The first “12 things” that bison pulled out of the hat was “12 things you need to do before the end of the year.” That obviously had far too much potential. In the words of the lovely Mark Barden and Adam Morgan, I needed a beautiful constraint.
So I cheated and sent the bison into the hat a second time. He came out with something I could work with; “12 things you never knew about your Christmas cheese board.”
This opus is, bizarrely, to be found on the *BT website, which might explain why it is ill-informed, barely literate, full of contradictions and patchy. Further investigation reveals that it is authored by SNAP.PA, the division of the Press Association dedicated to writing what is, these days, known as “content”, and in my day was known as, “You failed your English exam.”
(*Dear overseas reader, BT claims to be a phone company here in England.)
Much of the clickbait that we read is written by wordslaves working for organisations like SNAP.PA. They are probably being paid about 1p per word, which is 1p per word more than I am. While I do have some sympathy for their plight, I’m going to rip the piss out of this anyway, because it’s crap.
“3 things that drive me nuts about
12 things you never knew about your Christmas cheese board.”
Thing 1. Bad science.
While “researching” the piece our SNAP.PA “writer” relies heavily on the “wisdom” of a “nutrition blogger” and a “nutrition therapist”. Here’s some of their “science”. (End of irony marks. Not end of irony.)
– “Cheese is full of protein and vitamins.”
Yes, cheese is full of protein in much the same way that Hershey’s chocolate is full of cocoa.
The glass on the left below is full of water, the glass in the centre contains as much water as cheese contains protein, and (for comparison purposes only, and not in any way wanting to criticise recent US legislation on the import of chocolate from the UK) the glass on the right contains as much water as Hershey’s chocolate contains cocoa.
Admittedly cottage cheese contains a little more protein. However, in all my 61 Christmases of cheese, “cottage” has never been included on the board. Quite right too. It’s disgusting.
– “Cheese makes you happy. It contains an amino acid called tyrosine”.
Cheese comes in at 241 in the list of foods high in tyrosine. Top of the list is seaweed. So it’s the Christmas seaweed board to cheer up my family next year. That’ll teach them. Miserable cheese-eating bastards.
– “Cheese contains one of the essential amino acids, a protein called tryptophan.”
Well, which is it? An amino acid or a protein? Tryptophan isn’t a protein, you cheese-brained twit. It’s an amino acid. These 2 are not the same. And, NO, before you write your brilliant treatise on turkey and sleepiness; NO, NO, NO!!! Tryptophan does NOT make you sleepy. You just ate too much.
– “The calcium in cheese can help women with symptoms of PMS. Women given a daily calcium supplement of 1,200mg have been shown to have a reduction in PMS symptoms after three months.”
In order for cheese to have this effect you would have to SUPPLEMENT your usual diet with 170 grams of cheese every day for 3 months. That’s an additional 700 calories a day. If you run 2 marathons a week you’ll just about break even weight-wise and no-one will know if the PMS thing is working because you won’t have time to see them.
– “as part of a well-rounded nutrition plan, and eaten in moderation (cheese) can help you to lose weight.”
True. So can pasta drizzled with lard and served with grated chocolate. Eaten in moderation. Obvs.
Thing 2. Palin Syndrome (Not to be confused with palindrome. Look it up, Sarah).
This condition is characterised by logical inconsistency, poor or non-existent reasoning, bad grammar and appalling syntax. Although there is some poorly substantiated research (see Thing 1) to suggest that Palin syndrome is due to teleprompter failure, it is in fact caused by chronic and incurable stupidity.
– “We think the reason for that, and it’s not definitive, but cheese and milk contain one of the essential amino acids, a protein called tryptophan,” This is pure, textbook Palin. Start a sentence, interrupt yourself and then forget where you were going with it.
Another symptom of Palin Syndrome is the tendency to start a fight with someone who actually agrees with you, but you’re just too stupid or too drunk to realise that they do.
Take this example:
– “Charles Dickens has a lot to answer for, suggesting cheese induces nightmares in A Christmas Carol, but research by the British Cheese Board found it actually helps you sleep.”
I don’t know about you, but I tend to have nightmares when I’m asleep. So the fact that cheese helps you to sleep surely supports its association with nightmares.
And the syntax: give me strength! “..cheese induces nightmares in a Christmas Carol”? Let’s try again, shall we? “….suggesting, in his novel A Christmas Carol, that cheese induces nightmares….”
The author has such a serious case of Palin Syndrome that this made sense to them:
“We Brits eat less cheese than our European neighbours, yet we seem to have more “weight issues” than them. Walters says: “France and French women are a brilliant example because cheese is an important part of their diet. It’s all about portion sizes. A portion of cheese is a matchbox size – that’s where people go wrong.”
My brain hurts from trying to work this one out. It’s as if a drunk Anglophobe alien from a reverse-gravity planet ate too many ideas and vomited them up at the 38 bus stop.
Thing 3. Typos.
– “Organise Greek feta crumbled over a salad is healthier than hard British cheeses…”
Yes, I imagine it IS hard to organise British cheeses. So why not avoid all the stress that might cause, and instead place feta neatly and geometrically on your salad. After all, Greek cheese organised over salad is at the very heart of a British Christmas meal.
In summary, dear reader, the next time you search the interwebs for the answer to your relationship/health/financial problem, or when you see an internexpert backing up their ignorant bullshit with so-called science, just think about the 12 things you never knew about your Christmas cheeseboard.