Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Give us your gold, and never grow old!"

Novelist, science writer, poet and children's book author Judith Viorst has humorously chronicled the aging process for several decades (It's Hard To Be Hip Over Thirty; How Did I Get To Be Forty; Forever Fifty; Suddenly Sixty; I'm Too Young To Be Seventy; and Unexpectedly Eighty, all of which you can find if you follow the link in her name). Recently she wrote a review of a new book by Susan Jacoby, Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age. At the outset of her review Viorst provocatively sums up the problems Jacoby's book examines:

Forget about those dreams of dropping dead on the tennis court, or in a lover's arms, at age 95. Such happy endings could happen to us, but the odds are great that they won't, in spite of how frisky we currently feel and in spite of our dedication to a vegetable-eating, non-smoking, moderate-drinking, daily-exercising life style.

Instead, if we live long enough to join the ranks of what are called the "old old"- the late 80s and the 90s and beyond - we are likely to become (choose several of the following) socially useless, financially strapped, physically disabled, mentally impaired, desperately lonely and demeaningly dependent. But even if we have already previewed the miseries lying ahead by having seen our parents' sorry decline, we might be tempted to tell ourselves that their fate need not be ours, tempted to believe that by the time we reach their age, 90 will be "the new fifty."

Despite the great advances in science in the past couple of decades, ninety is certainly not "the new fifty" now and it may never be, and for most people it's probably stretching things quite a bit to say that fifty is "the new thirty." In some respects we've made progress in our attitudes towards aging and the aged, but things are only marginally better overall, especially for the oldest, sickest, and poorest among us. Viorst continues:

...Jacoby grants that, in the past, older women and men were the victims of negative stereotypes and too readily devalued and dismissed. But she sees the reversal in attitude over the last 40 years as a misleading and damaging correction, with the "hucksters of longevity" purveying the untruth that no one need fear growing old anymore because science - any day now - is going to fix whatever it is that ails us.

Not so, says Jacoby, supporting her arguments eloquently and persuasively with historical, sociological, scientific and economic research. For, contrary to all the media hype, age is not just a number. Almost half of Americans living past age 85 will suffer from Alzheimer's. Fifty percent will wind up in a nursing home. And only 25 percent of Americans living past age 65 have annual incomes of over $33,667. Furthermore, by the year 2030 some 70 million Americans will be older than 65, making up 20 percent of the population, compared with 13 percent today. And among that 70 million will be 8.5 million people over age 85, the over-85ers being the fastest growing part of our population.

Jeez, that sounds pretty grim. Indeed, as Viorst explains:.

Jacoby is well aware that some - many, I suspect - will object to her grim view and will question why she so passionately insists on debunking the myth of a healthier, happier, vastly improved "new old age." In response, she cites the late, great gerontologist Robert Butler, first director of the Institute on Aging, who cautioned, "I'd love nothing more than to wake up one morning and read a newspaper article announcing a cure for Alzheimer's. But we have to plan for aging as it is - not as it might be if a magic potion appears. . . ." Jacoby adds, "Only when we abandon the fantasy of beating old age . . . will we be able to develop more humane ways of caring" for the oldest members of our society.

A couple of readers on Amazon concur that Jacoby's book is overly pessimistic and downright depressing, and at least one has opined that even though he agrees with her assessment of the problems, he thinks her proposed solutions rely too heavily on an already grievously over-strained government (a government that, I might add, is growing increasingly hostile to social programs of any type).

Others still prefer to take the view that things really are getting better. After all, the thinking goes, baby boomers have always been agents of change, and they're continuing to be so now that the first boomers are hitting the age of 65, as this NPR piece attempts to illustrate.

Even so, folks in their sixties are still generally considered to be the "young old." What about the "old old" -- those eighty and over? Things get kind of dicey then, and some people are coming up with creative, if dubious, solutions. For example, for those who are currently dealing with aging loved ones, or who are rapidly becoming an aging loved one themselves, there are "Granny pods." These are freestanding, less-than-300-square-foot storage sheds for old folks -- high-tech, medically equipped, even vaguely homelike, yes, but storage sheds nonetheless. But the good news is that you can plunk 'em down right in your back yard... that is, if you have a back yard, and provided your NIMBY neighbors and your city's zoning committee don't nix the idea. The plan is to offer the pods for lease for about $2,000 a month, which, though considerably less than most nursing homes or various assisted-living facilities, is still not cheap. But the inventor hopes that insurance will cover the cost. If you can't afford insurance and don't have 2k a month to spare, though, you're probably SOL.

