Cheryl Pappas


Archive for October, 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Live

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

An article in today’s Huffington Post reports that “The White House declines to discuss court challenges during a summit with leading LGBT officials”.  Court challenges”, “summit”, LGBT “officials”???? 


This is a center stage performance of how embedded and complicated legalized bigotry has become in this country.  The gobblygookiness of what has been created out of simple discrimination is toxic and exhausting.


Worse yet, is the rolling of the eye response to gay outrage—mild though it is—and Obama’s patronizing insistence for gays to “have patience”.

In other words, stand quietly in line while the truly important issues are granted their appropriate primary consideration.


Discrimination is one of those clear-as-a-bell issues that doesn’t require an advanced mind or degree to identify.

I must be missing something, because there is a constant government “investigation” into the famous campaign of prejudice under the absurd slogan, “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”.

Exactly what is there to investigate?


Was there an investigation about segregated toilets and drinking fountains in the 1950’s?  Or did decent people recognize the just plain wrongness of the enforced hatred on display?

Apparently, enough white people silently agreed to block black people from sharing their intimate spaces and freedoms. I am aware of the racism that lingers still all these years later.  And yet, some of the very people who should understand persecution have their backs turned against caring for others who are marginalized.


I know this is terribly un-pc of me, but how sad that gay rights boils down to a military argument. Yes, I know that freedom has to start somewhere.  It’s just drastic that the disease of hatred in this country  toward gay people is so extreme and so silently endorsed as to include even those gays risking their lives in the American military.


Maybe we should stop listening to the fine faux points of legislative  debates on the so-called “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, (whatever those words really mean).  Because, no matter what that law encompasses,  it always enforces shame and the advice to hide.

DADT is so obviously spelled out, it is Discrimination For Dummies.


To carry forth legislation that is so openly about discrimination and to call the repeal of said legislation “debatable” is a disgrace.


The job of the President is immense, yet that does not dismiss his authentic lack of caring, nor his surly defense and attack on those who call him on it.  And Yes, He Could take a tough stance against this, as well as any other, just plain wrong legislative bigotry.


Shame on this country, and shame on this President, no matter how large his burdens.

Culture On The Couch

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

“They’re stealing our skies!” Jackie Kennedy Onassis was known to exclaim during her efforts to preserve and save many soulful buildings and historic Manhattan monuments from wrecking balls in the 1970’s and 1980’s; her successful fight to dismantle plans to replace history with sky-scraping, vapid stage sets.


Today, I say, “They’re stealing our freedom!  They’re stealing our privacy!” We simply have to do something to stop this.

It must never be too late to put an end to the end of our liberty.


In the spirit of necessity and urgency on these matters and more, I am putting culture on the couch.  That is, I am analyzing cases of the race to remove our freedoms, and those news items that instantly appear and disappear on the nightly scroll, only to vanish without exposure and true analysis.


This is a serious time. It certainly bears stopping the distractions—Lindsay Lohan, reality show Housewives, twitter gossip– long enough to identify and address the ongoing changes which are far from benefiting anyone’s personal life experience.


Cameras placed high on lamp posts dotting the streets of Los Angeles, anyone?  For those of us who drive constantly here in LaLaLand, we know the killers on the roads survive intact, nary a cop or camera in sight.


The truth is, someone is benefiting at our expense. Namely, big corporate entities with friendly names, mostly behind the scenes, ala the recently exposed Google privacy rip-off.  This appears to be the tip of a horrendous iceberg, where the unexposed corporate criminals are betting that we are drugged and distracted enough not to notice as they gainfully remove our privacy.  But to what end?


We need to wake up and ask the questions to find the answers.


Stop and smell the stench of bad change.  Dare to join me in looking at what is just not right. We can make a point of it, and actually stop dastardly moves against our right to privacy.

We can catch as many plans to omit the beauty of liberty, plans meant to rob us of our lives; we can stall these plans with acknowledging that they exist and insist that they matter.


First we have to stop looking down at the latest emoticon on our hand-held distractions and dare to look up at our real feelings.


There are those who are turning their attention to doing just this.  Jesse Ventura, for example, on his excellent new trutv show, Conspiracy Theory.  Bravo to Jesse, and let’s hope he’s not marginalized and discredited with the idea that he’s simply a “nut job”.


