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Several years ago, there was a young woman I overheard who voiced a willingness to get surgery to round out her backside (callipygean - a big word for a shapely butt) in order to follow a standard of physical beauty. Maybe this young woman was following another person than the one I'm thinking of, maybe not - but one has to question the risks of following an example that leads to the point where someone's willing to work to earn the money to spend on implants, to undergo the knife, and then to take time off work to heal. Maybe that young woman knows by now that other methods like, I don't know, stairs and a good pair of running shoes might cost less and work just as well in the long run, and have other benefits besides.

The example of that contemporary standard is only one of several, but there's a common thread among these separate but related examples, the sort that are paid to flock around fires that fizzle and fly with fly-by-night companies. (How much did those purses net for typhoon donations again?)

When it comes to material things, I'm comfortable, and have been for all my life. However, I've seen enough of poverty to know I don't want it, and I've seen enough of luxury to know I don't need it. (That yellow dress looked better on Fergie, though not by much.) And hasn't there been enough of an example of what chasing a bigger salary can do to a person? (So the political salvo wasn't the primary motive, just a convenient cherry on top - my mistake.)

Dynasties fall, and people live on. Don't follow.

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