On various subjects that don’t readily suggest a title.
First of all, I am proud of you all, my faithful Wonderland readers, for keeping last week’s comments on-topic, smart, and (relatively) light on the personal attacks. I didn’t have to delete a single comment, not one, and so far no one’s issued a fatwa against me! I’m the luckiest blogger there is. When I get together with all the other current-events bloggers, I tell them how articulate and sane my readers are, and they all narrow their eyes at me and quietly wish I’d just go back to my mommyblogging, already. Then I refuse a second drink because I have to stay sharp for my smart audience! That’s when they confiscate my badge. But I keep coming back to their stupid clubhouse, just to rub it in. What was I talking about, again?
I’d especially like to thank those commenters who shared their personal stories. They were heartwrenching and illuminating. Thank you.
Let’s move on to some less controversial issues, like children having sex with each other in front of other children. Wonderland reader Katherin sent over this jaw-dropping news item, and in doing so heralded the coming of the apocalypse. The details are as follows: a fifth-grade class was left alone in their classroom for fifteen minutes. So some of them decided to have sex. While the others watched.
I don’t know what to say about this. This kind of news makes me want to lie face-down on the floor for a few days until the discomfort overtakes my short-term memory and I forget what sent me down there. What else is there to say? And yet I had to share it with you, so you could experience the horror, too. And I’m sorry. Now I hope we can move on.
Meanwhile, state prosecutors are investigating allegations of corruption and abuse in the Texas juvenile detention system. Hundreds of juvenile offenders in Texas were held months or even years past their original sentences after their terms were extended by facility superintendents. These term extensions were found to be largely without merit, and many of these youths will be released starting this week. (The remainder are having their cases examined by an investigative panel.) Prosecutors already had their hands full with the corruption that is apparently rampant within their juvenile justice system. Hundreds of accusations of physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by facility staff have been pouring in to hotlines; it appears that this abuse was tolerated and even perpetrated by top officials.
Switching subjects now because I’m getting depressed, and as we know this is all about me… let’s talk about mammograms! We’ve all known for a while now that when you turn 40, the responsible thing to do is get a mammogram. Right? Well, the American College of Physicians are rethinking their guidelines, and now the answer seems to be: not necessarily. There are risks associated with the procedure, including exposure to radiation, false positives, and possibly unnecessary treatments for benign lesions. Accordingly, the necessity of getting a mammogram in your forties, the ACP states, is one that needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. If you’re high-risk, then the procedure is absolutely worth it. But if you have no family history of breast cancer, you might be better off waiting.
And hey, women, remember that study five years ago, about how hormone-replacement therapy was terrible and women should abandon their estrogen immediately if they didn’t want to die? (I’m paraphrasing, you understand.) Seems those risks were overstated, at least for the younger post-menopausal population. A new study suggests that HRT is actually a viable option for women in their fifties, as a short-term treatment for symptoms of menopause.
But don’t dig your estrogen pills out of storage just yet. While the risk of stroke among the younger set appears to be minimal, there’s still an increased chance of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor, I say, sounding not unlike a prescription-drug commercial. And now I’m holding hands with a silver-haired gentleman as we stroll along the beach at sunset.
In other news…
The good news is that now I feel like a better mother: Woman arrested for forcing her children to panhandle
Thousands of school valedictorians are hyperventilating, right now: Bad year for Ivy League Applicants
Salon handled this one better than I ever could: Judge calls offense ‘natural impulse’