On Bullshit. (without it, we would be lost)

Bullshit has been around a long time. As long as there were bulls.

Please note that I am talking “Bullshit” and not “Cowdung”. I don’t want to go to Pakistan. Pakistan is much worse. For now.

But the word bullshit, has been there , almost from 1900. Amazing. It never went out of fashion.

For one thing, mildly offensive bad words never go out of fashion. They cannot. They resurface again and again, like stars peeping out of a clouded night sky, to relieve the sheer tedium and wordiness of ordinary human intercourse.

I would say- Bullshit is not a bad word. It is just a noun. There is no other word to replace that word. Bullshit is Bullshit. It is what you write when your high school teacher asks you to write a paragraph on ‘the human dilemma’ or ‘factors influencing the Indian Monsoon’. It is what you say when the wife asks you what you were doing in the office staying till late at night. It is what you say when the reporter asks you what you will do if you are elected, when you are contesting the polls.

One of my medical school friends, who considered studying to be a bad habit that is strictly to be avoided, was asked to write about the ‘origin, insertion, relations, nerve supply and action of the Teres Major muscle’. He wrote:

“The Teres Major muscle is a big muscle. It is a major muscle, as its name so eloquently describes. The muscle originated in the remote past during human evolution, for some purpose that it is uniquely adapted for. In fact, I won’t be surprised if a similar muscle is found also among apes. That much is its significance. The muscle is connected to bones. It is related to nearby structures, and is covered by skin. Muscles are responsible for movement in humans.”

Well, let me tell you- every word of this answer is completely true. But you may note that even non-medical people will find this answer deeply unsatisfying. So did my teachers at medical school, and he failed a record number of times before passing finally. Now he runs a wellness and weight loss clinic at one of the metro cities. He is planning to write a book on ‘The secret formula to health, happiness and a trim body’. No. He is not me. (My bullshit is subtler).

Recently I read a self-improvement book that stated:

“The power of thought is enormous. Thoughts are electrochemical discharges of neurons and are thus, a form of energy. According to Einstein’s famous equation E=MC2, energy is equal to mass. So thoughts are physical things. They are substances on the fabric of the space-time continuum, capable of influencing the universe. So think positive thoughts. Visualise success. Whatever you visualise; you will be able to achieve. The universal consciousness will help you do it. All the billions of people in this earth are suffering because of this simple fact- they don’t realise that thoughts are things.”

While all this is incredibly uplifting, I find the sheer amount- the tonnage- of Bullshit difficult to stomach. Does that make me a ‘science fundamentalist’?

Maybe. Then so be it.

Many have told me that I am a conceited bullshitter. I am neither. Just an amused observer of Bullshit. But if it bubbles up from my insides, I cannot help it.

Let me stop, by copying T. S .Elliot’s poem that contains the first documented use of the term “Bullshit’:

Remember- Elliot wrote it- not me.(Apparently, he had a lot of lady critics)

The Triumph of Bullshit – T.S. Eliot

Ladies, on whom my attentions have waited
If you consider my merits are small
Etiolated, alembicated,
Orotund, tasteless, fantastical,
Monotonous, crotchety, constipated,
Impotent galamatias
Affected, possibly imitated,
For Christ’s sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies, who find my intentions ridiculous
Awkward, insipid and horribly gauche
Pompous, pretentious, ineptly meticulous
Dull as the heart of an unbaked brioche
Floundering versicles freely versiculous
Often attenuate, frequently crass
Attempts at emotion that turn isiculous,
For Christ’s sake stick it up your ass.

Ladies who think me unduly vociferous
Amiable cabotin making a noise
That people may cry out “this stuff is too stiff for us”-
Ingenuous child with a box of new toys
Toy lions carnivorous, cannon fumiferous
Engines vaporous- all this will pass;
Quite innocent, -“he only wants to make shiver us.”
For Christ’s sake stick it up your ass.

Dr Jimmy

I am a Doctor, Writer and Science Communicator. I am a member of Info- Clinic, and have written a few books. This site features my blog posts and stories. Thank you for visiting. ഞാൻ എഴുതാൻ ഇഷ്ടമുള്ള ഉള്ള ഒരു ഡോക്ടർ ആണ് . നിങ്ങളുടെ താത്പര്യത്തിന് നന്ദി .