We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, November 12. 2007
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I realize that there are several smokers on Maggie's and so my remarks will fall on deaf ears but:
The guy is free to do as he chooses, but I don't want him on my health plan. He can ruin his own health and swear all he likes, but I don't want my premiums raised to pay for it. There are so many health conditions that are out of our control, but people who wilfully detroy their own health usualy expect other people to pay for their medical care when the chickens come home to roost.
And, yes, I am influenced by the fact that he is no gentleman. His language destroys what sympathy I started out with for his exasperation with the nanny state.
Also, perhaps because I have seen beloved family members suffering from inherited illnesses they did not cause, despite all their efforts to work for health, search after treatment, I am troubled that this fellow seems to have forgotten something: we are not our own. We are created by God, for His purposes, not our own. Our bodies are on loan from God. Fat, skinny, healty, unhealthy, they are all His. Temples of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to tend them well. Not for our own sake, but for His. The reason why one doesn't gorge oneself silly on chocolates, or drink oneself to death, or stay anorexic. To destroy or worship our bodies idolatrously are alike hateful to God. Because we are made to be useful to God and his people here on earth. So, THeo's girls delight you all. Fine. If their preening cheers you all up, well and good. Whatever floats your boat. A hardworking laborer's muscles build a building and feed his family. A sniper's eyesight and reflexes serve his country. A compassionate therapist's listening skills soothe an agitated patient. An inspiring preacher turns the apathetic to repentance. All that we are, all that we do, matter only so far as they help or hinder God's work here on earth. It isn't all about us. It never is.
I would like to see that guy put as much of his energy into exhorting some aimless kids to find a trade, and helping them stick to it, as profanity about his right to smoke.
Hey retriever,leave the the fat guy from Boston alone.How do you know that he isn't doing Gods work in his own special way. You seem to know God's heart pretty well. Look at all the idiots he used to do his work. Moses, Jacob, David to name a few. I'll take 10 fat guys from Boston on my health care plan, he is a heart attack waiting to happen. I'll leave you with John Edwards and his ilk, just look what they have done to the health industry. Think about that when you pay your premiums, not the fat guy from Boston. He's shoveling his grave one spoonful at a time. Edwards and all his lawyering friends are gourging themselves at the expense of all of us. I love reading you, but never underestimate the power of God and how he works.
Sorry to sound self-righteous, jappy. Not feeling like I know much of anything these days...But I do stand by my belief that we are not our own. We belong to God, and to the people who love us.
I have no use for government meddling in health habits, despise John Edwards, etc. But I do think that most of us will take better care of our health if we remember all the people who love us, who need and want us around.
And we should. A heart attack that kills you young may be a relatively easy way to go for the victim, and cheap for an insurance company, but is a tragedy for the family. I oughta know: lost my baby brother to one. After years of me pleading in vain with him to do all the boring things like lose weight, stop smoking, take Lipitor, exercise, rest, etc. I am a loudmouth and a jerk too often, but I can't wax philosophical about any family losing someone in their prime as we did. Rugged individualism is okay up to a point, but GOd did not create us to live alone. He set the solitary in families, in a mesh of rights and responsibilities. Donne reminds us that no man is an island...
I've buried too many druggy and alcoholic friends too young, comforted too many grieving relatives left behind, to go along with anyone who says it only hurts them, so they can do whatever they like to their body. It hurts friends and family who love them.
In the same way, I'll fight anyone who tries to promote assisted suicide.
But with my clumsy opinions, and friendly pleas alone. No government programs or laws.
Am just a miserable sinner myself, no example to anyone, but I do believe that life is a precious gift, not to be squandered. So I don't off myself when life feels unbearable (miles to go, and hundreds of thousands in college tuition to earn before my parental responsibilities are done).
My family doctor unfailingly gets a snarl from me when he sanctimoniously tells me to "eat less and exercise more" after I wail about my middle aged spread, so Luther M. I can relate to your frustration at being told what to do. It doesn't help that said MD is healthy, athletic, skinny and far more energetic despite being almost ten years older than me! But when I get over my annoyance, I realize that he is right, and that only an enabler would tell me to do what I liked, a little fat never hurt anyone.
So off to the treadmill. ANd no kiddie-made brownies for me tonight.
Maybe it is as simple as this: I love my children and they me. I want to live a long time so I can see grandchildren and help raise them. That's worth a certain amount of self-denial and putting up with sanctimonious nagging from people who mean well, who care about me, who want me to take better care of my health. I think. We do for love what we would not do under compulsion. Why government should stay out of all this. But a little persistent nagging by friends and family keep us on the straight and narrow.
So I think the fat guy needs his buddies to drag him out to the gym more often, and drink the light beer....
Both wrong - Salt of the earth - an earthy American guy. Not refined, for sure.
These are my idea of salt of the earth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T05ku3MhJ8E (cuter too...)
