Monday, September 19, 2011

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment

I was going to write about a peculiar parameter in the whole male/female behavioral landscape. I don't really have a term for it. I'm aware of the difference between sex and gender - in other words, what you have down there and what you think you should have down there.

This is different. I've noticed, for example, that I am your standard man's man in the sense that I am orthodox hetero, have the equipment of a man, and feel like I should have the equipment of a man, and more importantly, don't really care for shopping.

My idea of shopping for a hat is to find a hat on the side of road, notice it fits, that it is in a good state of repair, and can be cleaned up if necessary. I am done shopping for a hat.

I know other guys who satisfying the above conditions for being a man's man, will easily go out shopping for two hours for a hat. A fucking baseball cap.

This is not the same as being clothes' horse. I like to look sharp. I like to dress up when the occasion calls for it. But I will not engage in this rather feminine gathering behavior of shopping the way I have seen some men do it.

This... Male Barbie Syndrome (for lack of a better term, and I am open to suggestions) is a parameter of the human psyche which I think, but am not certain, is a recent and modern phenomenon. I suspect it has a name. I just don't know it.

But that's not what I want to talk about. I recently remembered a study done during WWII called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. A doctor named Ancel Keys brought together a number of conscientious objectors to study starvation in order to determine what it would take to rehabilitate the victims of privation in Europe. The one thing I recall was that the supposedly unique American worldview, the"can-do" spirit, the unbridled optimism, the generosity and positive outlook, pretty much disappeared when starvation is imposed.

In other words, the whole American can-do spirit is simply a by-product of being well fed.

I suspect that, there are in fact, certain nutritional requirements that, if not fulfilled, result in a radical change in behavior.

It is my hypothesis that conservatives, and in particular Republicans, and more specifically the Tea Party faction of Republicans act the way they do due to dietary deficiencies.

They are lacking in Vitamin N.

Which is why they are not Nice.


  1. They're also lacking vitamin C. No compassion.

  2. You are onto something substantial here John, but it's not dietary deficiencies, rather, it's the composition of their intestinal and other epigenetic/symbiontic flora and fauna.

    The differences we're observing all around are attributable to conflict between competing parasitic microbiota...,

  3. Think about the concept of baraka..,

    Then, think about the existence and strenuous preservation of dietary and other strictures under regimes like halal, kosher, jim crow, etc...,

  4. I am aware of the Second Brain concept, as well as epigenetic effects/microRNa from food changing gene expression in a body/etc. Problem is, since I ain't smart enough to use this data for any practical effect, it all gets stored in the backbrain for possible future reference. That, and I have the attention span of a 5-year-old.

    But, yes, one wonders how we'd act if we were all of us properly fed, and knew what "proper" was. Hmm. Probably making starships. Or something cool. Cooler than we do what we do now.

  5. Or if we actually broke bread together and co-mingled the stuff of our enteric differences -since the "religious" traditions specifically prohibit such "contamination".

    Me, I eat anything as long as it tastes good, and I've tested my digestive system and immunities from one corner of the planet to another.