Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Not All Is Manageable, But All Must Be Managed: A Lenten Rant

 

Rod Dreher said a friend texted him the following about Covid-19:

When you have lived for several generations in a powerful and wealthy country untouched by deep tragedy and awash in the deep-seated belief that you are both the Chosen Land and Master of Nature, the belief that everything is manageable becomes the biggest article of faith. And the biggest blind spot.

I do not believe that everything is manageable. But part of the social bargain you make when you have “vastly more liberty as a middle-class citizen of a free-market democracy” is to treat everything as manageable, even when it’s not. Not because you truly believe everything is manageable, but because you’re obliged, for others’ sake, to at least act as if it is: to do otherwise would be irresponsible, untrustworthy, a betrayal of all those other striving citizens of the marketplace who depend, in one way or another, on you.

American Christianity is frustratingly Martha-oriented. Martha is the archetypal manager, managing, managing… all the sundry details which must be managed, not just for her own life to run smoothly, but for others’ lives to run smoothly, too. Contemplatives like Mary only exist while Marthas bustle about in the background to sustain them. In that sense, contemplation is a luxury good. The American way teaches us that, even in our suffering, choosing contemplation over management is a luxury. Our first duty is to manage our suffering to minimize the burden on all the other good folk around us, meaning it’s no mere hedonism to minimize our suffering when we can: It really is a duty. A duty to maximize our productivity under the constraints we’re given; a duty to minimize our burden. A duty to manage ourselves the best we can, and woe to the sufferer who seems to be shirking that duty!

***

Those of us who lead medically-interesting lives are well acquainted with this duty. Many ailments can’t be cured, only managed, and as much as folks complain about “the American mentality” of “just wanting a pill for it” so we don’t have to manage, anyone who’s been an American patient long enough knows that, in order to earn the privilege of being considered a good, trustworthy, deserving patient, one must sustain an eagerness to manage oneself to the best of one’s ability.

Since pregnancy is a medically-interesting condition where another’s life intimately depends on our management of our own, every middle-class pregnant woman must know this especially well. The virtuous pregnant American runs a nine-month marathon of management, down to every little last bite of food she swallows, if the American managerial class’s “new ethic of ‘total motherhood’” is to be believed:

Mothers these days are expected to “optimize every dimension of children’s lives,” she writes. Choices are often presented as the mother’s selfish desires versus the baby’s needs. As an example, Wolf quotes What to Expect When You’re Expecting, from a section called the “Best-Odds Diet,” which I remember quite well: “Every bite counts. You’ve got only nine months of meals and snacks with which to give your baby the best possible start in life … Before you close your mouth on a forkful of food, consider, ‘Is this the best bite I can give my baby?’ If it will benefit your baby, chew away. If it’ll only benefit your sweet tooth or appease your appetite put your fork down.”

Actually, the marathon doesn’t stop at birth, as the article I’m quoting from – about breastfeeding – emphasizes. To become a good mother in America is to become a manager.

In any culture, it’s only to be expected that motherhood and family ties will call on the Martha, rather than the Mary, within each woman (whether said woman believes she has an inner Martha or not!). But the ideal of American motherhood is particularly managerial, as are all American ideals. If we’re not always doing our best to manage our risks and resources, we’re doing it wrong – because this is America, dammit, and America means we’re free to do better!

***

As someone still relatively new to motherhood, I therefore confess a little irritation at Dreher’s advice, “This is why repentance — of the kind Timo’s saints led me to this afternoon — is one of the best things any of us can do to prepare for the struggle ahead” of enduring Covid-19. The old me, the not-a-mom me, could have effortlessly had agreed with Dreher. But then, the old me seemed to have more leisure to repent; more freedom to simply suffer, if need be. Even before becoming a parent, I observed that unmanaged suffering, no matter how spiritually fruitful, falls under suspicion of moral failing in America. Now, as a parent, I wonder how I’m supposed to do anything with suffering but manage it.

