Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Things I Wonder About

I've finished reading Through the Looking Glass.  I had previously read Alice in Wonderland.  When I saw the current Alice movie, I couldn't think of anything in the pages of Alice in Wonderland to account for the movie's dark mood.  I thought maybe I'd find the darkness in Through the Looking Glass; but if it's there, I don't see it.  It seems to me that Alice's good humor and the happy nonsense of Alice in Wonderland is continued in Through the Looking Glass.  I know that a classic that is in the public domain is subject to being interpreted and modified.  But I wonder.  Why change and even pervert a story like Alice in Wonderland - a story that someone else wrote? Why not write your own story?  Call it Sarah in Fantasyland or Nadine in a Nonsense Niche.

There seems to be a lot of talk by conservatives lately about the importance of the Tenth Amendment which originally guaranteed state sovereignty.   These are the same conservatives who revere Abraham Lincoln.  I'm confused.  Didn't the Civil War pretty much nullify state sovereignty? Northern slavery was ended gradually - years before the Civil War began.   But Lincoln and his supporters chose a different method to end slavery in the South, and that method meant that the Tenth Amendment had to be disregarded.  If these conservatives who tout the Tenth Amendment and Lincoln at the same time think that ending slavery abruptly was worth doing away with state sovereignty - that's fine, but they can't have it both ways.   How can they think the method used to end Southern slavery was right and mourn the loss of the Tenth Amendment at the same time?

The government is thinking about regulating the salt in our food.  Studies say we would all live longer if we cut back on salt.  Now I'm really confused.  Why do they want us to live longer?  We're often told that one of the causes of the health care crisis is that people (we baby boomers, in particular) are living too long.  Why not increase our salt intake?  We'll keel over sooner, and we won't be such a strain on the health care system. 

While I'm on the subject of the health care crisis - I wonder why there have been no studies on drug commercials and how they may affect our health?  I've noticed that a typical five minute commercial break on TV often has four minutes of drug commercials.  Magazines and newspapers have their share of drug advertisements, too.   Then there are the lawyers' commercials urging prescription drug users to sue if they are experiencing any side effects.  The list of side effects covers just about anything anybody has ever felt.  I think these commercials are turning a lot of us into hypochondriacs.  Who can honestly say that they never imagine symptoms after watching a series of these commercials?  Are my occasional itchy eyes a sign of "chronic dry eye?"  Do I need Restasis?  A flight of stairs wears me out.  Do I have COPD?  I think the government should forget regulating salt and start regulating these commercials and advertisements.  I think we would all feel better.

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