Sunday, March 13, 2005

Pissed Off Old Guy Syndrome (POOGS)

Also known as Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS), this particular dis-ease reminds me of a deeper, more insidious social ill: Bad Research Idea Syndrome (BRIS).

This guy, Jed Diamond (not to be confused with the great Jared Diamond) observes a bunch of pissed off old guys and comes up with male menopause, or manopause, as cleverly coined by the minions of the mass media.

Here's Jed's big quotation: "I also saw these kinds of changes [from relative mild-mannered machismo to extreme grumpiness] in men who were under considerable stress, or who were suffering losses of self-esteem due to major life changes such as divorce, job layoffs, or illness." So, Jed, you're saying that under great duress, men get moody? Gee, thanks for the tip, here's your $35 for the hard copy version.

Another of my favourites is the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which surely does wonders in explaining why so many people are tired all the time. It's because they have the chronic. So, what can they do? Drink lots of water, exercise more.

Recently M was telling me and X about some research that seemed to indicate that being left-handed is a dangerous condition, as lefties tend to die much younger. On further examination, someone figured out that almost all really old people are right-handed now, because they had that shifty left-handedness beat out of them at a young age. On even more scrutinous consideration by yours truely, it was revealed that research delineating left-handers and right-handers is a big fucking waste of time, brainpower, and money.

Why are human beings obsessed with inane research topics? How will the information resulting from comparisons between lefties and righties, or from observing grumpy old men in their natural habitats (like convertable corvettes) benefit humanity? Will it feed the hungry, employ the unemployed, give us more joy? Will it unplunder the Earth, will it bring justice to the wicked? No.

I propose a study on the concept of BRIS. We need to find the source of this scourge and bring it to its knees, crush it down further still, into the underground, and sneer at it from above.


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