Monday, June 9, 2014

It will not make you bulletproof.

The U.S. is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence. If you are not alarmed by the mass shootings, the sheer volume of gun murders and suicides, and recent pictures of people carrying rifles and assault weapons around in big box stores, well, I wonder why.

It is a serious epidemic. As with all crises, many people think they know how to solve the problem, in this case via gun control or more emphasis on mental health, both of which I support fully, I should say. Some people think more people should have guns. That doesn't sound right, does it?

As usual, I am uninterested in the politics of this crisis. I'm alarmed and afraid, but I don't think I have the answer, which is bound to be complicated, and I will not point the finger at any group or individual. It never helps to increase the energy of divisiveness, it never helps to intensify anger and fear, especially when so many citizens are packing heat, as they used to say. There's plenty of acrimony to go around.

I hope we're at the peak of the slaughter. I hope and pray that the epidemic will soon begin to wane through health care or legislation. Or maybe people will wake up to the seriousness of the epidemic and change their behavior, their mindset.


The evidence of this epidemic has found its way even into the world of health food. This is a link to a post I wrote in 2012 about health food.

There have been many fashions and fads in health food. What is thought to be great for everyone varies from decade to decade. I remember when food combining was the big thing. Another era I remember had to do with how much water we should drink, and when. It was thought that drinking water along with a meal was a Very Bad Thing.

Almost always there is some juice or tea that everyone swears by. A few of the allegedly magical elixirs that come to mind include wheat grass juice, pomegranate juice, green tea, white tea, Acai juice and coconut water. Smoothies and vegetable juices have enjoyed a long wave of popularity.

Ah yes, the Fountain of Youth from which we can drink and be healed. There's always something that's thought to be the answer to all our woes. Just before buttered coffee, I think the elixir of choice was coconut water, or maybe more recent than that is the kale smoothie as elixir. I remember way back to the wheat grass juice era of the 1970s. Oh that stuff was vile. During my mother's generation, castor oil and/or cod liver oil were thought to be elixirs.

There's always a magical healing elixir that will make you smarter, healthier and slimmer. We humans are, in many ways, predictable. That we can't remember the last elixir didn't do anything special is remarkable. We are tender, hopeful beings.

Another pointer to the seriousness of the gun violence epidemic is that the au courant health elixir, buttered coffee, is called "Bulletproof." We are so deep into this epidemic, what we want is a jolt of caffeine pumped up with protein. Do we hope that with a burst of energy we'll be able to escape the mad person with the gun around every corner? That might be a part of why bulletproof coffee is now so in style.

The name is chilling. We wish to be bulletproof. Oh man, the gun violence sickness is serious. Very, very serious. To those who hold fondly to the idea that health elixirs are the answer to anything, please listen: buttered coffee will not make you bulletproof. I guarantee it. We will have to find another way.

I pray for an end to this violence. I pray that people will lay down their guns, lay down their anger, soften and open to a better way. May it be so. Shalom.