Feeling shame about self-indulgence?


I reflected on the day, last Sunday evening. I’d had a croissant with butter and jam, a sausage sandwich at Bunnings, a Turkish Delight chocolate bar and a packet of corn chips. Is this healthy I ponder as I sip a glass of red wine and think about smoking a cheroot. I buy a packet of twenty at enormous cost and smoke just one every now and again. Has my sensible eating regime gone to pot or is this a one off? If I were to eat this way all the time and sip red wine to excess, indulge in habitual smoking and stop exercising would it make me less healthy and more needy of medical help than if I lived my usual healthier lifestyle. Of course, I’ve answered my own question. Other things equal, we would all be less demanding of medical care if we took better care of ourselves.

Do I owe it to society to take reasonable care of myself? I was recently in a public hospital for an emergency operation. Nothing to do with personal excess. Just one of those things that can go wrong without an identifiable cause. To my point. It cost me nothing. Taxpayers pick up the tab. Does that establish a societal obligation on the part of individuals to live healthily?

When I was in hospital – four to a ward – you quickly found out what was wrong with your fellow patients. One chap with diabetes used to drink to excess but stopped after a heart attack some years ago. However, he still smokes 40 cigarettes a day. No one would deny him free treatment. After all, fools who attempt endurance feats in the wild beyond their capability are regularly rescued at great cost. At the same time, you get the sense that people who do fall ill as a result of personal excesses feel no guilt at all about bringing it on themselves at cost to society. There is no sense of dereliction of duty; at least, I don’t think there is. Should they feel a little guilty? Maybe so; maybe not. I don’t know.

So far as I can tell, activists among indigenous folk don’t feel the least bit guilty. In fact, they appear to point to colonists of yore as being responsible. It’s not my fault. Captain Arthur Phillip and company are responsible for my over indulgences and attendant ill health. Apparently, so I understand, the Voice, a Makarrata treaty and reparations are the recommended remedy for closing the ill-health gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people rather any focus on lifestyle. Go figure.

When it comes to individual rights, John Stuart Mill sort of says you should be able to do what you want if no-one else is harmed. I’m not sure. It turns on what harmed means. Clearly, if I were to injure you physically or your reputation by acting in a certain way then this harms you and it would be reasonable to restrict my right to so act. How about some people burdening others with extra taxes to pay for their self-inflicted medical problems? Personally, I’m happy enough about that. Wouldn’t want to be a wowser. Not so happy about some of them blaming others for their own excesses.


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Bar Beach Swimmer
July 22, 2023 7:50 pm

The problem with taking any notice of what is deemed good or bad for you by others is that it can change.

We don’t even have to take a look at the pandemic decision-making to see bad results for both society and the individual.

Just look at this last week or so; we’re now told that full cream dairy is better for you than low fat. However, had you been a lavisher of such dreadful fare only a few months ago, experts would have encouraged you to give it up. And if we’d already handed over to them the say-so for treatment decisions, that heart attack patient may have been flicked off the list because of their previous poor medical choices.

None of these people are omniscient. That is why we need to retain personal choice and why informed consent is the bedrock of good medical practice. Not some jumped up medical administrator.

Cassie of Sydney
July 22, 2023 9:12 pm

“we’re now told that full cream dairy is better for you than low fat. “

Without a doubt it is, I think the demonisation of saturated fats over the last fifty years, thanks to the writings of Ancel Keys, and the push for “low fat” and “no fat” food, combined with food saturated with refined carbs* and sugar, has directly contributed to the rise in obesity.

Saturated fats nourish and fuel the body, low fat and no fat starve the body.

* When I refer to “refined carbs”, I’m not dissing potatoes, rice and pasta, all three have a a role in any diet, and on any plate. I adore potatoes, pasta and basmati rice. The centrepiece of any meal should be the protein with the saturated fat, the carbs such as rice or pasta are the side dishes.

Alamak!
July 22, 2023 9:20 pm

Great post and an interesting topic – in a liberal democracy with high levels of tax we are always testing the implied social contract.

Who benefits and who pays?

Damon
Damon
July 22, 2023 9:59 pm

‘Who benefits and who pays?”

