Life is Carcinogenic

Whatever God, Goddess or collective panel of such actually exist apparently has one hell of a sense of humor. There is all this great stuff to enjoy but if you use it you will die a horrible painful death. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipe? Dead. Drink alcohol? Horribly dead, in a gutter puking blood while your children are carted off to the orphanage. Think steak and cheeseburgers are perfect foods? You will have a sudden painful heart attack while in the middle of a presentation that would have made you millions, leaving your family penniless and alone. Like sex? We have some special shit for you, you fucking pervert. Your genitals will turn colors, get lumpy, ooze primordial slime and then kill your depraved, deviant ass.

If it feels good, tastes good or makes you feel good, it is going to kill you. In fact all this good shit is so bad for you we are going to tax it, ban it and outlaw it. We, the Absolutely Convinced, pure of heart and empty of mind, know what is best for you and we will do whatever it takes for you to live in the manner we prescribe. We will do it for the children.

Now look, I know that smoking, drinking and all these other activities are not exactly designed to prolong life and can indeed make you sick. However let’s think about all of this for a minute. Here is one for you. Most smokers will not die of lung cancer. About 25% of them will but you had an almost 8% chance out of the gate of getting it anyway. Only about 10% of heavy drinkers will ever get liver disease. It seems that the body of the average male can handle about 4 drinks a day with something close to zero increased risk of liver problems according to researchers at Johns Hopkins.  Cholesterol and carbs take turns being the evil food that will kill you and even fish is not safe anymore because some drunk pissed into the Hudson River, a cow pooped in the Chesapeake and now all the fish in the world have unhealthy chemicals in their flesh. All of the food related health scares strike me as absolute bullshit. Except processed foods and fast foods. That crap lasts longer than Keith Richards and cockroaches and I fail to see how it can be even vaguely healthy.

Most health scares are blown way out of proportion. I confess that I did quit smoking this year but not because of fear of dying. I didn’t like the cough I was getting so I quit. I used the vapor pens to do so as I am quick to admit that I sort of like my nicotine hit during the day. Combined with caffeine it keeps me awake until nap time and it definitely clears out any wine related morning sluggishness. My cough is pretty much gone and I experience none of the out of breath symptoms I had as a heavy smoker. So far so good. Except I cannot go online today without a severe warning of the dangers of the vapor pens.  There has been very little research done on the subject and a lot of what has been done has revealed very limited risks and everyone admits that the risks are much lower than smoking cigarettes. Removing the tar from the nicotine is a big deal. So the absolutely convinced folks in charge of making sure no one enjoys a single moment of their life have resorted to if, maybe and just making shit up.

Can smoking cause health problems that lead to death? Yes

Can not smoking make me immortal? No

Can drinking alcohol cause me health problems and maybe kill me? Yes, but apparently only if I drink a lot more than I do now.

Can drinking make me immortal? No

Can eating steak kill me?  Only if I eat too many of them and get fat.

Can subsiding entirely on tofu and spouts make me immortal? No.

I am not advocating chain smoking and scotch for breakfast while dining on Twinkies and McDonalds. But consider this: Our parents (if you are my age) or grandparents (if you are some wet behind the ear whippersnapper) had bacon, eggs and toast slathered in butter for breakfast. They had a ham sandwich with mayo and chips for lunch, for dinner it was fried chicken with mashed potatoes all covered in a generous splash of gravy. They smoked at their desk all day and even in their very own homes. They had pre-dinner cocktails, wine with dinner and after dinner drinks while smoking even more cigarettes. They are the longest lived generation in history.

We will all most assuredly die unless Jesus, Thor and Buddha decide they have had enough of this shit and come back to put an end to it all. I would suggest that it is okay to enjoy the time between birth and death as we see fit to do so. The risk of various activities are well known. Hell, they slap you in the face from dusk to dawn. If you enjoy them enough to offset the risk you are taking then you should be able to do so.

Except get fat. Being fat is actually a killer. Obesity is involved in 1 out 5 deaths these days. One of the reason our parents live so damn long is that they didn’t have 400 channels on TV with six remote controls. They had to actually get up and move all the way across the room to change the channel. They didn’t have riding lawn mowers. They had to actually sweep and push the vacuum cleaner as no one had thought to waste their robotics and engineering degrees inventing the Roomba. They got their meat at the butcher, vegetables at the market and fast food was a once in a year thing when traveling. They ate real food and moved around a lot.

Stress is also a killer. As you are sitting there working yourself into a self-righteous hissy fit by my suggestion that people should live (and die) as they see fit you are shortening your life. Stress is a highly correlated with the six leading causes of death in the developed world. In the undeveloped world I suspect the leading cause of death are hunger, the shits and religious warfare which all strikes me as stressful as well. Chill the fuck out, leave folks the fuck alone and you will live longer.

Here is a little secret. The leading cause of death is birth. Live your life. Enjoy it. Stay out of McDonalds. Take long walks. Chill the fuck out.

Time for dinner here so I will finish here and am off to enjoy the meatloaf and mashed potatoes the beautiful wife is cooking up. Afterwards I will round up my vapor pen, book and corkscrew and enjoy the evening.


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