October 26, 2014
October 19, 2014
Plumped-up eyelids and pale skin, tippled pink…..
But the Renee Zellweger of Bridget Jones’ Diary has been replaced by a new Renee – let’s call her Wellzeger, who is tanned and taut and athletic enough to be Australian (in an Elle Macpherson kind of way).
When Ms Zellweger premiered her healthy new look at the Elle magazine Women In Hollywood awards last week, there was much talk of the ‘work’ she had (had) done to achieve it; although she said she was looking better simply because she has learned to live better.
Take your pick, but there is no doubt about the demand of the day: by any means necessary, make me an icon of ‘wellness’; let me exude the idea of rude health, or I may never work in this town again.
Meanwhile, in the pages of Interview magazine…..
Wasted. Blasted. Playing at being brain dead. A bevy of expensively attired legs, bums, breasts and pouty lips splayed out on the filthy floor of a concrete bunker. Slack limbed and glassy eyed, models acting as mannequins in a pantomime of silk and squalor.
The flipside of ‘wellness’, but no antidote; rather, Fabien Baron’s ‘Wasted’ fashion shoot only shows that today’s cult of health and wellbeing is capable of moving in mysterious ways – up to and including its opposite.
Cut from the cult to the case Dr Stella Adadevoh, who died of Ebola after she herself prevented the disease from spreading through Nigeria.
When Patrick Sawyer, a recent arrival from Liberia, was admitted to Dr Adadevoh’s clinic suffering from ‘malaria’, she refused to believe him; more importantly, despite his protests and threats she refused to let him leave the clinic until tested for Ebola. Thetests proved positive and the good doctor was duly rewarded with a dose of the deadly virus.
Dr Adadevoh died alone – though her husband and son were nearby, they were obliged to remain behind a closed window – in a disused TB hospital set aside for Nigeria’s Ebola patients. But thousands if not millions more Nigerians have survived because her decisive action succeeded in limiting the spread of the disease.
1) The Abyss of Nothing
‘Whiteout’, said one survivor. ‘Blackout conditions’, said another. A third man reported stumbling through ‘an abyss of nothing.’
These are escapees from the shoulder-high snow and flattening winds which hit theAnnapurna mountain trail unexpectedly last week, at the height of Nepal’s tourist trekking season.
Nearly 40 bodies have been recovered so far; but hundreds have survived – either snatched out of the snow by keen-eyed, sharp-clawed helicopter pilots, or straggling down the mountainside as best they could, clutching at straws which turned out to be guide poles trailing the way down to safety.
Down to the non-descript place where patches of snow give way to blotches of warm earth; and queues of bedraggled survivors look like they’re waiting for the Night Bus home.
Yet how splendid it must have been to come down in the world; to re-enter a lower realm of relative comfort, largely as you left it.
When the trekkers went up, however, weren’t they saying goodbye to all that? Pristine, surely, is what they were after. Above the snow line: the absence of things; and theend of men.
‘Blizzard conditions where the ground became the same as the sky and it was difficult to see which way was up and which way was down’, as one survivor described them, are also the preconditions for the Inhuman Being which tourist-trekkies are sort of, kind of looking for – aren’t they?
They may not admit it, and perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned it – safer to have said they were searching for the Abominable Snowman.
Whoever he is, they only wanted to touch the hem of his garment; but when the Nepalese weather turned unexpectedly absolute, last week’s search party found themselves draped and dying in it.
2) The Abyss of Everything
A hospital waiting room where there’s no need to wait – surely no such thing. But now there is, in Dallas. Patients have fled the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital after one man died there and two of his nurses contracted the Ebola virus.