Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is one of the times of the year that affords me some flexible hours for random reading. One of my habits is to wander the stacks at the public library and grab whatever looks good. Random stuff.

So I started this reading free-for-all season with some heavy-ass shit: How to Read the Bible by Kugel. Kugel is a former Harvard prof who taught intro/bible theory classes to packed rooms of wide-eyed masses. The book is heavy, thick, and rockin' good esp when he brings to light the various historical approaches to viewing this book and how these approaches had a profound influence on the shaping of societies. He tackles the topic with great ambition in a format that's easily digestible for a simple mind like mine.

After all that mental exercise I needed to lighten things up. One of my many weaknesses is for splashy, new-agey health type books. These are my celeb magazine fodder. I'm captivated by the promises of high energy, long life, great sex, and smiles by just nailing down the right combo of vitamins or taking the time to hug someone each day.

They give me moments of hope before I descend back down into the depths.

So I grabbed two of the big names in this genre, and although these dudes both promote the same goals of overall goodness they disagree quite a bit.

The two guys in the ring for this showdown are that big smiling teddy bear Santa beard Andrew Weil and the survey-promoting list guy Michael Roizen of the RealAge empire.

I don't know much about this Roizen cat but he seems to have quite the thing going with his "revolution" of surveys and numbers that allow you to calculate something called your "real age." I got bored taking the multi-page survey at the beginning of his book (I found in most every case question I was subtracting months/years from my chronological age, so I assume I am somewhat younger than my birth certificate would state--good for me), so I ended up skipping around in the book for all the advice that would supposedly yank years off my aging process.

Weil always appears so mellow and grounded and sure every time I've ever seen him on TV, but something about that big-ol' tank frame of his gives me the geebies. I don't imagine he's very svelte getting over barriers on a cross course. But his potions are so convincing.

Two of the areas of big disagreement between these dudes are alcohol and coffee.

Roizen makes is seem as if you have a duty to get lit up every night whereas Weil speaks of alcohol as "harder than herion, cocaine, LSD, and all the other illegal drugs" and you are an evil, weak degenerate if you partake.

When it comes to coffee Roizen spouts specific data to suggest without a doubt that heavy coffee consumption is good for y'all and will shed years off the aging process. He also claims you'll reduce your risks of Parkinson's and Oldtimer's diseases by hammering the joe. He's talking six or more cups of full strength a day.

Weil lets coffee have it. It's just below the evils of alcohol and 'bacco for him. It's "most irritating to the body" and he claims to have "files...filled with dramatic cures of long-standing conditions, brought about simply by getting people off coffee."

Everyone and their fahking agendas...

Roizen is my boy. Just finished a pot of Kona. I feel so mellow and right with the world.

Time to go pet the dog.


Heywood Jablome said...

I believe everything in moderation. This includes moderation itself.

Moveitfred said...

Dude, you should write a book.

solobreak said...

You know Wiel got his start writing for High Times, right?

Moveitfred said...

Yeah, I'm sure that dude spends a good deal of time on vision quests.

solobreak said...

I read a book once, but then Al Gore invented the internet, and the rest is history.

megA said...

have you read the dead father's club? interesting play off hamlet

i made the kiddies read some of it today--they liked it

i was a little freaked out.