Just Breathe

breathMy sister is a trained Yoga instructor.  If you have ever done Yoga … or practically any meditation technique … you know that proper breathing is part of the way to a relaxed, mindful state.   Through the nose, breathe into your belly, then gently expel through the mouth.  Notice how it feels on the inhale and how it feels different when you exhale.  Breath in light.  Breath out negativity.  You get the picture.  When my Dad was in assisted living, his primary caretaker was my sister, since she lived less than an hour away, while I live in California and our brother lives in Ohio.  Whenever my Dad was agitated about something, my sister would say, Just Breathe, Dad.  Just Breathe.  My Dad, disinclined toward Yoga or any other New Age nonsense, would answer, I am breathing.  Sometimes, I am breathing, dammit. Interestingly, though he never followed my sister’s suggestion, his annoyance would distract him enough from whatever was bothering him and he would indeed end up less agitated.

I bring this up because this morning, as I made my way through the news on my Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet, I found an article that carried Just Breathe to new and ludicrous heights.  A headline from the New York Possaid, ‘Breatharian’ couple survives on ‘the universe’s energy’ instead of food. The article goes on to say that the couple, Camila Castello and Akahi Ricardo — who have a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter together — have survived on little else besides a piece of fruit or vegetable broth just three times per week since 2008. And Castello even practiced a Breatharian pregnancy — not eating anything during the entire nine months that she carried her first child.  I read the entire article, assuming at some point the author, Lauren Windle, would let us in on the joke … or say, But of course, this is scientifically impossible.  Nope.  Bullshit to the end.  Now, we all know The New York Post is a rag, read for amusement and only believed by the lunatic fringe.   But the article was picked up by Yahoo News, Google News and many other online so-called news pages (just Google Breatharian Couple).   So-called because publishing such nonsense disqualifies the publisher as a news source.

After years as one of the most technically advanced societies in the world, we seem to have entered an era where no claim, no matter how outlandish, is ignored if it will generate publicity, particularly on the internet.  A healthy skepticism of science is probably a good thing but publishing an article about not eating … especially during pregnancy … as a life-style is stupid.  And irresponsible.  Because as more pseudo-scientific garbage is published as news … and more politicians label anything they don’t agree with as Fake News … the difference between Fake and Real is blurred.   And sure as hell, some idiot is going to kill himself trying to live without eating.  Of course, it’s already happened … just look here, on Snopes.com.   So I don’t even have to say I told you so.

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