Miraculous cures and the canonization of Basquiat

From Brian Eno, 1993

In the 18th and 19th centuries people were ‘taking the waters’ for a wide variety of illnesses. By this time the scientific medical establishment was quite well developed, and careful records were made of the patients’ conditions, their treatments and their progress. This documentation was made by doctors of good character and reputation: their work in other areas substantiates this. They were interested to discover what special properties spa waters had, and why the cures were so often effective. They failed in this, and the search for the curative agents was gradually abandoned, on the assumption that whatever special balance of minerals the waters contained was too subtle for the instruments of the day to register.

Modern instruments are much more sensitive, but they reveal (again and again) that there is no consistent difference between spa water and other kinds of water. It’s just water, exhibiting the natural variability of that substance. The effect of this non-discovery (the repeated failure to identify any special properties in spa water) diminished interest in water cures, which anyway by the late 19th century were going out of fashion. But it left unanswered a question, which seemed to be this: ‘Were those doctors of the 18th and 19th century wrong in either their observation or their reporting, or was there really something in the water?’

A possible solution appeared a few years ago. It was discovered (a surprise result of space exploration) that prolonged periods of weightless-ness have the effect of precipitating out heavy metals from the body. Heavy metals are mostly toxic. Space travellers return to Earth with less of them (and therefore less toxicity) in their systems. Now think back to ‘taking the waters’. Remember that these cures were of very long duration: typically you might remain in the water several hours a day for several weeks or months. In water, of course, you approach weightlessness. Could it be that ‘taking the waters’ is a way of cleansing the body of heavy-metal toxicity? Continue reading “Miraculous cures and the canonization of Basquiat”

Echoes of Pain

RodmanIs there a greater pain than knowing you are sick, knowing the cure and knowing that it somehow lies beyond your reach?

I channel surf. At one point Celebrity Apprentice had a group of people of which Dennis Rodman was one, all vying for some sort of prize. His behavior was bizarre. I never did follow the show but surfed it. It seems at one point Donald Trump said something to the effect that Mr. Rodman was going to treatment following his performance on the show. It seems this was a few years ago.

Recently Mr. Rodman had been to North Korea and again there was some buz regarding his behavior, what he said, etc.  Again, Mr. Rodman is off to re-hab.

I  cannot think of anything more painful than what he is going through. The second step in all twelve step programs is “Came to believe that Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  From an Alcoholic Anonymous perspective, the step does not say “would prevent us from drinking” or some such thing as that. Clearly it states “restore us to sanity.”

It seems that Mr. Rodman has been walking around for sometime in a state of insanity. Being insane is one thing, after going through recovery and becoming “certified” insane is another.

Again, I can’t think of few things more painful than walking around, knowing everything you do, say or think is “insane.”

Prayers for all those out there that knowingly suffer with insanity and all the folks that they impact.



Remember 2013?


Here are a couple thoughts for the new year. this is the time of the year for looking back. We watched a show last night about a look back on the 80’s. It made me think of what will we look back at 2013? This is the year of the “selfie.” I have seen more people taking pictures of themselves and posting them to Facebook this year. Post after post of pictures of themselves? Earlier this year, Geraldo posted a naked picture of himself? One has to wonder why?

I think 2013 will be know as the year of “shameless” self promotion. What are people trying to say about themselves…look I really am happy, look wouldn’t you like to look like me, wouldn’t you want what I have? What is the soul wrapped inside of the insanity saying?

In 2013 we said, its ok, let it go, let it out. the only problem is that it is ultimately boring, really boring. How long are we going to be looking at pictures of ourselves? Is there only so much room for the Kardasians or do we secretly laugh at those people knowing there is only so much room for that level of self-indulgence?

It used to be artists were the only people who were capable of implementing self-promotion on a large scale. Dali, Picasso, Warhol. Now, technology has made it possible for a “somewhat” respected aged journalist to have a glass or two of wine and send a picture that he has taken of himself to the world. Why? Because it is the way I want the world to see me, not the way that it is?

2013 is also the year Twitter went public. What about confining all of our thoughts to 140 characters? Just a twitter of a thought.