I don’t get wound up too tight with conspiracy theories. Take the lone gunmen thing. If you came up to me and insisted it was Oswald alone, I’d say, “fine.” You, me, and Arlen Specter* might be the only people in the country that believe that, but it wouldn’t bother me. I don’t mind being in with Specter mostly because he’s just changed parties from Republican to Democrat. It’s not that I’m a Democrat, but I have respect for anybody who can see a difference between the two. Guy’s gotta be smart. Good company.
Point is, I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but if ever I was going to buy into one, it would be from reading this headline from the American Cancer Society:
Upshot: lack of exercise and poor diet are not the only contenders for why Americans are getting obese and their health is going down the tubes. Apparently just plain “sitting” is deadly too. The piece ends with this no brainer: “Because a sizable fraction of the population spends much of their time sitting, it is beneficial to encourage sedentary individuals to stand up and walk around as well as to reach optimal levels of physical activity.”
No shit, Sherlock.
We’re all glued to our day job seats and when we go home we plant ourselves in front of the computer, tv, or video game box. And why is that? Because technology has enabled us to live out our lives never exercising any muscle save those in our teeny, tiny fingers. Nobody gets behind the mule in a literal way anymore. We don’t have to, so why should we?
The question is, how do we go back to a physical existence once we’ve been sucked into, and have a lifetime contract for the bandwidth required for, a virtual one? Is your workplace so flexible that you can simply say: every hour on the hour I’m going to get up and do ten minutes of exercise. My workload is such that 1/6 of the day amounts to too much down time. I could be getting a lot of work done in that lost 80 minutes. Am I going to let that go? Oh, I’m sure I’ll stick to the 50 on/10 off regime for the first day or two, but working longer hours is not my thing. And in fact, it’s no better for you than sitting the entire day. According to the Guardian, the long hours culture is killing us as well.
And even if I had the fortitude to stand up and do physical activity every hour, would my boss allow that?
It seems like the perfect conspiracy to me: invent a bunch of technology that requires the bulk of the population to engage in activity that slowly saps their health. And it’ll kill them too, unless they spend umpteen point two millions of dollars on therapy that relies on what? More new technology!
The business of America may no longer be business. Maybe it’s cancer now. Every new invention, improvement, and update seems to promote it. Somebody, somewhere must be making a pile on it.
If someone you know is engaging in cancer for dollars shenanigans, please send an anonymous tip to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Arlen Specter is famous for coming up with the dancing bullet theory that explained how a single bullet could have had so many trajectories.