Category Archives: Reiki

Your Daily Hot Air

Funny Man

I know precisely what I’ll be doing Wednesday night, March 12. I’ll be sitting stage-side at Jared Thompson’s Comedy Attic.


To see the coolest funny man (or the funniest cool man), W. Kamau Bell, skewer everything in this holy land — and, hell, the rest of the world while he’s at it.

Photo by Matthias Clamer

W. Kamau Bell

I’ve been missing my weekly fix of WKB ever since the FX/FXX cable outfit cancelled his brilliant gabfest last year. Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell put everybody from Conan O’Brien and Arsenio Hall to TV’s favorite altar boy, Jimmy Fallon, to shame. He was trenchant, cutting-edge, politically aware, culturally conversant, and he gave no quarter. Naturally, his number weren’t good enough to save his show’s life. ‘Murrica, right?

Anyway, he’s touring the country in the late winter and early spring and he’ll be here in his proud mama’s beloved Bloomington. Yeah, our own Janet Cheatham Bell, author and educator, raised the son of a gun. She’ll be at the Attic, I’m sure.

Me? I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Miracles Of Modern Technology

Just wondering: Have the Peerless Leaders of this bustling metropolis ever seen or heard of the brand new technological innovation pictured below?

Snow Plow

And another thing: Has anybody around here heard tell of that hi-tech substance that some folks say makes snow- and ice-covered roads safe to drive on? I believe it’s called salt.

Salt/Water Interaction by Temperature

How It Works

See, late this afternoon I drove from Pencil World HQ on State Road 446 to Bloomington’s courthouse square. It’s a drive that usually takes about 9 minutes. Today, it took me 45. The drive back was just as long.

And in all that time I saw nary a one snow plow nor salt spreader.

A tip for our City Fathers & Mothers. It’s winter out.

Do You Mind?

America, here is your hottest craze: Mindfulness.

It’s a perfect reflection on our holy land.

Mindfulness is a concept that has been bandied about in the corner of the woo world that we in the book industry refer to as “Eastern Culture.”

The American Psychological Association says mindfulness arises from “a largely obscure Buddhist concept founded about 2600 years ago.” It became popularized in recent years through the writings of Zen Buddhist big shot Thich Nhat Hanh as well as an American pal of his by the name of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Advice: Don’t Sweat It

The best definition I can give you is it’s a state of mind that enables the practitioner to brag that s/he is concerned about “reality,” the ‘important” things in life, and a more “healthful” way of thinking and living while the rest of us are frittering our lives and precious thoughts away on trivial pursuits like, well, making a living.

Its basic philosophical exhortations include:

  • Keep cool
  • Don’t worry
  • Be nice

Mindfulness, therefore, is simply a ancient predecessor to that late-1980’s, early-1990’s self-help family of fads wherein a passel of PBS-fund-drive superstars tossed out philosophical and behavioral bromides like so much confetti. There were Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten), John Bradshaw (“your inner child”), Leo Buscaglia ( the hug-meister), and Robert Bly (the drum banger).

Up until a few years ago, the only people conversant in mindfulness were those already predisposed to ideas such as reiki and ayurvedic medicine. In other words, awfully credulous folk.


Now mindfulness has hit the mainstream. The cover of Time magazine’s February 3rd issue was devoted to this latest rage. And the evil geniuses who travel annually to Davos to strategize slicing up the known world have been sharing tips the last several years on how to utilize mindfulness and meditation to make the planet’s workforce more docile and compliant.

Americans will believe in anything, apparently. Except maybe evolution.

The Battle Of The Century

Speaking of evolution, science hero Bill Nye is debating Creation Museum founder Ken Ham tonight.

[Watch the live stream here.]

Debate Promo

Click Pic For Live Stream

I’m not watching, listening, or caring. First, you can’t really debate a person who holds a belief that is based on faith. It’s almost like debating someone over whether or not chocolate tastes good. It either does or it doesn’t, depending on the person who’s doing the tasting. And if that person doesn’t like chocolate, s/he can never be persuaded otherwise.

Ken Ham believes god created the world some 6000 years ago. He also holds that humans and dinosaurs lived side by side in our not-so distant past. These beliefs are not based on any rational evidence but on a surrender of logic to “received wisdom.” This is not meant to be an insult; the Bible warns against using one’s intellect to figure out the ways and means of the Big Daddy-o in the Sky.

