Dupuytren’s contracture: Elway’$ di$ea$e

ElwayJohn Elway has Dupuytren’s contracture. So do I. For those who don’t know about it, it is often called the “Vikings’ disease,” as it appears to afflict people of northern European extraction more than others. My mother was Irish, and she and her sisters were known as a bunch of redheads, so I assume that is where it came from. She had it, as did my older brother.

The disease causes certain fingers on the hand to contract and pull towards the palm, as if making a fist. It is uncomfortable, and there is no cure. That is key and critical to Elway’s involvement. In severe cases the symptoms can be alleviated, but only temporarily.

Dupuytrens

The last time I saw a physician about my case, it turned out to be a good physician. He told me to live with it, as symptoms don’t always get worse. It could be that mine will not worsen, and indeed they have not since that time. I have three fingers that are bent, but my brain has adapted and I can still work a keyboard as fast as ever. I have on occasion shown my hands to people, palms facing one another, saying “Look! I can point four directions at once!”

However, in 2015, I was more concerned. I thought it was arthritis, affecting only my right pinky. A different doctor recommended treatment, which consisted of painful injections in the palm of the hand and finger itself. A day later, after the injection had softened the cords that had formed, she (standing all of 5’2″ and weighing maybe a hundred pounds) grabbed the finger and twisted it with all her might until there was a Pop! And then another. It was quite comical.

I was supposed to go to physical therapy after, but one session told me I could do without it. The finger was normal again. End of story.

Over the following year the contracture returned. It is now just like it was then. As I said, there is no cure, but this is critical and key: I was shocked, and I mean shocked, to see the invoices that passed between the doctor and Medicare. The company that made the injection, the enzyme Xiaflex, (Endo Pharmaceuticals), charged $9,999 for it! Medicare only reimbursed $3,333, but I was left with Catholic guilt. That amount of money for my pinky?

Beyond Xiaflex, surgery is available for the disease, and it is even more expensive, and at least as effective, that is, the disease returns. It takes about a year, sometimes longer, for symptoms to reappear in full blossom.

This is where Elway comes in. Why is he recommending expensive surgery for an incurable disease? The answer is simple, the same as for the question “Why is Elway’s name and photo splattered all over car lots in Denver?”

The answer: money. Elway was hired to promote the disease and treatment, because Elway likes to use his quarterback reputation to make money. I don’t know that, of course. Maybe he is just doing a public service. But honestly … I know.

By the way, the 0-4 Broncos are testimony to what was once called “The Peter Principle,” that “each man rises to his own level of incompetence.” Elway was a good quarterback. He should have stuck to selling cars after he retired.

Gotta quit. My hands are tired.

42 thoughts on “Dupuytren’s contracture: Elway’$ di$ea$e

  1. Yeah, I no longer believe in anything Western medicine is selling. Not a single thing.

    I have a friend who has narcolepsy. A few years ago when I was in school I decided to interview her to write a paper about it and found out about her other condition, cataplexy, which I had never heard of. With cataplexy, emotional triggers cause the sufferer to lose muscle tone and appear to lose consciousness without actually losing consciousness. It’s a separate condition from the sleep disorder narcolepsy, but is somehow related. I was curious enough about it that I called the research lab at Stanford University where the role of hypocretin deficiency in narcolepsy with cataplexy (temporary loss of muscle tone) had been discovered. The woman at Stanford I talked to told me that in every country EXCEPT the U.S., narcolepsy without cataplexy does not exist. Only in America do people get diagnosed as having narcolepsy without cataplexy. Brilliant move on Big Pharma’s part. Lots of money to be made from a stressed-out, overstimulated population that can easily be led to believe they’re tired all the time because they have a disease.

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    1. Meant to add that, though I have forgotten the statistics, the Stanford woman told me that narcolepsy with cataplexy–in other words, actual narcolepsy– is extremely rare. But since then, I have seen narcolepsy promoted as a possible diagnosis for sleep problems and excessive tiredness more and more.)

