Bush Saves Social Security?

"There's not going to be enough people in the system to take advantage of people like me." -- George W. Bush, on the coming Social Security crisis, Wilton, CT, June 9, 2000

At times, our 43rd president can be somewhat inscrutable.(I say this because it sounds so much smarter than subliminable.) The above quote came from the Bushisms calendar on my husband's desk. He read it to me yesterday and I responded with my usual, headslappingly astonished, "What?"

But then a strange thing happened...I began to parse Bush's message. In fact, I think it was prescient. Just a few years later, Bush initiated what may end up being the longest and most costly war in our history. He has already ensured that many of the young men and women who serve our country will never live long enough to qualify for Social Security. Maybe this is what he meant all along! It's something to think about this Memorial Day weekend. That draft-dodger could be a genius!

I may have misunderestimated him.


More Louise Hay Garbage

I admit that I've whored around the Self-Help section of life's cosmic bookstore, looking for answers. But since perfectionism can lead to procrastination, I stopped. Serial killers tend to have high self-esteem, too, but I found that out in the Psychology section, Self-Help's educated relative a few shelves down.

But there's one old mindfuck that keeps coming back and chafing my brain like a mental herpes sore. Her name is Louise Hay. I bought her book, You Can Heal Your Life, in the late 1980's. (Hey, the Eighties were a bad time for a lot of us- don't judge me.) Among other things, she said that we choose our parents before we're born. Don't consider the logistics of that for too long or your head may explode. We also mentally cause all of our own physical problems and can cure them with a little affirmation. My cat puked on the bookcover. Was he trying to tell me something? In Louise Hay's universe, maybe. I loathed that book. It sold millions.

Now I see that she has published many books since then. From the look of her website photo, she invested my $12.99 in bad plastic surgery. Affirmations can't cure that any more than she can wish back her shit-canned facial skin. Since I won't be contributing to the sales of her newer book, I thought it would be fair to share some thoughts from her first one. (I ripped off the cover and kept it. God, I miss that puke stain.) Here are a few of Louise Hay's diagnoses for mental causes of physical problems.

Warts: "Little expressions of hate. Belief in ugliness."
Tinnitus: "Refusal to listen.Not hearing the inner voice. Stubbornness."
Multiple Sclerosis: "Mental hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility. Fear."
Ingrown Toenail: "Worry and guilt about your right to move forward."
Tapeworm: "Strong belief in being a victim and unclean. Helpless to the seeming attitudes of others."

Of course, I don't want to spoil the ending for you by writing down Ms. Hay's cures. But I must make one exception. If you or anyone you know is currently suffering from gangrene ("Mental morbidity. Drowning of joy with poisonous thoughts") apply this information immediately: I now choose harmonious thoughts and let the joy flow freely through me. Repeat this new thought pattern to yourself several times. Assume that you are already in the process of healing.

Please, Ms. Hay, forgive me for using your sacred text! I feel it is my duty to pass on your healing message! Sufferers must be free from the bondage of Western medicine and learn that they have only themselves to blame! They must think, think, think their way to health. (Oh, and they must buy your books, too. But Ms. Hay, since you gave us all the tools in the first one, why did you need to write any more? Have you been holding out on us?)

Please remember, dear reader, if the snake oil you're drinking tastes bitter, maybe you're just not drinking the right brand!

N.B. I'm working on a project of my own: If We All Concentrate, We Can Give This Charlatan Bitch Cancer.

Crazy for Feeling This Way?

For a more fair and balanced look at one of the subjects of my last post, please read the New York Times article from May 11, 2008, 'Mad Pride' Fights a Stigma.

It can only help for people to have an honest dialogue about this issue. I just worry that seeking more positive names for a mental illness is little more than window dressing. Insurance companies continue to cut coverage for "mood disorder" medications and there's a new push for limiting the rights of bipolars every time someone goes nuts and shoots people.

Would insurance companies limit medication for diabetics? Mental illness is still often perceived as personal weakness, lack of willpower. It needs a new name, alright, but a name like cancer, so it's taken seriously but not blamed on the victim.

Side Note: Only morons like Louise Hay still blame the victim for disease. Her book You Can Heal Your Life would make a great gift for an epileptic, who might not know he has mentally caused his illness through his "Sense of persecution. Rejection of life. A feeling of great struggle. Self-violence." Luckily, he can cure himself by meditating on a simple phrase. But I'm not going to tell you what it is- you'll have to buy the book! And then I can label you as mentally ill.

But seriously, folks.... Recognition, respect and proper care for the mentally ill is a human rights issue. Worrying about semantics is a little like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Related post:
By Any Other Name....


By Any Other Name....

What's in a name? Why do semantics matter so much? Do we really believe a new label can cause the evolution of an old perception?

Take manic depression, for example. Maybe it's too harsh in this iteration; why don't we call it bipolar disorder instead? It's less descriptive but safer, like a childproof cover on a light socket. It doesn't invite ridicule the way differently abled does when substituted for retarded. Perhaps the use of softer terminology will ping the brain of the listener differently, overwriting preconceptions.

The idea of suffering is also distasteful. If one suffers, one must be a victim of something. Why not call manic depression madness? That sounds pretty cool, in fact. Then we can have mad pride,co-opting the language of ignorance. After all, gays call themselves queer, right? Slap it on a banner; the parade will soon follow.

