Cortisol: The American Drug of Choice

Uploaded by anubis2814 on 18.04.2010

I wish I could find this video clip of George W Bush, when he was at a rally talking to
a single mother. She was telling him that just to get by she was working 3 jobs, she
wanted him to get re-elected so she could help her. His response was “3 Jobs huh?
Thats the American Dream. Meet cortisol. It is a hormone released in
the body during times of stress and duress. It restricts arteries and blood flow to limbs
and communication between neurons to to store fat when food is scarce and times are tough.
This drug is extremely useful in times of danger, war and famine for paleolithic humans.
This drug requires physical activity to remove from the body, which is fine when you are
using fight or flight, or use lots of physical activity in your daily life but welcome to
the modern world. When your boss is angry at you for messing up, cortisol floods your
brain making it harder for your neurons to communicate making you even more likely to
mess up especially if your job is on the line. Stress is everywhere around us, and physical
activity is at the lowest of any time in human history. A disease of excess cortisol, usually
caused by malfunctioning of endocrine glands is called cushings syndrome. This disease
has many symptoms including weakness in limbs, body hair growth in women, reduced libido,
frail skin, bone and hair, depression, anxiety and infertility. This disease causes fat redistribution
from areas where is will be used quickly, to areas of storage. So fat builds up in the
abdomen, butt and face and in the long term can cause a buffalo hump fat pad on the back.
Most Americans do not have Cushing syndrome, but with the level of stress we have as a
society we tend to have a constant level of it flooding us. This makes us feel the need
to eat even more as we are in storage mode instead of use mode. And we wonder why we
have a nation of extremely fat people. The protestant, conservative and American
mindset is that working hard equals good and if you aren't working yourself ragged then
you are lazy. This creates unhappy workers, waste and mistakes at company expenses and
much higher healthcare prices because of stress related illness and the escapism needed by
using legal and illegal self-destructive habits It creates irritation and friction between
workers as stress creates the psychological concept called regression where intelligent
adults act like children. Many countries in Europe understand this and have restricted
the work week by law to 30 hours max, and you know what? The people are just as productive
as we are and they have free time, they enjoy their life, they are much healthier and they
have time and mental energy to actually care about politics and be politically active,
which is great because their neurons are actually communicating. Of course doing this would
require government intervention which we can't let happen, that's socialism. And 30 hour
work week would be laziness, damn welfare slackers actually spending time with their
family and enjoying travel to expand their minds and horizons. Cortisol, the American
Drug, we can't get enough of it, and because of it we don't have the time or mental energy
to maintain anything including our health, infrastructure or mind.
America is no longer upwardly mobile Very few people pull themselves up by their own
bootstraps these days, because there are things like exorbitant medical fees to beat you back
into your class or lower if you even think about going to the doctor, also because there
are less taxes on the rich and more on the middle class and there are laws written by
lobbyists to make entry to the market extremely difficult for a small business owner. The
few people who raise themselves up a tax bracket are the ones that are most angry about welfare
They stressed like crazy to make the little extra money they have so they should be able
spend it however they like be it a giant TV or a hummer, things they don't need cause
massive waste and don't really bring them happiness but damn it they earned that money
so they should be able to spend it however commercials tell them to. This is the American
Dream, collect stuff. People in nations not hooked on cortisol don't mind giving up their
money in taxes to ensure that their neighbor is taken care of, and if they have a problem
with the way the government is spending money, they have the time and mental fortitude to
organize and fix their government. We go to work, stress out in jobs we hate, go home
sit in front of the TV or computer because we are exhausted, see commercials for things
we don't need but are told we want then go out and shop. Then we go back to our jobs
we hate and stress out more so we can start the cycle again. Only in a consumerist nation
is shopping considered a hobby, so our houses are full of stuff we never use, enjoy or even
remember having, but we have to protect, clean and worry about it. The feeling of getting
new stuff is an awesome rush, we all get it, but we quickly lose that rush and need something
else once the change becomes normal to us. The really really free market gives me that
rush, I don't have to spend anything, I can get rid of all that stuff I didn't need anyway
or lost use for, and giving gives a nice rush too, and if it turns out I don't really like
what I got I can take it back with zero hassle or guilt. I also get enjoyment out of rescuing
things from the trash washing them up and taking them to the market because apartment
complexes have the policies of throwing everything in the trash when they evict someone I've
already got 2 bags and some furniture I'm taking.
I find it interesting, prior to the late 50s there was no such thing as a yard sale. It
was only until we because prosperous and a consumerist nation that we started getting
stuff we didn't need. After the war people knew exactly what it was like to be poor,
to not have labor unions and to be treated slave wages Now for the first time ever, America
was at the top of the world, unions ruled, and the top 1% were taxed 90% and were still
rich Infrastructure was being built up and people could reach the upper middle class
if they worked hard enough for it and happened to be white males. They worked very hard because
for the first time they actually felt like they could. One of the myths people have about
welfare is that if people are given welfare they will just be lazy and not work. What
they fail to take into account is that everyone wants to succeed and feel accomplished. People
only rely on welfare if they feel like its impossible to be successful. When success
becomes easy people become addicted to it and will get themselves off welfare. Only
the mentally unstable will stay on welfare and it is probable they would have required
state care anyway. Another problem is that those who are better off or pulled themselves
up quickly forget what it feels like to be poor. Negative memories are dumped faster
than positive ones, and they tend to forget the aspects that kept them poor. They forget
how much easier it could have been for them if they had better access to success. People
who never were poor have no idea how bad it can be for people and just brush their troubles
off as laziness. Many who were poor think “look at how much I did for myself and how
the odds were against me, and look where I got myself, others should be able to do the
same”. They really didn't do it all by themselves, there was government help, perhaps for college,
government programs like the military, or they had help from their family or they just
had good influences from family members or people they happened to be around Even Ayn
Rand the queen of do-it-for-yourself did not rely on herself nearly as much as she'd like
you to believe, she had family and friends that helped her out and happened to have good
contacts with famous successful people. On top of that, just because it was that hard
for you, do you really think it should be that hard for everyone? Success should be
easier as the generations progress, not harder as the downward spiral of cortisol will prevent
success even more so. Success is a learned trait, you do not succeed in this society
on your own because its not instinctual. You either get lucky due to a break, have
a natural talent, or just happen to understand how to be successful by luck, otherwise you
are taught how to be successful. Survey data shows this to be true. If you are surrounded
by unsuccessful people there is a good chance you will be unsuccessful too. If you are someone
who started out with nothing and pulled yourself up to being rich and well off, you are the
statistical outlier and in the tiny minority. Cortisol is the drug that keeps the poor man
poor and the rich man discontented. When we can realign labor and livelihoods to reduce
it, our health, efficiency, intelligence and happiness will rise, until then, try some
exercise and relaxation techniques like yoga or tai chi. Assuming you have the time or