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A poster in Eschaton's comments pointed to an intriguing LA Times story about hearing loss among abusers of Vicodin, and other drugs in the Vicodin family (I should add that to my list of new fall TV shows, The Vicodins, their even wackier next door neighbors are the Lorcets, look for the spin-off). I'd read a couple mentions since the Limbaugh story broke that there was a tie in between hearing loss and pain killer addiction, but there were no further details. This story collects the facts, and consequently gives a clearer idea of what the origins of Limbaugh's mysterious hearing loss probably were. The story predates Rush's revelations of his deafness by a month. But apparently no one put it all together at the time. Sudden, dramatic hearing loss in the young and middle aged is extremely rare, except in cases of the onset auto-immune disorders and, as it turns out, pain-killer abuse. The public face put on Limbaugh's deafness was that he was indeed suffering from an auto-immune disorder. So the cover story was plausible. Whether it was in any way true is open to question now.
It's not surprising that no one thought to at least speculate on a possible Vicodin connection when Limbaugh's startling hearing problems were such big news. Check out the date on the top of the story and you'll understand why. If ever a story was timed for forgetting, this was it.
Friday, October 03, 2003
The News Cycle Is Still Young
I would like to claim dibs on the term oxy-conservatism, and its natural born child oxy-con. I used them first in an email several hours ago, but I realized that the patent, copyright and trademark offices might look more favorably on publication here as proof of original ownership. Google shows no hits for the term yet, but there's that google lag which sometimes misleads.
I also hereby set the phrase free to live its life as it wishes, to cause whatever cheer and salubrious anxiety it may, with no royalty, licensing fee, toll, towage, annuity or honorarium due myself, my heirs or assignees. Like Thomas Jefferson with his Iron and Mould Board Plow, I give my invention freely to a nation and world that have given me so much. Humbly. But nonetheless publicly.
The 'tives and the 'gressives have been more entertaining than usual this week. And they're usually a scream.
Oh, the screams.
The funniest moments from each.
Move On, the eternal fundraising and cause shifting machine of the Democratic Party left, just sent me an email (I joined their list months back, I have an interest in the theory, practice and carnie-psychology of direct mail Salvationism in all its forms). They are soliciting the moving-on masses to contribute the $500,000 needed to buy election eve TV time in Cahleefohrneea for a commercial detailing the animal lusts of a certain large necked Austro-Californian. You'll remember that Move On began its forward motion several years ago by urging us all to keep-on-moving, nothing-to-see-here in the matter of the animal lusts of a certain raspy voiced Arkano-New Yorker. They moved on so well they circled the planet.
The Right can run a mean backwards circle too, of course. Jay Nordlinger made a very rare appearance at The Corner yesterday. Yes, not well-done at all.
RUSH, CONSERVATIVES & SPEECH [Jay Nordlinger]
A quick comment on the Rush business--on the quarterback business. I’m reminded of something that I’ve discovered in recent years. I work in Conservativeland, and I’m used to speaking freely. I’m used to not having to abide by a speech code or any other restriction of political correctness. And then sometimes I leave Conservativeland, and continue to speak freely--and sincerely--and then find that I startle people. They’re not used to hearing it.
Now, it seems to me that what Rush said is rather obvious: that people root for the black player, in whatever field, to succeed. That’s not necessarily wrong, incidentally. It may even be admirable. But it’s so.
On this matter of speaking freely: I have found that you can’t even use normal English (outside of Conservativeland). Do you recall an incident I wrote about concerning the Davos Forum, back in January? I was moderating a panel. At the outset, I said, “Let’s have each panelist say a few words about himself.” And the first person--a female anthropology professor--barked, “I’m not a ‘himself,’ I’m a person.” One person in the room--another woman--broke out in wild, and lone, applause.
It was incredibly awkward. But it reminded me: Oh, yeah, I’m not in Kansas anymore. I can’t even use English.
Rush considers himself a free man, and said simply what he thought was true. And I imagine that what he said is, in fact, true. And this is a great man, as can be judged, in part, by the quality of his enemies.
Driving Al Franken to a witless, shaking rage wins you the greatness laurels these days? I pissed off a crazy neighbor once, do I get a pantheon penthouse, too?