I worked with a guy like that once. He was a loud fat Brooklynite working in Georgia. He did “whatever the fuck he wanted!” on the job, including pushing the pious and conservative locals buttons. (Typical Monday morning: “Drivin’ down I-95 you suddenly realize yer in the south. You know how? IT FUCKIN STINKS DOWN HERE! From all those goddamn pulp mills...”).
Sadly for him, I was one of the few who enjoyed the show.
"The guy is free to do as he chooses, but I don't want him on my health plan. He can ruin his own health and swear all he likes, but I don't want my premiums raised to pay for it."
They won't be, since he's likely to die sooner than you. In fact, it's more likely that his premiums will be raised to pay for you (as a smoker, he already pays higher premiums than you). And considering all of those, er, short-sighted folk who think it's just fine for the government to restrict others when they happen to approve, be they liberals or social conservatives, he is -- no pun intended -- a breath of fresh air.
Since everybody eventually gets sick, everybody costs a lot. But when they get sick and die sooner, they cost everybody less. Right?
Truth is, there is little we can do to change the world to our liking, in the immediate sense at least. Otherwise, we all be Cesar's. There are many vying for that title today. Left and Right.
I am a smoker, a used to be toker, and am yet a partaker of much that shortens my life. Others can judge if they like. I have paid my dues... and to paraphrase Mailer.... and how apropos, somehow... F*** em' all, save six for pallbearers. Don't tell me how to live.
"Our bodies are on loan from God. Fat, skinny, healty, unhealthy, they are all His. Temples of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to tend them well. Not for our own sake, but for His"
God only loves perfect bodies? That's a shame.
Sorry if I wrote clumsily: I meant that I believe that God loves every one whatever they look like, or however sick or healthy they are. He loves us whatever kind of bodies we have (and a good thing for me if I am right). But that He expects us to care lovingly for them. The BIble is full of metaphors for us as the Lord's tenants. Are we good or wicked tenants? Do we paint and polish and clean the place or do we tear the place apart and beat up the landlord's kid when he comes around to collect the rent?
I mean, I admit that I wish God had made me to look more like the Maid of the Marsh, but presumably He had some purpose in mind when he made me more like the ugly sister of the Maid to whom all the guys confide their lusting after the Maid!
THe BIble is full of stories of God acting very unfairly, playing favorites, doling out advantages most unequally as we see it. And we all have to live with similar disparities today. But whatever He has given us, he expects us to take care of and give an accounting for.
Maybe a domestic example of my point: two of my kids have very different rooms. Plusses and minusses to each basic room. We are very broke, and the furniture is a mix of orange crate, thrift shop and some carefully saved family antiques, plus whatever the kids themselves have improvised. One room is immaculate, cheerful, clean, orderly and full of color and texture. Everyone in the family gravitates there. THe other rom has cups of cocoa and spoons and soda cans and old laundry all over the floor, piles of books and papers spilling over every surface, dust, cathair, and little fresh air. I make furtive trips in there with trash bags and try to clear a path periodically. It is a nicer room to start with, but such a disheartening mess that my spirits fall just opening the door.
How you care for what you have been given makes all the difference in the world....
R., it is not frustration, but resentment. My take is, no one perfect treads the earth. I just dislike being judged by those as imperfect as I. Yes, I could do much to lengthen my life, at whatever cost to my fellow man. I have done the best that was within my capabilities, as bequeathed to me by genetics, environment and current events. I grieve not for my death, just hope that I have served as imperfect example for those that follow. I have my faults... plenty of... but also my good points, though hidden they may be.
LM, your good points are not as hidden as you think. I always learn from what you write. You are a gentleman and a scholar, and my ranting tonight is probably simple venting and pointless waffling, howling at the moon missing my baby bro. I have been a holy terror to all my friends in the time since.. Not wanting to lose them too. Dumb. More annoying than anything probably...
Thanks R. But gentleman and scholar used to be a good pick up line :) or at least an attempt at same. Though yes, a long time ago.
I do not mean to pick on you... just memes that present themselves without proper consideration as to their long term effects. G-d does give us freedom to do what we will. No matter his glory.
Sorry for your losses. Our impermanence is our frustration.
Oops., LM..as my kids frequently howl at me "Mom, you can't say that, someone will take it the wrong way..." Not meant inappropriately, please excuse.
Pointing out logical incoherence regarding promotion of vice while professing adherence to Christian principle is nothing for which I would ever apologize. After all, pricking the conscience was central to St Paul's admonitions regarding all sorts of behaviors. It may be that the straight gate is a bit tighter than those who conflate liberty and license imagine. We won't know until we get there.
I didn't take it the wrong way R., I took it as a compliment as I think you meant it. But I do not take compliments well... what was that impostor post from a day or so ago. I have no idea what I am doing.... but I still get paid... though at MF... that is very little :)