My wife (deceased) developed lymphoma, and spent sixteen weeks in hospital, at a cost I reckoned of several hundred thousand dollars. Who paid? Well, I did. I paid, and continue to pay taxes, currently over a period of 60 years. I also pay health insurance, so don’t look at me Peter Smith. I spit in your face.

calli
calli
July 23, 2023 1:26 am

Comprehension fail. I get what you’re saying Peter. Spitting in someone’s face, figuratively or literally, is primitive.

We all pay. What we don’t automatically get is a certain level of comfort in the public health system.

My daughter suffered a catastrophic brain bleed many years ago. Surgery in the public hospital, moved to private for convalescence. Mercifully I had insurance, which helped her recovery immensely (not because public care was poor, but because public visitors were inconsiderate shytes).

And in a few weeks’ time I’ll probably be back under the knife. Not a “lifestyle” injury, but an accident and happenstance. I blame no one but myself…first for rushing about like a lunatic, and then for letting my heart rule my head by not calling for an ambulance and doing some very heavy lifting myself.

Arthur Phillip didn’t make anyone sniff petrol or molest their little cousins. He didn’t shove sugar in their mouths, or burn down their houses. He was given very specific orders to treat the indigenous with care. I’m tired of the b/s.

Gabor
Gabor
July 23, 2023 7:23 am

Damon
Jul 22, 2023 9:59 PM

‘Who benefits and who pays?”

Who paid? Well, I did. I paid, and continue to pay taxes, currently over a period of 60 years. I also pay health insurance, so don’t look at me Peter Smith. I spit in your face.

We all pay our share.
Your last sentence was totally out of order and uncalled for.

Diogenes
Diogenes
July 23, 2023 8:11 am

Define “taking care of yourself”.

Several years ago I was in a staffroom with lots of very enthusiastic weekend athletes. I could guarantee that every Monday at least one of them would be off work due to a an injury they incurred playing sport. We lost more time off due to concussions, knee, hip , ankle and shoulder reconstructions amongst this “healthy” cohort than we did to all other illnesses, and one of the girls going on maternity leave 2 months before the end of the year.

We used to live behind a footy field. I guarantee that every weekend during the footy season there would be an ambulance called to take some unfortunate to hospital.

Cassie of Sydney
July 23, 2023 8:18 am

“I spit in your face.”

Totally unnecessary.

Helen Davidson (nmrn)
Helen Davidson (nmrn)
July 23, 2023 8:19 am

When it comes to individual rights, John Stuart Mill sort of says you should be able to do what you want if no-one else is harmed. I’m not sure. It turns on what harmed means.

It’s not just lifestyle issues. It’s the crux of just about every social issue today.where we’re accused of hurting peoples feelings.

Are we ‘harming’ so-called transgender people by not using their preferred pronouns?

Are we ‘harming’ people with aboriginal ancestry by not changing the Constitution to give them a special voice?

Boxcar
Boxcar
July 23, 2023 9:40 am

My own beliefs force me to recognise your Smoking and drinking proclivities.
But Turkish Delight……man, are you trans?

Frank
Frank
July 23, 2023 9:46 am

We used to live behind a footy field. I guarantee that every weekend during the footy season there would be an ambulance called to take some unfortunate to hospital.

Sports are evil, kills more people than doctors for gods sake.

John H.
John H.
July 23, 2023 11:11 am

When it comes to individual rights, John Stuart Mill sort of says you should be able to do what you want if no-one else is harmed. I’m not sure.

Life was simpler back then.

We celebrate contact sports, set up the players as role models, pay large sums to watch the games, yet contact sports are a leading cause of brain injury. Are we all responsible? Go to an emergency room on the weekend, a room of sports injuries. All the crowing about the benefits of sport is propaganda. Sports promote teamwork, sports keep people healthy, blah blah blah.

There are a gazillion people out there telling us what is the optimal diet, exercise, and lifestyle routines. There is no optimal diet, there are many ways to obtain enough exercise, there are many healthy ways to live. Should the advocates of those strategies be held responsible for misleading so many people?

NFA
NFA
July 23, 2023 11:29 am

I reflected on the day, last Sunday evening. I’d had a croissant with butter and jam, a sausage sandwich at Bunnings, a Turkish Delight chocolate bar and a packet of corn chips. Is this healthy I ponder as I sip a glass of red wine and think about smoking a cheroot.