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    2. In Australia we are following suit with America’s example in this. To be honest, I am not sure who is worse – us or you. The thing that really sank it for me was yesterday reading a CEO from a big health insurer saying ‘we are not in the business of getting people well, we are in the business of making money’. Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark….

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        1. Maarten, my God–the only thing shocking about this is seeing it laid out so bluntly in a business report. And maybe also the fact that this was originally reported on CNBC. I feel naive when I’m shocked by anything anymore, but I guess I’m also glad I can be. Seems like the only alternative is hopeless miserable grumbling apathy.

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        2. I remember this one indeed, thanks again Maarten.

          Really, are people here shocked? About the Medical Scam? And about the blatantly blunt language?

          Haha, read Herzl for fun. Or any of these clowns.

          There is no conspiracy, that is all in your head. It’s all out there, it is just picking up the pieces of the puzzle

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          1. There is a conspiracy, of course. But it is kind of a disdaining disinterested distancing way of life. They, wealthy, elite, educated and smug, simply go about their lives. We on the outside looking in can imagine that they think or worry about us. I don’t suffer that delusion. I just observe. If you think that way, if you think that it takes great effort to rein in the masses, you’ll have some fulfillment that does not come to us otherwise. The key is to be happy in your own skin. This is what is real. Embrace life as it is. Stop fantasizing.

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          2. Indeed, in the last 5 months I have learned and grown more than in the 5 years prior waking up. Indeed there is no conspiracy. It is just connecting the dots out there.

            The Voodoo People will always try their mind control games, but it is our choice to keep feeding the parasite or simply detach, detox and deprogram. The latter is by far the healthiest way.

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          3. The key is to be happy in your own skin. This is what is real. Embrace life as it is. Stop fantasizing.

            Preach!

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          4. My bad.

            You have mentioned your age many times, so I’ll just make sure you know that “Preach!” is a colloquial exclamation of approval and agreement among the kids these days.

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  2. Mark- You commented in that long thread that MM’s jew ranting is offputtting, maybe by mandate from above. Personally I don’t find him particularly ranty about it, although I suppose that his conclusion in itself may strike some as ranty. It is certainly an offputting conclusion to say that all these elite families are Jewish, given our cultural openness here in this country to all minority groups. But however that may be, I’m much more interested in the accuracy, or not, of his conclusion, than I am in how palatable it is. Like many people though the genealogy presents an obstacle for me. Even if I could master the arcana of that field, how could I know these big genealogy sites, or other records, aren’t some big Intel fiction just like much of Wikipedia?

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    1. I am put off by the Jew ranting probably because I have known so many Jews of upstanding nature. If I were Jewish (my name is in the Jewish registry of names but that would have to go back beyond my traceable ancestors) I would be proud. Genealogy is far more complex that MMG makes it out to be, a little bit in the hands of amateurs dangerous. But ancestry sites I think are good places to mine, as the vast majority of the public neither thinks properly nor burrows into tedious detail, so the information is safe. Much if it is false, as we know that John Denver, for instance, is not a Deutschendorf, but is listed as one, probably Jim Morrison too listed as the admiral’s son. Have to approach with caution. Fake people have fake genealogy, or scrubbed. Proceed with caution, assume very little that is not traceable to written records, which themselves can mislead (Every fake dead celebrity has a gravestone.)

      That said, is it just me, or does Tom Hanks resemble Abraham Lincoln?

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      1. IF Miles is correct that elite families are all or mostly Jewish, with many hiding that fact, then there would be nothing ranting or inappropriate in pointing it out — it would just be a statement of fact, highly relevant to understanding the world around us. IF it is true, it also doesn’t mean that many non-elite Jewish people are bad (as MM himself says.) It doesn’t even say anything automatically negative about elite Jewish people, other than that they accepted their class status without serious complaint — as most people accept any privilege or advantage they are born into.

