Friday, January 12, 2007

Lucky Man

It is rare to find autobiographies that consistently make readers not only laugh out loud but also marvel at the grace the author has achieved regarding the mishaps and tragedies s/he has suffered through. Technically, Fox's book is a memoir (I suppose that means "to be continued"), and with Michael Pollan's help, he manages to tell enough of his story without violating too much of his privacy. Fox truly gave the public a gift when he published this book.

Fox's advocacy for more research and funding for the disease he's fighting made me think about today's society and its attitude toward illness and debilitation in general. For some reason, people who are fighting disease or managing pain or other physical limitations due to injury or neurological condition, become relegated to a whole other class and are subject to prejudicial attitudes and to unspoken requests to hide any outward manifestations of their ailment. It's as if humans haven't yet evolved to a point where we aren't punished for our weaknesses; we still "remember" what it's like to live in fear of physical attack from predators. What's up with that?

I'm heartened to know that someone who has been so skilled at his craft (acting) has been successful in branching out into logical directions (producing and writing) and is also devoting his energy to finding a cure for Parkinson's.

"Try to remember that working's no crime, just don't let them take and waste your time." James Taylor

[originally posted to BookCrossing, 3/4/04]

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