Culture and Society
Helplessness makes monsters of people. He’s seen chairs thrown, exam tables kicked. The rooms pathologists speak to patients in now have everything bolted down.
I take the test, grade myself strictly, and add up the points. The result is that I’m likely an alcoholic and should seek treatment as soon as possible. I take the test again and grade myself more forgivingly, because forgiveness is a virtue.
This strange country of cancer, it turns out, is the true democracy — one more real than the nation that lies outside these walls and more authentic than the lofty statements of politicians; a democracy more incontrovertible than platitudes or aspiration.
In the country of cancer everyone is simultaneously a have and a have-not. In this land no citizens are protected by property, job description, prestige, and pretensions; they are not even protected by their prejudices. Neither money nor education, greed nor ambition, can alter the facts. You are all simply cancer citizens, bargaining for more life.
If you are going to deal with the issue of health in the modern world, you are going to have to deal with much absurdity.