Peanut allergies Jimmy Carter’s fault? Hmmm, I’ll have to think about that time line but I’m happy to blame him for one more thing. He deserves it.
My post about the oversale of peanut “allergies” generated lots of angry email, not surprisingly. Dennis Prager will tell you that his shows about this subject make people angrier than shows about terrorism or electoral politics.
Which. Is. Very. Troubling. And. Proves. My. Point.
Blame MADD, blame whoever you like, but the modern phenomenon in which even some so-called “Conservatives” insist upon turning their personal tragedies into narcissistic “causes” and (mandatory) public concerns of ever shrinking believability, seriousness and importance (“I want the human right to smoke medical marijuana on someone else’s property without anyone daring to ask what, if I’m so damn sick, I’m doing out at a restaurant! Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children??”) is an insidious, dangerous problem for the body politic.
They look at John Walsh and think, “hmmm, sweet gig…”
You know it’s true. I just have the guts to say what you’re thinking.
Precisely because these causes are based upon some personal loss, we aren’t permited to ask unpleasant questions about their legitimacy or worth, unless we are Colby Cosh:
When I see a message from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) I always become a bit ambivalent: they’re supposed to make me hate drunk drivers, but I’m afraid they only serve to make me unusually suspicious of mothers.
The group is the best imaginable example of the way politics is practiced in an age of untrammelled feeling and very little thinking. Every client group of the nanny state tries to posture as Nice People Against Bad Things, but in our time only MADD has had the exquisite shamelessness to make its very name into a pre-emptive strike against counter-argument. (…)
But there remains a persistent core of defiant, uneducable dipsomaniac jackasses who, as any cop will tell you, are the greatest danger on our roads. In the 21st century MADD seems more concerned about the social drinker in the 0.05%-0.08% band — the person who drives home from the restaurant after a couple glasses of wine. The evidence that this sort of “drunk” driver is overrepresented in accidents is inferential and inconclusive, but MADD wants to send a “message” that you shouldn’t drink, at all, if you drive, at all.
As a country we are altogether much too ready to use the law as a big cork board for fanciful moral ideals, instead of a coercive tool for punishing actual wrongdoing. MADD’s “message” would criminalize conduct which may be tolerable and, in certain situations, even praiseworthy. Granted, society has an interest in reducing death and injury on the roads. But Prohibition taught us that it also has an interest in keeping moderate alcohol consumption above-board — something done publicly, without fear of legal reprisal, rather than in the shadows. And if morbidity and mortality are our chief concerns, allowing the infinitesimally tipsy 0.06% driver to get behind the wheel and take his 0.24% buddy home seems like a practice we shouldn’t abandon haphazardly. (April 10, 2004)
The world should not be turned upside down because of 150 dead kids or 1 degree in “climate change” or “second hand smoke” or because a bunch of gays looking for a new excuse to party and buy cute expensive presents want to stand in front of some priestess and pretend to get married.
That diseases real and imagined go in and out of fashion is a well documented phenomenon. That they also provide opportunities for “noble” moral crusades and excuses for journeys of self-discovery/sabbaticals/malingering in our sterile, secular world is also a well known fact and something I am personally well acquainted with. Munchausen by Proxy is just its most extreme manifestation.
The sister of my best friend in high school was one of those “allergic to everything” girls. Had the blood and skin tests and non-stop specialists visits to prove it. Right up until she moved away from home to go to college and realized about a month into her new life that being the spoiled family invalid was no longer on the table, and frankly not as much fun as partying. Never got another hive. Whenever I saw her in adulthood (which was frequently) she was perfectly sound and allergy free. Wow! A miracle, huh?
Sort of like the “chronic fatigue” twins (remember chronic fatigue?), nieces of another friend. Oh they were oh so frail and sickly and tiiiiiiieeeerrrrrd all the time — except for the two weeks every year that they vactioned in the Caribbean with their mum & dad. Another miracle! Must’ve been the sea air…
I am sick of “conservatives” whose principles suddenly disappear because they are Indians/gays/Newfies/autistics/ex-smokers/potheads/pit bull owners/pit bull victims/Holocaust survivors/unwed mothers/9-11 widows/ADD/dyslexic/people with weird ideas about vaccinations and want their special goodies and privileges to stay intact. We conservatives and libertarians aren’t supposed to be in favor of “tyrannies of minorities” but, oh, MY special case is different!
Someone once said that we are all conservatives in matters of our personal expertise. My personal experience is the exact opposite:
faced with a personal problem or ethnic issue that butts up against their principles, most “conservatives” turn into nanny state, affirmative action, special treatment crybabies in seconds.
Here is the brutal truth:
Your personal tragedies don’t really interest me, and frankly are rarely even tragedies. They don’t interest other people either but they are too polite to tell you to your face.
And we are all (secretly or otherwise) getting sick of having to accomodate the hyperallergic transsexual cancerous Eskimos and their whimsical, fashionable “problems.”
Life’s tough. Wear a cup.
PS: Peter Hitchens on ADD and dyslexia…
This argument is important because ultimately it is about human freedom, and about the concealing of serious social problems by pseudo-medica
Increasingly it is also about the cynical medicalisation of normal human characteristics, so as to deprive us of responsibility for anything and persuade us to take expensive drugs when we are not ill.
Everyone who engages in this argument knows it is important, which is why it arouses such passions and why so many people would like to shut me up, which is what most of my critics hope to achieve. There is a tone of voice in these attacks which suggests actual anger that dissent on this subject can be expressed at all, and wants it stopped – itself a very unhealthy thing and a sign of the insecurity of these lobbies. Those of us who continue to seek to tell what we believe is the truth, from a conservative point of view, feel as each day passes the clammy hands of would-be censors plucking at our sleeves.
The usual tactics of ’emotional censorship’ (…) were employed.
People often take positions for emotional, rather than rational reasons. They find it shocking that others aren’t swept up in the same torrent. That is why many people do not realise why this subject produces such passions, even when their own passions are involved.