Saturday, October 24, 2009


Just a quick post before I attack the house. This place hasn't been seriously cleaned in longer than I'm willing to admit. But posting for my wonderful blogging friends is a perfectly wonderful excuse to procrastinate a little.
The Blue Girl Rose is blooming in the yard... this is the bush that sombody gave to my mother, and ended up in my front yard. I posted about it before but nothing too important...

Last night, I went to some darned seminar about 'wellness' products... a network marketing thing. A friend of mine is involved in it, and they just wanted to 'share' it with me. I listened to several motivational speakers telling me all about how wonderful everything is... I don't know if you've ever been to these things... but here's the rub...

They stand up there and tell you about the miraculous effect of their products in their lives. Just to let you know, the products include magnets in your shoes, mondo expensive matresses{with magnets included in the stuffing} some machine that makes hexagonal water {?} special air filters, dietary supplements, red-wave lights, and every other silly thing you've ever dreamed of. Then a bunch of people stand up and tell you how all these wonderful products have cured their MS, diabetes, back injuries and general malaise. Then the speakers come back and tell you that they make no medical claims, even though they just did.

Then they tell you how as a GOOD AMERICAN you are almost OBLIGATED to be a successful network marketer... (even though the company itself is based in Japan, it's still evidentlyvery much AMERICAN to spend your money on things made in other countries.) Then they make some amusing plays on words, then they tell you how stress is killing us all, and how they're soooo happy to SHARE (for a price) this OUTSTANDING SUCCESS PROGRAM with you so that you can have lots of money and spend all this time with your children (family values is a big marketing tool for this bunch) etc, and so on and so forth, and would all the Special Guest please stand up so that they can give you an application and a small plastic bracelet, at which point I felt a hand on my back pushing me out of my seat, whereupon I informed someone that if they didn't remove their hand from my back they were going to draw back a bloody stump and we'll see if that magnet in your shoe cures that...

Now, I'm pretty open minded. If my next door neighbor, or my cousin, or someone I actually knew was cured by strapping a magnet to their butt... I might be impressed. But I'm sitting here in this room, invited by someone who is telling me what a wonderful, successful and healthy life they're leading, even though I know for a fact that they've been laid up fighting the flu for the past 4 weeks. And on the other side of me, is some guy I've just met, telling me what a wonderful, successful and healthy life he's had since begining these products, even though not 30 minutes ago he was talking about these awful migraines he's had for the past 2 weeks... (I'm thinking the magnet headband might be giving them to him...) and scattered throughout the room are dozens of people who keep telling everyone how this WELLNESS program has helped them sooooo much, and, quite frankly, they don't look well... I mean, maybe they are well, I certainly don't know. But what's the point of being well if you look like you've got one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel? Quite frankly, given a choice, I wouldn't mind being on deaths door, as long as I looked good.

After all this, I did a truly American thing, and went to a bar to have an alcoholic beverage and a good rant to any poor soul in hearing distance.

And now, I have to clean the house...


  1. Well, you know, some people actually will be cured of something by strapping magnets to their butt. The placebo effect is wonderful, and even leaving out the placebo effect, most chronic illnesses have good days and bad days. It takes very little to convince someone that the recent string of good days is because of the magnets on their butt (as opposed to having been sleeping better, or being less stressed at their job, or whatever), especially if they have a major expense they need to justify to themselves. So don't say that's all it would take to convince you: you actually need more than that.

    These sorts of things, where people you have to be on good terms with try to manipulate you into buying garbage (peer pressure, promises of health and wealth, appeals to patriotism), are reprehensible. As far as I'm concerned, this would be grounds for un-friending the person who invited you in the first place, but I sometimes take extreme and counterproductive positions on these things and don't have to live with the consequences of my suggestion, so don't listen to me.

    Unless you want to.

  2. If this was a person I had to deal with on a daily basis, they would be soooooo gone. But this is someone I rarely see to begin with, and to their credit, it only took one growl to put an end to it, so we'll see.

    I'm more than aware of the placebo effect, and I'm very aware that attitude and state of mind have a huge effect on your health and well being. BTW, when I say 'cured' I mean pronounced cured by an actual medical practitioner.

