Pro-Fox Hunting, Pro-Censorship, Ex-Tory MP Louise Mensch featured heavily in the papers last week. Why was that? Has she solved world hunger? Slashed the deficit? Invented self-removing socks? Nope, she's come to the stunning realisation, in her blog, that not drinking is better for you than drinking a little bit. Now, hold on people. It may sound outlandish, but hear her out. Mensch claims that she was "self-medicating" for stress by having a glass of wine per day.
"I relished that moment every night, after work, when I could get a large glass of white somewhere, and relax."
Whilst the Sauvignon shakes can be savage, it's not exactly Irvine Welsh, is it? "Self-medicating"? Really? My stomach is making strange rumbling noises. Do you think I should self-medicate with a sandwich, or is that just feeding the problem? True, she acknowledges that there are proper alcoholics with proper addictions, but Louise Mensch also suffers from a harrowing illness of which she can find little respite. Okay, it's not Hodgkin's Disease, but it certainly has a cooler acronym:
"Moving to America finally coincided with my being treated for my ADD (type 2 inattentive)."
Coincided? To quote Jim Carrey in Ace Venture Pet Detective: "Re-he-he-heally". America loves disorders. It loves diagnosing things. It loves taking the massive, confusing, paradoxical thing that is life and simplifying it, treating it, putting YOU back in CONTROL! Most importantly it loves selling prescription drugs to people. America produces and consumes vast amounts of drugs which makes a few companies a hilarious amount of money. "Your child is behaving like a child? Unacceptable. Little Tyler must have Non-Grownup Juvenility Syndrome. Let's dope the fucker back to the stone age!"
How many children are put on Ritalin in the USA just because it is so readily available? How is it that the USA are plagued with these seriously ill children and yet the rest of the world, who don't have the drug, somehow seems to escape this epidemic? Weird, that.
"If, like I was, you are a woman who drinks "reasonably but regularly", it's not reasonable. Consider that you may have ADD. Ask your doctor."
How's that going to work?
"Have I got attention deficit disorder?"
"Sorry, I was miles away."
Amazing how the human race has survived for millions of years without knowing that Ugg the Stone Arranger had OCD. Now, I'm no medical expert (but then neither is Mensch) but maybe she struggled with politics because of her advanced attention-deficient condition. Or maybe the business of reading and debating a new bill to make paperclips Euro-regulation is just bloody tedious. During my history degree, when I had to study parish records of 17th century England, I seemed to suddenly and uncannily come down with severe bouts of ADD. The only cure seemed to be to retreat to the library toilets and playing Snake on my Nokia 3310. Simpler times. I'm quite sure that there are hyperactive children, some extremely so. I'm have no doubt that it felt to some 16th century merchants that they were suffering from melancholia of the humours, and they could only relax at the end of the day with a good blood-letting. But am totally certain that there are as many quacks in the USA today as there were in Renaissance Venice.
Mensch claims that ADD is "something a lot of creative people have." Good old non-specific creativity. 'I've always had this special, intangible gift that makes me more special than the people around me. That's right. It's no particular skill or actual quality. I'm just CREATIVE!' Proclaiming oneself 'creative' whilst having ADD isn't about being unable to pay attention. It's about the feeling that people aren't giving you enough attention. 'Check me out! I'm creative and I have ADD. There's a deficit of attention flowing in my direction! I'm a butterfly, fuckers!' And what title did this creative juggernaut chose for the blogpost in question? "WHY-NE O'CLOCK."
Seriously. She must have been out of her face on not drinking when she came up with that turd.
She makes a case for not drinking because you'll sleep better, you'll feel less awful the next morning and you'll have more energy. She's right of course. But you could achieve the same result by not working or having kids, and strangely if you do both those things, you'll probably find yourself less inclined to drink. So why give up a moderate amount of alcohol?
"It's how most American women live and they are happier and healthier for it."
Who wants candy?
Then why is it Americans suffer from so many more disorders of the brain than Brits? Why are self-help snake oil salesman such a feature of the landscape if everyone is so blissfully content? Why are so many Americans popping down so much potentially lethal OxyContin and Vicodin? Why is it that they are rattling around on so many anti-depressants with names like Wellbutrin and Joybazole? (Okay, I made the last one up, but try typing 'list of antidepressants' into google. Terrifying.) If people in the USA are happier, it's because they're so egregiously high all the time. It's no wonder they can't find their own country on a map. I've been high, and have been unable to tell the time as a result. They're pilled up like comatosed rhinos. A glass of wine wouldn't touch the sides.
Of course, all Menschtown, Alabama is doing is thinking up some guff for her blog, but fascinating that most major papers think it newsworthy. ("That mouthy, saucy Mensch wench Tory totty is at it again! Front page, Guy! Front page!") What will this creative whirlwind come out with next?
Louise Mensch's Next Blogs:
· Learning Flemish more beneficial than stabbing yourself in the eye with a pencil.
· My dog keeps wanting me to perform the same throwing/ walking/ scratching tasks over and over again. Canine OCD?
· If I write the L Ron Hubbard School of BrainLearnGood out a cheque for £500,000, I could become an OT8!