Eat, drink and be merry

Our greedy lifestyles are now cutting life expectancy gains

Speak for yourself.  Some people's lifestyles may cut life expectancy but stop trying to tar us all with the same brush. 

Smoking, drinking and our expanding waistlines are threatening the health gains we have made – with evidence already emerging of a slight increase in death rates from illnesses related to lifestyle.

There is so much wrong with this statement that I don't know where to start.

First of all, you are back to this collective "we" and "our".  I presume you refer to the population of Ireland in which case I would point out that your statistical conglomeration in fact consists of millions of individuals, no two of which are alike.  Anorexics live next door to the obese and teetotalers mingle with alcoholics so less of this fucking "we" if you don't mind.

And what is all this shit about "gains"?  Is there some kind of race?  Are we on some kind of league table where we constantly have to be measuring up with other countries?  Why does it matter an iota whether we have a greater life expectancy than the EU average?  Is this some kind of perverse consolation for the parents and families of the thousands who die each year before their "allocated" lifespan?

I am sick to the teeth of this "lifestyle" tag.  Lifestyle is basically just the way someone chooses to live and how that person chooses to live is none of your fucking business.  If I want to spend my day lounging on a couch drinking cans of beer and eating burgers that is none of your business.  If I want to spend twelve hours a day on a treadmill, that is equally none of your business.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I am nearly 65.  I am educated to third level and have held down several responsible jobs and in fact have never been unemployed up to the day I retired.  I have a reasonable IQ [I don't remember what it is but Mensa once asked me to join on the basis of it – I declined] and so would consider myself intelligent enough to know what I am doing.  In other words – I AM AN ADULT.  I do not need anyone to tell me and hector me about how I live my life.  I know the risks and the benefits and I choose accordingly. 

Not only am I an adult but I am an individual.  I have my individual likes and dislikes.  I have a fondness for Mars bars, pipe tobacco and a drop or ten of alcohol.  I also like a drop of salt on my food and a ladle of sugar in my tea.  If these happen to be on your naughty list, they are not on mine so fuck off and mind your own business.  They are my choices as an adult and you have no right whatsoever to chide me about them.

Some day I am going to die.  Until that moment I choose to live my life the way I want.  I choose to be happy and contented [which incidentally statistically improves my lifespan by several years] and to live life the way I choose.  I do not choose to deny myself anything just to satisfy your cravings for control and your obsession for righteous league tables.

And if in my dotage I cost the health service a fortune, so fucking what?  It is what it's there for and I have been paying into it all my life for just such a moment.

So sit on that and swivel.

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Eat, drink and be merry — 32 Comments

      • Hello Grandad,

        You don’t want Sundays (avoiding them will be a bit difficult), but you’ll partake of the Pagan ceremony of ‘new year’?

        Anyway, in my view, most Christians have opted for the wrong day. The now (alleged) Christian Emperor Constantine declared at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, that Sunday was the Empire’s day of rest. A few years earlier, he had made Sunday the day of rest to celebrate the “venerable day of the sun”.

        I’m confused. You’ll embrace the Pagan ‘new year’ but you detest the Pagan “venerable day of the sun”?

  1. Hear fucking hear, GD. My sentiments exactly. I'm going to save this post for deployment when the situation arises (as it surely will), with accreditation and a link, naturally. As I reply when people ask me if I want sugar in my tea: "Yup. All the vices. Don't want any of yer low fat milk either. Full cream for me."

    Same as you, I'm 65, smoked for more than 50 years, been going to pubs for at least as long as that (the landlords used to turn a blind eye to the boys who were obviously not 18, just so long as they behaved themselves. All part of the learning curve to adulthood).

    I eat, drink and smoke what takes my fancy. I'm not stupid (despite having left school at 16 to go travelling), and I weigh the risk / benefit factor as I see fit. I love my life – I enjoy all of it, and I continue to make long-term plans. Why shouldn't I? I'm fit, healthy and happy, and I have a young and attractive wife to share my life with.. What more could a man ask?

    So the puritans with their grey, joyless and depressing take on life can just fuck off. I don't give a flying fuck what they think. They are so wrong about so much that they don't deserve even a moment's thought from me. Parasitic rent-seekers, the lot of them. In fact, I can't even be bothered to dignify their existence with a tirade, right now.

    Happy New Year to you GD, and to all those who post comments on this most excellent blog.

    I'm up at the crack of sparrowfart tomorrow (3.30 am – It's currently 10.45 pm. I hope the hotel remembers the taxi and alarm call…) to catch a plane to Hanoi (about one and a half hour flight), where my wife and I will be seeing in the New Year. Quietly, but with much liquidity, no doubt (in my case, that is; the missus hardly drinks at all, so I have to drink for both of us). And I'll be doing it just about when you're finishing your afternoon tea, so if you feel waves of goodwill washing over you mid-afternoon, you'll know from whence they came! 🙂


    • I take it you are in agreement then? 😉

      Where the hell did all these puritan kill-joys come from all of a sudden?  It's only in the last fifteen years or so that they seem to have started breeding and now the world is full of 'em.  I wonder if they have any friends?  I wonder if they can ever enjoy a laugh?  In fact I wonder if they can see any colour or joy in that miserable rigidly controlled life of theirs….

