Friday, July 18, 2008

Fabulous Friday (DELAYED)

Today on Fabulous Friday: TB… That’s right: TB! Tuberculosis! Consumption! Is there a more fabulous way to die?

The romanticism of such languish literature, ballet, opera and theatre has made dying of consumption something of a status marker of the elite. It was said that artists became more creative, women became more beautiful and men more virile (or was it ‘vile’?).

Look to Marguerite in Lady of the Camellias, Mimi in La Boheme, Whatsherface in La Traviata and Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. A few bloody coughs in a frilly white handkerchief and old loves rush to your side, wealthy men buy you fur coats and the best part of all: In your final moments before death, one always has enough energy for a romantic dance or aria before collapsing in a delicately positioned heap atop a chaise lounge.

Fabulous, right?

Tuberculosis, or consumption as it was once called, is a deadly infectious disease that most commonly attacks the lungs. At least one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (that is over 2 billion people!), and one new infection takes place every second.

That is a lot of arias to be sung.

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