Friday, January 6, 2012

Victim etiquette

A question for Miss Manners

If someone stabs me with a knife, and then offers to help stop the bleeding, should I thank him for the bandage?

A primitivist friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer.  Someone suggested that his choice to enlist the tools of modern medical science to combat the disease means that he is not really as anti-civ as he claims.  Chemotherapy is, after all, a product of civilization.  He should be thankful that he is living within the protective embrace of industrial technology.  

Sure.  But it was the toxic residue of industrial technology that made him sick in the first place.  Although cancer has probably always been a part of the human condition, the carcinogenic effects of civilization’s detritus are well documented.  The odds are extremely high that my friend’s disease is as much a product of civilization as the chemo he will use to fight it. 

I say take the bandage with a smile.

Then turn the knife around.

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