Show some restraint...

So, whatever happened to Olestra? That wonderful, healthy, fat-free way that we could gorge ourselves into a slender, new age, spiritual fulfillment? I, for one am still dubious. In this age of ever rising rapid fire miscommunication, I see Olestra as just one of those gazillion dietary spikes that are created by media hype and to which we all, at times, fall victim. You know these spikesŠ good oils, bad oils, good coffee, bad coffee, free radicals, beta carotene, ab belts that have vibrating whatevers, treadmills, Nordic Tracks, powdered energy drinks, grapefruit diets, carbs, cholesterol, impotence, arthritis, neurosurgery, liposuction, menthol cigarettes, HDL LDL, monosodium glutamate, Suzanne Somers' knee bendy thing, workouts, gyms, personal trainers, jogging, instant ''spray on'' hair, food dehydrators, hot tubs, tranqs and manicotti... Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh, I can't take any more. Somebody help me get this TV to the dump.

In my own humble opinion, I am slowly evolving into a well balanced person. I am determined to eat now whatever I, personally, see fit. I will eat fruits and vegetables in moderationŠ even though I know they come from weird genetically modified places now and are laced with god knows-what kind of sprays, pesticides and chemicals. I can always pre-rinse them with water from my well that is most likely in one way or another polluted, but which I don't worry about because it runs through some 'magic' filter out in my laundry room that cost me a few grand. ŠI guess I must have helped pollute it, so I'll drink it. My beverage of choice is tea ŠI don't care if will save me or kill me ŠI like it, and just by liking it, in itself is healthy enough for my liking. I pay no mind to the bad things or the good things that are said about it. I like Snickers bars, too, once in a while and an occasional brownie for breakfast. Sometimes I skip meals Šwho cares. I don't care for canned and frozen foods Šmost of the time, but have no need to cower from them.

I eat meat. I eat TVP, soy milk and tofu, too, sometimes. I eat lobster once a week. I effectively get that at half price Šmy mother-in-law (whom I adore and get along well with) buys every other week, so I am therefore getting it for half price Ša good deal. I exercise doing productive things Šsplitting wood, sitting at a computer monitor, moving stuff around my house or property, talking a walk with my wife, rolling on the floor with my children. And, alas, some TV watching, in moderation.

I'm just gonna stop paying those health warnings much mind. Your body will tell you what it needs. I read this morning that dental fluoride is now hazardous to your health Šgreat! Š50 years too late. Do I care? Nah Špass the Doritos.

Whatever any one tells you, regardless of rank and status Šthe American government will never, I repeat, never ever ever spend its way out of debt. It don't work that way at the personal everyday average Joe level, why would it work at the governmental level? Too few end up with too little with those economic stimulus packages. If the government tells you it has to inject the economy with money to get it moving, don't be tricked Šthey are going to be injecting big corporations and programs with your money, effectively taking it from thems what need it and putting it in the pockets of thems what don't. Observation shows it only trickles down as far as the pockets of corporate bigwigs and CEOs. PACs, corporate deception, mismanagement and theft, health insurance, elderly issues, environment, poverty, education ŠI just wanted to type those words. What I'm saying is that, as in our personal lives, so in our public, restraint is the key to economic health.

I don't know if this babble sounds Democrat, Republican, Independent, Right Wing, Left Wing, Radical, Liberal, Partisan, Catholic, Protestant, Taoist Šthese are just some of the circumstances I have witnessed by merely opening my eyes and saying to myself, ''what the hell is going on here?''

Ah, sorry, I guess I'm still a tad bitter because I am trying to eke out a living as an artist and entrepreneur and now my health insurance zooms up to over $32,000 a year as of the end of November Šand they're eliminating the dental. That's a lot of trickle down to have to wait for, and on top of that, there are still groceries to consider. To top this all off Šnow my children are involved in collecting taxes for the government. Every single time the kids bring home raffle tickets from their school so that they can raise money to do somehing school-related that my other tax money used to pay for, then they, in effect, become bonafide tax agents, n'est pas?

How does the Olestra tie fit in with this drivel? Well, you take this big bubbling cauldron of phony fat that seems to make most everybody sick and you slather it on something that, on first appearance, looks like something you'd like to take a big bite out of, but for which, later on, you will pay dearlyŠ

J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor and a columnist. He can be reached at styrogami@suscom

Uploaded to The Zephyr website December 4, 2002

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