    We are in basic agreement, though. I did, when I entered, have to fill out a form with things like address and phone number. Fortunately, I think on my feet. I don't know whose address and phone number I put down, as I made them up on the spot, but whoever it is, maybe they'll be interested...

  3. The best part of all this was the alcoholic beverage!!! LOL!

  4. ROFLMAO...claude! And Mr_Subj's response!
    Will the magnet stuffed mattress cure my insomnia? I'll try anything...maybe! I can't believe you actually stayed and listened to the whole thing~I would've hacked a dying cough and boogied out!
    Quick thinking of the phony addy though!
    Cleaning house would be a welcomed excuse next time you're invited!

    Pretty Blue Girl, does she smell nice?

  5. Blue Girl has a very strong, classic rose scent... maybe a hint of clove to it.

    As for faking a hacking cough, there were enough actual ones in there that no one would have noticed. When I said that this bunch didn't look well... I meant it!

  6. being in the Health business for many years, the problem with the majority of people is consipation. Give them something for that and most of other ills go away......Been there-tired that and never did find that miracle pill-Still looking though....

  7. You know, it just occured to me... what happens if you happen to have the magnets strapped to your butt, and then you need to put on your shoes, with the magnet insoles of course, and you sit down on the magnet bed mattress... do you get stuck to the bed? Will I have to call several burly firefighter types to pry me loose? Really, this is just too much to have to worry about...

  8. "Actual medical practitioners" don't cure anyone of anything either except maybe the desire to schedule a follow-up visit. They've just fooled everyone into thinking they have all the answers because they've been to expensive schools and have certificates to prove it. The body "cures" itself if given a little TLC and encouragement. I don't like those motivational seminars either. They really do a disservice to public perception of alternative (really, traditional) medicine.

  9. Ah, yes. TLC and encouragement. If only my college friend had thought of that for his non-Hodgkins lymphoma, rather than all that icky chemotherapy.* Or if all those soldiers in the Civil War had had access to TLC -- they could have avoided all that dying of sepsis. And obviously the Black Death was all just in people's heads.

    I should probably leave before I get all sarcastic and shit.


    *It worked. He's fine.

  10. I did not say that medicine was always unnecessary, only that the body can and often does heal itself without manmade chemicals or surgical intervention, which any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you. Sometimes pharmaceuticals or surgery are even contraindicated, but the medical industry usually won't tell you that while it "practices" medicine--at least not until many people get hurt and lawsuits ensue. People should take more responsibility for their health. You should be careful you don't really tear your flesh while rendering yourself "all sarcastic and shit," Mr. S. I'm glad the chemo helped your friend, by the way.

  11. In your original comment, you said "Actual medical practitioners" don't cure anyone of anything either except maybe the desire to schedule a follow-up visit.

    Don't cure anyone of anything. While it's lovely that you've decided to backtrack and now acknowledge that no, sometimes they do, that is not what you said to begin with, and what you said to begin with is ridiculous. Hence the ridicule.

  12. I still maintain that "actual medical practitioners" don't cure anyone of anything. They, just like any true healer, somehow manage to facilitate/manipulate the body's own curative properties, and the mind plays a key role. So does the relationship/level of trust between the practitioner and patient. Medicines and surgery are tools. Doctors are mechanics, and most of them are overpaid ones at that. The current "health-care" system has become more of a disease management arena than anything else and has turned doctors into doorknob grabbers instead of healers with good intentions. It's no wonder that so many people are looking for other solutions to their health problems, and there are some charlatans like the magnet sellers who are more than happy to make a buck in this era of discontent. I'm glad that Claude has allowed us to have this little conversation. For my part, I've found it to be enlightening and refreshing. I'm not out to cause a ruckus or stab anyone in the eye with pointed remarks, just make some observations. If ridicule is your bag, then so be it, Mr. Subjunctive.

  13. So doctors don't cure diseases, they just do stuff to help the body make diseases go away?

  14. It's clear that you're a smart feller!

  15. Not really what I asked, but thanks? I guess?

  16. You're quite welcome!

  17. Wow! I guess I should get around to visiting blogs on a more regular basis! A controversy! I'm a cynic--pretty impervious to any kind of sales pitch or miracle cure--and also a pragmatist. As I recently told a friend who follows every new health cure fad, special diet and exercise routine, etc. The best way to extend life is to have a yearly check up.