October 30, 2003

Campbell's Rules: 1

Campbell's Rule of Traumatic Career Advancement:

What doesn't kill you...

belongs on your résumé.

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October 27, 2003


How many social workers does it take to change a lightbulb?

I think we need to ask what needs the client is meeting by living with the broken lightbulb.

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Conversation Stoppers

In the category of best overheard comment by a cell phone user, I nominate this one by an attractive woman walking by on Park Avenue South:

"One, I'm not attracted to you in any way..."

I've been wracking my brains to figure out what "Two" was going to be...

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October 16, 2003

Lazy Quote for October

Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now."
Steven Wright

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Yet Another Reason to Remain an Atheist

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, seems to have come morally (if not mentally) unhinged, asserting that terrorists "have serious moral goals". In his words:

It is possible to use unspeakably wicked means to pursue an aim that is shared by those who would not dream of acting in the same way, an aim that is intelligible or desirable.

Maybe that mitre is too tight.

Time to say, as Henry II is said to have spoken aloud of Williams's predecessor Thomas Becket:

"Won't someone rid me of this troublesome priest?"

But we all know how that turned out.

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Putting the Weenie Back in Halloween

The Kucinich campaign continues to delight with its absurdity. The latest comic twist: suggestions for Kucinich Halloween House Parties, complete with cut-out Dennis mask:

Here's a fun house party theme - Have a Kucinich Halloween Party! [...] Ask all your guests to come dressed as Dennis John Kucinich. [...] Here's a mask you can print out

Maybe you'd like to wear your Kucinich mask while you take your kids out trick-or-treating.

Maybe you can go door to door with your Kucinich Mask on, registering voters or canvassing for Kucinich: "Hi, I'm Dennis Kucinich. Would you like to get rid of the frightening HMOs, terrifying NAFTA, and spooky war profiteers? Would you like universal preschool? Would you like to help me send President Bush back to Texas -- Hasn't he been haunting the White House long enough? Join my campaign. This is no trick.

Wow. As Count Floyd (Joe Flaherty) used to say on SCTV*: "OOOH. Scary stuff. Very scary."

Imagine what this could look like:

Guaranteed to ruin Halloween faster than razor blades in apples.

*gratuitous Canadian content to fulfill CRTC requirements.

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October 14, 2003

Thanksgiving, Northern Division

Paul Jané had a negative Thanksgiving experience. So he got an extra day off work. Guess that's why (most) Americans get the day after Thanksgiving off as well.

All of which reminds me of the time someone was surprised, disingenuously I felt, that Canada had a Thanksgiving of its own. (Like they all flew to this continent on 747s and checked into the Reine Elizabeth.)

"What do Canadians have to be thankful for?"

My answer? Ready?

"They're mostly thankful they're not Americans."

Ba-da-boom. Thanks. I'll be here all week.

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October 13, 2003

Transnational and Absurd Tender

Wish all spam were as entertaining as this one:

In the present day is nice period for transnational and absurd tender!

December, 11, Sunday, last year - miraculous intercontinental extend starts!
These days is a excellent period, you can get right to use to this outstanding recommend at Gratis!

The email link was just to more porn, but the selling statement is priceless.

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October 09, 2003

Drunk or Stupid?

Ken Schram is a broadcaster in Seattle who apparently thinks he's hip, funny, caustic and populist. He likes to fancy himself the champion of the underdog. His latest targets, though, seem to be the underdogs themselves.

The issue: a 75-unit housing facility being created for chronic alcoholics in Seattle. Schram's objection: the residents will be allowed alcohol in their rooms.

If someone can explain to me how it helps to give alcoholics a cozy place to booze it up, I'd like to hear it. [...] This idea is a joke and a waste of $9 million.

Makes me wish we could take city officials to court simply for being stupid.

Unfortunately, stupidity is not illegal.

Actually, Schram is pretty fortunate that stupidity is still legal. He'd be doing life.

Seattle and Tacoma have been wrestling with the problem of chronic drunks in their downtowns. Solutions have included the (probably quixotic) declaring of "alcohol impact zones" where certain types of liquor can't be sold. They have pressured stores not to sell such products, and threatened those that failed to comply.

