Life as an Extreme Sport

Shame, Stigma and Angelina Jolie’s Breasts

As reactions continue to race around the internet about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery – the actual discussions, not the Monday-morning quarterbacking of her decision or the utterly vile “but what about her boobies” reaction from that particular subgroup of men who manage to amaze me by their continued ability to manage basic functions like breathing – I’ve been sent links. And more links. And then a few more. Most are relatively easy to dismiss because they’re quarterbacking a personal decision or they’re vile, but then you get the ones that tiptoe closer to decent – and they still have problems. One that’s been flying around the internets today is the Maria Konnikova piece on Salon. I’m actually not terribly fond of this piece, or other pieces that hinge their complaint on the cost of testing and Jolie’s supposed privilege by virtue of her wealth. For one, let’s

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crunchy lambs, stigmata style

I’ve had this weirdly crunchy, industrial triphop version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” stuck in my head all day, made all the weirder by the fact that I’m pretty sure it only exists in my head, and is the result of a weird confluence of American Idol, Gwen Stefani, and searching madly for a stuffed lamb this morning. (An hour, people! It took me an hour to find a stuffed lamb. At Easter!) On top of that, life has been poorly balanced on my part of late. I’m hoping my next hop across the country (tomorrow) will perhaps allow me to achieve a bit of what I’ve lot, namely getting back towards meditating on a daily basis. While I hope, I’m not hopeful – if that makes any sense. For a large part of this afternoon, I was overcome with the urge to put the iPod on, turn up

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A Quick Note to Senator Markey

I’m cranky. The water has been out at the house for almost 24 hours now; a water main broke just outside our apartment yesterday afternoon, and appears to be spreading through multiple city blocks, now. An historical building undergoing renovations has turned into a swimming pool, there are reports of streets buckling under the now-gushing water geysers, and my joking, yesterday, about a Hellmouth opening here suddenly seems a little more on the nose. So I wasn’t in the best headspace to read that one of my Senators, Ed Markey, is not only supporting the 21st Century Cures Act, but is pushing for the additional “opioid crisis” addiction funding – with no thought to the harm that causes chronic pain patients, and the utterly asinine blindness to funding research into pain and other pain treatment modalities. So I jotted off a quick email, and wanted to share it here: I

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Richardson & Almeling on the CDC’s Pre-pregnancy & FASD “Guidelines”

Although it’s not the first thing you learn in ethics, the idea that you’re not going to be popular probably should be; it really does make life a lot easier. After all, a large part of the job of the ethicist is to be unpopular: no, you can’t modify that flu virus so that it’s more contagious and more deadly than the lovechild of smallpox and the Spanish flu; yes, it’s okay that this person wants to die; no, you can’t just put fecael microbes in open brain wounds; sorry, no, the science doesn’t support your claim; who will the car hit; you fired everyone NOW; does the benefit justify risk; and so on. You get the idea. So I wasn’t terribly surprised to face the typical backlash when I noted just how unscientific, shaming, stigmatizing, and plain wrong the CDC’s recent “treat every woman[note]This is one of those areas

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One Key Question: Why “Would You Like to Become Pregnant in the Next Year” is a Bad Idea

Note: I wrote this last year when the One Key Question initiative in Oregon was being discussed, and pitched it to an appropriate publication. Unfortunately, the editor of that publication somewhat maliciously string me along and sat on it until it was no longer timely, and it’s been sitting in my sads folder since. With the recent CDC recommitment to the notion of pre-pregnancy, I decided this should at least be published on my blog. A “simple, routine question” advocated by the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health is a great way to alienate and further disenfranchise women who are childfree. A new piece on Slate discusses one of the most alienating ideas I’ve read in a while, and I wrote about the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision last week. In a nutshell, it argues that for effective and proactive reproductive health care needs, primary care physicians should ask a woman, at

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