        From one pov it’s even quite flattering to Jewish people, the claim that they are crypto rulers. MM claims to disapprove of the deception, but in some ways he’s their greatest admirer — building a case that that they are and have been super-competent throughout most of history.

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        1. I think the problem I have with it–why it feels suspicious to me–is the mind-numbing redundancy with which he harps on it. I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you’ve said or he’s said on that score–I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion–but for the life of me, I can’t see the value in working it into virtually every goddamn paper he writes and justifying it with convoluted genealogy lists rife with sloppy assumptions and questionable connections. There are times when reading his papers feels like listening to someone suffering from schizophrenia or some other mental illness. I’m following you, I’m following you, oh yeah that’s brilliant, uh-huh, wait…what…huh? And now he’s just babbling like a loon.

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          1. It’s not a rigorous “peer reviewed” style of argumentation, to be sure. Personally I don’t think that invalidates it out of hand, it just makes it difficult for any layperson looking at it to judge. I can’t disprove that MM with his steel trap memory and vast stores of genealogical data is able to intuitively see gestalts and patterns that escape the notice of us mere mortals… Experts in many fields develop a kind of second sight for their profession, through experience, that goes exponentially beyond what any class or textbook can convey. The brain rewires over time and makes intuitive leaps that even the conscious ego would not be able to explain. Then again, it could all be self- deceiving BS, lunatic ramblings, or programming his followers, etc.

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          2. @TimR

            I’d be more open to your charitable take on it if he were an incompetent writer, but he’s obviously not. It seems to me that people who know how to write and communicate clearly demonstrate that competence even when they write in a hurry. Experienced writers undergo the exact kind of brain-rewiring you describe for other types of experts, I think. The instinct to keep the audience engaged is hard-wired in them and you can sense it even if their powers decline over time, or they just happen not to be with a particular piece. Kind of like how you can tell someone knows how to sing even if they botch a particular song or aren’t performing at full voice. The level of authorial incompetence in all these genealogy-packed papers doesn’t feel natural to me, for someone who has demonstrated as much skill as he has.

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          3. In addition to ScottRC’s observations, I have a couple of other beefs with the genealogical conclusions.

            First, no one can patent a last name. The same surname arose in multiple places in the different regions of Europe during the Middle Ages, as multiple Johns would have their own sons and thus breed unrelated Johnsons all around merry old England. Multiple grain-grinders would pass on the family trade to their sons and thus breed unrelated Millers across fair Albion. Multiple tall men would bequeath their genes to their children and thus breed unrelated Longs and Langs throughout Brittania. Multiple men would build new settlements, and being from the new town, these Newtons would establish their sons’ surnames here and there and everywhere.

            Just because an actor or politician has the same last name as someone on the peerage list does not entail that they descend from a peerage family. And yet this is the shell game being played in a fair bit of the genealogy “research” out there. If you count similar names as coming from the same family (Smith ≅ Smythe, ∴ same family), you can pretty much make it seem like any iron-worker was part of the peerage. Without a fully-detailed family tree, it is pointless to conclude that someone has blue blood based on a last name they share with a peerage family.

            Second, there is a strange tendency in much of the “research” to conclude that German surnames are Jewish. This ignores the fact that German gentiles and Yiddish-speaking Jews had the same customs for developing last names, based on occupation, town, physical characteristics, etc. If someone’s last name is Altberger, he might be Jewish. Or he might be as goyish as a Christmas ham. You would need a family tree (or a DNA test) to tell.

            Tl;dr … there is a discipline to the study of genealogy, and I don’t see very much of it in the research that is presented elsewhere.

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          4. In the Bible the generations of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc are given in tedious detail, so genealogy is important to some folks, even now people have coats of arms passed down from days of yore. The majority of poor folks could neither read nor write till the 19th century, so the rich who could wrote chiefly for entirely themselves, the same little clique, who invented reading and writing so they could keep track of their wares, profits, etc. , and then a reason to retain lordship over others, religions, and so forth.