Right about now you might be asking, "Cosmic Connie, are you trying to insert a new wrinkle into your Whirled? Or are you just trying to confuse us? Just what does all of the above have to do with the normal (or at least as 'normal' as it gets around here) subject matter of this blog?"

Do you really have to ask?

Given the real possibility of a future where an enormous percentage of the population will be too old and frail and, most importantly, too freaking poor to purchase frauducts or attend workshops and conferences, there is no shortage of hustledorks and con artists who see the need to mine the bucks while the mining is still reasonably good. There are, after all, quite a few baby boomers, Gen Jones-ers, and even some of the older Gen-X'ers who still possess the magical combination of discretionary income and a growing horror of the future -- making them ripe not only for the folks Salty Droid writes about (e.g., the Internet Marketing Syndicate, the Utah boiler-room scammers, and their allies, such as Utah's attorney general Mark Shurtleff), but also for the "hucksters of longevity" whom Susan Jacoby decries.

Deepak Chopra, for instance, sniffed an op nearly a generation ago and was on it like Jason Biggs on a warm apple pie. Chopra came out with Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old in the early 1990s. Since then he has created numerous other anti-aging books, audio/video products, and supplements, and has long been a presence in the longevity community.

Then there's Dr. Mehmet Oz... need I say more? He's EVERYWHERE these days.

Even some of the New-Wage gurus who don't necessarily make a living doling out health advice are voracious "health" consumers. James "Death" Ray, to name but one example, has been a big longevity nut for years, as evidenced by the suitcase full of supplements that investigators found in his room after the Sedona tragedy. He apparently viewed this extravagant consumption as taking "personal responsibility" for his own health, as implied in this piece for Huffington Post, written nearly a month after Colleen Conaway died at his San Diego event, and six weeks before Kirby Brown, James Shore, and Liz Neuman died in his Sedona sweat lodge. (The rich irony of his using the HuffPost piece as a pulpit to chastise the rest of us to take personal responsibility still resonates. Too bad comments are closed for that post...)

In the New-Wage minor leagues we have people such as Wendy Down. Wendy is teaching something called "Youthening," which, of course, is the opposite of Aging. Among other things she has created some download audios that "are short and mostly silent," except for some gentle music to let you know the recording is "on." (Which is kind of reminiscent of Jo Dunning's "silent" CD, except Wendy's stuff at least has music.) In any case the silence is deceptive, Wendy implies, for she is actually applying the "technology of emotion" to the listener's state of youthfulness. "On the Recordings, I hold various states feelings (states of emotion) in which experiencing yourself as youthful is 'already done,'" she explains. If you follow the "Youthening" link at the beginning of this paragraph, be sure you watch the video clip of New-Wage huckster Gregg Braden, who claims that the "technology of emotion" is capable of curing cancer.

But back to anti-aging. Actually, the conspicuously enlightened know that the concept of anti-aging is pretty negative, and negative thinking only makes you sick and old. That's why the good people at The Satori Method, a "Mind Body Spirit Transformation Academy" (motto: "Big Awakening, Big Energy, Big Life!") have come up with the concept of "Pro-Youthing." And they're putting on a whole big three-day gullibalooza summit around it in Austin, beginning on April Fools Day. Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale will be among those speaking.

The headline in the full-page ad I saw in Austin All Natural Magazine (page 5) addresses the aging doomsayers' concerns head-on.

"Just Because You Age, Doesn't Mean
You Have To Get Old Or Go Broke!"

The copy for this ad has "Joe Vitale" written all over it. Or at least it has "someone who attended the Joe Vitale school of copywriting" all over it.

Directly under the headline, we are promised that the upcoming Pro-Youthing Summit will enable us to "Learn Surprisingly Simple, Shockingly Powerful, And Amazingly Easy Techniques to Reclaim Your Youthfulness and Live a Big Life!"

