May 05, 2007

Vindication! (Or Let The Sunshine In)

Being a stranger in a strange land I am sometimes looked at askance for my beverage preferences (among other things). This I hope will serve to show that we Southerners do, in fact, know what we're doing:

"Tea drinkers may have lower skin cancer risk"

Heh. But lest I get too giddy & fall victim to the "Hey y'all - watch this!" syndrome, my vampiric lifestyle has a decided disadvantage:

"In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct link between cancer prevention and the sunshine vitamin [i.e., vitamin D]. Their results are nothing short of astounding."

"I hope some of this speculation turns out to be well-founded, because it would be nice to have an easy way to prevent so many diseases and deaths. If that can be achieved only by embarrassing the nagging know-it-alls who've been telling us to avoid sunshine, that's a cost I can live with."

Or as End The War On Freedom puts it, "Vitamin D deficiency may be the primary reason that cancert rates in rich northern countries are so much higher than elsewhere. Bottom line: don't be afraid of the sun. Get 15 minutes in bright sunshine every day, with as much exposed skin as you can muster."

So a daily dose of tea & fondness for shady places might prevent skin cancer, but that lack of light could also be related to increased risk of internal cancer. Tea good. Avoiding sunshine bad. Hmmm. I knew the heliophobic life had its disadvantages, I just never thought anyone in the medical community would call me on it. At least I got the tea thing right.

Seriously though I'm still convinced that cancer is genetic & that any outside factors only influence, not create cancer. My mother avoided staying in the sun (which was tricky as she lived on the Florida coast for a long time & her & her husband had a boat that they liked to take out on the weekends) but I doubt it had any serious influence on her cancer. I had an uncle in Florida who worked & played outside but he died of cancer in his 40's. Granted it's anecdotal & speculative but so are the studies frequently cited one way or another as to what might cause cancer. I'm all for erring on the side of caution in some cases but I don't recommend changing your life based on a study. Still, how could a little sunshine hurt?

Notes about the tune used for the title in the extended entry:

Here's Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In) from the musical Hair. Here's a condensed version by Wichita High school east's performance. Army Of Lovers has a techno cover of the tune as does the band Milk & Honey (though the latter is more a derivative work). Most folks remember it as the tail end of The Age of Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension. The tune itself always got to me. It's simple & repetitive (especially in the end - the "Let the Sunshine In" part) but still fun to play. Oddly enough most (but by no means all) tunes I like seem to be enjoyable to play, even if not the most technically challenging. For me it's all about the groove & this tune has it in abundance especially at the end. Just listen to how much fun the bass player is having once it gets to the refrain (especially in The Fifth Dimension's version). Plus it's danceable. :) It's a mix of dark yet optimistic which you really don't see too often & the tune just moves. The leading tones & anxiety created by the melody keep it from being anywhere close to static & if that's not enough the bass will push you along whether you're ready or not. But the way folks view tunes are often influenced by sentiment, & my past as a musician makes my views a bit different than most on musical matters, so if you've never heard the tune before give it a listen (at least the Wichita High version, as the kids really do a decent job).

Posted by Publicola at May 5, 2007 01:05 PM | TrackBack