            Smith, shortened also from Goldsmith. Frequency of names, do occur in regions, I’ve done/doing my own family history, genealogy is interesting if you know what you’re doing, hence shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and ancestry websites.

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        2. If what I said in another thread is true and part of the project for cult-of-personality figures is to get people to imitate how they think and how they behave and how they respond emotionally, etc., then the genealogy lists could be seen as a stroke of genius. Lord knows, when I first started “waking up,” (and very often still today), I found myself trying to explain how I saw things to people outside our club and just babbling like a lunatic, feeling as though I needed to explain all this minutiae in order to get people to understand whatever larger truth I was attempting to make them see. Even to myself, I sounded (and sometimes still sound) like a stereotypical tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist. It’s only been relatively recently that I’ve discovered how truth expresses itself with rather elegant simplicity, no matter how complicated the subject may be, and that people connect to it and build on it when it’s expressed that way no matter what their beliefs or level of understanding is.

          Those genealogy lists read like someone who is talking to himself, not other people. They seem masturbatory to me. And he clearly knows how off-putting they are to his readers–he jokes about it–but persists in it even when it seems completely pointless, almost like it’s an expression of contempt for his audience.

          I dunno, if he’s a project–and I’m probably as convinced as it’s possible for me to be that he is–maybe one of his functions is to make his followers as repellent to listen to as his babbling papers are to read?

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          1. If one isnt entirely inept they will notice inconsistencies in “his work”. It may take a little time depending on which papers one has read but they are glaring. He reminds me of the very thing he’s denounced others as, “antis”. He called Eustace Mullins that and described as basically someone who gives you truth but misdirects or discredits it in some fashion later on making you doubt the entire subject matter, person, etc. To me he’s done that a bit, seems his constantly reminding that he’s a portrait artist with great eyes that he can see things better than others then goes on to say sharon tate is her sister and displays a picture of the ear as proof but mentions nothing about the inside of the ear which is completely different. That was obviously on purpose and to me thats the point, to discredit and make you doubt everything he just said in those, god knows how many, pages. He has several papers like that.

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          2. Gaia–
            Yep, pretty much! I try to throw in a little critical thinking and intuition every now and again, but I can’t say I’ve mastered the use of either of ’em. Oh, and every once in a while I do some research, but I’m pretty lazy and not much of a scholar. So yeah, feelings and conjecture get a lot of play.

            Were you just curious, or did you want to suggest some alternatives?

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          3. Actually, the more I’ve pondered your question, I realize imagination is a big one too. It’s probably accurate to say I base my whole life on “feelings,” conjecture and imagination, pretty much in that order, all the time, with that other stuff I mentioned mixed in haphazardly. I really wanted to include “curiosity” and “observation” in the list because I thought it would make me sound smart, but I’m often critical of myself for not being curious or observant enough about what’s going on around me, so it feels bullshitty to say I base my life on those things. However, I’m very curious and observant about things that excite strong feelings in me, so maybe we can consider them subcategories of “feelings?”

            This has been a good question to consider, Gaia. Thanks.

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          4. I was (and still am) also bored to tears by his genealogy however it eventually browbeat me into checking my own name in the peerage. For shits and giggles. I have an unusual last name in that I’ve never met anyone with it who wasn’t directly related to me, there are only a few thousand people with it worldwide, and there it was, in the peerage, current, meaning the person who shares my last name is European nobility and is alive today. And was born in the U.S. in the same city I was born in, a couple of years before me. I don’t know how closely we are related, maybe it’s 500 years back to find a common ancestor. Maybe we’re cousins. I’m hoping it’s not some Angelheart situation or “The Crying of Lot 49”. Pynchon and Mathis say be paranoid, but sometimes a banana is just a banana. So if you ask what the fuck is all the genealogy shite about, it could be that it’s not for you. Ask yourself, does he (or Pynchon) look like their writing for a mass audience? If Miles thinks Jews are behind everything why doesn’t he just log on to Godlike Productions or Stormfront and feel the love?

