What the Firetruck?

I find it quite extraordinary how far the  brilliant art of writing has come in the past decade. My memories of high school reading are that it took about half the book to get into the groove, and maybe the latest edition of Coles notes to help me finish it off.  Comparatively, I started an article in the latest Vanity Fair describing how Pharmaceutical companies are using countries other than their own for clinical tests.  (google: vf deadly medicine for this most startling piece of writing)

That since the year 2000 there has been 58, 788 clinical trials in foreign countries.  You can predict without even finishing the article how this is going to play out, the outrage of it all (couple-a hints: numerous deaths, the poor and illiterate being used as human guinea pigs so that the outcome of the trials read favorable to the FDA, and lets not get into those select few lying about how these folks got into the trials (money), and how pathetic the FDA truly is in not holding these US firms accountable) – all in the first two paragraphs of the article. Is it just me, or are some of the global issues so outrageous that you can predict how the article will play out, that you just skip reading it completely?

Felt that way again later today, reading an opinion piece for sport ‘Is There a Will for Safer Contact Sports?’ in the Toronto Star.  Now lets cut open a vein here folks: Contact sports for children, in general give me the willies. Is soccer contact? Hmmm maybe not so much, but hockey sure is and we have one child in it. He is getting older and his coach /my husband tells me that contact in hockey increases with age that ‘we teach the kids how to hit’. What the firetruck are you saying? I learn how to do stuff all the time. Do I succeed at each attempt? No. So what happens when we ‘don’t’ hit well’, somebody’s going to get hurt – real bad and frankly, I don’t want that to be my kid, or yours  – thank you very much.  Its no news to some that sitting in the bleachers watching our kids at the arena has become quite painful. The parents in the stands hollering at their kids, not just the word Defense!! but KILL ‘EM. Not only is this trashy, but its dangerous.

The data the NFL is publishing of late is quite disturbing – that after years of analysis of retired players, they are seeing from a result of tramautic brain injury (TBI)/ concussions, an increase in epilepsy,  Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age. The NFL’s shakeup last year of their own Committee for  Head, Neck and Spine Injuries and the new roster of Doctors are encouraging coaches and players to come forward with confessions of concussions that have occurred with the players.  The numbers of reported concussions is increasing and this is the good news if you can believe it.  The game has been suffering macho and bottom-line mentality for much too long thus the newly published reports are freeing those afflicted to fess up to their injuries allowing proper post-care and hopeful negate long term brain injury effects.  Some in the medical community would like to see the use of the term ‘concussion’ replaced with Traumatic Brain Injury, as that is what it truly is.

Watching my new/old copy of Eddie Murphy’s Delirious from the mid 80’s has led me to ask friends: “ It’s the year 2011, what are we going to talk about in 10 years that will garner the visceral reactions I had to watching Mr. Murphy from 1985? We won’t be saying (of course!!)‘ you can get The Aids from kissing’ or ‘gay marriage is an abomination’ or ‘there will never be a black president’ (like Mr. Murphy predicted). I hope our reaction to head trauma in sport will be given the depth of concern it rightly deserves and not the shrugging, oh that’s a drag it has today.

I am also hopeful that perhaps a new semblance of order will appear at my local arena during my kids hockey game, but I am not going to hold my breath any time soon.

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