Women call each other cunts, too, though it's not yet a term of endearment like nigger can be. It's still said mostly to men to denigrate other women. (Suggested reading: Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy) Does this word have the power to transform itself? Does the speaker change the nature of the slur? If Oprah calls a vagina a va-jay-jay, does shame lessen or do douche sales increase?

But I digress. Funny how that happens. I blame my condition. You see, I'm mad. Does that suggest I am angry? Why yes, thanks for asking. Whether it means anything more is open for interpretation.


Bill O'Reilly Cures Depression

Yes, dear imaginary reader, I've been feeling Too Bummed to Blog, which should be listed in the DSM-IV. (If you don't know what the DSM-IV is, wiki it, okay? I don't have the will to explain.)

Then I checked my email and clicked on the Bill O'Reilly meltdown video from Funny or Die. The call to Police Dispatch about an officer being hit with an M&M is priceless, listed as Today's F'ed Up News Item. But the O'Reilly clip is pure audiovisual Prozac. I guarantee it will warm your cockles, wherever they may anatomically be. By the way, I've been meaning to ask you: when are you going to get around to washing those? They're starting to reek.

In fact, if you suffer from a mood disorder of any kind, I highly recommend signing up for the email newsletter of funnyordie.com. Of course, the Will Ferrell "Landlord" video is deservedly the site's most famous offering. But even the lame bits beat any spam from Nigeria or one of your buddy's latest computer virus warnings. ("Somebody checked it out on snopes.com, so it must be true!")

N.B. If you're still feeling down, maybe Bill's rant wasn't enough for you. In this case, I would prescribe Gawker's Top Ten Angry On-Camera Meltdowns, stat.If you're still depressed, call 911. I'm not a miracle worker.

Related posts:

Best Suicide Note Ever!
Great Gifts for Depressed Friends!


Best Suicide Note Ever!

Proper execution (pun intended) is crucial for the note's irony to be appreciated, considering the decedent's inability to explain.

Typewritten, in a sealed envelope found in a pocket, are the words, "I was cleaning my gun when it accidentally went off."


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint- Don't Breed!

I have wondered what legacy I will leave behind, having borne no children. There is the unsung heroism of not passing on my own unpalatable genetic soup to future generations. (Since women in my family tend to start menopause young, I see Mother Nature as a lifeguard trying to hustle us out of the pool.) But really, other than money, time to travel, intact abdominal muscles, an unscathed perineum and the same complement of stretchmarks since puberty, what's in this childless lifestyle for me?

I have found the answer! By remaining childless, I have reduced my carbon footprint to the tune of every generation of progeny who might have continued to breed until global warming requires the evolution of gills. By my reckoning, I have earned the carbon footprints of all those unborn children. This is the ultimate carbon offset- I can drive an SUV to the catalogue-choked mailbox at the end of my driveway, charter flights to fly in circles with loads of bricks just to burn fuel and roll flaming rubber tires into the rainforest without guilt. It's a free pass!

In fact, since the only thing I will leave to posterity is my carbon footprint, I'd like to make it as large as possible. And I'd also like to offset that big dark imprint on the posterior of the next person who assumes that every woman must want to have children or that the world can be saved by wearing vegan shoes.

While we're at it, what the heck is a "vegan shoe"? Does it not eat meat?


Celebrity News of the Future

After years of erratic behavior, it has been confirmed that Gwen Stefani's children are suffering from what is becoming known as Fetal Peroxide Syndrome. Christina Aguilera and Gwyneth Paltrow have been notified along with a long list of stars, who now have their children under close observation.

Seriously, am I the only one who has looked at these pregnant stars and been surprised that they never show roots? They're eating brown rice and drinking water made from the tears of Tibetan monks, but they're still having chemicals marinate on their scalps through every trimester?

Expectant mothers are put through hell these days, filled with fear about alcohol, second-hand smoke and stress hormones affecting the fetus. Ask a woman who can't or won't breastfeed what kind of crap she takes from other people. Think about women watching their diets because eating peanuts or tomato sauce might give the baby a rash or diarrhea when they breastfeed.

Meanwhile, these stars are on the cover of US Weekly being hailed as earth mothers while they're expressing Nice'n'Easy into their babies' mouths. Give me a break.


Once More Unto the Breach

The world does not need another blog, but I need it. I need to write but the idea of trying to get my work published paralyzes me. I would like to romanticize the Internet as the last bastion of lawlessness, where, for better or worse, anything can get in print. The problem is that everyone is doing it.

So I've resisted thus far. But I earned my degree twenty years ago and have published no more than a clever letter to the editor or two. It's been nice to share work with family and friends, to take a class where my ego is massaged by professor and classmates (no pressure, no grades). I used to think maybe I could be happy being the person who writes funny emails or gives good quip at a moment's notice. Maybe that could be enough.

I've denied and delayed but now face the choice: writing or the abyss. I guess this is worth a try. For me, writing is joy, my mind at play. The inter-cranial battle eases for a time. It shouldn't really matter to me if anyone else reads it, but that would be a lie. My words will sit like a grain of sand on this virtual beach. I can imagine that a stranger will enjoy it. Maybe that could be enough.