This is followed by a checklist of some of those amazingly easy and shockingly powerful things we'll learn:

  • Discover the formula for quickly losing pounds while increasing muscle mass and your metabolism! NOTE: Most weight loss techniques backfire; this is the best way to keep the fat off AND look great!
  • How living and thinking "as if" is essential to filling your life with everything you want! We'll show you how to easily and effectively create vibrant health, abundant wealth & beautiful relationships. [So much for all that "hard work and "inspired action" the gurus have been touting in rebuttal to those who accuse them of promoting magical thinking and sitting on your butt. ~CLS]
  • How we stumbled onto a highly "magnetic energy source" that builds massive amounts of life force in your body -- and how you can easily tap into this healing energy and feel it flowing in your hands!
  • Our surprising "behind the curtain" secrets to super-human strength and vitality. (WARNING: These are the techniques doctors don't want you to know...because you'll actually get better!) [Shades of Kevin True-dough... or his buddy Leonard Coldwell (a not-medical-doc who claims to have discovered the cure for cancer). Those darned doctors again... always out for themselves. ~CLS]
  • Why it's 100% true that you can reverse your age. Once you get this you can request every cell of your body to regenerate and recharge your life, from the inside out!
  • The simple, step-by-step process to assure you direct the power of the Law of Attraction to build your prosperity. It's simple, and fast -- you can do it in as little as 5 minutes a session.

[Fake scarcity alert] If you act now, you can get into this Summit for only $297, which is three hundred whole American dollars off the reg'lar price. But you must act quickly, because only 100 people will get to take advantage of this "Early Bird Special." So save your seat NOW, if not sooner, because this event will sell out!

And you, Dear Ones, will have to shell out, one way or another, if you want to fight old age and the Grim Reaper. You can do it, at least until your money runs out, with modern Western medicine, which fosters dependency on a bewildering host of medical specialists, an array of horrendously expensive and side-effect-inducing Rx meds, and even more horrendously expensive hospitalizations at the slightest hint of a sniffle or a urinary-tract infection. I am certainly not trying to vilify Western medicine, but in recent years I have seen what passes for elder care in our society up close and personal, have witnessed the sad ruins of The Greatest Generation wasting away in the halls of nursing homes and hospitals and extended-care facilities...and it isn't pleasant.

Alternatively, so to speak, you can dodge the Reaper -- again, at least till your money runs out -- with the help of various "alt-med" modalities and the inevitable anti-aging, pro-youthing infomercial hustledorks and online scammers, with their endless offerings of "breakthrough" books and expensive supplements and proprietary programs and workshops.

Isn't it great to have choices?*

Meanwhile, Mother Nature continues on her merry way, with little apparent regard for the aging and the infirm. As Garrison Keillor wrote in a Salon.com piece a few years back, "Nature is about continuation of the species -- in other words, children. Nature does not care about the emotional well-being of older people." Nor, he might have added, does nature give a hoot for their physical well-being.

So in the end, it really is up to us to do what we can to make our lives better, at all stages of life, and not piss Mother off too much, lest she throw us off the boat, or shake us off like a dog shakes off a bad set of fleas (as the late George Carlin would have said). And it is up to us as well to take care of the most helpless members of society: the very young and the very old. I'm not real happy with some of what traditional medicine has to offer, but, in case it isn't obvious, I don't think the LOA h-dorks with their frauducts and flopportunities, their promises of "magnetic energy sources," and their advice to "request every cell of your body to regenerate and recharge your life," are the way to go either.

Is there a happy medium somewhere? Maybe so, and perhaps Judith Viorst touches on it as she summarizes Susan Jacoby's advice for the "old old" (and those who soon will be). After offering a few practical suggestions to stay as useful and active as possible for as long as possible, Viorst, paraphrasing Jacoby, adds:

Don't feel that aging successfully requires you to be a serene, above-it-all, smiley-faced optimist. If what you really are is a "discontented work in progress," go for it. And, if you can do so, find some pleasure in the world as it actually is, without counting on the imminent triumphs of science to allow you to be skydiving in your 90s.

Yeah, what she said. And for good measure, here's a common-sense blog post about healthy aging from an M.D.

No matter how old or how young you are, there's nothing wrong with trying to hold on tight to your dream, as the old ELO song advised, but you'd better hold on tight to your wallet as well. And if the phone rings and it's Utah calling, don't answer.

* Note: I realize that there is a great deal of ongoing legitimate anti-aging/longevity research, and that there are actual M.D.s who practice "anti-aging medicine" (including hormone replacement therapies of various types), which would seem to present another happy medium between the rather depressing "traditional" medical model I described above and New-Wage infomercial/boiler room hucksterism. (And M.D.s such as Dr. Oz seem to be exploiting the best of both worlds, drawing equally from medicine-based anti-aging protocols and more woo-ish material.) Even so, to take advantage of the latest in longevity research still requires one to spend money, and sometimes a lot of money, especially since many of the protocols aren't covered by insurance.