Obviously a bourgeois dilettante! … LOL

Should be more of it.

Well done Peter Smith.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
July 23, 2023 1:47 pm

I’m thoroughly enjoying self-indulgence in a hugely magnificent marbled airport hotel in Kuala Lumpur, where the brekkie spread came with a glorious natural dripping honeycomb to put on your toast. Wonderful, and bugger the kilos. Age has its compensations. You worry less about things like that and take little pleasures wherever you find them. I wouldn’t deny that to anyone, enjoy life while you can, your way.

Bruce
Bruce
July 23, 2023 2:24 pm

“BIG sport is the true “opiate of the masses”.

It is all about manipulation of “values” and the raising of dodgy expectations and then there are the false claims for “character building”. The bigger the “non-playing” audience, the worse they seem to be.

Then, there is the injury and death toll.

Just to ruffle some feathers; about the safest group of sports are in the shooting field. Such activities have been ruthlessly pilloried for decades, yet in half a century of shooting, (rifle, shotgun and pistol), at local, state, national and international venues, I have not seen a participant end up in hospital or a rubber bag from a gunshot injury. Slips and falls, off the firing line? Yep. Actual “sucking chest wounds” or worse?? NEVER. And yet, the demonization continues unabated.

Watching alleged adults chase a ball around a paddock / court, etc has never appealed to me, despite the relentless social pressure. With the shooting sports, you do not have to be a model of physical prowess to “play”. Two members of my rifle club are in wheelchairs. Members (men and women) age from late teens to their late eighties and some of those old codgers are very impressive with a rifle on the thousand yard line.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
July 23, 2023 2:48 pm

Given that our government has been driving us all nuts for three years (longer than that if you count climate alarmism) I do not criticise anyone who seeks some sort of self medication to alleviate the insane anxiety they’ve inflicted upon us all.

If government drives us all mad then government has the responsibility to treat us for the effects of that madness.

That or tumbrils and guillotines. The government can choose which model works best for them.

Bruce
Bruce
July 23, 2023 4:57 pm

And, while we are in “mass formation” territory; a proper movie review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J7aJtGphVs&t=75s

Rabz
July 23, 2023 5:05 pm

Certain types of insurance are a massive rip off.

I’ve not been particularly impressed (well, not at all actually) by the massive increases in my home and car insurance in the last twelve months. In the meantime, my health insurance premiums inexorably increase.

Make your choices and do your sums, Cats. I ditched my contents insurance following this year’s massive increases. Home insurance is obligatory under my mortgage.

It all mounts up.

Damon
Damon
July 23, 2023 10:11 pm

The implications of Peter Smith’s original article were clearly derogatory, and his scrabbling around for a plausible defence suggests that he knew it.

Bruce in WA
July 23, 2023 10:11 pm

Such activities have been ruthlessly pilloried for decades, yet in half a century of shooting, (rifle, shotgun and pistol), at local, state, national and international venues, I have not seen a participant end up in hospital or a rubber bag from a gunshot injury.

Sadly, we did have such an incident just a few days back where a competitor in a match copped a ricochet in the foot (some reports say abdomen) and had to be taken to hospital.

But your point is well made!

Cassie of Sydney
July 24, 2023 8:11 am

“The implications of Peter Smith’s original article were clearly derogatory, and his scrabbling around for a plausible defence suggests that he knew it.”

Nup, what was derogatory was your comment “I spit in your face“. The aggressive implications of your words was quite clear.

Perhaps you should go to Specsavers or alternatively, if you can’t engage like a civilised maature adult, don’t post such a comment.

Damon
Damon
July 24, 2023 9:59 am

“aggressive implications of your words was quite clear”

There were no implications. The words were quite clear, and impossible to misunderstand. You may not have liked them, but that is not my problem.

Cassie of Sydney
July 24, 2023 10:19 am

“There were no implications. The words were quite clear, and impossible to misunderstand. You may not have liked them, but that is not my problem.”

Do you “spit in the faces” of others you disagree with?

Nasty. By the way spitting in someone’s face is a crime.

Damon
Damon
July 24, 2023 1:23 pm

“spitting in someone’s face is a crime”

Don’t be absurd.

