Monday, December 16, 2019

THE EARLY CUP

Woke up in the middle of the night with the phrase "hai hou fuk jaap ge" (係好複雜嘅 "it's very complicated") at the top of my head, then had a sneezing fit. And note that whatever it was, was not "gwai sei fuk jaap" (鬼死複雜 "devil dead complicated"); extremely or extraordinarily complicated. Which I cannot remember, whatever it was. Fuk jaap: overlappingly mixed, or folded variously, literally, hence complicated like the Dutch word "ingewikkeld", which means all twisted together and inextricably complex. The English word 'complicated' means folded together, from Latin com + plicare.

Yep, too much coffee before falling asleep.
And I'm on my first cup of the day now.
Just buzzing with heppy goodness.


SYNAPSES ALL SPARKY


Modern life would be impossible without caffeine. You will recall that last year some bunch of know-nothing do-gooders (the Council for Education and Research on Toxics) had demanded warning labels on coffee, to which a judge agreed. In August of that year FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb recommended that they all pull their collective heads out of their collective donkey, writing "strong and consistent evidence shows that in healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases, such as cancer, or premature death, and some evidence suggests that coffee consumption may decrease the risk of certain cancers."


"Evidence shows that in healthy adults, moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases; evidence suggests that coffee consumption may decrease the risk of certain cancers"


So for the time being you don't have to see a fright-statement on the side of your Starbucks paper cup telling you that the State of California thinks you're gonna die horribly or suffer infertility, low birthweight, or crippling insomnia.

Without caffeine the last four and a half centuries of human history would have been quite different. Western society would be still swilling beer or wine for breakfast, because ditch water kills you, and all of Northern Europe would be lacquered by lunch. The scattered settlements in North America would be limited to a belt along the Eastern seaboard where the Indians had become non-dangerous alcoholics, and we'd still be hunting beavers as our primary economic enterprise.
Plus our disease burden would be vastly greater, because advanced medicine requires sound sober science and knowledge of sterilization, not syphilitic drunken barbers dispensing opium and mercury compounds.
There would almost certainly be no vaccination, no preventative care worth a damn, high levels of malnutrition, and huge numbers of early deaths from entirely preventable causes.

We would all be pin-headed from booze-related birth defects.


The computer screen on which you read this would not exist.

Life, in a word, would be fuk chaap ge.
More than it needed to be.
Shorter, too.


Likewise, the anti-vax movement would not exist, and gluten-phobes would still be smelling out witchcraft and heresy.





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