All pregnancies are medically interesting, but mine are somewhat more so than most. Mothers like me with pre-existing conditions know they’ll likely sacrifice some of the self-management aids they came to rely on while not pregnant for the good of their unborn, particularly pharmaceutical aids (all drugs are, in a sense, performance-enhancing drugs, best resorted to only when patients aren’t managing well without them). That mothers are expected to suffer for their children is nothing new; still, they’re expected to manage, even while forgoing managerial help. In this framework, unmanageable suffering simply isn’t allowed, even while it’s occurring.

Well, for a while now, my health hasn’t been manageable – or, at least, it hasn’t been managed, and perhaps it’s unreasonable to expect my management to be much better than it has been, given other constraints. Unreasonable to expect better management; nonetheless, I still expect it: Somehow, I should have found a way to do better, right? Especially when the consequences are putting a pregnant body (ergo a baby!) at extra risk of pneumonia while the world faces a contagion which seems to pose little risk to denizens of an advanced society, unless they’re already at risk.

As I told a friend,

My lungs have already gotten pretty chewed up this pregnancy, and while I suspect the most likely outcome of my getting Covid-19 would be just another infection no worse than ones I’ve recently had, I am a pneumonia risk and I’d rather not deal with the guilt of not being prepared if I somehow got a worse-than-average case of the bug :-(

I can’t be arsed to worry about getting particularly sick from Covid-19, much less dying from it. Instead, I worry about a case of Covid-19 meaning even more months wasted falling behind on Middle-Class Mom Things. I worry about the added hassle of checking my pulse ox – I mean, I’m grateful to live in a time and place that makes it very easy for at-risk patients to check pulse ox at home, thereby taking responsibility for this aspect of their health. Still, it’s another responsibility to manage while I doubt I’m managing the ones I already have: First-world problems!

***

I worry about absurdities like the one I’m living out now. After waiting perhaps too long, supposedly for the good of the baby, to see whether my lungs would clear without extra treatment, I forwent the usual cheap, reliable standby against lung inflammation for a much more targeted – and expensive – drug: if I must add medication to a pregnancy, Expensive Targeted Drug seemed less likely to affect the unborn than Old Standby. Expensive Targeted Drug also should help avoid other nasties, like fungal infections – except, sometimes, in one place: the voice box.

Mold is grody, and I never expected to blow so many bucks on losing my voice. Expensive Targeted Drug also failed to clear my lungs quickly. The doc recommends antibiotics if my lungs don’t clear soon, though the antibiotics worsen fungal infections. At a time of life (pregnancy) when I’m socially obligated to make extra sacrifices to avoid “unnecessary” medication, I could end up adding three, the third solely to manage the side-effect of the first two!

Some might scoff at feeling “socially obligated” to do anything in a free country – surely medical decisions take place between patient and doctor, not among wider society, not even during pregnancy – but as parents humorously note all over the interwebs, just because the buttinskis of a free country don’t (or shouldn’t) have much legal standing to butt in doesn’t keep them from butting a whole lot more once you’re a parent – whether it’s over obstetrics or buckling car seats.

Breathing trumps voice, of course, but it’s surprisingly hard to mom without a voice, especially while already too short of breath for normal levels of physical activity. Children go undisciplined. Phone calls go unreturned. Husbands (OK, there’s only one of these) feel unanswered, since the answers are inaudible. Still, until I find a way to manage my lung function better, even cooking fumes are enough to tank my productivity for hours – and my family clearly needs me more productive, not less. How did I get myself into this bind? Where did I go wrong?

When you wake up with a calf cramp, you’re supposed to flex your foot – and whatever you do, don’t point your toes, else you’ll make it worse and have only yourself to blame. When you wake up with a shin cramp, you’re supposed to point your toes – and whatever you do, don’t flex your foot, else you’ll make it worse and have only yourself to blame. So, how do you manage when you wake up with both?