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          5. Yes … imagine my surprise when I learned that my name is in the Jewish registry out of the Ukrainian Jewry. I was raised Christian, my ancestry vanishes after two generations. I am not juiced, and have no relatives of any wealth or notoriety.

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      2. Miles’ ranting about Jews is a spook marker to me. He also warns about attacks on Christianity. Given that there’s no evidence of Jews ever being slaves in Egypt (was there ever a real Moses?), Jesus ever existing, or Muhammad ever existing (written records taken down 400 years after the fact, hmmm) or Buddha or Krishna, etc… We believe in the foundations of a religion like we believe in Space Flight or Nuclear Weapons. If religion is an invention then anyone who believes in it is by definition subordinate to the people who invented it. So the people running this show don’t follow a religion, they push it on others. Miles likes to push religion’s importance. Spook marker.

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        1. Jesus dying at age 33 has long intrigued me.

          I put up a post one time that claimed that Jesus was twins, and that he faked his death. It was an April Fool’s joke, and happened just as we were under attack here from seemingly innocent sources. Josh, who was a writer at that time, had elected to quit, and made a public fuss about it. Me, a deer in the headlights, could not quite understand how so much had happened so fast, as Straight, who brought so much insight, vanished into the ether too, but earlier. Vexman had come aboard and was taking the blog down a black hole, claiming outlandish myths to be factual, of mass murders by means of gunshots to the back of the head, as if people could not escape such terror and merely waited for the cold muzzle. I banished him. But I still could not see what was going on. Later would come a direct hit from “Miles” hisself, an open attack. It was like a Ludlum novel, me, innocent and feckless, caught up in intrigue, only missing the beautiful damsel mid-novel for a hookup.

          Later came Kevin, who did some nice genealogy on Miles, which he took with him saying that even if he is a limited hangout, he’s the best one going. Then came Bob’s Zherunkle, (sp), who delved into the MM phenomenon with amazing insight, and who created a firestorm that played out at Josh’s blog, where seemingly hundreds of people rallied around MM, leaving thousands of comments, and where MM hisself even kicked in. It was a display of power, run by Josh. There were probably a dozen or so real people behind it, if that many, and was was meant to prop up the MM phenomenon. He is a front for some center that is releasing either real or false information. We are left, as always, with our own brains, nothing more, to figure it out.

          Anyway, where did that come from? Religion is, to me, something that makes people happier in navigating this crazy fucking planet. Of course it is based on lies and mythology, perhaps some real events behind the myths. No matter. I have seen some truly evil beasts tamed by it, redirecting their angst towards more useful activity. And I see the usual suspects, seeing the teeming masses with cash in their pockets, using religion as the spigot. Like all of life, it ain’t that simple.

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          1. Names are patented. Always have been. Go before a judge and ask to have your last name changed to Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and watch how fast you’re denied. You probably can’t even become a Hilton, Rockefeller or Rothschild.

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          2. Hey, B-man. Can you share any documentation for your statement that names are patented? Or that anyone has been denied a reasonable request to change their name to a peerage name?

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          3. From LegalZoom: Similarly, courts have denied a petitioner’s request to take the name of a celebrity or confer a title upon himself, such as ambassador, with the intent to deceive others.

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          4. Yes, we all knew that the courts won’t let someone change their legal name for deceptive purposes. This is quite different from your claim that “names are patented.”

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  3. Fantasy? Freaking sports & especially professional sports IS nothing more than fantasy. Distraction. RIGGED. And worshipped world wide. Those elite that bring this fantasy are not in it for the money. But the adult children WANT fairy tales of sport & stage. ANd the masters of reality serve their slaves an endless menu, while preparing a final curtain call/cull.

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  4. I have ALS.

    Happily it’s “familial” ALS, which I’m told comprises less than 10% of all ALS cases, and is non-fatal. I inherited it. Most people contract it… well, no one knows how it’s contracted, actually.

