But Susan Sontag’s Dead

“so I guess her cancer wasn’t metaphorical after all. Sorry.”
– “Illness As a Metaphor,” Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson tips its hat to Susan Sontag by alluding to her prolific writings on the practice of describing illness through the use of metaphors. She argues that there is a certain set of contagious vocabulary that we employ when discussing diseases:

“We have to wage a war on this cancer.”
“He’s battling a disease.”
“This threat to life must be stamped out.”

and if someone perishes…

“They lost the fight.”

With many illnesses, we treat the way we speak about them as if the host was invaded or caught by the disease. Whereas with injury, we simply say that we are in the process of healing. There’s no great war, only the path back towards health.

Sontag asserts that much of the reason that we use these terms has to do with the mysterious conditions surrounding disease. With cancer, for example, no definite cure has been established. She suggests that once a cure is discovered, the horror, mystery, and metaphors surrounding cancer will dissipate as well. We use the language to bolster ourselves against that which we do not entirely understand.

And although her book came out in 1978, her wish to challenge the victim mentality is still valid and meaningful today. Her goal with her writing was to “alleviate unnecessary suffering.” She believed that wrapping disease in metaphors discouraged, silenced, and shamed patients.

While argument is still a divisive one, I do agree that using aggressive terms and mindset towards illness can ultimately harbor one’s path back to health. This is not to belabor anyone’s struggle with disease – as I know many of them can be just that – a true daily struggle. But instead of “fighting” these diseases, we need to champion health. Each negative thought we latch onto and play on repeat in our heads manifests itself in our body as stress. Only by accepting and supporting wellness can we hope to heal.

The Most Surprising Most Wanted List You May Ever Read

While we have plenty to be afraid of in our daily lives, these seven killers may have never crossed your mind. Mostly because these ones don’t have a face, or even a name. But they are dangerous all the same. Husband and wife team Andrew and Gaia Grant have dubbed them the “creativity killers.”

Our generation has seen a steep drop off in creativity despite access to better resources, quicker communication, and a host of other perks. Meaning that these menacing criminals have already been stalking their prey and getting away with it for far too long. Thanks to the Grants’ book, Who Killed Creativity, we now have a forensic gameplan for how to spot these killers in action and prevent them from committing future crimes.

The best way to stay safe from them out on those mean streets? Use failure as an opportunity to learn, pick a new hobby and don’t give it up until you’ve perfected it, trust your gut, seek out new options, ask for help, take a breath and believe that what you want out of life isn’t as impossible as you may think.

Original Image Sources (left side): Chris O’Brien, Misteraitch, Alyssa L. Miller, Ding Yuin Shan, Tourist on Earth, StriaticYortw