The Diseases of Aging Can Be Eliminated and I will show you how.

This week Jamie dragged me to an Otomi village, Indian descendants of the pyramids near us in San Miguel Allende in Mexico. We watched the women grind corn and make tortillas, ate some of their food and did the usual virtuous tramp around an indigenous village, spreading money everywhere. All Good. What interested me rather more, since I have visited lots of indigenous villages, were members of our tour, all of whom had let aging take them down. Most were bad tempered as a default setting, and they creaked and groaned and limped and quietly sighed and complained to themselves in a wholly adversarial relationship to their precious bodies. Most of them carried an extra forty or fifty pounds. Pause for a moment and consider carting a fifty pound weight all day. That is insane. It is the definition of insane. None of them smoked, because we all know that smoking shaves seven pounds off their life. But being overweight takes nine years. 

None of their pain was necessary. No creak, no moan, no Spartan attitude. We already know how to stop their pain in its tracks: cleansing, supplements, a largely plant based diet along with nuts and seeds. Olive oil. Limited drinking. Good sleep. AWARENESS.

I was sick for three years recently. If I’d had a GP, I’m pretty sure she would have diagnosed lymphoma. But in the demented Dominion of Canada, having a GP is more luck than “human right”, so I mostly visited the emergency room, and took up with a young naturopath and we hacked our way through it. I cleansed for an entire year. A year of purging on deeper and deeper levels, until one day I woke up and I felt well. Not only did I feel well, I felt better than I had felt since I was 10.

This newsletter is going to be a deep dive, in part on how I healed myself with largely alternative medicine and how you can live so that when you are ninety, you jump out out of bed, with a leap of joy, saying to the Death spirit, “Not today, old friend.”

The Real Real Reason Why American Dirt is being blacklisted.

I read Lionel Shriver’s piece in the US Spectator this morning and while I thought it was smart and well informed – Shriver had her own run in with the purity police, it did not get right to the point of the novel’s piling on, mostly by writers of colour, particularly the Latin community who call themselves, Latinx.

Jeanine Cummins did put herself through an extraordinarily strenuous period of research, and indeed, one does leave the book better informed regarding the migrant crisis and the cartel crisis in Mexico and beyond. Latin writers say that only they should be allowed to write about their culture, and Cummins publisher Tinder Press crawled in a release, begging forgiveness, promising to publish more Latin lit, and then cancelled her publicity tour. Some booksellers are refusing to carry it, making it unlikely that she will earn out her $1,000,000 advance.

Advances like that count on hot button issues to push the book to the forefront, but in today’s purity culture, the wrong kind of hot button brings out the shrews and hysterics. Shriver did a good job challenging the “evil” of appropriation, but she let it go before the real reason of the fury was revealed.

It starts with the $1,000,000 advance. These are relatively few and mostly given to proven commercial bestsellers like Patricia Cornwall, Harlan Coben, and other current darlings of the market. Latin writers do not get million dollar advances. Their stories are increasingly published and respected, but aside from Marquez, there have been few breakouts.

Still that’s not it, or all of it. Cummins is unflinching in her description of Mexico’s pervasive narco culture. She shows how it pollutes every possible transaction, every relationship, and is a punishing draw on the economy, keeping the lower 50% mired in poverty, crime, broken families, illness, and early death. Her main protagonist is an educated, middle class Mexican wife and mother with a bookstore. Readers – who are mostly educated and middle class – can relate to her, feel her plight as she attempts to flee a death sentence by a narco boss, who has murdered her entire family. As she travels to the north, to America, she gathers around herself misfit migrants, many of them children, and through their eyes we see modern Mexico, modern Honduras, modern life in south and Central America, and it is not pretty. American Dirt is not showing tragic poetry redeemed by a rich and deep culture. It’s a disaster, a catastrophe, and every single character longs for ‘El Norte’. Every encounter she has with bankers and housewives who help her, have their own tragic stories of the death of one or more of their families by the cartels. All of them long for America.

Cummins indicts the South in this book. She demonstrates, given the desperatIon of the characters she creates, what the failures of Communism, Socialism, Catholicism, and the tyranny of old Spanish families have wrought on the people of the South. That’s her real crime. She is telling the truth.

And the literary community, socialist and America hating, cannot stand it.