28 January 2009

“Diabetic”… I’m adding it today to my blog title. I was diagnosed in September. Since then, i’ve been on a interesting journey of medication, herbal cures and lo-carb diets. I came out as a diabetic to my family and at work and I must say, for all the emotion over coming out gay, this one was somewhat worse. Because coming out diabetic carries with it a stigma of gluttony. That I somehow ate myself into diabetes. I know looking from the outside in, I always criticized people in my mind for their diabetic issues without realizing I did it.

But my dad was diabetic. His dad was diabetic. No less than 7 people on my mom’s side had the disease. So here’s the question. If I was 198 lbs rather than 298 would I still be diabetic? Is my weight CAUSING the diabetes or is my weight caused by the diabetes. Or are they both issues brought about by something else entirely? The chicken or the egg? I don’t think anyone can say for sure, but be sure that the two are interrelated. I, however prefer to think of it as being owned by my machines.

If you saw the movie WALL-E you remember all the humans in that film were pudgy because they embraced inactivity and sloth and their every need was “cared for” by robots. This is quite possibly the most culturally subversive movie to hit the box office since Network. The idea that our automobiles and computers are owning us is a cultural movement that’s been fomenting for hundreds of years and has its biggest advocate in the man vs machine idea that made Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ so very compelling 5 generations ago. The Buddhists believe that the things that you own begin to own you. And given the state of my life and the people around me, I believe that to be true.

Two different co-workers had to remove and re-install the HVAC systems in their homes in the past week or so. Set aside the fact that it’s thousands of dollars out of pocket but the idea that you’re required to spend that much money on something to maintain your current quality of life to me is an anathema. I have trouble with the idea that I have to pay the government every year for a car I already own. So look at it in the context of the story of Frankenstein. The machine we’ve created owns you. Fork it over. Give me $5000. You’ve been owned.

I don’t know how to live any way other than the way I live. I’ve created a life where 70% of my daily activities consist of me sitting down typing on a machine. But the machines have owned me.

And on top of of my battle with the machines, I now have to fight the first law of thermodynamics.