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Blogger LaDon said...

Wow,Connie this adds a whole new dimension to the scams.I knew hustle-dorks preyed upon primarily middle aged people who have substantial income,savings,or good credit, but didn't know the various angles they use to make their followers "part with their money". Recently, I tweeted about how the desire for "mind over matter" drives many New Agers,but didn't realize they also seek the proverbial "Fountain of Youth". There's a statement heard around 12 Step programs, "Live life on life's terms". Aging is definitely included on Life's Agenda.

Forgive me if I have previously mentioned this June 2009 Newsweek article in which the writers challenge Oprah's health advice and quack guests such as Suzanne Somers. Sadly it was published just prior to when 4 trusting "seekers of truth" died at JRI events. http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-human-condition/2009/06/02/hey-did-you-hear-we-took-on-oprah-the-blog-o-sphere-reacts.html

I continue to applaud you for bravely exposing snake oil salesmen/women who,I am sure, feel a thorn in their side every time you and other writers publish an expose on their lies.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, LaDon, and thanks for your comment. I don't recall you previously mentioning the Newsweek article about Oprah but even if you did and I just don't remember it, no worries. It's a good link.

People have probably been in search of the Fountain of Youth for millennia, so I guess it's not all that surprising that the New-Wage gurus would want a piece of that substantial pie. What inspired me to write my post was coming across the ad for the New-Wage gullibalooza "Pro-Youthing Summit" on the very same day that I happened upon that book review of Jacoby's new book on the realities of aging in our society.

It probably wasn't real clear in my blog post, but I honestly don't fault people for wanting to do what they can to beat the odds and have as happy, healthy, and wealthy an old age as possible. No doubt there are some lifestyle changes and other conscious choices that really can enhance one's quality of life. Even the sometimes-controversial HRT (hormone replacement therapy) has a legitimate role to play. The problem is that people such as Suzanne Somers have almost made a joke out of it. It is neither feasible for most people, nor is it even remotely healthy, to consume hormones and supplements the way Someers apparently does. (I remember seeing a TV special showing her and her husband lying on hospital beds at their home, getting their daily intravenous hormone cocktails. There was a nightmarish quality about the whole thing.)

So I *do* have an issue with people such as Somers who, in order to sell more books, promote a certain protocol as the answer to all problems. And, of course, I also have an issue with the New-Wage hucksters who relentlessly push magic potions and false hope. But there's apparently a huge market for those magic potions and the false hope as well, so they will continue to do their thing as long as it is lucrative.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I used to think I would end in a bang and what the EOD guys call "a pink mist". In reality, I will probably be one of the statistically likely heart failures sometime in the next 30 years. What I hope I will never be is a sap for the new-wagers.

That's why I like reading your stuff CC, it keeps me aware of just how slippery and devious they are.

I think "flopportunities" is a new one? Great addition.

Heh, the captcha is "poorn".

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Dave, I hope you have many more happy and productive years on this ol' planet. And I wish I could take credit for "flopportunities," but I am pretty sure that neologism was created by our pal Salty Droid. At least that's where I first saw it -- on his blog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous sara marie said...

you mentioned james ray as an (extreme) example of new-wage guru who's an avid "health" consumer. don't forget mr. fire himself, who is going to be one of the speakers at the summit you wrote about. not only is he the buddha of the internet but he also calls himself the charles atlas of the internet, ha ha. he used to blog and brag about being in fitness contests and of course we all got to read about his exercise shed, as i think you called it once, with all of his expensive and impressive machines.

hes into selling as well as consuming health products. he peddles his own invention, the fit-a-rita, and he used to sell a cardio supplement in partnership with his m.d. friend marc gitterle (i think thats how the name is spelled).

i think he sells that overpriced crap called youth juice too (an mlm scheme). and as i recall you blogged a few years ago about how he was raving about a so-called 'stem cell enhancer' supplement, suggesting it was the cure for all diseases, and im sure he is still involved in many other mlm schemes for vitamins and supplements and other health products.

and lets not forget all the times he found a 'permanent' solution to weight loss!!!

so even though he has no medical expertise he is a featured speaker at the antiaging show. wouldn't it be more sensible for an anti-aging or pro-youthing summit to stack the roster with real medical experts? after all like you said in your footnote there are lots of real doctors doing longevity research. but i guess the people putting on the show figured joe was well qualified to help them push frauducts and flopportunities, his own as well as theirs. and thats what matters to them.

i wont be attending

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LOA h-dorks with their frauducts and flopportunities"

I just love these gems, your way with words.

