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We Need a Celebrity Advocate
by Rob T.

Hi, Ed. Rob from DC here (was looking for help building a light box a few months back). I ended up making some modifications to an older box I purchased through National Biological Corp. Through an intricate arrangement (in a spare bathroom) of mirrors, some tenuous wiring, and a disabled timer, I'm showing signs of clearing in some of the more troublesome areas, and at least no new flares of any significance.

I thought we might be getting some publicity in today's New York Times when I saw the headline of an article about on-line publishing which said "Digital Publishing: From Arthur C. Clarke to Psoriasis Tales." I read the article to see that the "P tales" was a one-line mention of an amateur writer's book Psoriasis: My 35-Year-Itch That Vanished.

We need a celebrity to champion P and get some national attention for research, etc. I'd volunteer, but the hot lights make me itch. -Rob T.

http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/02/biztech/articles/07book.html

*****

Ed’s Response: Nice to hear from you again, Rob. Sounds like your "light closet" has all the trappings of a Frankenstein laboratory, but is working opposite, which is to say as intended; i.e., turning the monster back into a smoothie! Good for you. Send us a photo (of the closet)!

Thanks for the tip on the article. For readers following Rob’s link: You need to have a user ID and password to read the on-line NYT—but it’s free, so it’s just a matter of taking the minute necessary to set up your account. ASIDE: This appears to be the future of non-retail, commercial web enterprises: (a) sponsors (advertisers) pay cash, (b) users pay with personal information, (c) providers pay with content—the tenuous economics of the infant global village. Don’t get too used to it, it won’t feel the same next year.

The NPF agrees with you, about the celebrity business. Some years ago one of the staffers there (or a board member) told me they were looking for celebrity flakers to accomplish just what you are calling for—"to champion P and get some national attention." My source said even when they found famous people who had P, they were not too successful compelling them to "go public." That says something about our cultural attitude towards P, doesn’t it?

And I agree with you. Look what Miss America has done for diabetes; what Michael J. Fox is doing for Parkinson’s disease. So long as no one comes forward to fill this role for flakers, perhaps we should canvass the morgue for Dead Potential Spokespersons (DPSes). I’m only half joking! There are probably plenty of admirable dead flakers. Take Johan August Strindberg, for example (Swedish dramatist and essayist, see link at end). Perhaps not quite famous enough for the masses, but pretty close. Might I suggest that NPF fund a one-time-only research grant to a liberal arts grad student to find DPSes for our cause? Logical starting place: the Bible’s Job. I’d do it, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how to go about it ... similar to your problem with the hot lights, Rob. (What a great way, by the way, to wrap up an e-mail that STARTS with your homemade hot lights box in the bathroom!) -Ed

In Strindberg’s Shadow

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