Always Look on the Bright Side of Death

Crispian Jago is dying. I have featured his blog, The Reason Stick, here before. One, two, three. It is self-described as: A blunt, shit-stained instrument wielded indiscriminately to bludgeon pseudoscience, superstition, blind faith and common or garden irrational bollocks. Now he is applying the same unflinching rationality to his own death. He has written a journal about it, called Always Look on the Bright Side of Death. He says that sudden death is supposed to make your whole life flash before your eyes, but that slow death gives you time to write about it. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 4, wherein he satirizes so-called alternative medicine. He assures us that he is glad that the British national health service uses “the best medical interventions known to science” instead. Here you go. See if you can guess what each of the five is aimed at. Note – He was talking about how to deal with bunkum.

I think the same principles of satire and derision can be applied to all forms of nonsense to try and emphasise its inherent absurdity. We often become blind to much irrational nonsense due to the familiarity of the context in which it is presented. I therefore like to juxtapose that context to help re-stress the incongruity of certain notions. For example, “Karma Kanics”, my imagined alternative new age vehicle well running centre, offers many services beyond mainstream garages who seem to have very little time for their customers and focus solely on the specific mechanical faults in your vehicle. My new age vehicle well running centre takes a far more holistic approach to your car’s well running by using more traditional and natural repair techniques that will enhance your vehicle’s whole engine, body and petroleum spirit. Typical therapies offered include:

Drive Shaft Manipulation
Many Alt-Mach practitioners believe that most faults in the car are caused by cardan-subluxations, where one or more couplings in the drive shaft move out of position. Firm manipulation of the drive shaft can help to free these blockages and allow the free flow of innate torque throughout the whole car.

Torsion Healing
Fully trained Torsion Masters go through several levels of attunements and are able to channel a car’s torsion by mystically waving spanners over the bonnet and restoring the engine’s cosmic balance and harmony.

Tyreology
A variety of mechanical faults can be fixed by massaging the correct points of the car’s tyres. Various zones on each tyre mirror separate engine components. For example, massaging the inner tread of the driver’s rear-side tyre can clear blockages in the carburetor.

Exhaust Candling
Exhaust candling involves inserting a hollow candle into the car’s exhaust pipe with the external end lit. The process works by the flame creating negative pressure encouraging carbon monoxide and other toxins in the car to be expelled through the exhaust to naturally detoxify your engine.

Anti Service
Regular car servicing is promoted by the shills of “Big Garage” as a supposed method of reducing breakdowns. In reality, regular servicing of your car simply pumps it full of toxic oil and brake fluid and feeds the profits of conventional garages. Some studies have also shown a link between new car servicing and incorrect valve clearance.

Farcical as the above mechanical therapies may sound we tend not to notice so much when we apply them to ourselves and refer to them as: Chiropractic, Reiki, Reflexology, Ear Candling and Anti Vaccination – yet they are equally bogus.

I’m glad I found The Reason Stick. I’m sorry that Crispian Jago is dying, but I’m thankful that I got to experience his surgical wit beforehand. Maybe he’ll be looking over our shoulders after he’s gone, keeping us honest and rational. Nah. He’d call that bollocks.

rjb

About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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