While less than 25 percent of Americans are getting the recommended amount of most forms of exercise, exercise rates are no less than skyrocketing in one particular area: futility.
Kent Bellow, CEO of pharmaceutical giant Smerck & Co., applauded Americans for upping their exercises in futility. “The more utterly useless the day-to-day activities of Americans become, the greater market there will be for pharmaceutical remedies of the chronic variety," he explained. He grinned and added, “Big money, big money! It's all about the shareholders."
And it appears that American rates of futility will only continue to rise, as those who regularly engage in such exercises seem quite committed to them. Debbie Patton of Denver, Colorado, for one, expressed great enthusiasm for her own ongoing exercise in futility regarding her diet. For the past five years, Patton has been attempting to lose those stubborn last 60 pounds.
“I’m on the keto diet now,” she said, clearly passionate about the subject. “I’ve gotten really into bone marrow. Have you tried it? So good.”
And, indeed, as Debbie herself demonstrates, there is an entire sector of the American population that, by definition, is committed to exercises in futility: vegans. One such example is food justice activist Martin Lowe of New York City, who, for the past three decades has been urging people to adopt a vegan diet for the sake of compassion, resource availability, and the environment. While Lowe has found that very few people are interested in hearing about the plight of factory-farmed animals or the clear-cutting of jungles in Brazil to raise crops for livestock, he says that basic American apathy will never deter him from advocating for his cause.
"To paraphrase French philosopher Albert Camus, our task is impossible, so let us begin," he said with a wry shrug. "A little impossibility has never stopped us vegans. Exercises in futility are our specialty!"
Like Lowe, Dennis Staid of Birmingham, Alabama, is also civically minded, and happily engages in exercises in futility on an annual basis at the very least. “I’m a proud voter,” he declared. “I always make to the polls, where I cast my ballot for the most marketing-savvy career politician whose vague and non-committal platform best aligns with my tepid conscience and who I feel has an actual chance of winning.”
Not everyone, however, takes such a positive view of Americans’ ongoing exercises in futility. “if people were on a hamster wheel, they might not be getting anywhere, but at least they’d be getting some cardio," lamented lifestyle physician Dr. Brenda Carlile. "Instead they’re just spinning around and around in their own head.”
But that, emphasized Smerck’s Kent Bellow, is precisely the point. “We’ve got a pill for that!” he said.