I have forgone the attempt to read about how and why French Kids Eat Everything.

As I stated in the previous blog, it has nothing at all to do with the writing, or presentation… it is simply that I already knew and didn’t realize it, AND thus, reading about it affects my overall mood. However, if you haven’t read it, and you are in a similar situation and are trying to get your kids to eat right and healthier, I highly recommend it.

As far as reading, I am switching subjects. And I found a new book completely by accident.

I am very fond of books and thus libraries. The local library was a second home to me growing up in the poorer areas of whatever towns we resided. Second-hand and school library books were my escape wherever we lived, especially in rural areas. I have fond memories of sneaking up to the barn on our rented farm house property during the winter months. I would climb up and find a warm spot in the hayloft, sun beams streaming through the cracks in the wood, to enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon reading binge. (In my teen years, I often devoured up to 3, sometimes 4 small books[1], in one day.)

My favorite libraries are the ones that have BOOKS. Lots of books. About random, seemingly incongruous subjects and titles that fill and sometimes overflow the shelves. My local library looks more like a coffee shop, so I often drive an hour to an actual library where I and my daughters can wander the stacks by subject or alphabetically depending on our mood, to find something other than the internet or television to fill our brains.

It was one such day, when my younger daughter was especially anxious to get the next installment of her favorite Manga series, that I found this book:

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Now, mind that this is not the book I was looking for… I was wandering around the 616 to 619 Dewey’s[2] looking for psychology books on parenting teens. My older daughter has, as usual, tested our knowledge in the parenting realm, and I suspected I might be lacking in some regard. I had perused a few interesting books in the 617.1’s and was disgusted to find out that yet again, “I already knew that”, “already tried that”, and “Yes, we’re doing that now…” conclusions bombarded me with angst.

Then, I found Infectious Madness. A recently published book (2015) about the link between infections and psychological illnesses like schizophrenia. Included in the list was autism.

I am in Graduate School now, studying Communication Disorders. And from my prerequisite classes have learned unequivocally that I know nothing about autism since the DSM-5 changed the requirements for diagnosis back in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. Therefore, I have an ongoing list of books about autism that I am working through to try to gain an understanding from a science AND a parent’s point-of-view. This book seemed a welcome addition to the science and parent view for that list.

However, I found that the writer fit my wish list early on in drafting the book Canary in the Coalmine as well.

I expressed early on and briefly discussed my hope that someone, somewhere, with more brains and education were trying to figure this mess out[3] And here it was. Someone else that found and recognized a Shadow in our midst.

That Shadow is the one that is driven by politics at the sake of truth. By fads versus fashion in a divisive, and often dangerously wobbling, pendulum swing.

But mostly the Shadow is driven by Habit.

We humans lean towards believing what is comfortable. And what is comfortable is that which allows us to maintain our status, income, and predictability in life. In current culture, the expectation of easy and convenient clouds our judgment and leads our actions as well. And herd mentality[4] ensues.

Ms. Washington, in her book, explains it far better than I ever could. And explains how the sciences and medicine have been tainted by the status quo. And how the link between these infections, and the immune responses to them, have been overlooked. She also explains the reasons why. From flaws in philosophical and logic theory to flaws in the scientific method; and of our need to change them.

But there is hope. Not everyone is susceptible to the allure of comfort that maintaining current attitudes and theory promises.

I, for one, possibly because of my socio-economic background, education, personality, or life experiences along the way, or a motley mix thereof, have come to find ‘comfort’ a disturbingly catatonic state of being. I am suspicious whenever I experience it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, or allow myself to experience it. I just always make it a point to pinch myself mentally and make sure that I am still awake.

Thankfully, it would seem, that I am not alone.

I haven’t finished the book, by the way. I am halfway through. But still, the writer has maintained an equitable, and journalistic, point-of-view. Any leanings towards one belief or the other may be only my own biases leading the charge. For now though, I am enjoying the challenge and looking forward to learning something about the human condition that has been overlooked.



[1] Think War of the Worlds sized, or ½ to 1 inch thick. Oh wait, Harlequin Romance sized! (Yes, I read a fair share of those too!)

[2] Dewey Decimal System. For the uninitiated, it is those weird decimal numbers typed onto a sticker, usually found on the bound edge of non-fiction books. (Fiction are listed by author last name, alphabetically.)

[3] That particular wish did not make it through the editing process, though the spirit still remains in the link to chapter 6 I have provided for you.

[4] Which I find interesting, because the CDC is fond of creating herd immunity. Can we create herd immunity against advertising, please?