Thursday, February 3, 2011

Foxing The Old Folks

An amusing, if depressing, article, on a conservative website, written by a conservative. He coins the term "Fox Geezer Syndrome."

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day – especially Glenn Beck’s program.

Used to be I would call my mom and get updated on news from the neighborhood, her garden, the grandchildren, hometown gossip, and so forth. I’ve always been interested in politics, but never had the occasion to talk about them with her. She just doesn’t care.

Or didn’t. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but she began peppering our conversation with red-hot remarks about President Obama. I would try to engage her, but unless I shared her particular judgment, and her outrage, she apparently thought that I was a dupe or a RINO. Finally I asked my father privately why Mom, who as far as I know never before had a political thought, was so worked up about Obama all the time.

“She’s been like that ever since she started watching Glenn Beck,” Dad said.

A few months later, she roped him into watching Beck, which had the same effect. Even though we’re all conservatives, I found myself having to steer our phone conversations away from politics and current events. It wasn’t that I disagreed with their opinions – though I often did – but rather that I found the vehemence with which they expressed those opinions to be so off-putting.

Then I flew out for a visit, and observed that their television was on all day long, even if no one was watching it. What channel was playing? Fox. Spending a few days in the company of the channel – especially Glenn Beck — it all became clear to me. If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I’d be perpetually pissed off too.

I've had similar experiences, though not with my folks, who never lost their liberal -- meaning thoughtful, fact-based, well-read -- sensibilities. The more people listen to any of the RWS™, I've found, the harder it is to talk to them.

I don't sense advanced age in most of my readers. But the contrarians, many of whom seem congenitally unable to find fault with any of Beck's paranoid delusions, sure seem like geezers.

Truth is, though, it's not really a laughing matter. We have a lunatic (or a very cynical, egotistical, moneymaker) to whom many people, inexplicably, give credence. The results are sad at best, and pretty scary in fact.


  1. Geez, talk about the N-word callin the Kettle Black...
    Umm don't wanta call you an Old-Flatus, but you actually did Gallbladders without a scope, leaving patients with 1/3 of the same incision they use for autopsies...
    OK, I SAW a few Chevron incisions but only after they'd been healed for a few years...
    And my daughters laugh at ME cause umm lots of stuff, but there nice enough to do it behind my back...
    Most of the time anyway.
    And you watch more FoxNewsNetwork than Me, my Wife, Parents & In-Laws combined. Only News I look at is some "Morning Jo" if its on in the Doctors Lounge, that Minka Zbrignewski's hot, not Porn Actress Hot, but like that Charge Nurse who's always got an attitude and wears too much eye makeup.
    You know the type...
    And my Mom, who cast sucessive votes for LBJ, George Wallace, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan x 2, Bush 1, Ross Perotx2, W x 2, and Bob Barr, cause she met him, and she thought McCain was too crotchety, and Obama wasn't born in America.
    And she didn't get that last one from Fox News, but from one of her Yenta Hiliary Clinton Fan friends.
    She's more into NASCAR, who'll be the Braves 5th Starter, and whether Energie Cottbuss is gonna get relegated out of the Bundisliga...
    So keep on with your Stero-typin, and wouldn't it be funny if some 90 year old LOL sued you for not giving her a "Bikini Cut"???
    Seriously, some of the first Rxs I wrote in Med School were for Conjugated Estrogens, you know, to prevent heart attacks. I even wrote one for my Grandmother so she wouldn't have to make a trip to the GYN...
    Good thing she died.
    And NOT from a heart attack.
    She had a stroke, and anyway, she lived in Germany, where even they have Tort Reform.


  2. Beck is hemorrhaging viewers, and I couldn't be happier. The man is nuttier than a squirrel fart. It seems like Beck took the mantle from O'Reilly, who is a Rhodes Scholar in comparison. We can only speculate as to whom will be their next hero.

  3. I admit I was taught to do gallbladders with that incision, but like a good liberal I made observations and invention and changed as time moved forward. My GBs came out through a 1 1/2 or 2 inch incision, took twenty minutes, outpatient, and saved a couple of grand over the lap type (which I also did, when indicated, which was almost never.) But you knew that.

    Sounds like your mom is already where Glenn wants her to be, so it's not the sort of change the writer described. Which is not to say she doesn't also sound pretty cool.

  4. OK, and I'm not bein Sarcastic.
    Gallbag out through a 2 inch incision??
    Thats pretty impressive.
    Not as impressive as me being the only white player on my 8th grade Basketball Team, but still pretty good...
    The 20 minutes part too, it used to take me that long just to figure out how to unfold the drapes...


  5. Well, Frank, I was being conservative, much as the word sticks in my craw. Many were one inch (two steri-strips), most were three steri strips (one and a half inch), and for larger people it was four strips (two inches.) Of course, as with lap chole, there were times when I had to go all in, but those were rare.

    I wrote about it on Surgeonsblog, but you probably don't remember. I developed the technique independently, over time, making it smaller and smaller, changing instruments to accommodate it; papers have been written by others, showing no difference in outcome between "mini-chole" and lap chole in terms of recovery, return to work, etc. but MUCH lower cost with mini: and THEY were talking about incisions about twice as large as mine.

    Oh, and I never bagged a common duct with my technique...

    Which gets us back to Glenn Beck. Or not.

  6. P.S: twenty minutes was average. My personal best was, with grams, twelve minutes. Documented, factual, confirmed by witnesses. Which most certainly does NOT get us back to Glenn Beck...


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