Politics Magazine

Interior Theodicy

Posted on the 01 April 2017 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins
Interior Theodicy

Photo credit: Richard from Canton, Wikipedia Commons

Speaking of theodicy, I have a dentist appointment today. Now, if you were raised with the Protestant guilt that used to be so pervasive in this nation, you’ll understand. I do brush my teeth twice a day. I even use floss and that mouthwash that burns away a layer of mouth lining every night. But there’s always more you could do. I’m not particularly good about visiting the dentist, though. Partially it’s a memory thing, partially it’s a pain thing, but mostly it’s a time thing. No matter how far back I jam the toothbrush, well beyond my gaging threshold, cavities seem to appear. And I don’t even have a sweet-tooth. What kind of deity allows cavities in a person who eats very little sugar and brushes so assiduously that last time the dentist told him to ease up a bit since he was scraping away the enamel? (People tell me I’m too intense.)

One of the real ironies of all this is that for all the trouble teeth give us during our lifetimes, they are our most durable parts after we die. Archaeologists find mostly teeth. In fact, it seems that Neanderthals might have practiced some primitive dentistry. I wonder what they thought of their neanderthal deity? So teeth are pretty useful, no matter whether the gray matter above them is dead or alive. I can explain this to my dentist, but he only seems interested in me as a specimen of carnassial curiosity. Maybe it all goes back to my belief that fillings were meant to last forever. Or all those root canals that seem to come in pairs that cost as much as a semester at a public university. Mostly it’s the memories.

In Edinburgh I had a tooth go bad. The Scottish dentist was surprised. “You’ve got a twelve-year molar erupting,” he said (you’ll have to imagine the accent). I asked if that was unusual. He owned that it was as I was a post-graduate student in his late twenties and the twelve-year molar was so precise in its timing that child labor laws used to be built around its presence. Years later in Wisconsin a different dentist asked about one of my fillings. I told him it was from Edinburgh. He called all the other dentists in announcing, “You wanna see a real Scottish filling?” Or maybe the fears go back to my earliest dental nightmares where the cheap doctor seemed unaware that teeth actually had nerves in them. I always left with a guilt trip. “You should brush —“ (more, better, longer, with a more gentle touch) you fill in the blank. I’m afraid of another kind of filling. And I know as it is with Protestant guilt, so it is with teeth. There’s always more you could be doing.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Yorkshire Revisited

    Yorkshire Revisited

    Almost five years ago we wrote about friends garden in Yorkshire. Well last weekend we went "up North" for a visit and although the garden is only just waking u... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Alternativeeden
    DESTINATIONS, GARDENING
  • Daya: A Yoga Practice of Compassion

    Daya: Yoga Practice Compassion

    by Victor DubinBlossoming Almond Branch in a Glass by Vincent van GoghI am not as compassionate as I would like to be. I am inclined to be ego driven and to... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • CQD.com Matter Resolved

    CQD.com Matter Resolved

    James Booth posted on Namepros that he has pushed the domain name back to the original owner Rebecca. This thread became legendary and brought together a lot... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • The Interactive Cafe – Zee5 Loft

    Interactive Cafe Zee5 Loft

    Zee5 Loft is an interactive café which recently opened in HSR, Bangalore. The whole idea is built on Hospi-tainment or Hospitality with Entertainment. This is... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Rohit Dassani
    DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • Creation Stories: LANNDS

    Photo Credit: Carl Rosen LANNDS is the indie-electronic project of Florida-based songwriter Rania Woodard. We came across LANNDS’ latest single, “Legends,” and... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Music Creates Us
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Huawei P20 Pro , P20 Lite With FullView Display Launched in India

    Huawei has made a comeback in India by launching Huawei P20 Lite, P20 Pro today. These phones come with AI-powered cameras in collaboration with the optics in... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Gadgetscanner
    GADGETS, TECH
  • Family Life: I Don’t Understand Japanese Culture

    I was looking through the video offerings on Amazon Prime and say that they had a number of Japanese programs. So I picked one, Happy Marriage!?, a live TV... Read more

    The 24 April 2018 by   Bbenzon
    CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, SOCIETY