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  1. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

    Thursday, 21 October 2010

    A few weeks ago, I found myself listening to one of my favourite songs of all time. That's 'Mrs Robinson' by Simon & Garfunkel. A classic if ever there was one, in my opinion. Now, I normally pride myself on being fairly good at really listening to song lyrics, and thinking about the meaning - that's why they're there after all. But as I sat there listening to the song, I realised I'd never really listened to the lyrics. And when I did, I found the song taking on a whole new meaning. I'd never properly clocked that it was supposed to be about a woman dealing with alcoholism. Neither, it seems, did most people that I'd asked. 

    Now, I know this doesn't seem like I'm going anywhere with this, but get on board and go with me - I promise there's a destination!

    The line which I found myself being drawn to again and again though, was the line about Joe DiMaggio:
    Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

    I poked around online for a while, and found an analysis of the lyrics (which was really interesting reading). It talked about this part in particular. How DiMaggio himself had been confused by it. As he said, he hadn't actually gone anywhere, so what was it referring to? 

    The analysis says how DiMaggio was considered "the quintessential secular American hero-savior", who was widely idolised, was handsome, charming, talented and 'got the girl'. He was a pop culture hero, who was fading from the spotlight as he stepped back from baseball. 

    So where am I going with this? Well, at the time I was thinking about this, there was an awful lot of talk of how every time diabetes was talked about in the public eye, it was all negativity. When I wrote my review of The Hospital I addressed some people's complaints that there was not enough coverage of people being responsible and doing amazing things whilst living with diabetes. As I said, it wasn't the place or the time, and it certainly wasn't the goal of that show. But the thing is, there are so many people living with diabetes out there who are doing amazing things. There are people taking on incredible challenges. Look at Team Type 1, look at my wonderful friend Ginger Vieira, who is a total inspiration to me. Look at all the others forming the list that's so long it's ridiculous. But then do something else.

    If you're living with diabetes, whether it's your own, or your loved one's, do something for me.

    Look in a mirror. 

    Go do it now. I'll wait. 

    ........welcome back.

    What did you see? Not sure? Well, do you know what I see? 

    I see a hero. I see someone who doesn't have it easy, but who is still here. Who hasn't given up. You're doing amazing things - whether you're climbing a mountain, or remembering to test - you're Joe DiMaggio. And our 'nation' turns its lonely eyes to you. 
    Oh. And to sum it up, I turn it over to two videos, both of which say it better than I ever could.

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