Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Exciting New Threat

Happy News! We have a new threat to our wellbeing, something else to flame our anxiety and keep it at a simmer so we can await with baited breath the next words of wisdom that tinkle down from the “experts” who would sanitize and scrub clean our existences until nothing is left of us except compliant and obedient shells whose surfaces are brightly polished.

According to a front-page story in Saturday’s Times, this new threat is the very substance that kept our ancestors alive: salt. In the forefront of this new War against Something is none other than New York City Mayor Mike “The-People-Don’t-Know-What’s-Good-For-Them-But-I-Do” Bloomberg who wants to do what any politician wants to do when faced with an imaginary threat, and that is legislate.

Experts tell us that if we could cut down on our salt intake, we could “save” 150,000 American lives annually (That comes to .0005 of the population if I counted the zeroes correctly).

Now, the idea of saving lives by banning this or that substance raises a question. The simple fact of the matter is that the leading cause of death is birth. It’s true for all of us. So cutting down on salt doesn’t save anything. It simply puts off the inevitable. Granted this delay has its merits, but looking at it in this way robs the issue of its urgency. If I pull a drowning man from a river I’ve saved a life. If by taking away his salt and adding a couple of years to his life saves nothing.

But what the hell, a politician isn’t a politician unless he has a threat to hype, and for a politician a threat doesn’t have to be real as long as it plays well in Astoria.

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