Cassie of Sydney
July 24, 2023 1:28 pm

Don’t be absurd.”

I’m not.

Cassie of Sydney
July 24, 2023 1:30 pm

Here in NSW, spitting on someone without consent is an offence because it is classified as a ‘battery’ which means unauthorised touching.

“While spitting on someone may not cause significant physical harm, it can be a demeaning and humiliating act that can cause emotional distress to the victim. The NSW Police can charge with common assault or stalk and intimidate charges for such an act.”

Cleary not absurd.

Roger
Roger
July 24, 2023 1:47 pm

Spitting on someone with intent is common assault in all Australian jurisdictions.

Vicki
Vicki
July 24, 2023 2:11 pm

At the end of the day – health is able personal choice, which also relates to critical thinking.

Age tends to focus the mind on choices in respect to exercise and diet. We can get away with a lot more when we are young. As you get older – not so much – although I suspect that most of the “damage” has been done.

In the last decade husband and I have refined our diet to that which seems sensible to not put too much strain on the body. We like our meat (other people’s cows!) and we have increased our consumption of green veggies – especially broccoli, spinach etc – some of which we grow in our garden. We have magnificent eggs courtesy of our chooks. We are progressively restricting our carb consumption, although we are not religious about it. Many of our friends are kept devotees, but it is not for us.

Every morning, since the pandemic started, we have a “nutribullet” of blueberries, celery, carrots and orange juice. Accompanying this is our daily Vit C, Vic D3, Curcumin, and now Coq10. I know that some of the Keto fans will disapprove of the sugar level in the morning in this concoction, but it feels right.

On the farm we get, not surprisingly, a lot of exercise. Some of it – such as shovelling gravel on the driveway, lifting gates, belting in stakes, carrying hay and other heavy jobs are getting more onerous. But we are now using equipment – such as logsplitters and more tractor accessories – to do more heavy work. I walk around the property tracks for about 40 minutes a day, and I am at last persuading husband to accompany me a few times a week.

When we are back in Sydney, of course, the exercise dwindles, and we indulge in eating out and more alcohol. But it is an exercise in moderation. As a result, I feel that we are allowing the ageing body to cope better as it is well nourished and muscles more toned. My father, who had been a farmer and physical worker, walked every day in his latter years, and lived to be 92. Mother was a chain smoker all her life, did very little exercise, and was bed ridden for the last few years. But she lived 83 years. Go figure.

Vicki
Vicki
July 24, 2023 2:12 pm

Ha! I said my friends were “kept devotees”! I meant “keen keto devotees”. What a laugh!

Megan
Megan
July 24, 2023 2:13 pm

Way to miss the point completely, Damon. I’m not offended by your self indulgent comment and I doubt Peter is either. We are adults and understand that offence is taken not given.

You clearly read something into Peter’s article that wasn’t there for the rest of us and immediately took offence. Followed up by a nasty and unnecessary sledge.

Says far, far more about you than it does about Peter or his musings.

Damon
Damon
July 24, 2023 8:19 pm

“You clearly read something into Peter’s article that wasn’t there for the rest of us”

Well, Peter spent numerous lines explaining himself, so he clearly saw the point of my objection.

Old Goat
Old Goat
July 24, 2023 9:14 pm

It is not hard be aware of what we are doing to ourselves and assess the risks . Life has zero guarantees for everyone and over longer terms survival drops to zero. Is it better to have a long time or a good one ?

Roger
Roger
July 25, 2023 8:34 am

When I was in hospital – four to a ward – you quickly found out what was wrong with your fellow patients. One chap with diabetes used to drink to excess but stopped after a heart attack some years ago. However, he still smokes 40 cigarettes a day. No one would deny him free treatment.

The epidemiologists & public health officials – in cahoots with revenue hungry politicians – might, however, put alcohol and cigarettes out of the reach of most with a selective tax regime.

Cassie of Sydney
July 25, 2023 8:52 am

Well, Damon wrote one line which pretty much explains himself, we all clearly saw and see the type of person he is….a most unpleasant one.

Bar Beach Swimmer
July 25, 2023 9:50 am

Peter:

However, public health is not like other kinds of insurance. Health services shouldn’t be denied to anyone no matter how unhealthy their lifestyle. Nor, in my view, should they face personal public criticism for living unhealthily.