Laughingly yours,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You're right, of course, sara marie: Joe V is an excellent example of someone who not only practices but also promotes "health consumerism." (He was pushing coral calcium and grape-seed supplements back when I knew him.)

As I've noted here many times before I don't think there's anything wrong with Joe or anyone else doing everything they can to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. Goddess knows I could use a little nudge in that direction sometimes. What I find annoying is the constant pushing of this or that miracle breakthrough product or method that will finally make you healthy, wealthy, and awakened.

You're also right about the roster of speakers -- nary a longevity M.D. or other nutritional expert on the list.

I'm not attempting to devalue the contributions of "everyday" people who are able to sustain a healthy and happy lifestyle, or who have devoted their lives to researching what works and what doesn't. People should not automatically be dismissed just because they don't have an M.D. or other advanced degree (and here I'm talking real degrees, not phony ones). But judging from the speaker lineup page, the collective expertise centers around salesmanship, marketing, financial services/investments, martial arts, and music.

It could be argued that the summit is focused on quality-of-life issues, and that's more than just physical health. But it looks as if the focus is going to be on New-Wage magickal thinking, with the speakers finding creative ways to part people from their money. In the end, it's really all about making the speakers and sponsors wealthier, not the participants (duh).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, thanks, Barb, but as I told Dave above (I think your comment crossed in the ethers with his), "flopportunities" is a Salty Droid neologism. "Frauducts" is his too. Both words are very apt here, I think.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still, Connie, it's the way you put the words together. I get such a kick out of your style!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Frances said...

@Connie-- I also wonder how damaging to the environment these "magic potions" are. Coral calcium, case in point. I've never thought anything requiring you disturb coral reefs is very sustainable. I would think that our slaughterhouses and shellfish farms provide more than enough bone and shell meal to meet our calcium needs.

I imagine some of these New-Wagers appeal to those of us with "save the earth" sensibilities by saying, for instance, not only are we saving our health by increasing our acai consumption, but we're saving the rainforest too. It sounds so perfect, so win-win, so "no way is there a catch!" Which too often means, of course, that there IS a catch. A gigantic, enormous, elephant-in-the-room of a catch.

Now, it turns out that in the case of acai, this may actually be true, since acai is a species of palm tree, and therefore is already native to the Amazon; unlike, say, soybeans. But are they cultivating acai palms in a sustainable way, or are they over-growing them at the expense of other native plants?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Barb (Feb 22, 8:32 PM), I appreciate your support!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You raise some good points, Frances. Being "green" (or at least *appearing* that way) is de rigeur among the conspicuously enlightened these days.

Yet many of the New-Wage gurus and hustledorks who present themselves as conscious -- and conscientious -- citizens of our planet are talking "green" out of one side of their mouths and constantly preaching "prosperity" out of the other side. There seems to be little inherent sustainability in the level of material prosperity that they showcase in their promotional (and self-promotional) material.

In truth, only a very small minority of the global population actually has the McMansions, stable of overpriced sports cars, private jets, and other props of the "successful" life that the h-dorks promote. In fact, many of the h-dorks exaggerate their own wealth, as is becoming increasingly apparent. Even so, many of our planet's resources are seriously overtaxed from the level of consumption that exists today.

Many of the hucksters claim that they care about the world and about helping even the poorest and most downtrodden citizens create a life of happiness, health, and wealth. Yet if EVERYONE became as materially wealthy as the h-dorks claim *they* are, and if everyone became such avid consumers of material goods, how would that affect the environment?

Even if many, many more people in the Third World became consumers on the level of the so-called middle class in the US... how would that affect the planet?

(This isn't an argument for keeping the poor and starving folks poor and starving, but I think we do need to consider how increased prosperity and consumption will affect our planet. Expecting Americans and other folks in the developed world to lower their own standards of living to make up for it doesn't seem to be the answer.)

Magical thinkers say the Universe is a benign and endlessly abundant place and all will be provided for if we just have faith. Other defenders of New-Wage "prosperity consciousness" say the questions I ask are moot because not everyone will want to have a McMansion and dozens of fancy cars. Some, presumably, will use their new-found material wealth to help make the world a better place.

