made up of cells that have to regenerate themselves—sometimes daily. During these regenerations (think cell creation, mitosis) your DNA becomes synthesized over and over and over again, becoming less and less like the original data it originated from. Eventually your cells will function poorly and be more susceptible to disease or cancer.

Intermittent fasting will cut down (50%) on cell loss and regeneration in some key areas: namely your digestive and circulation systems. Whenever you eat millions of cells are being lost and regenerated, all the way from your mouth to your anus. From your large intestine the nutrients (and other things, like excess bad cholesterol) are shipped around your body through your bloodstream, with millions more cells being affected.

By regenerating less, your cells will be eating through their 9 lives much slower. Therefore, you shall last longer. And be healthier, so stronger as well.

Ugh, do I really want to live that old in the first place...

Ugh, do I really want to live to be that old in the first place...

See? You can defy death and look into the future without circling the earth at high speeds or by creating any other sort of asinine time-traveling machine. Now if only I could forsake eating food altogether…

jakefunc is a contributing writer of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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Wake Up: You Have Swine Flu

Soon enough you’ll have a little piggy tail to match your sniffling snout, nose deep in the home-sty littered with the corpses of the unfortunate. The World Health Organization might as well boost its rating to a Level 6 pandemic because H1N1 is here, right now, in your town. I myself stocked up on Tamiflu years ago when the last ‘animal’s viral vengeance against man’ swept through; good luck, suckers.

But to be completely honest, you’re more likely to be trampled to death by a herd of flu-panicked hypochondriacs at the pharmacy than actually die from the Swine Flu. Since January of this year, the ‘regular’ flu has killed over 13,000 people in the United States (see http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/regular.flu/index.html). Influenza: 13,000. Swine Flu: 5. So why did I even bring this issue to your attention? Because its bullshit propagated by the news media to woo you. Totally unfair. I should have a free shot at warming your heart/loins with some Bush-era fear tactics too.

!!!!!!!!YOU’S GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!

©2009 jakefunc

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