But during covid, and even now for some people because they decided not to be vaccinated, they have been denied medical treatment. As a result, universal health is not worth the paper it’s written on.

Of course, this has given medical administrators the way in to begin to decline medical treatment for individuals not deemed upright enough. However, I don’t see that degrading of universal health being directed at Aborigines or even drug addicts. They will be provided for because those same medical administrators will continue to evaluate their situations as not of their making. Because “society’ has brought on their ills – and not their life choices – that all will be exonerated.

Instead, it will be the general public – perhaps someone whose known political views doesn’t align correctly with the zeitgeist. Someone who may be found to be not living a worthy enough life who will be moved down the list. That person maybe a climate denier who continues to eat red meat instead of opting for the more healthy choice for da planet.

Damon @ 9:59

On the “I spit in your face” comment.

I do not personally know Damon and have never conversed with him here, but from his comment he must be of an older age.

Well, I did. I paid, and continue to pay taxes, currently over a period of 60 years. I also pay health insurance,

My paternal grandmother came from as family of twelve children. All were well read, combative in discussion and sometimes given to overly exuberant language. All in all, they were a noisy, argumentative crew. My grandmother was perhaps the quietest of the lot, but could still hold her own in discussion, though she was a tiny lady of five foot and 1/2 an inch.

One of the sisters ended up in a nursing home and was bedridden after suffering a major stroke. Though her body had been damaged, she knew those around her and enjoyed family visits. This aunt endured this existence for a number of years.

Being a close family, her siblings visited her often, usually by train, as it was some distance from where most of them lived. One day, on one of their visits, there was just my grandmother and another sister, who said in general conversation during the trip, that it would be a blessing if Aunt M. passed on. Afterwards, my grandmother, who was fuming at this sister but, surprisingly said nothing, said to me, “I could spit in her eye; she was still my sister.”

This type of language may be jarring to our modern sensibilities – and, yes, as someone pointed out – to fulfil the desire is common assault; but it comes from a time when we, as a society, were much more forward in our willingness to argue our case, including through the use of insult. From my family, I could give you at least half a dozen other anecdotes of similar roughness. Including my grandmother telling the other half, when we hadn’t been long married, “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”.

On the OOT last night, cohenite put up a number of insults that earlier generations of politicians and “celebrities” uttered/wrote/declared to others. I referred to Bette Davis’ numerous insults to Joan Crawford. All were straight and to the point, including questioning their honour.

Unfortunately in public discourse today, especially among politicians, the overuse and misuse of the word, inappropriate, has removed straightforward disagreement and/or combative discussion into claims that the other should resign (Gary Johns yesterday) or in cases taken to the AHRC (Mark Latham/Alex Greenwich).

Rather than the sly, roundabout language that the women of the left especially utilise, I prefer the plain speaking of an earlier time.

Cassie of Sydney
July 25, 2023 9:57 am

On the OOT last night, cohenite put up a number of insults that earlier generations of politicians and “celebrities” uttered/wrote/declared to others. I referred to Bette Davis’ numerous insults to Joan Crawford. All were straight and to the point, including questioning their honour.”

I love the various exchanges between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor, particularly this one…..

Lady Astor to Winston Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea,”

To which Winston Churchill responded, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

Bar Beach Swimmer
July 25, 2023 10:05 am

Or Lady Astor to Churchill” Sir, you are drunk”.
Churchill to Lady Astor, “Madam, you’re ugly, but tomorrow I will be sober.”

Bruce
Bruce
July 25, 2023 2:12 pm

Health Tip:

If you cook Kale in coconut oil, it makes it easier to scrape into the bin.

NFA
NFA
July 26, 2023 1:56 am

Bruce
Jul 25, 2023 2:12 PM

Health Tip:

If you cook Kale in coconut oil, it makes it easier to scrape into the bin.

That’s a keeper thank you Bruce.

Am I covered by Health Insurance if I eat it though?

jupes
jupes
July 28, 2023 1:14 pm

“BIG sport is the true “opiate of the masses”.

Yep, and I’m a willing addict. You have to have something to enjoy in this increasingly stupid and evil society we live in. Otherwise, you will come bitter and twisted like Damon.

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