Modern life is confusing. In my lifetime, the growth in media channels and output they provide has been fierce. Growing up in the 60s & 70s our sources of information were 2 TV channels, the radio, newspapers and Ethel. Ethel lived across the road from us and had the only house in the street with a telephone at that time. What with that and being naturally nosey anyway, if you wanted local news and gossip you went to Ethel.
Today we have more sources of information than we can cope with and one source I could happily live without is ‘experts’. I don’t know who these people are or where they come from. In a world full of serious problems, I just don’t know how these people get funding so that they can state the obvious, scare us to death or provide us with utterly pointless nuggets of information. Who signs off the grant which allows scientists to spend a year investigating if some creature in the ocean can breathe out of its backside? I read a headline recently along the lines of “Expert study concludes that rich kids leave university with less debt.” No? Really?
As for scaring and confusing us, take caffeine and alcohol for example. One day I can read that ‘experts’ have concluded that drinking coffee can ward off illnesses like dementia. Great! Fill my cup again so that I can stay compos mentis. However, by the following day, another bunch of ‘experts’ will state that drinking coffee increases your risk of heart disease. Blimey, that’s a worry. I think I’ll have a glass of wine to calm myself, after all, experts agree that red wine is good for your heart right? No, hang on, today they are saying that red wine increases the risk of dementia in later life. OK, what about tea? We built a bloody empire that ran on tea so that must be OK, it’s our national drink – nothing like the good old British cuppa! No, wait a minute, experts have said that drinking hot tea can increase the risk of throat cancer. Who wants to drink cold tea?? Cold tea simply isn’t the done thing and iced tea is an abomination. I guess I’ll have to try and reduce the temperature from hot to warm by adding more milk. No no no – I can’t do that because experts say that consuming too much dairy produce is bad for me and it’s also bad for the planet; all those extra cows burping and farting away like mad and creating methane clouds everywhere. Nope, I can’t put the planet at risk like that.
So, according to this endless stream of experts, I can’t drink coffee or my ticker will suffer but no coffee means losing my marbles. Red wine is good for my ticker but not for my marbles. Hot tea is a cancer risk, warm tea is more palatable but causes God-knows-what damage to me and also fills the atmosphere with cow gasses. I could just drink the wine and lose my marbles. After all, I’d be too drunk to care about everything else.
Not content with advising us on our fluid intake, these experts then apply their research towards food. Experts say that eating red meat could cause all sorts of problems to your innards. Nice. Everything I like to munch seems to have too much refined sugar, too much of the wrong type of fat, too much salt, too many spices, too full of meat, too many carbs, too much dairy, too much every-bloody-thing! Are all these so-called experts militant vegans or something? Even if I did cut all the good stuff out and became a vegan, digesting all those beans and pulses would make me fart like a hippo; I’d become a danger to the planet, anyone holding a naked flame and every other poor sod around me.
What I really want to read is a report by experts which concludes that, much like vowels in a game of Welsh Scrabble, experts are completely pointless and should be ignored. Result!