the dopamine cowboy movement

The “Literary World”, Die Welt’s book supplement, is not a place I’d generally go to find explanations for the particular warp of the American grain at the present moment. So I was surprised to find an explanation for everything, everything that has happened since Reagan was elected president, in the first two paragraphs of review article by Uwe Schmitt:

“Usually the American journal, the Archives of Neurology, only offers the layman news of the obscure impulse inherent in his bankruptcy or obituary. But this summer, when the journal reported that the drug Mirapex, which is used by Parkinson’s patience, can drive those patients to gamble, the readership increased. The study by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota showed abrupt personality changes in a test group: eleven of thirty patients became compulsive gamblers and lost, in half a year, up to 200,000 dollars. The families and heirs of the selected patients were not amused.
Six of eleven patients could not curb their eating, drinking, sex and purchasing. After being taken off the drug, it was “like a light was switched off”, and they became as they had been. All assurances by the professors that these were at most one percent of the hundreds of thousands that have been treated successfully did not stop fantasies from spreading, in a land where, on TV, on the Internet, and in Indian casinos a dizzying intoxication of gambling reigns. You could bet that some novels and screemplays would certainly come out of this tragicomic gambling therapy.”
It is always nice and scientific to narrow the range of suspects to one. The John Birchers always suspected that fluoridating our drinking water was weakening our vital fluids. Saps! They should have been looking for the dark presences that are obviously lurking around our water supply organizations, tossing in the Mirapex. And we thought Rove was just tied up with Diebold.
So we checked on this factoid, to see if anybody else had tripped over it and discovered the key to the kingdom. The fall of the roman empire, as any middlebrow knows, was caused by lead pipes. Since the link between chemically induced dementia and the collapse of imperial borders has already become one of the things you would expect Pecuchet to bring up in conversation, we were a little surprised that nobody has brought up the obvious: the Mayo Clinic chemically concocted an exact replica of American culture.
Perhaps this was behind that plot line in this summer’s Batman. The evidence accumulates!

Actually, a long time ago I decided that, instead of postmodernism, or post structuralism, or any ism, I wanted to belong to the aesthetic and philosophical movement known as the dopamine cowboys. I was, at the time, the only member. I still am. But apparently I had unconsciously struck on something. As Walt Whitman used to say, I am large, I contain multitudes.


Deleted said…
I thought the Roman Empire was laid low by the lack of zero for accounting purposes, Roger, and rampant buggery, of course. Perhaps if they'd had less lead in their drinking water these things wouldn't have impacted so heavily.

I'm not surprised to find Mirapex is to blame for the jackpot mentality. I suspect the Mayo Clinic is also to blame for the large doses of Snopesamine in the reservoirs.
roger said…
Buggery was actually what kept the troops going. A little thing you could look forward to, going back to the camp. Alas, tripping on the water dissolved this healthy and martial habit, and a lot of Romans started believing anything -- that God was crucified, that buggery would have the cosmic effect of sending you to eternal punishment, that, hell, sometimes a woman doesn't even need sex to get pregnant.
See -- no lead pipes, and we'd be having hearings in the Senate right now on whether there was steroid use among the gladiators.