The news that Sopranos actor James Gandolfini had died on Wednesday hit most Americans with at least a little surprise. Death does that. It’s so permanent. As sad as the event is to some, if not everyone, (especially those close to the man one assumes), there was an odd sense of something uncannily not surprising about it.
(I only met Gandolfini once. We shared a pleasant three hours together with a few other guys smoking cigars in Midtown Manhattan a few years ago. Though I would not classify us as being close, he was as nice a chap as anyone else you’d want to hang out with.) Wednesday’s news could have been about anyone. In fact it was. James Gandolfini was after all just another one of the many thousands of people who die everyday. And lest we forget, approximately every four seconds someone on planet earth dies from hunger or thirst alone; in addition to all the people who pass on from accidents or natural causes.
The only reason this event received more attention than the ten to fifteen souls who died in the last sixty seconds while I was writing this will is because of America’s insanely hard to rationalize obsession with Hollywood celebrities. There’s no logic in it. No anthropological undercurrent of genetic or survival instincts at play. It’s just a very strange disorder of priorities, most likely created by the evolution of American society into a thrill, luxury and pleasure seeking society as opposed to a day to day survival based one.
As I expressed through various social media a few moments after we heard the news, the biggest take away from Gandolfini’s death — besides the obvious empathy for his family, is just how young he was. Because life expectancy continues to increase as knowledge of health and wellness information expands and technology advances, 51 years today is what 31 used to be. Most men aren’t even peaking in life yet in many Western and even Asian cultures. It’s a terribly young age to die, as in the forever kind of death. In this regard its shocking and more than sad. Though for those who knew Gandolfini even from a distance it wasn’t the craziest thing ever heard. He certainly didn’t look 51. Personally I thought he was closer to 65. Not that that would be any less disturbing. 65 may have been a ripe old age to die once upon a time but these days it seems just plain tragic. The man did appear to be much older than he was and he certainly didn’t appear to be healthy or even health conscious or concerned.
This got me to thinking about what a strange place the United States is in regards to our beloved capitalism and our health. On the one hand we pride ourselves on possessing one of the most liberal free markets in the world today, i.e. very few rules laws and regulations and thus an easy environment to make a ton of money in fast. On the other hand this has led us to simultaneously have one of the most inhumane and criminal set of circumstances and practices related to the public health. America is one of the only “civilized” or “first world” countries in the world where people can still be notoriously dishonest with each other to the point of killing each other in the name of making money. Whether it’s poison food or deadly drugs and so-called medicines or environmental toxins in our air and water, it ain’t hard to get away with committing alarmingly egregious acts in the name of business and free enterprise.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating. There is no way the average person in America could grow up here and raise a family and know how to live a healthy lifestyle unless they actually do a ton of research on their own and are willing to almost entirely buck the system and go against the status quo. If you just live your life doing what everyone else does or what you see illustrated in the mainstream or recommended by the medical establishment you’re bound to get sick and die of unnatural causes. This is primarily due to the legal bribery and blackmail system that governs and controls the United States White House and Congress; they call it “lobbying”. 99% of Americans don’t even realize this is how the government works (or doesn’t work better put), so they don’t understand that there is a problem to fix. They assume everything is okay, safe, secure, been set up already, and all they have to do is follow the rules and they’ll be fine. Little do we all know.
Only in America can you manufacture and sell poison food and get away with it while being fully aware that 1 out of 3 people will get cancer but be fine with it because “everybody does it.” Below is an interesting article on 8 poisonous foods that Americans consume daily but are banned in other countries. You can see the list by clicking here.
And this list though shocking is actually pretty slim compared to the reality. It just touches the surface. Americans are so accustomed with the notion that most people get cancer and heart disease and Alzheimer’s that they take it for granted. They seem to believe that these diseases are “natural causes”. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
There’s more. Much more. Because the practice extends way beyond our food. It’s the environment. The air. The water. Over the counter medicines and toiletries. Prescription medications. Doctors and the health care system. Everywhere you look you see blatant causes of America’s leading causes of illness, premature aging and untimely death. And though there is common knowledge about these facts within the industries that produce these goods and provide these practices and within the government, the knowledge is not shared with the people because it would limit the amount of money that tens of thousands of American companies could generate unless they changed their business procedures and practices or their entire business model.
This would hurt the economy we are told. We have always been told this since the invention of invention and commerce. It’s the oldest excuse in the world. And yet it is firmly held belief by many. A rallying cry of big and little business across the board. Fluoride is a great example. Cows milk is another. On and on. So for now, as things stand, each and every person in the States needs to look out for their own health and wellness and yet of their family. No federal agency or sitting president or mainstream media outlet or medical doctor is going to advise us to not grill meat because it causes cancer or not drink diet soda because it has been proven to make one MORE obese and cause brain tumors. This is all information one has to find out for themselves. It’s unfortunate for the James Gandolfinis of the world. Whether they’re famous actors or just good old fashioned regular folk.