Leaving Me Cold – Chinese Quack Medical Beliefs

Zhang documents 500 types of "febrile diseases" (basically fever) cause by "cold". The Chinese revere him for his invaluable contribution to Chinese medicine. Most sensible people would probably be a little less trusting of some old duffer who no one knows anything about other than the fact that he peddled some herbs a couple of thousand years ago.

Zhang documents 500 types of “febrile diseases” (basically fever) cause by “cold”. The Chinese revere him for his invaluable contribution to Chinese medicine. Most sensible people would probably be a little less trusting of some old duffer who no one knows anything about other than the fact that he peddled some herbs a couple of thousand years ago.

I hear that in Taiwan when someone tells a shit joke, people say it was “cold”. That’s pretty appropriate because Chinese beliefs about the effect of cold are a really bad joke.

Check this book out that I found down an old second-hand bookstore yesterday. This shit was written by a guy called Zhang Zhongjing who is hailed as one of the greatest doctors in Chinese medicine. The way they go on about the old fraud, it’s like he’s the Mohammad Ali of this shit or something.

Anyway, just the title alone says everything about Chinese beliefs about how cold things affect the human body: Cold weather, cold drinks etc. Basically, cold stuff causes colds. And not just colds: my ex-missus used to have a couple of students who weren’t allowed to eat or drink cold stuff as they were “short” and “traditional” docs out here told them that consuming anything cold wouldn’t let them grow. At the same time, their parents had them on some random pills that would allegedly “make them taller”. I swear that shit is fucking child abuse.

Speaking of that ex (and, as I think I’ve mentioned before, this is part of the reason that she is my ex), she – like many Chinese girls, so I’ve heard – refused to eat or drink cold things while she had the painters in, as she claimed the cold would cause her to feel “uncomfortable” and have some kind of stomach ache. When I said I had never heard of any girl back home claim such a thing (and I have three sisters), she said that must be because “Western girls are different”. Right.

The main idiocy in these very idiotic beliefs about “cold” is that it can somehow cause “a cold”, which is obviously a virus. If you point out to them that people in many parts of the world were running around butt-nekkid in freezing cold conditions with no hint of the cold virus or flue etc. before Europeans carrying these diseases turned up, the just look at you blankly, shake their heads or, most annoyingly, mutter something about forrin types not understanding. This is thousands of years of culture they add.

But that’s just it – this shit is from ancient times when people were dropping like flies and barely lived out of their teens, as this decidedly more scientific dude points out here. Why the fuck should we believe what these voodoo peddling witchdoctors were coming out with back then? Answer: “Because you foreigner must respect Chinese culture” (translation: I have no real answer, so I’ll just say you don’t get it and hope that shuts you up).

Cold doesn’t cause “diseases” unless we’re including hypothermia, pneumonia or some other breathing illnesses. The liner not below (sorry about the pic – blurry like most of the claims in it) says that this volume of bulshit hocus-pocus is an all-time classic and as important as Euclid’s works on geometry and Newton’s physics are to Western science.

I don’t know much about that Greek guy but didn’t he prove infinity and shit? And Newton: Basically discovered gravity, right? Don’t think either of these fellas would be too happy to be compared to some ancient snake oil salesman who frankly didn’t know his arse from his elbow.

Rollei Digital Camera

If the likes of Zhang Zhongjing are considered founding fathers of Chinese medicine, it’s a wonder there are even any Chinese still around to believe in his nonsensical babbling.

On the Piste? It’s all downhill from here …

Mrs Lee longed for her glory days as Taiwan's finest urban skier ....

Mrs Lee longed for her glory days as Taiwan’s finest urban skier ….

This delightful old mare was walking around the health insurance bureau hospital the other day with these two hiking sticks. At first I thought she was injured or unable to walk without them but after doing several ‘laps’ of the lobby, she walked out and for a while had them tucked under her arms as she walked along unaided with absolutely no problem.

She then put them down again and started working em like she was negotiating the gates on a tough downhill course. Gotta love these old nutters in Taiwan.

Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a cool photo: Let’s all do the peace sign in front of a plane crash site

There are morons and then there are morons who descend to the very bowels of retardishness. THEN, even lower down festering in a mire a crapulence, there are these fuckheads. These complete fucking tools thought it would be cool to pose in front of the Keelung River in Taipei the day after the TransAsia plane crash  that killed at least 35 people. From the looks of it, the rescue operations are still continuing in the background.

"Hey, Shao Ming, did you get the boats in? Look, I think they're pulling up a body over there! Quick, quick!"

“Hey, Shao Ming, did you get the boats in? Look, I think they’re pulling up a body over there! Quick, quick!”

The pic has been doing the rounds on Facebook, with some people pointing out that the muckraking rag Apple Daily (think of an even more sensationalist and lowbrow version of Britain’s beloved The Sun) has got a cheek outing people for gawking at a disaster scene given their status as a premier purveyor of disaster porn (I remember them even putting photos of a journo who had got crushed while trying to take photos of a car crash once – no sooner had he become a victim than his peers were snapping away).

Either way, these people need a bloody good kicking. It’s really quite depressing …

Sea of Shite

Aborigine boat from Lanyu, Orchid Island. About as good as this exhibition gets.

Aborigine boat from Lanyu, Orchid Island. About as good as this exhibition gets.

I try to see the best in even the rubbishest of things, I really do.

OK, that’s not true. I don’t.

Some things are just so rubbish that there’s is no goo whatsoever to be seen in em.

The Evergreen Maritime Museum in Taipei is a case in point. I strolled in there the other day a little before closing time to see what was going on. The museum is in the Chang Yung Building on that circle near the gate and across the road from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

I’d walked past umpteen times over the last couple of years and wondered what was in there but couldn’t be arsed to go in as I suspected it might be utter crap. I should’ve followed my gut instinct as it really was a complete waste of even the seven minutes I spent in there.

Granted, I didn’t get stump up the entrance fee so didn’t see the further thrilling four floors which includes paintings, more models, some historical info. and a bunch of contraptions, but for NT$200, there was no way I was going to, based on what was on offer on the ground floor.

OK, the models of boats were nice enough, though a very odd and random selection, including as it did Taiwanese aborigine canoes, large Chinese boats as sailed by the explorer Zheng He, small Arab boats and long boats from Thailand and even a model of the of Nelson’s HMS Victory. But, seriously, NT$200? This is the kind of shit that they’d have to pay the general public to visit back home.

I remember visiting the Royal Maritime Museum in London as a kid and that was a serious museum, not a pile of substandard shite like this. And, the basic ticket is free there. This isn’t the first time I’ve been to a shit exhibition in Taiwan where they are charging silly prices. When I got there the other afternoon, there wasn’t a single paying customer to be seen, just people milling about on the ground floor, which is free, before thinking better of it after about five minutes.

If Taipei wants to attract tourists with its museums, it will need to do a damn sight better than this. Complete bollocks.