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"I'd rather be used than be alone."

Lessons learned from clients #1

Today I am starting a new column on this blog, a new category, which I am calling "Lessons learned from clients."

I learn more from my clients about life than they learn from me. Over the years I have learned some remarkable things which leave me in awe. Sometimes the ideas are not new to me, it's just that the client expresses the idea with such clarity, such succinctness, that the idea is "nailed". I think, "Yeah, that's it. Wow."

A couple of weeks ago I had a young woman tell me that she was involved sexually with a couple of guys one of whom she liked more than she thought he liked her, and the other who seemed to like her more than she liked him. She said she was having sex with both. When I asked her what she made of that she said to me "I'd rather be used than be alone."

I almost fell out of the chair. I was overwhelmed with her insight and her straightforwardness about her motivations. So we have been talking about this and when we talked last I asked her how things were going in this regard and she said "Better. I'm getting stronger."

And I said to her, "Maybe sometimes it's better to be alone than used."

She smiled and nodded.

The Barbarian Invasions, the film

The_barbarian_invasions The Barbarian Invasions, a French Canadian film distributed in 2003,and winner of the 2003 Academy Award for best Foreign Language Film, is about a college professor dying of cancer in Montreal surrounded by his ex-wife, his mistresses, his colleagues, and his estranged son.

The main character, Remy, is distressed with his dying because he thinks he has wasted his life on carousing rather than spending his energy on his family and his career. Remy has many regrets and his greatest regret is that he didn't have more time to enjoy his sensual pleasures.

This is kind of a Big Chill movie for the mid 50s crowd who gather to say good bye to not only their friend as he dies, but to a life they seriously start to question.

The main plot is the conflict between Remy and his estranged son, Sebastien, who Remy accuses of never having read a book, but who is financially very successful as a financial manager in London. With his wealth, Sebastien is able to buy end of life care for his father which the the socialist health care system in Canada is not able to provide right down to the heroin to manage Remy's pain.

The two men finally acknowledge their love for each other and it is sad that they are only able to do this because Remy is dying.

This film is spoken in French and I watched it with English subtitles. I recommend this film.

Link: Invasions barbares, Les (2003).

Attention Deficit drug, Cylert, taken off the market

Cylert, a drug used to treat the symtpoms of attention deficit disorder,  has been taken off the market but its generic equivalent is still out there.

"Abbott Laboratories Inc. said Thursday it was halting sales of a 30-year-old attention deficit drug that a consumer group complained was too dangerous to stay on the market.

Abbott decided to discontinue the drug, Cylert, because of declining sales, Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz said. The drug's sales this year will be less than $1 million, she said.

Brotz declined to comment on charges made earlier Thursday from consumer group Public Citizen that the drug had caused 21 cases of liver failure, including 13 that were fatal or required transplants.

"We're in the process of discontinuing it ... but that's because of declining usage and sales and because there are generics available," Brotz said.

Generic companies sell copycat versions of the drug under the name pemoline."

Link: MedlinePlus: Abbott Says Withdrawing Attention Deficit Drug.

Iraq Veterans Against the War

March 19, 2005 marked the second anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq.

In spite of George W. Bush's juvenile escapade of landing on the aircraft carrier and declaring "Mission Accomplished" more Americans and Iraquis have died after his declaration than before.

It seems clear that war is not healthy for human beings and that it is not good for the public health either physically or mentally.

On there is an interesting short 8 minute film on Iraq Veterans Against the War. I think these troops are worth supporting.

To watch the film click on the link below.

Link: t r u t h o u t - MultiMedia.

The Lady and The Duke, the film

Thladyandtheduke01 The Lady and The Duke is a french film which was distributed in 2001 about Grace Elliott, a Scottish woman living in France during the French revolution. She had a love affair with the Duke of Orleans, a cousin of the King Louis, whom the Duke votes to put to death which greatly upsets Grace who is a royalist at heart.

I watched the movie with English subtitles.

If you like movies about historical topics with political intrigue you might like this film. In France, in 2001, it was considered one of the 10 best films of the year.

I didn't like it all that much, but if you are interested in historical subjects you might find it worth your time.

Link: Anglaise et le duc, L' (2001).