Such binds are hardly crises – even most lung trouble is barely dangerous these days, with the right equipment and training. They’re just, I want to say… sometimes a bit… unmanageable. Or is any attempt to plead “unmanageable” really just an attempt to worm our way off the hook, to shirk our duty to stay on it?

***

Ogden Nash wryly observed that the sins of omission dogging modern Americans aren’t so much failures to pursue The Good as failures to pursue managerial goods:

The way you really get painfully bitten
Is by the insurance you haven’t taken out and the checks you haven’t added up
the stubs of and the appointments you haven’t kept and the bills you
haven’t paid and the letters you haven’t written.
Also, about sins of omission there is one particularly painful lack of beauty,
Namely, it isn’t as though it had been a riotous red-letter day or night every
time you neglected to do your duty;
You didn’t get a wicked forbidden thrill
Every time you let a policy lapse or forget to pay a bill;
You didn’t slap the lads in the tavern on the back and loudly cry Whee,
Let’s all fail to write just one more letter before we go home, and this round
of unwritten letters is on me.
No, you never get any fun
Out of things you haven’t done,
But they are the things that I do not like to be amid,
Because the suitable things you didn’t do give you a lot more trouble than the
unsuitable things you did.

As luck would have it, whatever suitable things I didn’t do to maintain better health have now left a pregnant woman (ergo an innocent baby!) more-than-usually vulnerable to pneumonia-causing bugs just right when a new one becomes a public-health concern.

I don’t worry I’d suffer from Covid-19 – suffering is, in some sense, the easy part. I worry that if I suffered, my suffering would spill over onto others and it’d be my fault. Death scares me less than the thought that, if I did die, I will have in some obscure sense deserved it, as the final consequence of not having been more responsible in some respect or another; my final managerial failure.

I hardly need die for my suffering to cause suffering in others: That’s already happened plenty, and doubtless will continue happening. That I’m suffering, too, seems rather beside the point from this perspective. That I have much to repent of often increasingly seems beside the point: of course I do, but how do I justify diverting resources to something as non-managerial as repentance when my poor management is already letting others down?

Not all is manageable. But in a land of free, responsible people, all must be managed, nonetheless.

***

I can’t play Martha forever. I’m a Mary by temperament if anyone is, and sooner or later my nature reasserts itself despite my best efforts to “be good” (somehow, “be good” = “be Martha”). The Good News may tell us, from Christ’s own lips, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” but choosing this better portion increasingly seems like a guilty pleasure – one which may not be taken away from me, but which perhaps ought to be, if I’m to manage.

Perhaps it’s a sign of spiritual health, not shameful weakness, that I’ll eventually flip Martha and all her Martha-guilt the bird again. I have plenty to repent of without even trying to repent of what ought to be an inclination toward “what is better”. Still, I find it interesting I often guiltily feel as if I should try to repent of the inclination, especially as I take on more domestic responsibilities.

It can be tempting to suppose family values and liquid modernity are opposites, that the managerial mentality is a symptom of taking focus off family and onto individuals as productive units. This supposition seems to miss, though, what so many Americans feel obligated to be productive for: family. Others. If we were merely ends in ourselves, our managerial failures would only let ourselves down, and wouldn’t seem nearly so irresponsible. But we know they let others down, too.

***

We may be ends in ourselves, but we’re also means by which others thrive – or not. Indeed, how could family ties, especially parenthood (I’ll add, especially motherhood), avoid being our most powerful natural reminder that we are means as well as ends?

Martha was not as managerial as she was because she was content to let herself – or perhaps any woman (she saw Mary as a means, too: “Tell her to help me!”) – be an end in herself. No, Mary had that contentment, while Martha did not. No other duty may vie with encountering God, but it’s hard not to wonder, sometimes, if one reason many feel freer to encounter God during suffering is because suffering often buys the sufferer some moral permission to be excused from ordinary social obligations.

