Sunday, September 6, 2009

Michael Jackson and the white rabbit

On the same day that Farrah Fawcett became one of the angels again (June 25, 2009) Michael Jackson, the king of pop, died of mysterious causes at UCLA hospital.

Roughly two months later, his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner's office, who said that the death was caused primarily by "propofol intoxication."

The coroner's office confirmed that it found lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol in Jackson's body. The death was caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia.

The drugs PROPOFOL and LORAZEPAM were found to be the primary drugs responsible for Mr. Jackson's death. Other drugs detected were Midazolam, Diazepam, Lidocaine and Ephedrine.

The final Coroner's report, including the complete toxicology report will remain on Security Hold at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

The finding makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against Jackson's personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who was with the pop star when he died. Murray is the target of a manslaughter probe headed by Los Angeles police.

Like many other famous people before him (Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Lenny Bruce, Kurt Cobain etal) Jackson became victim of the mentality that pills, or drugs, can cure any ailment.

That idea was central to the theme of my favorite song from Woodstock, which took place 40 years ago this summer:

White Rabbit

In view of the fact that pharmaceutical sales in America are now close to $300 Billion a year, it’s not surprising that a lot of people believe they can cure their problems simply by popping a pill. Not too many years ago, my mother-in-law consumed THIRTEEN different pills at every meal!

Believe it or not, there IS a better way, and it’s considerably less expensive than the solution the drug companies would have us follow. Although there are several variations, the “better way” could best be summarized as “natural healing”, and is sometimes described as “holistic medicine”.

Tai Chi originated in China thousands of years ago. On July 22, 2009, the Chicago Tribune published an article about its benefits:

tai chi

Yoga started about 5000 years ago in India. Although I haven’t practiced a lot of yoga, I know someone who has, and it probably saved his life.

Roughly 5 years ago, our son Brian was experiencing a lot of anxiety, a very common occurrence for people in their mid-20’s. When he first discovered yoga (possibly at the urging of my sister, the nurse) he meditated 5 times a week, for an hour each time. Over time, he reduced his anxiety to a much more manageable level, and now meditates once or twice a week for 30 minutes at a time.

At the height of his anxiety, he developed agoraphobia, which meant that he became highly stressed even if he left the house. The agoraphobia lasted about a year, but eventually faded away.

The origin of the practice of acupuncture is shrouded in antiquity, but it likely goes back several thousand years.

Grace Slick and I have more in common than you might think.

She was born in Evanston (the town where I currently live) in 1939, but her family moved to California in the early 1950’s. She has had a very “interesting” lifestyle since that time, and has been arrested three times for “talking under the influence”, but she is still alive today, even though she literally does not remember some of the years that have passed in between.

In the closing moments of “white rabbit” Grace tells us to “feed your head”.

If you’re tuned into yoga, you’re doing EXACTLY that.


In case you’re wondering what my favorite Jefferson Airplane song is ..

Give me a minute ..

it will come back to me ..

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