The Appeal of Nipples

If our nature is permitted to guide our life,
we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy.

~ Araham Maslow ~

I think Maslow was right, though our natures sometimes hide beneath layers of solid granite formed from cooling volcanic magma. We simply must chip away at the hard stone until the softness below it reveals our true selves.


I titled this post after I’d written it. I thought it best to lighten the mode, tempering the paragraphs dealing with COVID, rather than suggest that the entire post would be as much of a downer as the initial section might seem.


An online article from NPR this morning presents a sobering and frightening assessment of what we can expect from the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. Tom Wensellers, an evolutionary biologist and biostatistician at the University of Leuven in Belgium, responding to what he says was an overstatement by the CDC of the transmissibility of the delta variant, said this:

“Anyone that chooses not to get vaccinated will in all likelihood get infected by the delta variant over the coming months.”

Wensellers also said that, in spite of the CDC error, the delta variant is much, much higher than the original virus: two- to three-times as contagious as the original version of SARS-CoV-2. And he said:

“As long as people would get vaccinated, then we will not get huge wave of hospitalizations.”

For example, the city of San Francisco has had 3,041 people hospitalized with COVID-19 since March 18, 2020. Only 16 of them were fully vaccinated.

But given the high level of vaccination refusals, though, I expect the latest variant of COVID-19 to spread like wildfire in Arkansas and in other places where people stubbornly refuse to pay heed to scientists and medical professionals. Those people are putting themselves, their families, and the population at large at much greater risk. Even people who have been vaccinated can get and can transmit the virus; but the effects are far less deadly for those who have been vaccinated and the degree of transmission is dramatically less. Still, people will refuse to accept reality. They will suffer and die. But before they do, they will be forced to accept responsibility for killing people they know and love.

I am trying to accept that I cannot change minds about this catastrophic steamroller of a pandemic. I am trying to “be Zen” about it. But it’s so damn hard to read utterly specious arguments—from people who believe conspiracy theorists over highly educated and intelligent epidemiologists—and not want to beat them bloody before removing them from the gene pool.


Okay. After starting the day with a little anger and rage, I’m ready for something that might be a little less of a downer. So I look online for help.  I found it. Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor of New York after an independent investigation found that he sexually harassed several women. I think he made the right call; he has no business in the role of a public servant after having been found guilty of behaviors that, at minimum, are appalling from someone who should serve as a role model.  Maybe the “system” works on occasion, after all. Yet the calls for him to be impeached, anyway, seem rather silly and mindless. The purpose of impeachment is to remove someone from office; he’s already gone. Why waste time and money on a process designed to accomplish what has already been done? If lawmakers want to strut about to show off their superior morality, let them censure him in some way (quickly and without too much time and expense). That might be a good idea, actually: let the world know that, Democrat or Republican, behavior like that of which Cuomo has been accused (and found guilty by way of investigation) will not be tolerated nor excused. (But we all know such an action would be more for show than to make a real case for human decency. Or is that my skepticism showing?)


We’re still viewing Season 2 of How to Get Away with Murder, with four more seasons to go. It’s riveting, but getting weirder with each episode. I do not know whether I’ll be able to maintain my intense interest if it keeps confusing me with flashbacks based on imaginary circumstances shaped by mental meltdowns bent into ribbons shaped very much like a lemniscate (). But I’ll keep trying as long as my IC is willing to sit by my side as we wade through the series.

But the longer I stay away from my foreign flicks (especially Scandinavian) in their original languages, the more removed I’ll be from television and film that draws me in so deeply that I feel part of the cast and the action. I learned from my IC that I can watch foreign flicks and series on Netflix and can listen to dubbed audio while reading captioned text. I was used to reading captioned text (and I got so used to it that often I did not realize I wasn’t hearing the characters speak English). And I liked hearing foreign languages; somehow, the languages contributed quite a lot to the stories and the plots. I may go back to doing that. But I think my IC may not be interested; I haven’t asked, though, so she may surprise me.

Regardless of my recent TV viewing habits, I feel the need for at least an occasional foreign flick. Maybe I’ll find some Pedro Almodóvar stuff to watch. Almodóvar has been in the news of late, thanks to Instagram‘s reversal of its decision to ban a promotional poster for  his latest film, Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers). The poster showed a nipple producing a drop of milk. What an affront to human decency; nipples should, of course, be hidden from view at all times because they symbolize all that is wrong with humankind, don’t they? Instagram has since apologized, as well it should have done. What an idiotic attempt at mindless, pointless censorship! Wait, John. Zen, please. Ah, yes. Zen. Nipples actually have a pleasing appearance, don’t  you think?


People reading this blog in the coming weeks may be in for a surprise. Whether it is positive or negative depends on one’s perspective. I expect I may write less about my daily experiences and more about my philosophies and my emotional journey through time. But, who knows. My decisions about writing change day by day. I just know something is bubbling beneath the surface of my brain and it will have an impact on what I write. Time will tell. It always does.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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