So, what of suffering that does not excuse you from ordinary obligations? What of a society where no suffering really excuses you from the duty of management? Where, at the very least, anyone with minimal mental competence cannot be exempted from the duty of managing his own suffering, lest he unduly burden others?

What happens when a Christian society believes Martha, not Mary, has chosen the better portion?

Published in Humor
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  1. Judge Mental Member

    Published in Humor?

    • #1
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:46 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Not all is manageable, but all must be managed.

    Sounds a lot like the Eisenhower quotation: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

    • #2
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:55 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    This reminds me of a couple who lost their 11-year old son to a prescription drug reaction on a night when flooded roads prevented an ambulance from reaching their home. In spite of the father administering CPR beyond all reasonable hope, some still asked them “Wasn’t there something you could have done?”

    Prayers.

    • #3
    • March 4, 2020, at 10:55 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    I’d start by looking in the Gospel of John: Martha at the tomb of Lazarus takes the role of Peter at the Transfiguration. She confesses that Jesus is the Messiah while Mary can only weep, and it is this weeping, not the death of Lazarus, that prompts Jesus to weep. Martha may not be sitting in reverence, but then, even while being busy, she still manages to have a better grasp than Mary on the fundamental nature of Jesus. 

    I’ll grant that it’s not a gloss to make a self- described Mary feel better. 

    • #4
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:02 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Guruforhire Member

    I found this article comforting in its own way.

    https://hbr.org/2018/07/the-leaders-calendar

    • #5
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Guruforhire Member

    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker (View Comment):

    I’d start by looking in the Gospel of John: Martha at the tomb of Lazarus takes the role of Peter at the Transfiguration. She confesses that Jesus is the Messiah while Mary can only weep, and it is this weeping, not the death of Lazarus, that prompts Jesus to weep. Martha may not be sitting in reverence, but then, even while being busy, she still manages to have a better grasp than Mary on the fundamental nature of Jesus.

    I’ll grant that it’s not a gloss to make a self- described Mary feel better.

    The good lord makes both tough and tender minded people.

    • #6
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Who are you again?

    (God bless, Midge. I’m praying for you.)

    • #7
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:46 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I worry about the added hassle of checking my pulse ox

    Although I haven’t been in position to be pregnant, I accompanied my wife through two pregnancies and children. This was a very interesting take on it. I will need to read up on Martha.

    I must admit though that when I read the quoted sentence, my first thought was that a “pulse ox must be some sort of new service animal like the dogs that can predict seizures. The mental image was sort of strange.

    • #8
    • March 4, 2020, at 11:58 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. KentForrester Moderator

    Wow, you were inspired today, Ms. Rattlesnake. That would take it out of a person if it happened too often.

    I’ve barely thought about anything that’s on your mind today, though I recognized myself in the opening quotation. I tend to dismiss what other people worry about, in this case the Coronavirus, because I trust that Martha-like “managers” will take care of those things. Also, I’ve seen too many big scares like this one pass away in a few weeks. Remember the needless worry when the century turned? Everything electronic was supposed to go kaput.

    So I go about my business and let things happen as they will. I’ll buy no hand soap, no toilet paper, no canned food, not even any extra bananas.

    No guarantees in this world, of course. When I run out of bananas and am quarantined in my house so that I can’t buy any more for my morning cereal, I can give others the pleasure of saying, “I told you so.”

    • #9
    • March 4, 2020, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Not all is manageable, but all must be managed.

    Sounds a lot like the Eisenhower quotation: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

    The old adage “The first casualty in any battle is the battle plan” is no excuse not to have a battle plan in the first place before you get started . . .

    • #10
    • March 4, 2020, at 1:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Another thoughtful, moving, serious and deep Midge post. Thanks, MFR, for insight into a vividly portrayed life that isn’t always a bed of roses. 

    • #11
    • March 4, 2020, at 1:28 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  12. Hoyacon Member

    I can’t say much more than the post above me, other than thanks x 2.