I think a more realistic p.o.v. is that the point is moot because the crap the New-Wage hucksters peddle doesn't work for most people, so we never will reach a point of global prosperity -- at least not from the teachings of the hucksters.

As for acai, sustainability or lack thereof is certainly an important issue, but to me an equally important issue is that the benefits of acai have probably been seriously exaggerated, as is the case with almost every New-Wage health scheme.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Frances said...


I think acai has no miraculous powers to help you lose weight or cure you of anything. I think of it as yet another nutritious fruit that tastes yummy. We can all use tasty, nutritious, antioxidant-rich fruits as part of our balanced diets that would help us lose weight anyway. Same thing with goji, noni, mangosteen and just about every fad fruit out there (but probably not mangosteen, though. I find it a bit sickly-sweet).

I wonder why more American banana lovers aren't discovering and cultivating pawpaws. (except for maybe the disappointingly short shelf life of the fresh, ripe fruit) They're a lot alike, taste similar but with a bit more starch; and best of all, you don't have to have a tropical climate to grow them, since they're native to the good old USA.
Similarly, to all the people complaining about not being able to grow crops in some parts of California's Central Valley because it's too dry, I suggest they try growing some cereal crops that are known to thrive in dry climates, such as quinoa and kamut.

Now that is some "green" thinking I can get behind. Which is, of course, beyond the scope of most hustledorks.
(I mean... come on, guys. In your entire collection of "success" tokens, you couldn't have one Tesla?!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

You have to admit though that anti-aging products are the perfect frauducts---if they fail to stem the march of time and the buyers grow old and die they will be in no position to demand a refund...win/win.

Here's a great vid on our new religion:

Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good suggestions, @Frances (Feb. 23, 10:14 PM). Then again... people who are really counting their carbs are told that fruits and grains aren't the best food choices. The research of science writer Gary Taubes has been making headlines recently with the release of his latest book, "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It." Taubes says Dr. Atkins was basically right all those years ago, although he says Atkins got some of the science wrong. I think the research is interesting although I am not prepared to totally give up fruit and grains.

BTW, one of my favorite snargets, Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, has been bragging for more than two years about a very expensive "eco-exotic" car he's having custom-built for him, The Scorpion. He has apparently invested heavily in the company, Ronn Motors, but so far has yet to take delivery (unless I just missed the news somewhere along the line).

That doesn't keep him from acquiring other cars and bragging about them. The car that he has gotten the most boasting mileage out of, as well as the most money, is his famous $375,000 Rolls Royce, which he uses for his pricey rolling "Mastermind" evenings. Last year he acquired a handmade Spyker from The Netherlands: "...not a Rolls-Royce, though it’s just as divine, and just as expensive."

He has considered the Tesla but decided it wasn't eco-friendly enough.

I am sure that if some enterprising car maker could come up with something that was both marginally eco-friendly and had the proper snob appeal -- that is, if it were far beyond the means of the average middle-class peon -- the hustledorks would be on it like flies on poop.

Friday, February 25, 2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You're right, Disillusioned, that anti-aging frauducts are the perfect scheme for New-Wage opportunists. I LOVE the vid you linked to. Of course before people get too carried away, they should probably Google "canvas bags E coli." :-)

Friday, February 25, 2011 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Kathryn Price said...

Connie, I had written a longer response to this, but it was one of those that get the "cannot process" message and seems to vanish into the ether as you're trying to send it. I'll write the shorter version: I liked the link to the common-sense article by Dr. Park towards the end of your post, whose advice is: "Just live." All that "youthening" and anti-aging energy and money would most likely be put to better and healthier use in just living, not that there aren't healthy ways of going about that process. Having worked with many older people it strikes me, in theory at least, that there is grace and even fulfillment in accepting aging without going to extremes in trying to outwit it--but we'll see I how do in actual practice when I find myself in those years! Unfortunately the hustledorks will have an attentive audience and lucrative possibilities in people who are sure that with enough effort, they can outwit mortality. "Just live" is probably the best advice, but it won't fill the seats of the seminars or fly off the bookshelves (although I'd probably buy one with that message!). Thanks.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

As usual, you said it better and more concisely than I could, Kathryn. Thank you. I do like the idea of a book called "Just Live."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your wit and snarky approach. I choose to laugh with the blog or else I'd cry a lot. So many of my friends have been sucked into this in the open-mindedness vortex. Thanks for the levity.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:22:00 AM  

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