      Have a good time in Hanoi and sink a few for those of us in less exotic locations.  In turn I shall raise a glass mid-afternoon.

      • I think the main reason for so many of these kill-joys is jealousy. They can't eat or drink like they used to and it makes them miserable – so they want (need?) others to be miserable too for their overblown sense of self-esteem. Nothing kills the party more than a "former" anything (drinker, smoking, over-eater, etc.) – they always have to tell everyone how much "better" they are now that they don't partake anymore and that all of us need to do the same. Hey "healthy converts" – none of us is you, none of us has your genetics or your past, so let us do our own lives our way, and you do yours your way. When I die, it will take a skilled surgeon to get the grin off of my face from all the fun I had – good luck having them get the frown off of yours Mr or Mrs Health police.

        • Welcome, Mike!  There is no zealot like a convert?!

          There is definitely an element of "I gave up, therefore I am superior" about them.  They also love the line that "I found it easy to give up, therefor you are pathetic and lack willpower". 

          Like yourself, I intend to wear out every part of me so, if I can time it right, everything will give out all at once.  Who wants to write off a car with a perfectly good gearbox in it?!!

  2. The' WE' is entirely deliberate and is a psychological trick. It is to get readers to accept 'ownership' of the ideas expressed. It is intended to draw the reader in as an associate. I often hear people like Arnott say, "We are very worried that …..". That expression is a double whammy. It invites readers to accept the assertions expressed and join in the 'worry' or 'fear' caused by the 'worry'. It works. It works especially well on those who are susceptible to suggestion.

    • It hadn't occurred to me but you are absolutely right.  Apparently it didn't work on me though.  There must be something wrong with me so…..

      • There's NOTHING wrong with you at all! And this article is one of the best pieces of writing on the subject I've ever read – a million thanks.
        Yes, this inclusive "we" thing gets on my tits too. A cheap debating trick: "We must.."  "We should…"  "We can't allow this injustice…". I'm with you Grandad: "Who the fuck is this 'we' of whom you speak?"

  3. A few weeks ago I was watching Sky and some old witch was on there was going on about how much extra people drink at Christmas [I mean that took some working out] She had the grand title of Head of the Alcohol advisory Board. So I just thought I would look her up as sure enough she was an ex MP and had a long line of charity and other non-jobs. This is the problem these idiots spend their whole lives sponging cash of the taxpayer in non-jobs they then love telling people what to do.

  4. Bloody well said and good on you for saying it.  How about emailing it to your MP?  I have a mind to email to mine!  It is about time they started to learn what their job really is, to represent the electorate and their opinions, not their bloody own!  As I told my MP, you lot need to remember you are our SERVANTS not out Masters!

    I admire you Sir, and wish you a Very Happy, Smokey, Boozy. long life and when you do pop off, please stick 2 fingers up at the establishment!

    • Welcome Truckerlyn!  Indeed – feel free to send it to anyone you like!  It applies as much in the UK as it does here in Ireland.  Just remember to adjust the personal details as appropriate.  Heh!

  5. Excellent posting, and right on! – I am 54 years old, work and pay taxes, so yes, I classify as an adult 🙂

    And I am sick and tired of the nanny state turning into a bully state, bullying people about their lifestyle choices. Those sourpuss Puritans can go… perform a lewd act with themselves. I live my life the way I please. And if they do not like it – well that is just too bad 🙂 

    • Welcome Anja [M.]!  Thank you.  As the years pass they seem to get worse and worse in some kind of perverse competition to outdo each other.  It used to be easy to ignore them but when they start introducing laws and restrictions I really see red.

      "perform a lewd act with themselves"  Heh!  I like it.  😀

      • Thank you! I have been reading in your blog just now, and we share a lot of the same views. 

        Mainly the view that we wish to live our lives the way we see fit – with no strangers butting in and trying to regulate our lives "for our own good". BS nonsense. I firmly believe in "Do onto others as you'd have them do onto you". In this case meaning: I leave others the hell alone – and I demand the same courtesy. And I can get quite.. hm… resolute … if attacked by bullying busybodies. Imagine Queen Victoria who is "not amused" *grins*

    • Here, here and well said.  I do wish the sourpusses and the bloody governments would get it into their heads that people do not want to be dictated to!  If we did, we wouldn't have had 2 World Wars and would be living under a Nazi regime today!

      Another thing I told my MP in a letter was that politicians should butt out of our personal lives because we are all different and how we live our lives is absolutely nothing to do with them!

      More people should do the same and tell their MP's exactly what they think of them and their petty politics!  If nothing else, it does make you feel better for having done it, even if the thick skulled beggars don't manage to take it in and understand it!

      • Absolutely! 

         Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

        -C. S. Lewis

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