Come out, others of you who have genuine social concerns and questions.

I’d like to hear from you.  Join me.


Let’s all put culture on the couch.


Celiac Blues and Greens

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Elizabeth Hasselbeck and I finally have something in common.

In her excellent book, The G Free Diet, she writes about her discovery that she has celiac disease.


Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive condition. The finger-like villi of the small intestine become damaged as a result of eating gluten, resulting in a lack of nutrient absorption.  Without absorbing vitamins and minerals, the immune system is ripe for autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, even cancer.


According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 out of 133 people suffer with celiac disease and 97% of them don’t know they have it!


Recently, by a series of good fortune events, I had the ultimate physiological “aha!” moment leading me to my own diagnosis of celiac, originating from something completely nonrelated.

There was a clear bell of destiny to the whole thing.

For a short, exhilarating time, I became my own intense medical investigator, on the case of a life-changing truth. 


Sometimes a puzzle demands to be solved, in spite of our having other plans.  Suffice it to say that, like any good mystery, this one involved intrigue, medical corruption, history, JFK, and a lifelong passion for fabulous food.


I am on the celiac diet, and in spite of many skeptics who insist this is a fad, take my word for it: it is very real, if not surreal.


Here’s my take on why this remains an invisible, undiagnosed disease  by the medical community. There is no money in it. There is no pharmaceutical prescription that addresses the disease.

This is because the only cure for celiac disease is to stop eating all products containing gluten– forever.  


There is nothing to gain for doctors to investigate a celiac disease diagnosis.  Most people are misdiagnosed and prescribed inappropriate, even harmful medications that distract and cover-up the core sickness they are experiencing.

This means that we all are on our own and have to be our own doctors when we have what may be a celiac condition!


My own journey has been what feels like a hairpin race around blind curves inevitably leading to the arrival at a foreign and flourless diet, the unfamiliar trip down food aisles bearing amaranth, greens, and quinoa.  Glancing over in those aisles to my fellow food travelers, we smile and I realize:  I have become one of “those people” who speak in “gluten”.


For sure, this doesn’t mean I am 100% fundamentalist on the prescribed nondairy, meatless, 3-day-a-week fish regime.  To wit, the 10-layer dark, ganache chocolate hazelnut cake someone recently surprised me with. Sigh.

But that’s a gleeful/guilty anomaly.

Most of the time, the highlight of a food day involves some fascinating variety of seaweed.


On the one, most important hand, I am incredibly lucky.  I have comprehensively cracked the case and the reward is health!


I could also teach a small seminar on what it means to have the celiac condition, having lived with it undiagnosed all my life, and now researching it, literally, to the bones.


Having had a childhood eating preference diagnosed by my mother as “picky”, she also, to be fair, took me to stomach doctors who adamantly proclaimed my vibrant wellbeing.   The diagnosis was the fallback medical explanation for all unknown symptoms: stress. 


This undiagnosed condition has never come in the way of a lifetime of fabulous food adventures.  My friends call on me as their personal “restaurant intuitive”.  I know the great from the no good without stepping foot in a place.  While always being sensitive to the quality of ingredients with a stomach that spoke to me loud and clear, I just never knew what that meant.


I’ll always be a person who reads room service menus with the excitement of inhaling a great piece of literature.  I’ve been to four and five-star food destinations all over France, have passionately pursued and discovered great food and creative, extraordinary, mostly unstarred, restaurants everywhere.


I’m bound to deliberately bracket this awakened, necessary change of diet on rare occasions, most probably while travelling.  Yet I am thrilled by the clarity of knowledge and the opportunity to heal and live the highest quality, healthiest life possible.


It is comforting to be in great company with generous people who share their own stories.

Robin Quivers wrote a recent Huff Post blog that I love, expressing her joyous adventure in dietary renovation.  That was nourishing to read.  Thank you, Robin!  And thanks for the caring of Elizabeth Hasselbeck in writing her terrific book.


As I troll drolly, (most of the time), into deeper raw food territory, the  Annie Hall scene where Woody Allen travels to L.A. to hopefully win Annie back to New York and they meet at a health food restaurant, (which was then an actual wonderful restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, called, The Source), springs to mind. 


He ordered a plate of mashed yeast.  I know exactly how he felt.





Close [x]