(n.); admiration of a particular part of the body
ALS constitutes progressive imprisonment without parole. First you lose the use of a digit or two; then a limb; then and almost inevitably, all four.
—Tony Judt, Night
The human body is beautiful; this has been an accepted truth throughout the ages and can be observed everywhere in art, literature, science, and even in daily discussion. Perhaps now more than ever with the surge in “body positivity” and embrace of “natural beauty”, we strange human beings appreciate the marvel that is our body in all its parts. In particular, the internet has lately been raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with the infamous ice bucket challenge – and what, after all, makes us appreciate something more than the absence of that thing? In his 2010 short essay for The New York Review of Books, Tony Judt offers an eloquent glimpse into the reality of living with ALS. On a more lighthearted note, for a fun digression on the body part we all rely on so much, read Jen Doll’s 2013 piece on the evolution of hand gestures.