    • #12
    • March 4, 2020, at 4:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Judge Mental, Secret Chimp (View Comment):

    Published in Humor?

    Nash’s poem and these two articles are pretty funny:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: …as parents humorously note all over the interwebs, just because the buttinskis of a free country don’t (or shouldn’t) have much legal standing to butt in doesn’t keep them from butting a whole lot more once you’re a parent – whether it’s over obstetrics or buckling car seats.

    There is something wryly humorous about the “now that’s three more medicines!” episode, sort of like the “now I’ve got two skunks in my basement” story:

    I have no idea if it was really Terre Haute. It’s always some woman somewhere in the middle west, though.

    • #13
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:20 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I worry about the added hassle of checking my pulse ox

    Although I haven’t been in position to be pregnant, I accompanied my wife through two pregnancies and children. This was a very interesting take on it. I will need to read up on Martha.

    I must admit though that when I read the quoted sentence, my first thought was that a “pulse ox must be some sort of new service animal like the dogs that can predict seizures. The mental image was sort of strange.

    Heh. A pulse oximeter (pulse-ox monitor) seems to be one of the more foolproof basic means of establishing whether a lung infection is likely to be pneumonia:

    Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

    The pulse oximeter measures pulse rate and oxygen levels (hence “pulse ox”). Give a stethoscope to a layman and he might still be unsure what “crackly breath sounds” should mean and whether they’re present (though sometimes they’re obvious even without a stethoscope). But reading a thermometer and a pulse oximeter hardly requires expert judgment.

    So, if you’re in an at-risk population for pneumonia, and facing a respiratory contagion, having a thermometer and pulse oximeter at home gives fairly practical guidance for steering between the Scylla of unnecessary drama and medical-system usage and the Charybdis of failing to seek treatment those (probably relatively few) times you’ll actually need it.

    ***

    Even with all the wonders of modern American medicine, in the last year I’ve witnessed an American doctor failing to use the basic tools of thermometer, pulse oximeter, and stethoscope adequately. (Specifically, the doctor missed with his stethoscope sounds that were obvious to his nurses’ stethoscopes – indeed, obvious to anyone who took time to listen, even without a stethoscope.)

    But one reason to worry less about Covid-19 in a place like America is that use of these tools is standard, and can be counted on once folks are sufficiently motivated.

    • #14
    • March 5, 2020, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker (View Comment):

    I’d start by looking in the Gospel of John: Martha at the tomb of Lazarus takes the role of Peter at the Transfiguration. She confesses that Jesus is the Messiah while Mary can only weep, and it is this weeping, not the death of Lazarus, that prompts Jesus to weep. Martha may not be sitting in reverence, but then, even while being busy, she still manages to have a better grasp than Mary on the fundamental nature of Jesus.

    I’ll grant that it’s not a gloss to make a self- described Mary feel better.

    The good lord makes both tough and tender minded people.

    Martha does know the right words to confess, though she seems also to be skeptical of their efficacy. (Not blaming her for that – which of us hasn’t been there?) Martha won the 2019 Lent Madness Golden Halo. Her saintliness is not in doubt – and Americans seem to believe it’s about time she got her due!

    English-speaking Christendom never seems to tire of the linguistic coincidence that, while the “talents” in the Parable of the Talents refer to currency, the word “talents” in English means individuals’ unique gifts, not something interchangeable the way currency is. And, we are admonished to be good stewards of our talents (as well as to avoid jealousy or despair that not all members of Christ’s body are alike – in fact, they shouldn’t be).

    Even the dry science of economics has the principle of comparative advantage.

    It’s not righteous, merely human, to begin to feel like the fearful servant in the Parable of the Talents when life sees fit to call on talents from you which aren’t really “yours” – not what you thought of as your comparative advantage. “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid…” Sometimes it does seem as if God is intent on reaping the gifts He did not sow in us, after scattering seed He hasn’t gathered.