In steps a local social services agency, hoping to address the problem with the modern notion of "harm reduction." Chronic alcoholics living in the park are not exactly prime candidates for the Betty Ford clinic. The plan is to provide them with shelter, health care and treatment for their alcoholism. Benefits: reduce the load on hospital emergency rooms, reduce crime committed by and to the afflicted, help clean up the downtown image. Looks like a win-win to me.

But not to Schram. Despite his sometimes progressive views on other topics, on this one he is just another Neanderthal.

This case serves to point out the weird mush of beliefs that people still hold about addictions. On the one hand, the public may have some understanding of the disease theory of alcoholism: "Well, you can't blame someone with a disease." At the same time, they believe at heart that it's a moral failing: "He would be working at his sobriety if he weren't a degenerate loser."

You see, in the view of most people there are "good" alcoholics ones on the wagon, going to meetings and "bad" alcoholics ones who have lost control of themselves again. We who are not afflicted are supposed to feel sympathy for the good ones, and disgust and disdain for the bad ones.

This is a destructive belief system for nonalcoholic and alcoholic alike, particularly when the alcoholic is struggling in an abstinence/relapse cycle (the vast majority).

It's part of an equally destructive game of funding health care services for the addict. "We don't need to spend much because the addict should be able to control their disease on their own. After all, it's not like cancer, where you can't help it. And there's no drug available to cure it, so let's give up. After all, the addict has."

That's why stories like the Seattle facility get play. Providing care for the undeserving bad alcoholics? How dare you?

Mr. Schram, stupidity is a form of disease and far more morally repugnant than any kind of chemical dependence.

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October 02, 2003

Substances of Choice

The Daily News provided a list of the pharmaceuticals Rush prefers. OxyContin is sometimes called "Hillbilly Heroin". Cute.

Anxiety, drowsiness, poor mental performance, mood changes, itchiness. Wait a minute, that sounds like me!

Anti-cough agent and painkiller similar to morphine. Side effects include anxiety, poor mental performance, emotional dependence, drowsiness, mood changes, difficulty breathing and itchiness.
Brand name for the combination of Tylenol and hydrocodone, prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Side effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, dizziness, tiredness, muscle twitches, sweating and itching.
Potent time-release medication for relief of moderate to severe pain, known as hillbilly heroin because of black-market popularity in some rural areas. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, sweating, muscle twitches and decreased sex drive. A large dose can be fatal.

Posted by campbell at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rush to Treatment

I never thought I would mention Rush Limbaugh in this blog. Politically, I have little regard for him and his ilk. But he seems to have popped up as a professional interest. Specifically, Rush is being accused by his former housekeeper cum supplier of being addicted to painkillers.

Wilma Cline, 42, says Limbaugh was hooked on the potent prescription drugs OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone — and went through detox twice.

According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health from SAMHSA (Dept of Health and Human Services) (just in this week), more people are now seeking treatment for painkiller use (360,000) than for heroin (277,000), a number exceeded only by alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.

Naturally, El Rushbo has waxed wroth on the glories of minimum sentencing, especially for crack cocaine users (primarily minority youth, etc. etc.). In doing so, he repeatedly conflates substance use with morality, as in this June 2003 quote from his show:

First of all, we tell people what they can do to their bodies all the time - no cocaine, no prostitution, no throwing yourself off a building. Second, laws are nothing but defining morality!

We can't expect guys like Rush to examine their hypocrisies (some might say idiocies), but it is time to realize that substance use, misuse, abuse and dependence is not a moral failing, but a public health concern. And it's not a problem of the inner city, the unemployed and the poor, as Rush can now so ably demonstrate.

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This Weak With Snoof

Not to make excuses, but life has gotten very busy around the snoof mansion since the start of the school year. I have entire days when I am actually physically separated from any computer (gasp).

My posting, never prolific, has suffered, as has my email response time. Now I'm getting flack for it. Look, it's not like I'm getting paid for this. sheesh.

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