But that's not why I picked Jay to carry the flag for the 'tives. It's that "incredibly awkward" Davos moment. In Conservativeland (like Flatland, but with fewer dimensions) English speaking freemen moderate panels comprised of men and women and immoderately insist on introducing awkwardness into the proceedings, instead of making the infinitesimal grammatical adjustments that would accommodate the female panelists. "Let's have all the panelists say a few words about themselves" would have done nicely, but there are any number of constructions that would have sufficed (and yes, I like the themselves solution to the his/her problem even in non-standard forms).
Nordlinger makes his obtuseness and discourtesy a matter, and evidence of, free breathing principle. The bold warriors of C.-land.
I'll give Jay, the Davos bravo, this much. He's certainly a C.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
This photo looks suspicious--a little too photo-op and shame drenched. Real or staged though, it's so much more interesting than most of what gets sent out on the wires.
I especially like the that the Chinese are said to believe that the Japanese orgy weekend was timed to commemorate and further desecrate the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese occupation of China. I didn't know sex tourists were so slyly nationalist. They aren't generally known for thinking with the head that calculates such subtle historical parallels.
Perhaps the Chinese are tangled up in Santayana's corollary: Those who always remember the past are condemned to seeing it repeated everywhere they look.
Larry King is hosting a gruesome 18th anniversary-of-his-death wake for Rock Hudson right now. Talk about the dead burying the dead. Larry's the ingenue in the cast. Gina Lollabrigida, Tony Randall, Elaine Stritch, Liz Smith, Diane Ladd. They're all saying how funny Rock was, but no one has yet backed that up with a funny story. Gina just commented that a lot of men she's known seem to turn gay mid-life. She knows not why. I have a theory.
Gina Lollabrigida should play Arianna Huffington in the movie Recall!. Liz Smith should play Arnold.
Poor Rock, he deserves better than this crypt keeper slumber party. I'll always remember the image of Ross Hunter weeping, unable to speak, at the gates to Rock's mansion 18 years ago tomorrow.
I immediately clicked it, all of a sudden in the mood for some retro-Stalinist acrimony. I knew the Vanguard was the party paper of some leftover faction, so I expected they'd give Elia K. a memorable send-off. I read the first paragraph with a big smile, it was all I expected and more. As a bonus the page was poorly coded, the bad html tags peeking through added to the grimy true-believing frenzy:
Elia Kazan, the influential filmmaker and noted coward, died Sunday at the age of 94. He will be remembered for such films as ?On the Waterfront,î ?A Streetcar Named Desire,î and also for being a fink! Fink! FINK! FINK!
I took a breath after this to get my wind for what was to come, they started off in 5th gear, where could they go from here, we'd be spinning off the track in no time if they kept up the pace. But the next paragraph was about the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and the one after that was an Arnold Schwarzenegger koan. Disoriented and disappointed I looked at the page more closely. It wasn't the online version of a commie greasecatcher, it was the webpage of the Portland State University Vanguard. Know-nothing kids these days.
Scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Md., report in today's Science completion of a rough draft of the dog's "book of life" and find that 75% of its genes have equivalents in the human. Comparisons with the mouse and human genomes (the genetic make-up of a being) shows that people are more similar to dogs than to mice.
So explain my urge to dive into baseboard holes at the first sign of trouble.
Next we turn eastward. The AP claims that a young Toban clam digger has been vindicated. I claim he is still an incorrigible prankster and a disgrace to the Mie prefecture. The one vindicated here is Mr. T. D. Lysenko. Yes, the very same Trofim Denisovich. You just wait till the happy-face, happy-feet kids are born:
I don't know what's up with the Fight AIDS@Home grid computing project that I link somewhere over on the left and that I've previoulsy urged anyone who reads this page to download and run. The program has been idling on my home computer for weeks, with no new work sent to it. The FightAIDS webpage claims the project is up and running, but something is clearly wrong.
So I've decided to cure SARS instead. I hope to return to my selfless (literally) work against HIV after the flu season.
You're probably thinking that SARS is last year's news, but if SARS follows the pattern of the the horrific 1918 worldwide influenza, last spring's SARS spike was just the initial probe. The 1918 flu massacre was preceded by a very deadly but much smaller outbreak of the same flu strain the year before.
Don't believe me? Read Gina Kolata's excellent book about the 1918 epidemic, and its often strange scientific aftermath.
But before you do that, download and run The Drug Design Optimization Labs project. Perhaps you will be joining me on the Nobel Prize platform after we have vanquished SARS. We will also be smacking Smallpox, Anthrax and Ebola around, the project tests various drug models against those as well. So we might be making multiple trips to Oslo.