Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Fun

Holy Relationship Rescue, that was fun! You all had me even before the Jean Nate shout-out, even before Pussy Rush. I'm sending prizes to all the entrants. As Barbara Card Atkinson once said, I can't promise that you'll like your prize, but I can promise that I'll send it. (Or something like that.) If you entered, email me your mailing address, okay? It's Jennifer at PracticallyPerfectBook dot com.
Oh, I might get distracted by the penis-equipped female hyenas, but I do love my New Yorker. In the current issue there's a long piece about a rare genetic disorder, Lesch-Nyhan, that causes those afflicted with it to mutilate themselves, even while they're terrified of doing so. It's not online, but I loved this passage, a quote from Johns-Hopkins neurologist H.A. Jinnah, addressing what all of us can control and what we can't:

"Many people bite their fingernails. They'll tell you it's gross and that they don't want to do it--'Sometimes I get nervous and start biting my fingernails,' they'll say. There are people who chew their lips nervously. Now let's turn up the volume a little more: some people bite their cuticles. Turn up the volume a little more: some people bit their cuticles until they bleed. Now let's turn the volume way up. Now you have someone biting off tissue and bone in his fingers, biting off the whole finger, and chewing his lips off. Where, in this spectrum of behavior, is free will?"
I added a site feed thing to the blog, over there, the blue button to the right. Sign right up, if you understand what it means.


Tracy said...

I read that entire Lesch-Nyhan piece too. I couldn't look away, even though I kept wanting to stop. Hideous, hideous disease. The irony was, I had sat down to read the U.S. torture piece and got "distracted." And don't even get me started on the story about faux olive oil, which is my second-favorite beverage.

Come to think of it, that was one fun summer issue. I might need to read a Vanity Fair or something as an antidote....

jessica said...

Are y'all getting my New Yorkers? They used to arrive with regularity that seemed nearly hourly, piling like drifts on the dining room table, the piano bench... but none for a few weeks, and I know M. has renewed our subscription. I want to read the Lesch-Nyhan piece. We know I love reading (and writing) about genetics.

Jennifer, I get a prize? And it's not a moustache trimmer? (Oh, that's my aesthetician...). Email with address TK.

Jody said...

That reminds me of this thing I read (and that I mention at every opportunity) a while ago about people who have a compulsion to amputate limbs. Their own limbs, that is. They try to convince doctors to do it, and sometimes they do things like freeze their own limbs to force doctors to amputate. this link talks about it:

Jennifer said...

Jessica, you want mine? (that damn mailman...)

I loved it, too--especially when the writer talks about how it could be on the same continuum of that weird impulse to self-destruct, like swerving the car off the road. (Maybe this is why I should stick to quoting. Next thing you know, I'll be talking about freezing my arms.)

Devra said...

I subscribed. I never had an "inner child." My "inner lemming" is alive and well, however.