Preaching paranoia in a world of hypochondriacs

“Men have been brought up to be emasculated wimps, and women have been brought up to be second-class men,” my mother said candidly over the phone the other night, and it stuck me as an amazing analogy. Before you get all bent out of shape, think about it. Really think about it. In these days of technology advancing faster than the speed of light and scientific discoveries left and right, we’re receiving very valuable information everyday, right?

According to numerous studies conducted by credible sources, everything we do will somehow ultimately kill us. If the microwave radiation doesn’t get to us, the cell phone certainly will, and god have mercy if we eat tuna fish during pregnancy. And remember how everyone used to tell you to drink milk because it “does a body good”? Well, now, according to new discoveries, it does a body in.

How is it, then, that for centuries, and in the absence of this overwhelming plethora of medical information, our species has somehow miraculously managed to survive? How is it possible that women had healthy babies for all those years prior to learning the hazards of certain common foods and household pets?

Children aren’t allowed to play in the dirt anymore and everyone’s high on antibacterial everything.

It’s impossible to open a bottle of aspirin when you really need it because the packaging has been designed to withstand the covert tactics of an industrial-strength toddler, but we’re not supposed to take aspirin anymore anyway because it’s bad for the liver, unless of course you’re having a heart attack – then you should take it, but you definitely don’t stand a chance at opening the bottle. What a load.

And that’s not even a percentage of all the wonderfully enlightening wisdom we’ve incurred throughout the years.

The most ironic part is that we’re sicker than ever, with all our allergies and aches and pains and flu shots that give us the flu, compounded by the escalating terror of a West Nile-infected mosquito bite.

It’s amazing we get any sleep at all.

Could all these ailments be occurring because, along with all the bacterial, we’ve quite successfully killed off our immune system as well? Is it possible that all this allegedly life-enhancing information is only breeding paranoia of life itself?

Take a look in the mirror and remind yourself that when your mother was pregnant, she didn’t have access to half the information we have now. . . well, that explains everything.

Whitney W. Friedrich is a senior majoring in advertising and English

October 15, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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