Sunday, November 16, 2014


According to my acupuncturers (I know, I just wanted to write that), I should be eating warm foods, roasted vegetables (especially orange-colored ones), whole grains, ginger tea. Drinking plenty of water, but not cold water and not during meals. I start off each day with a healthy bowl of oatmeal, but things go awry soon after. Still, in the Digestive Wars, I feel that I currently have the upper hand (is it me vs. bad bacteria? Or me vs. my very own small intestine?).

More on lying liars! Joanna brought my attention to this episode of This American Life. It's called "Hoaxing Yourself," and it's chock full of people who lie for odd and complex reasons. The guy who pretends to be British/believes he is British reminds me of the time, in my 20s, I met a British nanny who seemed really familiar, and eventually I remembered briefly meeting her my sophomore year of college, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, when she was most definitely not British.

The most interesting story to me, though, is the "Rent" fan who faked being terminally ill--factitious disorder!

I have gone back several times to read this story, of a young woman who faked cancer for months. It's absolutely fascinating, in part because she did this so successfully in person (not just online, which is weirdly common), and also because she didn't do it for financial gain--or any real gain that makes any sense. Attention, I guess, and in her case, connection with someone who actually was (physically) sick.

Then there's the aspect of factitious disease, particularly Munchausen by Proxy, that's hideously sexist, focused as it tends to be on women, particularly mothers. It's a little "hysteria," circa 1800, really. But still, incredibly interesting.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Ooh. This is all very interesting.