Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's a flaming wonder homeopath

Previous biographers of Keats and Chapman have drawn a discreet veil over the period in the poets' chequered careers when poverty -- the product of poetic aspirations and a complete lack of employable skills -- brought them down to the nadir of degradation. Yes, they considered switching to the trade of homeopathy.

Intent on acquiring a solid foundation for their self-taught homeopathic education, the unwashed partners-in-grime agreed to begin with the personality typology. For the founding fathers of homeopathy discovered that people fell into a small number of classes, each requiring a different medication to address their most pressing flaws of character and physique. Some people, for instance, will benefit from extract of cuttlefish:
The cuttlefish does not have sedentary habits; it remains in constant motion, except as a defense, it can and will remain completely motionless. It swims forward slowly, but has the ability for very rapid backward motion. Likewise, the Sepia person is not sedentary. He/she likes to move and is better from exercising. As for the cuttlefish's ability to move backward rapidly, Sepia people are known to be unsocial and averse to company. These people will rapidly retreat from people or circumstances that want or demand something of them. They seek to escape from close emotional ties and the various obligations that accompany them.
[...]
The cuttlefish's body is slightly flat with a supple fin. Similarly, the Sepia woman has a tendency to have masculine features, including flat-chestedness, and with their supple legs, they love to exercise, especially dancing and aerobics.
For many decades the field of photography was dominated by Sepia people. When feeling threatened, Sepia individuals have the ability to conceal themselves behind a cloud of ink while they make their escape. Thus they are over-represented in the legal profession.

The account of the Lachesis or Bushmaster personality is best read out aloud in a sepulchral Vincent Price voice:
As always happens to medical students, Keats and Chapman soon noticed how many of the various syndromes also fitted themselves. Keats was inclined to classify his colleague as a Nux Vomica person ("coarse, closeminded, and hard-headed"), best treated with strychnine in more-or-less diluted form. Chapman demurred. He pointed to the features of a Cactus person:
Cactus is derived from night-blooming cereus, thus people who need homeopathic Cactus have symptoms that are aggravated in the night. [...]
People who need Cactus are known to have a thirst (1), during the heat (1), after the heat (1), for small quantities (1), and for small quantities often (1).
Keats was having none of this. "'Thirst for small quantities'?" he exclaimed. "You can't be Cereus!"
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Must credit commenter Narad for research.

UPDATED with bonus Homeopathic Elemental Personalities:

MERCURIUS
Mercury is quite an extraordinary substance. It is a liquid at room temperature and evaporates easily. It is very sensitive to temperature, hence its great value in thermometers. It is thus fitting that those sick people who will benefit from Mercurius are those who are similarly sensitive to extremes of temperature. Their symptoms are aggravated from both heat and cold. And like its easy volatility, people who need Mercurius are usually quite volatile.

PHOSPHORUS
Equally reactive are Phosphorus people: hypersensitive to sensory impressions including noise, light, music, odors, and touch. They are also emotionally hypersensitive: they are sympathetic and want and need sympathy from others; they want others around and are fearful of being alone [...]

Like the mineral phosphorus which is so diffused throughout the human body, it is no accident that one of the primary characteristics of people who need Phosphorus is diffusion -- an inability to set limits and to separate self from non-self.

Phosphorus is known for giving off light without heat when exposed to air. Similar to a phosphorescent light, people who benefit from Phosphorus radiate with an extroverted, even effervecent personality. Like a match with a phosphorus tip, they emit light but tend to burn out quickly and become exhausted.

A plant deficient in phosphorus develops a thin, long stem and weak roots. Similarly, people who need Phosphorus tend to be thin and tall, and not psychologically "grounded." They tend to be "spacey," have difficulty finishing projects, and become easily fatigued.

Although phosphorus cannot be detected in the atmosphere, a tropical plant called Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides ) contains high concentrations of it which are absorped in a mysterious way. This moss flourishes even when it grows above the ground on telephone wires. Phosphorus people have similiarly mysterious powers: they typically have hyperacute senses and not only are they able to see, hear, and feel more than most other people, but they also sometimes are intuitive and can even be clairvoyant.

Don't mess with the Elements of Doom!

10 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The problem with this plan was that there's no corresponding malady for tincture of Grecian urn.

'Thirst for small quantities'?" he exclaimed. "You can't be Cereus!"

Droll, as is typical.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I prefer small qualities of ten.
~

Smut Clyde said...

Grecian urnings are all diluted. Austerity!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Well-played, old chum!

Smut Clyde said...

Sometimes it occurs to me that not everyone is familiar with the conventions of the Keats-&-Chapman genre, established by Flann O'Brian [the original story has Keats performing impromptu veterinary surgery upon a pigeon belonging to his fellow-poet Chapman, and being thereby inspired to write a pome entitled "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer"]. But then I think, "To hell with them -- they *should* be familiar with the genre."

Owed to a Grecian Urn: 12 guineas. Prompt payment would be appreciated.

Substance McGravitas said...

As long as the required dosage is only (1) what harm can it do?

tigris said...

Phosphorus people are great for unions because they will strike anywhere.

Another Kiwi said...

tigris is banned because of phosphorus bombs.

Another Kiwi said...

Sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter are the elements that go BOOM!

Smut Clyde said...

The element of surprise is Omg.