The Mad Cow Scare has been well-reported in the U.S. and international press. The American press, probably correctly, tends to downplay the scare. The international press, such as the Tokyo Monitor, suggests "Americans are paying a price for their self-righteousness." Le Monde joined the fray and wrote that "Given the outbreak of Mad Cow disease in Washington state, America can no longer be so clean and virtuous on the international stage. Now its meat is also poisoned. We have known for some time that its character is flawed."
Not all international press was so vitriolic. The London Times simply welcomed the Yanks to the Mad Cow Club, offering America "more than a decade of gruesome experience with this disease."
For all the bombast and scare tactics, Mad Cow disease has not reached the levels forecast in the British tabloid press in the late 1980s.
Indeed, approximately one-hundred and twenty-five individuals have died, mostly in the UK. There is no downplaying the awful circumstances of such deaths. However, the number of deaths has never reached anywhere near even the most conservative estimates of 100,000 in a decade.
This fact has prompted neurologists to explore other avenues. Few doubt that Mad Cow is caused by feeding brain, spinal tissue and the like from slaughtered cows to their live brethren. Some medical authorities have observed that it is a surprise more British have not been affected, given their penchant for brains, spinal tissue and other delicacies from the slaughterhouse floor.
The method of transmission is not totally clear. Some very light meat eaters have been infected. On the other hand, people--mainly men--who contemtuously devoured a short ton of cow brains during the British Mad Cow scare have lived to tell their tales. Monthly brain imaging indicates that, to date, their brains are no smaller than those of the average, beer-swilling soccer lout. The sponginess in their brains is attributed to lager.
Such paradoxes have prompted investigators to consider whether some people, by psychological disposition, music preferences, and TV-watching habits, might be more predisposed to the disease. Early work by Michael Murphy, MD, head of the Mad Cow Clinic at the University of Leeds, is promising but not conclusive. Dr. Murphy found that people who "listen to classical music have larger, more animated brains than those who listen to rap music. But there is some preliminary evidence that the animated brain is attractive to the Mad Cow protein that is looking for a place to park. We don't recommend that the British stop listening to classical music. We do suggest a diet of rap and classical music might be the best antidote."
Dr. Murphy notes that Britain is lucky because the "country has a proclivity for the vulgar." By this logic the self-styled sophisticated French might have more to worry about.
The researcher also examined TV viewing habits of those exposed to Mad Cow.
His team found that watching the BBC, however relaxing, produced the same effects as classical music. It produced a large, self-conscious animated brain. Watching any of the commercial channels, especially those with a heavy diet of reality shows, produced a brain-dead response, which was not attractive to the Mad Cow protein. Dr. Murphy suggests the susceptible BBC viewers balance this habit with a "heavy dose of reality shows." Apparently it doesn't matter whether the shows are in German, French or Italian. The same low brainwave effect is produced.
Dr. Murphy's next task is to study the psychological factors associated with Mad Cow. He postulates that a combination of "heavy meat-eating, a penchant for power, and moral self-righteousness could be the right ingredients to produce the Mad Cow cocktail. Frankly, I am surprised that we haven't seen the early signs of the disease in political and government figures."
Dr. Murphy's research is years from completion, but he does advise that we be on the lookout for powerful, self-righteous meat-eating politicians who can prevaricate on a global scale while projecting a Christian world view from the earth to the moon and to Mars. This person, who doesn't read, will have a rather small brain animated by money, power, and God.
Dr. Murphy will shortly be moving to the U.S. where he thinks Mad Cow disease is still in its infancy.