Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

These Cannibals are Anything But Fine!

2012 is quickly becoming the “year of the cannibal”.   There have been numerous reports of human flesh eating in the civilized world this year and we have six more months to go (true).  This is very disturbing and many people have speculated on the causes of this trend.  Most people blame “zombie movies” or even the current fascination with vampires.  However, I see more blatant, sinister, forces at work.  Here are the factors that I believe are driving this cannibalistic behavior.

The Fine Young Cannibals
Back in the 90’s a group of musicians took a break from their savage ways to record some very popular music.  Even though they unashamedly admitted their cannibalism, they described themselves in very positive terms.  They were “fine”, not “bad” cannibals.  And they are not the old, uncivilized, cannibals.  No, are were new, “young” cannibals, which apparently were capable of playing guitars.

Even though they sold many CDs and made millions of dollars, no one challenged them on their dining habits.  There were just allowed to sing their songs and eat people at will.  I just hope they didn’t treat their groupies like grouper.
I pointed this out to a friend and she said that was too far in the past and to not look back.  Well let me tell you that she drives me crazy that she cannot see how influential this band can be on gullible simpletons such as her.  This is not a good thing.

Mr. Peanut
You may think of him as a cute, amusing, spokesperson, but he is a peanut and he talks about eating peanuts.  Therefore by definition he is a cannibal!  He enthusiastically promotes the taste and consumption of peanuts and other nuts and encourages people (and maybe other peanut cannibals?) to devour them in mass quantities.  And just like with The Fine Young Cannibals, the savageness of the practice is purposely downplayed.  Mr. Peanut is one sophisticated cannibal with his fancy hat, monocle and cane.

And in this same category, Pop & Fresh (aka The Pillsbury Doughboy) is very suspect.  He always shows up when baked goods are being removed from the oven.  He is very happy and cheerful even though his substance, dough, has just been baked at high temperatures to prepare it for consumption.  And let’s face it, he is more than chubby, he is fat.  He is eating lots of something and he is spending way too much time around the oven for a dough ball.  I sense a scandal just waiting to happen.

PETA’s Stand Against Cannibalism
Incredibly, the most outspoken criticism of the recent cannibal incidents has come from People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (true).  Now you might wonder why you would have to state that cannibalism is in fact, bad.  It should be obvious, right?  No, PETAs point is that all flesh eating is bad, including human flesh.   I think this promotes cannibalism more than it discourages meat eating.  If a cannibal ascribes to this philosophy and sees you eating a Big Mac, he will not think eating you is wrong at all.  No PETA, eating a Poor Boy is not the same as eating a boy who is poor. Eating a leg of lamb is not equal to eating a leg of Sam. And eating finger food is not like eating fingers as food!  Use your brains before some zombie eats them for lunch.
And all this news of cannibalism is not helpful to society.  There is a reformed cannibal in my neighborhood and all this talk of man eaters has made things tough for him.  He told me that the other day, “I was thinking about eating Harvey for dinner, but I ate stew instead.”  He was interested in discussing the topic further and invited me over for dinner.  I think I’m going to pass on this one.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Big Gulp is Way Too Big For Buddha!

The Mayor of New York City sure got everyone riled up with his proposed ban on large “sugary” drinks.  The reaction has not been very sweet at all.
I think the issue is very confusing to most people.  For example I’m sure many older adults cannot understand why anyone would want to drink that much in one serving.  And for anyone with “piping issues” regarding the bladder or the prostate, imbibing that much carbonated beverage would seem ludicrous indeed.  Why even the thought of downing that much soda pop would cause… uh oh eh, oh no.  Please excuse me for one moment.  I’ll be right back……….
Ah, that is much better, yes.  Where was I?  Okay, people don’t like the ban.  But in the words of South Park Guidance Counselor, Mr. Mackey: “Pop is bad, mkay”.  You shouldn’t drink pop, because pop is bad, mkay.”
And pop is bad. Studies have shown that the combination of high-fructose corn syrup and phosphoric acid will rot your innards (this is a medical term).  And diet pop is supposed to be even worse for you although scientists don’t know why yet.  This should scare the hell out of everyone, but it doesn’t.  The proposed ban doesn’t even apply to diet soda which may kill you faster.

Still, Americans don’t like the government telling them what they cannot have.  My socially-conscientious friend Anne was outraged when she first heard about the proposed law.  Even though she lives in Ohio, she had this ravenous, almost insatiable, craving to consume a Big Gulp.  When her boyfriend heard about this, he immediately told her that the mayor of her town was thinking about banning sex between single people in her city.  I don’t know if Anne has calmed down any because I haven’t heard from her (or her boyfriend) in days.
But do you really need that much soda?  Back in my day, fifteen cents got you a bottle of Coke from the vending machine in my grandpa’s grocery store.  You didn’t gulp it because it was only 6 ½ ounces and you needed to savor every sip.  Sure we were still thirsty, but we could still fit into our britches and we didn’t get diabetes as kids.  No my generation gets diabetes when we get older. And we get it by eating too much pie, which is the proper way.  And encouraging people to gulp pop creates excess intestinal gas which negatively impacts us all.
And there have always been fat kids.  Growing up I lived across the street from a kid my friend Fred referred to as “Whoa-Jelly” his brother was called “Whoa-Jam”.  When this huge kid ran barefoot down the sidewalk, there was fat shaking everywhere, which always prompted Fred to yell out “Whoa-Jelly, Whoa-Jelly, Whoa-Jelly”.  The problem is that while Whoa-Jelly was an oddity then, he is everywhere now.  We are becoming a Whoa-Jelly nation.  Of course in the past there were these people who actually put limits on what children ate, drank or did for their general welfare.  These people were known as “parents”.  I’m not sure where these people went.
Nobody really needs that much soda pop at one time, but the government telling us how much to drink is too intrusive.  I guess we can still consume, but in moderation.  However, the recent health studies tell us that maybe “moderation” should be way less than we current consume.  Yes, we all need to be Buddhists on this one.  Drinking a Big Gulp is not Zen-like in any fashion.
One shudders to think what could have happened in the Big Gulp existed in Buddha’s day. I’m sure it got steamy sitting under that fig tree all the time and you know that figs taste great with Pepsi.  If one day Buddha got really hot and thirsty and said, “Forget this moderation stuff and bring me a Big Gulp” now!, the world would have been deprived of a major religion.

From My Other Blog: The dangers of high fructose corn syrup