Friday, December 30, 2011

The U.S. Government Spent Over $400,000 to Study the Effects of a Coffee Enema--Really

That's it, I quit. I'll never try to write another fiction piece ever again. For I now realize after trying to get the knack of it for about three decades the imagination I once thought fertile is in fact as barren as the Mojave Desert. At least it is compared to the bizarre and absurd things reality keeps serving up on an almost daily basis. Here is Russia Today with the details:
Want to know where your tax dollars are going? Washington has a rapid response for that one on the ready: stick it up your ass.

No, really.

A recent report carried out by the Chicago Tribune reveals that the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine — a branch of the federally-funded National Institutes of Health — has spent around $1.4 billion since it began 12 years ago on finding out, among other things, that coffee enemas aimed up the butt and into the intestines will, believe it or not, not aid in pancreatic cancer treatment. That messy test, reports the Tribune, was made possible thanks to a $406,000 grant. an aspiring fiction writer I've been served. So what else you got?
What other scientific breakthroughs were made possible by your involuntary donations to Uncle Sam? Over half-a-million dollars helped scientists determine that AIDS could not be cured with prayer, and it took $374-grand to come to the conclusion that, contrary to popular belief, sniffing lemon juice will not help heal external wounds.

Dr. Wallace Sampson of Stanford University tells the Tribune that real medical wizzes “don't take public money and invest it in projects that are just made up out of people's imaginations." The government, on the other hand, likes to act on instinct. Such was the case with a study that spent $1.25 million to conclude that, “Hey, people with cancer feel better after being massaged.”

Also keen on massages: people without cancer.
It has taken me until middle age to come to this particular self-realization, but I now know. As a writer I truly am not worthy.


  1. Yes, it all sounds absurd, but here's another perspective, which may not justify the expenses incurred, but is worth considering.

    I view this as real science in the service of truth, debunking the quackery and kookiness out there. We laugh and say, "what a waste of money -- who would believe in coffee enemas?? ha ha!" But millions of $$ are made off of naive, sometimes desperate people looking for "alternative" cures and remedies.

    This is the same unit of the NIH that has shown that high doses of vitamin C are not useful, echinicea doesn't protect you from colds, homeopathy is a joke, etc. In a world so full of bullshit everywhere you turn, this is an important service.

    I'd rather have the government spending money in this way, than on the space program. What are we spending on the Mars program? The one where we send a little cart to drive around scraping up red dirt? Which form of scientific inquiry has more real-world benefit for the money laid out?

  2. @Patrick - I see your point. I guess what really gets me about this is just a few months ago the USG came within hours of a debt default because our "leaders" could not agree on budget cuts, and yet programs like this one continue. It's madness.