As a result of a little digging around the papers last week, as-ever on the trawl for nonsense, I stumbled across the following in the Daily Express:
HERBAL REMEDY’S NAGGING RELIEF TO THE HENPECKED
BATTLING couples could have found the cure for their marital bust-ups – a herbal remedy which claims it can tame the nastiest of nags.
A miracle cure you say? To get rid of nagging? With a slight hint of a putting-your-woman-in-place angle? Thanks very much, Diana-mourning, Maddie-sleuthing Daily Express. The article was written by Nathan Rao, who I feel is worth calling out because frankly I suspect he contributed barely a word to it, as you may well come to suspect too I’m sure. The article continues:
The world’s first anti-nagging medicine hit the shelves yesterday.
Two sentences in, and we’re suddenly claiming not only a world’s first, but that this herbal product is classifiable as medicine, and all that that entails. In short, if the Express, Nathan Rao or whoever wrote this piece wants to call this herbal remedy a medicine, that’s fine – so long as it’s a licensed product, licensed by the MHRA. If it’s not, then labelling it a ‘medicine’ is… well, let’s call it naughty. And complaint-worthy. And potentially pretty serious. So, a nice start then! Let’s continue:
And, although the makers claim it works for both sexes, they admit it is particularly effective in women.
They say Mindset Living Remedy can “restore a woman’s hormonal balance”, spelling relief to thousands of mercilessly henpecked men.
Even better, once peace and harmony have been restored, case studies show it can enhance a couple’s sex life by increasing libido.
Nice to see a charming sexist angle to this story too. It’s essentially saying:
Dear men, are your womenfolk grouchy, hormonal and irritant? Are their day to day needs annoying you? And are their nagging ways preventing you from getting your end away? Then you should try the all-new, all-natural Woman-Controller! Just one application and you can be rutting your newly-silenced-and-servile wife within minutes! Try it today, and we’ll throw in a free pair of marigolds and a portal back to the 19-fucking-30s…
“It could transform the wildest and angriest of women or men into happy, relaxed individuals,”
said Michael Riley, spokesman for crazy snake-oil peddling bigots and manufacturers of this nonsense, Better by Nature.
Who are Better by Nature? They’re a holistic and homeopathic remedy retailer:
At Better by Nature, we believe that health and wellbeing is achieved by working in harmony with your body and nature, while ill health is often the result of the modern environment in which we all live.
With continual exposure to pollution, electromagnetic radi-ation, the side effects of medical drugs, and the level of stress in our everyday lives, it is no wonder that modern life takes it’s toll on the human body.
So, essentially, they’re believers in EHS (which is one of the first nonsenses we dealt with here at the MSS), anti-pharma, pro-homeopathy and, well, weird. Which is just exactly the kind of company you’d expect to have created the world’s first clinically-robust-and-in-no-way-snakeoily cure for something which is definitely capable of being cured with a mix of herbs. But exactly what mix of herbs? Well, that’s not clear, because like Colonel Sanders, you’ve got to keep your herby blends secret when you’ve got a product as hot and tender as a cure for being pissy. In fact, it’s so secret that if you’d looked at the Better by Nature catalogue, you’d have found zero reference to their wonder drug!
What’s more, if you google around for the name of this husband-saving, wife-enslaving pot pourri, you’ll find the only references to it are ones derived from this particular news article. Curious.
Still we do have some guidance on the exact blend:
“(Michael) said the mix of aloe vera, Chinese and Western herbs calms the mind and reduces confrontation and irrational behaviour.”
Well, that narrows that down – it’s Chinese herbs, some Western herbs, and some Aloe Vera (which must count as neither – I guess that makes sense given the ultra-ubiquity of this wonder herb, now used in hand soaps, dishwasher powder, air fresheners and wife-obedience sprays). Continuing:
Sprayed under the tongue twice a day, it is said to bring results within eight weeks. That’s good news for partners of the women quizzed in a new survey – 87 per cent admitted giving their partner a hard time.