Creation Museum

Faith, Not Evidence

Nobody can ever win this debate. Neither man will convince the other side of anything. Here’s a sure shot: Tomorrow morning, people on both sides of the “debate” will claim victory.

That’s not a debate; that’s a dog and pony show.

Painfully Hot Air

The End Of Western Medicine

That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m starting a campaign against western medicine.

For years I’ve thought those who rail and moan against medicine as practiced in this holy land are as in touch with reality as people who visit palm readers. The anti-allopaths push dozens of varieties of snake oil — homeopathy, ayurvedic, magnetic bracelets, reiki, the list goes on. Not a one is based on any rational, fact-based body of thought.

Magnetic Therapy

This Is Costume Jewelry, Not A Medical Procedure

Still, people swear by those things.

I’ve kept my distance from these fabulists for as long as I can. No more.

I’m with you, folks! Down with doctors! Fie on medicine!

My visit yesterday to the doctor pushed me over the edge. I woke up Monday morning certain I had contracted a bladder infection. Search me how it happened. Apparently as one gets on in years, bladder infections, among countless other tortures inflicted upon the human race by a caring, loving god, become commoner. Great. I can’t wait to hit my 60s and 70s.

As I described my symptoms to the doctor, she nodded her head knowingly. “Classic case,” she said. “We’ll take some tests but there’s no doubt you’ve got a bladder infection.”

Cool, right? I figured she’d write off a quick prescription, I’d high-tail it out of there, and be back to micturating fewer than six dozen times a day.

Now, a little background about men of a certain age and the visit to the doctor’s office. We don’t like to do it. You know that already. Non-males like to speculate that it’s because we’re hard-heads or just trying to be tough guys. You’re wrong.

Here’s why we put off going to the doctor’s office until our limp carcasses are dragged in: the dreaded prostate exam.

There is nothing in this world worse than the prostate exam. When that rugby team’s plane crashed in the snowy Andes some 40 years ago and the survivors had to resort to cannibalism in order to remain alive, they comforted themselves by reminding each other that they weren’t undergoing prostate exams. They didn’t show that part in the movie.

I had one doctor who was smart enough not to tell me he was going to do the exam. He simply started putting on the latex glove. I’d grumble and grimace at him and undo my belt. The poor man — I called him every name in the book every time he reached into me to gauge the size and consistency of that most pain in the ass gland. Often I’d coin names to call him. He told me once he considered me quite an imaginative verbal abuser.

Latex Glove

My doctor yesterday — as I’ve indicated, she’s a woman — just isn’t as sympathetic to the male’s delicate sensitivities to the procedure. She dropped the bomb on me. “Well,” she said, “We’re going to have to check your prostate.”

This kind of advance warning doesn’t do a man any good. It gave me too much time to think about how much I’d rather crawl bare-chested over broken glass. She took her sweet time, typing a note or two into her laptop, washing her hands, drying them carefully, asking me to drop my trousers, telling me it wouldn’t be all that bad (Hah!)

By the time I bent over the exam table, I was in a state of panic. I was drenched with sweat. My heart rate approached 200. I became convinced that I loathed this poor doctor more than anyone I’d ever met in my life.

“I’ll make it quick,” she said as she assumed the position behind me.

Sure, I thought, quick. That’s what they say to guys who stand before the firing squad.

I will say this for the doctor: Her digits were not as massive as those of the average male medic. I remember one doctor whose fingers, I became convinced, were the girth of the average man’s forearm.

The next time I have to suffer the dreaded prostate exam again, I’ll insist it be performed by a female doctor.

On the other hand, I doubt if I’ll really have to endure this peculiar torture ever again. Like I said, I’m starting my own private, personal campaign against western medicine. American medical practitioners seem to have a fixation with the prostate exam. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised one day to see a paramedic slipping on the dreaded latex glove at an accident scene where one or more middle-aged-plus men are involved.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that every time a doctor sees a man aged, say, 57, he gets a gleam in his eye and rubs his hands together evilly? Is the prostate exam some kind of karmic justice visited upon males for their history of warfare, slavery, and rape?

Well, I’ve had it. No more! I never started any wars. I owned no slaves. I never raped a soul. There’s no reason why I should have to suffer the dreaded prostate exam ever again.

Death to the latex glove!

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