I listened to a very cool radio broadcast last night by Dr. Stephen Bezruchka. This link is not to the broadcast I heard; the broadcast is under copyright and has to be purchased, but the paper purports a lot of the same ideas. It is a lengthy read, but really worth it. He has studied population health for the last 20 or 30 years and cites the "sickness" in our society as the underlying cause of most medical ills. The radio program was more focused on mental health; the paper is more focused on physical health. Which, Dr. Bezruschka asserts, are linked so closely that one closely follows or comes with the other. I am going to study his ideas a little bit more and get just as liberal commie pinko as Nemesis; then I will blog a little more about what I've learned and what I think.
But the thing that has me really going today is that I went down to buy a very little bit of Halloween kitsch the other day--you know, cups, plates, stickers--and everywhere I look there are signs on all kinds of random products proclaiming, "Makes a Great Halloween Gift!" I found this thing below on-line in about four seconds. And obviously your kids need this because . . . .? Oh, right, the NEIGHBORS WON'T BE GIVING OUT POUNDS OF CANDY FOR FREE ALREADY!
The section of cards for Halloween has grown to be about a 100 feet long. The whole array of cards says "Halloween" at the top complete with all the labels underneath:
Okay, I'm being a little snarky, but you get the idea. I know that retailers keep putting Christmas out earlier and earlier, but this is the first time I've noticed Halloween co-opted as a gifty holiday. Dr. Bezruchka talks at length about the problems with advertising too. Boy, have I got a doozy of a post coming up. Oh, and I've been reading The New Yorker lately as my subscription just renewed. I'm feeling awfully blue today . . . .