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06 August 2010 @ 04:53 pm
Topic of Cancer  
Fair warning, this is mostly another Praycebo-related entry...

Although he was apparently diagnosed back in June, over the last few days an essay and a few brief interviews by/with well-known author and atheist Christopher Hitchens regarding his esophageal cancer have appeared online. They're mostly short, but I admire his very straightforwardly realistic attitude toward the whole thing, from "fighting cancer" to the groups that are loudly praying variously for him to recover, to die "in the Lord", or simply to die. He's clearly suffering from the effects of both the disease and the treatment, but he can still turn a phrase with the best of them.

"I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death. But nothing prepared me for the early morning last June when I came to consciousness feeling as if I were actually shackled to my own corpse."

(Updated 8.7 with extended version of CNN interview)
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/09/hitchens-201009
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/07/video-extended-interview-hitchens-on-cancer-and-atheism/
http://richarddawkins.net/audio/496955-hitchens-talks-to-goldblog-about-cancer-and-god

Sadly, I also read this week that Sandy "Vampire Queen" Graham's brain cancer has taken a turn for the worse - I still hope both to make to down to Haunt, and to have a chance to see her at a fan meetup, but that's not looking good right now.

http://sandygraham-tawnda.blogspot.com/2010/08/sandys-condition.html

On the up-side, I was rather surprised to receive a "me too!" email via the Praycebo page this week. I hesitated to put an address on the page (and initially didn't), expecting nothing more flames and/or proselytizing, but so far the only thing to come of it has been a brief pleasant exchange with a fellow atheist survivor. So, win.

I asked her how she found the page, and she said it was via the social recommendation site StumbleUpon. According to Google Analytics I'm continuously getting a small but steady trickle of traffic from there. I haven't been a member there or on or any similar sites (Digg wasn't accepting new members when I went to look), but I'd certainly appreciate it if any of *you* are, and would throw www.prayceboeffect.com out there for me. I've even started to sell a few Praycebo/UCOC items. Not going to be a lottery winner kind of thing, but again with the (small w) win.

By way of wrapup, in the spirit of things this afternoon, I offer this little lyrical snippet from the forthcoming Rush album, forward to which I am even more than usually looking. Both BU2B and Caravan are available now in the usual places as singles.

"All is for the best
Believe in what we’re told
Blind men in the market
Buying what we’re sold
Believe in what we’re told
Until our final breath
While our loving Watchmaker
Loves us all to death"

- Rush, BU2B