We are becoming a nation of buskers and beguilers adrift on a boat made of bullshit.
Politicians look us in our faces and neither blink nor blush when they tell the most egregious of lies. Experts will say whatever you want them to say for the right amount of money. Surveys are rigged and statistics are given a more rigorous massage than you’d ever get at Makhosini Nkosi’s “interesting B&B”, which almost certainly stands for Bed & Blowjobs.
Then there are those who graduated from the Hogwash School of Hoaxes and Hype. Most of them have found work in the wealth and hellness industry.
There was a time when maxims like “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” were beaten into us. Today, we are told that apples are full of pesticides that will make our hair fall out and sugar that will make our teeth rot.
We were led to believe that, unless we actually wanted scurvy, our bodies needed extra vitamins. What rubbish. The word vitamin is derived from “vita”, meaning life in Latin, and “min”, meaning “less” in Afrikaans. If you insist on stuffing your face with beta-carotene and vitamin E, you may as well have a spitting cobra gob into your mouth.
We were also told that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day if we didn’t want to end up with a face like a sandblasted hubcap. It’s one of those health tips that can be traced all the way to a Zürich penthouse and laid to rest at the feet of a corpulent caviar-quaffing capitalist. It’s no accident that Evian is naïve spelt backwards. You know what’s really good for you? Eight glasses of beer a day.
And those cholesterol-lowering statin drugs you were told are essential? I suppose they are, if neurological disease is your goal.
Here’s what I predict the “experts” will be saying in twenty years’ time:
Smoking is healthy. The coughing clears your airways of bacteria that you inhaled because your mouth-hole wasn’t blocked by a cigarette. It also raises the heart rate in much the same manner that jogging does.
Binge drinking is good for you. Some of the body’s organs tend to fall asleep and atrophy if they aren’t used regularly enough. Binge drinking shocks them awake and reminds them that they have a job to do. It also flushes out the kidneys through repeated urination and flushes out the brain by helping it to forget old stuff so there’s room for new stuff.
Nerve gas is good for the nerves. Pfizer makes a killing out of pocket-sized sarin gas inhalers.
Stress also proves to be a winner and people are encouraged to have more children and take night jobs to complement their day jobs.
Research shows that sunscreen causes cancer, cycling causes brain damage and watching television causes a fifty-point drop in IQ.
Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas, whose diet once consisted of nine hamburgers, twelve toasted sandwiches and fourteen buckets of fried chicken a day, emerges as a pioneer after studies reveal that fast food is a thousand times healthier than fruit and vegetables.
South Africa’s police commissioner, General Rashied Staggie, announces that getting murdered is good for you. It means never having to pay taxes again, no more trips to the dentist and, best of all, no need to live in fear of crime.