    Obviously, the fearful servant is there to be the bad example. But often, when American Christians discuss the Parable of the Talents, there’s this rosy assumption that God will, somehow, call on those talents you actually have. It “only” takes figuring out how God can do it.

    It’s easy to get too self-indulgent about our supposed “natures”. Indeed, when I read this piece on the need for artists within the church from Mere Orthodoxy, I came away irritated that being an artist was described in such droopy, simpering terms: I know many artists, and even they are more down-to-earth than that.

    But we do have “natures” in the sense of having aspects of ourselves that are difficult to change, and which it’s better if we can make the best of. Within the Body of Christ, the nose (or, my favorite, nose-hair) is not supposed to despair or envy when it realizes it’s not an elbow, and so on. Still, if elbow-duty is managerial duty, then every respectable person with “vastly more liberty as a middle-class citizen of a free-market democracy” is expected to be on elbow-duty, too, even as a nose (or nose-hair).

    • #15
    • March 5, 2020, at 9:59 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: When you wake up with a calf cramp, you’re supposed to flex your foot – and whatever you do, don’t point your toes, else you’ll make it worse and have only yourself to blame.

    Wait a minute. Rattlesnakes have feet and toes? I was thinking I ought to write you and ask if you’re feeling better. I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t.

    • #16
    • March 5, 2020, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I tend to dismiss what other people worry about, in this case the Coronavirus, because I trust that Martha-like “managers” will take care of those things. Also, I’ve seen too many big scares like this one pass away in a few weeks.

    The moral importance of management isn’t just an American thing, but also particularly ingrained in my family culture. This doesn’t mean everyone in my family is good at management, just that everyone acknowledges a baseline level of management as every respectable person’s duty, and guilt if the duty isn’t met. In particular, as the child with life-threatening asthma, the duty to manage my asthma for myself without unduly burdening caregivers was impressed upon me from an early age. I would be a stranger to my own kin if I believed a Mary-nature were the only nature worth cultivating.

    Like you, I’m usually not too impressed by popular scares. But when one comes along that could reasonably affect me, I feel a moral obligation to not trust that other folks, the world’s Martha-like natural managers, will take care of things for me. The degree to which I succeed at meeting this moral obligation is doubtful: what I can’t do is not feel it.

    As Hyperbole and a Half once put it,

    I have repeatedly discovered that it is important for me not to surpass my capacity for responsibility. Over the years, this capacity has grown, but the results of exceeding it have not changed.

    The number of responsibilities necessary for System Failure has been minimized for humorous effect, but you get the idea.

    In particular, I’ve noticed that, when your own health demands enough management, the number of “children” you’re raising exceeds the actual count of your offspring by one, with your own body counting as the extra child.

    “Yes, you, too can manage, with the right tools!” is the siren song of American healthcare. Not that we shouldn’t be properly grateful for all the ways we can, in fact, manage better these days through our prosperity and technology: we absolutely should be. But the nagging sense that we’re not doing enough can exceed our gratitude.

    I realize the following is an advertisement, cleverly designed to make its target customers desire a product enough to go through considerable trouble in order to acquire it, but there’s something about it that encapsulates not just the hope, but the duty, to manage ourselves as if our problems weren’t really problems:

    No red-blooded American wants to be defined by disease. It’s not the American way, although failure to acknowledge our limitations is irresponsible. We don’t want our limitations to define us, and we ruthlessly mock those who so much as seem to want that as having succumbed to the “victim mentality”.

    So powerful is the lure of not letting our limitations define us that we eagerly hope that, with the right management, our limitations won’t even limit us (despite this being an economic impossibility: the resources devoted to management always limit the resources available for other uses). Moreover, this hope can feel less like a hope than a duty.

    Xolair, the product advertised, isn’t just a clever product (though it is). It’s cleverly marketed to appeal to American morals.

    • #17
    • March 5, 2020, at 12:14 PM PST
    • Like