Category Archives: Medicine & Health

Too Many Know-Nothings

I keep meaning to polish a piece on the many potential, disastrous TrumpCares, but the health care news changes too fast for a day-gigging TfH to keep up! Today, though, a li’l gem came through the nethole quick enough for a brief day gig break:

DT has appointed a White House health care adviser that believes that birth control constitutes medical malpractice.

The only technology besides the printing press that singlehandedly enacted massive social change. The technology that let women work outside the home. Effect self-determination. Find meaning in an identity that is not exclusively maternal. Experience pleasure without consequence (obvies that’s the god squad’s actual problem with repro health).

Our economy relies on the pill because we need two incomes to even barely try to stay afloat.

Plus also BIRTH CONTROL PREVENTS CONCEPTION, WHICH IN TURN PREVENTS ABORTION. If you want to end abortion, give everyone a LARC. Unless abortion-hate itself masks the real belief: that women shouldn’t have sex. Which is the only way I can understand any of this.

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The C word

I skimmed some of the potty talk about the Clinton Foundation’s treatment of donors and wondered if anyone perpetuating the Clinton Scandal of the Day has ever worked at a nonprofit before. You sweet talk donors. That’s how it works. You scrub up and buff and shine for them. You puff out air fresheners. You spend precious gen ops funds on feting them. You honey talk them and give them access and strategery and Feelings of Importance. 

Plus this reminder that the C Foundation saves lives. Lives ignored by most of us. 

How many lives have you saved today? How many Saudi princes does it take to cure AIDS? 

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Eat the Cookie

The best New Yorker article I read in months wasn’t about homeless teens or schizophrenia (actually that one was dope. Immunization genes (!!!) disproportionately influence the development of schizophrenia (!?!??) through neural structures that act as pruning shears such that certain regions of the brains of schizophrenic people are over-sheared like when my dad pruned the peach tree so aggressively it stopped bearing fruit).

It was most decidedly not the recent Gay Talese spew about a dude who bought and modified a motel in my town to spy on unwitting guests and catalog their proclivities that I cannot believe the friggin New Yorker friggin published. The sexism alone. The wholely undigested this-is-what-Talese-thinks-about-what-this-dude-thinks-about-himself, the very worst impulses of the New Journalism as if decades of feminism, gay rights, and sophisticated, elucidating long form nonfiction hadn’t happened, undigested like when the pet’s vomit looks like the pet’s food fresh out the bag plus some glistening. As if we don’t know better than to be seduced by two layers of un-self-conscious narcissistic privilege into our becoming voyeurs through an actually paid-for book excerpt whose disguise as journalism is as flimsy as the voyeur subject’s delusions of ethical social scientific research. I won’t even dignify it with a link.

Ahem.

Back at the ranch, Louis Menand reflects on ways our popular self-help books reflect the labor needs of our dominant economies.

Ford and Taylor maximized the efficiency of bodies laboring in factories.  How to Win Friends and Influence People Taylorized the the salesman in the grey flannel suit, disciplining his personality to a mid-century service economy.

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Sometimes We Read Instead of Write

Mini Book Reviewlets, y’all:

Mermaids in Paradise and George Bush, the Dark Horse of Love. Lydia Millet.

I will unapologetically compare these books to Mark Twain. The fully formed narrators who parlay sparkling ironic narration. The satire of US culture. The laughing to keep from crying. Why doesn’t Lydia Millet get more magazine covers? All the magazine covers!

All of them. Continue reading

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Exploitative Headline Award: My Dissertation!

While I struggle with what may be the toughest nonfiction writing project I have yet attempted, about what I’m doing (or not doing) (or doing in a dreamy, half-assed way, like on a blog) with my dissertation research, this article came along to whet my dormant whistle.

“MALE AND FEMALE BRAINS REALLY ARE BUILT DIFFERENTLY”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks, dummy headline writers, for making it yet harder for the gender freedom warriors to get any further along on the yellow brick road.

(Plus that religious thing about how brains are “built,” but I want to focus on sex/gender. Not on creationism and our Christian nation.)

Here’s the thing about your brain on sex:

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Book Reviewlets: The Middlesteins

Boy, fat people sure are sad. And emotionally crippled. All that food will kill them! Why don’t they stop eating it?!?!

What a missed opportunity to explore some potent contemporary issues about gender, family, consumption, and economics. About the lives of women. And OK, I’ll give you at least this: about addiction.

So much more radical than this book, to have created a fat woman character whose troubles are not, actually, centered on her body size and food habits. So much more radical than maybe any book or film about fat people except for one House episode, seriously, and even then the staff were all floored that the fat guy died of cancer and not fatness.

Say it with me: OY.

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