Hello! What’s this about a survey? My ears have pricked up:
They spend 7,920 minutes a year nagging their husband about household chores, drinking and their health, according to the survey by health campaign group Everyman. This is equivalent to a full five-and-a-half days’ ear-bashing.
A survey by Everyman? Recently? Well, sort of – from June 18, 2010. I know this, because I remember it at the time – it came OnePoll. Titled in their archive, rather simply and charmingly ‘Old Nag’:
Henpecked British blokes endure a WEEK of nagging from their wives every year, a study revealed yesterday (Mon). Women moan at their partner for more than two-and-a-half hours a week about helping out around the house, cutting back on booze or taking care of their health. That’s a total of around 11 hours a month – the equivalent of five-and-a-half days a year or more than one working week.
Not helping to tidy the house emerged as the most common bug-bear for a woman to nag about, followed by not doing the dishes. Spending too much money, not being romantic enough and not sorting out clothes for the washing completed the top five.
Other popular things women bend a man’s ear about include drinking too much, their diet, and not going to the doctor to get something checked out.
The sad thing is, as ever, the Everyman health charity is generally pretty decent, aiming to raise cash for research into prostate and testicular cancer. So it’s a bit shitty that they’ve just sank to the standard Bullshit PR Sexism depths. And, on top of that, it goes to show how last year’s piece of bad news bullshit becomes today’s received wisdom, the foundations to build this new piece of bollocks on, like some kind of Bollock Jenga (TM).
The makers of Mindset Living Remedy claim their product could solve all that. But the price of peace is not cheap – it costs £49 a bottle.
Mr Riley said: “There are no guarantees in this world, but opportunities like this have to be worth a try.”
Absolutely – at £49 per bottle, there’s no reason not to buy a herbal spray to stop your wife nagging you. No reason at all. That said, there’s also no reason at all not to burn the £49 in a small campfire, while dancing nakedly around the flame whispering chanted prayers to the goddess Aphrodite. Other than, you know, it’d be a waste of £49 and a total waste of time. Although at least with the fire-ritual you’d be getting some fresh air and exercise.
I fully suspect this is little more than an advertorial PR piece sent to Nathan to paste in full into a national newspaper, in order to fill copy – it smacks of PR or advertorial, uncritically parroting the claims of a product which is highly dubious in nature, failing to comment on the inherent non-medical nature of the problem in question (nagging) and generally singing the praises of the all-natural loons at Bettter By Nature.
As I’ve always said, this level of churnalism is endemic in the modern media, and I’m not alone in saying it – in fact, Johan Hari, the columnist for the Independent, agrees with me, writing in one of his forthcoming articles:
‘As I’ve always said, this level of churnalism is endemic in the modern media, and I’m not alone in saying it’.
It’s like the new Godwin’s law – on a long enough timeline, the chances that Johan will re-appropriate your words as his own approaches 1.
(As an aside, that’s a bit of satire about the way people have pounced on Hari, as if the embarrassing and disappointing intellectual vanity behind his copy/pasting is the same as the examples I expose week-in week-out where supposed journalists have done zero background reading, zero editing, and zero journalism. Whatever transgressions Hari has certainly been guilty of, he can’t be accused of mindless churnalism – unless the people of Somalia, the Gaza strip and The Gays have suddenly been able to hire some cracking PR representation).
Also, as an aside, if you ever go to the Express’s site and try editing the URL, you’ll find you can write whatever you like after the number in the middle of the address, and the link still works. Sounds boring and techy, I know, but it’s the reason that I was able to create: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/257040/Tame-Your-Woman-With-New-Snake-Oil-Wonderherb-says-all-natural-bigots
Much lolz. And it works for EVERY Express article. Consider that a gift, from me to you, as a way of apologising for bringing this misogynistic, meaningless and pseudo-scientific story to your attention.