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.
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.