    The form I have affects me in the same way ALS affects anyone, with one important exception: my involuntary muscles are not affected. My tongue, lungs, etc., will all continue to work as well as they can, and will not atrophy over time as all my other muscle tissue does.

    There is no cure. There is no treatment, at least in terms of medicine or procedure. Physical therapy is, arguably, the most effective treatment, in that it helps slow the progression of the disease. Exercise, even if it’s just taking a walk around the neighborhood, is important.

    It is a cruel disease. The weaker my muscles become, the more difficult it is to muster the energy to exercise at all. But of course the less I exercise, the faster the disease progresses. I am perpetually tired. I cannot remember the last time I felt energized and excited to greet a new day.

    ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the baseball player. His Wiki page is… interesting reading.

    A couple of years ago people were encouraged to dump buckets of ice water on themselves or their loved ones, so they could experience what ALS feels like.

    Having ALS does not feel like having a bucket of ice water dumped on you. Having a bucket of ice water dumped on you is a mild inconvenience. Losing the ability to play your guitar is life-changing. Losing the ability to draw, or paint, is devastating. Losing the ability to open a jar of peanut butter, or a bottle of water, is a frustration that keeps on giving with every new day. Losing your balance, suffering fall after fall, year after year, with increasing frequency and increasingly damaging results, is both expensive (in terms of health care costs) and painful. If I could trade back all of those things in exchange for the mild discomfort of feeling a little chilly and damp I would do so in a heartbeat.

    I assume the “Ice Bucket Challenge” was simply some clever bastard’s way of drumming up a solid new round of donations from the public. Oprah had someone dump a bit of ice water on her and all her followers probably wept in admiration at her fortitude, her compassion, her generosity…, all as they reached for their checkbooks or frantically clicked that donation button on one of the many websites that popped up overnight. I remember hearing of the “millions” raised in a few short months, and how excited everyone in the medical field was about the chances, going forward, of finding a cure, or a viable treatment, etc etc. And then… silence. Nothing.

    Today no one gives a shit about ALS. Tomorrow no one will give a shit about Elway’s Disease. That’s my prediction, anyway. Perhaps some new clever bastard will come up with a way to make folks feel as if they’re helping. I might suggest the Brick Challenge: Take an ordinary house brick, and smash the shit out of your fingers with it. Painful, no? Well, now you know what Elway’s Disease feels like. Don’t forget to click that Donate button.

    Whatever we’re told I’m certain of one thing: the truth is in very short supply. I had the surreal experience a few days ago of having a long-time friend relate to me a story about an experience he had, in great detail. As he spoke, I began to realize that he was telling me one of MY experiences, even using the same turns of phrase and descriptors that I have used in telling this story many, many times over the years. I let him finish, then I said, “That is the exact experience I had which I have previously related to you.” Then I waited, to see how he’d respond.

    Would he admit to error? Would he admit to outright fabrication? Would he admit to confusion, perhaps stating he simply “misremembered” that it had not, in fact, happened to him, but to me?

    None of the above. His reply was, “Oh yeah… you said you experienced the exact same thing once!”

    If someone I’ve known for decades can’t be bothered to speak with me honestly, how can I expect any better from strangers?

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    1. Funny, I hate Like buttons because I think they fuck with the heads of the people who give AND receive the likes and were designed to do exactly that. But I literally wanted to join WordPress just so I could click “Like” on this comment. Which is symptomatic of the same form of trivialization you describe with the Ice Bucket challenge.

      I fucking love your idea for the Brick challenge. If I ever use it (and I probably will), I’ll try to remember to mention I didn’t come up with it.

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    2. ” And then… silence. Nothing.” Out of all the donated millions did you get anything, hope you got something. I read where a large percent of donations goto admin costs. I prefer to volunteer instead of making donations, I can see the results immediately. My former employer always had a big UNICEF drive and supervisors would actually come up and ask personally with a guilt trip donation sheet.
      I see it as FECINU or F@cinYOU.

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