It’s one of the tragic axioms of life that everything we enjoy is bad for us. Ancient peoples, for whom the line between the spiritual and the secular was so fuzzy as to be virtually nonexistent, tried to explain it through narrative and mythology (Sodom, Gomorrah, the Sirens).
Today, scientists and experts seem to delight in exposing one popular food after another as deleterious to our health, as though we were all characters in a sick morality play, forced to trade momentary bliss on the tongue for withdrawals from the finite bank account of our lifespans.
Even if you’re a nature freak, and get your jollies by grokking your oneness with the Life Force, there’s a chance you could get distracted and fall off a cliff. If you’re a marathon runner, sooner or later you’ll need a knee or hip replacement. It’s like gambling in Vegas…the house always wins.
Now the scientific types at the World Health Organization tell us we could get brain cancer from using cellphones. The jury’s still out, though⎯it’s going to take a lot more research. Meanwhile, they’ll content themselves by making us squirm and feel vaguely guilty whenever we call home for the grocery list.
I heard somewhere that spending too much time staring into a microscope can make you go blind. I’m not sure about this, but I don’t intend to find out the hard way.