Jewish World Review March 22, 2000 /15 Adar II, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IF THEREíS ONE THING we Americans want, itís quick and easy solutions to problems. We jump at anything that promises to make us rich without having to work, or smarter without having to study. James Whitmore shows us how to grow big, beautiful tomatoes and have a lush green lawn ďwithout the bother.Ē Television informercials demonstrate simple ways to remove ground in dirt and motor oil out of our carpets, how to cook a seven course dinner for twelve in less then three minutes, and easy ways to exercise without actually having to do anything even remotely physical.
Which brings us to ANOTHER thing we Americans want -- to look like movie stars. Weíre obsessed with it. Weíre perpetually searching for the magic pill that will keep us from growing old (Viagra) or getting fat (Olestra) or whatever else we perceive as keeping us from being a dead ringer for Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman.
So if something came along that provided an easy solution to a problem and also made people look better it would be a sure fire hit, right? Well, it has. Itís called laser eye surgery. I donít mean the kind of surgery thatís performed on cataracts and for other serious eye conditions and diseases -- Iím speaking of the kind that is done primarily for personal convenience and cosmetic purposes.
If youíve listened to the commercials you know that ďitís safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never need to wear glasses or contact lenses again!Ē It sounds great. No wonder elective laser eye surgery has suddenly become the ďinĒ thing to do -- right up there with multiple tattooing and body piercing.
Let me be perfectly clear about one thing: I have NOT read or heard anything negative regarding this procedure. As a matter of fact, as far as I can tell everyone who has had it comes away singing itís praises.
So whatís the matter with ME? Why canít I embrace this wonderful new scientific breakthrough? Is it because I resist change of any kind? Is it because Iím a natural born cynic? Is it because I have no trust in modern medicine? Is it because I have no trust in ANYTHING? Yes. All of the above.
But what REALLY bothers me, is the fact that everyone who undergoes this procedure becomes a new proselytizer of it -- kind of like what happened in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, remember? People would fall asleep, then pods took over their bodies and when they woke up they were evil aliens from outer space who would try to convince MORE people to have the procedure done. ďItís safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never have to worry about feeling human emotions again.Ē Sound familiar?
Actually, I donít even know why I should be concerned about it, because I donít need glasses -- except when I want to see something. I mean, I use magnifying glasses for reading and writing but really for nothing else. And not only that, but when the light is REALLY good, I can read and write without my glasses at all -- like right now the light in this room happens to be terrific. Watch, Iíll take off my glasses and finish this column without them.
Sdd? Oí[m writting rhis wirhoit thr usw og amy hlassrs whstsowvet. I furss rhis [roved yhat I can grt alpng gine wuthoit thrm. Anf I sonít meed amy stioid laxer sitgety, withrt, Sl a wise man once daid. ďIf thr ligtyhs is tighty, lesve well enogh aone.: O cwtainu sevonf yhay noruon. Cho jib inya pippi!
NOTE: If you had trouble reading the previous paragraph, make an appointment with your
eye doctor right away -- and donít be afraid if he suggests laser eye surgery because itís
safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never need to wear glasses or deal with human
emotions again! Oh, and one other thing -- take this pod with
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.
03/15/00: Academia and Media --- Theyíre Just Not Right