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Jewish World Review March 22, 2000 /15 Adar II, 5760

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
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Consumer Reports



The Eyes Have It -- IF THEREíS ONE THING we Americans want, itís quick and easy solutions to problems. We jump at anything that promises to make us rich without having to work, or smarter without having to study. James Whitmore shows us how to grow big, beautiful tomatoes and have a lush green lawn ďwithout the bother.Ē Television informercials demonstrate simple ways to remove ground in dirt and motor oil out of our carpets, how to cook a seven course dinner for twelve in less then three minutes, and easy ways to exercise without actually having to do anything even remotely physical.

Which brings us to ANOTHER thing we Americans want -- to look like movie stars. Weíre obsessed with it. Weíre perpetually searching for the magic pill that will keep us from growing old (Viagra) or getting fat (Olestra) or whatever else we perceive as keeping us from being a dead ringer for Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman.

So if something came along that provided an easy solution to a problem and also made people look better it would be a sure fire hit, right? Well, it has. Itís called laser eye surgery. I donít mean the kind of surgery thatís performed on cataracts and for other serious eye conditions and diseases -- Iím speaking of the kind that is done primarily for personal convenience and cosmetic purposes.

If youíve listened to the commercials you know that ďitís safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never need to wear glasses or contact lenses again!Ē It sounds great. No wonder elective laser eye surgery has suddenly become the ďinĒ thing to do -- right up there with multiple tattooing and body piercing.

Let me be perfectly clear about one thing: I have NOT read or heard anything negative regarding this procedure. As a matter of fact, as far as I can tell everyone who has had it comes away singing itís praises.

So whatís the matter with ME? Why canít I embrace this wonderful new scientific breakthrough? Is it because I resist change of any kind? Is it because Iím a natural born cynic? Is it because I have no trust in modern medicine? Is it because I have no trust in ANYTHING? Yes. All of the above.

But what REALLY bothers me, is the fact that everyone who undergoes this procedure becomes a new proselytizer of it -- kind of like what happened in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, remember? People would fall asleep, then pods took over their bodies and when they woke up they were evil aliens from outer space who would try to convince MORE people to have the procedure done. ďItís safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never have to worry about feeling human emotions again.Ē Sound familiar?

Actually, I donít even know why I should be concerned about it, because I donít need glasses -- except when I want to see something. I mean, I use magnifying glasses for reading and writing but really for nothing else. And not only that, but when the light is REALLY good, I can read and write without my glasses at all -- like right now the light in this room happens to be terrific. Watch, Iíll take off my glasses and finish this column without them.

Sdd? Oí[m writting rhis wirhoit thr usw og amy hlassrs whstsowvet. I furss rhis [roved yhat I can grt alpng gine wuthoit thrm. Anf I sonít meed amy stioid laxer sitgety, withrt, Sl a wise man once daid. ďIf thr ligtyhs is tighty, lesve well enogh aone.: O cwtainu sevonf yhay noruon. Cho jib inya pippi!

NOTE: If you had trouble reading the previous paragraph, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away -- and donít be afraid if he suggests laser eye surgery because itís safe, itís painless, itís easy ... and youíll never need to wear glasses or deal with human emotions again! Oh, and one other thing -- take this pod with you.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


03/15/00: Academia and Media --- Theyíre Just Not Right
03/09/00: Sweat The Small Stuff -- Itís Okay
03/02/00: Actors And Other Animals
02/23/00: Campaign 2000 --- Wake Me When Its Over
02/15/00: Who Wants to be Regis Philbin?
02/08/00: Aftermath of a Tragedy
01/31/00: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
01/25/00: Iíd Like To Thank All The Little People
01/20/00: Merger Mania
01/11/00: Just Say JA-GWAAR
01/04/00: Who Was That Masked Man? My Hero!
12/28/99: New Millennium --- New Rules
12/21/99: Bubbaís Visit From Saint Nick
12/14/99: Call Me Mister
12/08/99: So Much Going On, So Little Time
11/30/99: Sunday Afternoon
11/22/99: The Best Money Canít Buy
11/15/99: My Peter Pan Generation
11/08/99: Fall Invasion
10/29/99: When my wife was young and Gay
10/22/99: Too Late for Dinner
10/15/99: Pondering, Musing and Supposing
10/05/99: A Message From Your Journalistic Human Interest Commentator
09/24/99: The Getting Away With It Decade
09/17/99: The Scoop of the Century
09/09/99: Important Millennium Advisory
09/03/99: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
08/26/99: Broadcasters, Please mind Your Manners
08/19/99: The Golden Age of Jerkdom
08/12/99: Dressing Down...and Out

© 2000, Greg Crosby